Every parent needs help preparing for their first-born child. Find out if baby planning is right for your family.
What does a baby planner do?
Baby planning, similar to the concept behind wedding planning, is a relatively new service. "People perceive it as a service for the rich, but using a baby planner can be affordable and is worth the investment," say Shannan Carr and Lisa Cattie, premier baby planners with Bottles to Britches, PA.
Carr and Cattie's goals are to support expecting and new parents during this life transition and provide the information needed to make educated choices. They help parents prepare the nursery, assist with baby shower planning, find pre- and post-natal fitness experts, connect them with doulas/midwives and recommend child care options.
Bottles to Britches' most-requested services include registry assistance, gear analysis, planning for multiples, shower planning and going green. They also offer seminars on topics from babywearing to cloth diapers to daddy boot camp. There's a giant world of baby information out there, and Carr and Cattie aim to fill the gap. "We help parents navigate the overwhelming aisles of 'stuff,' such as bottles, pacifiers, bathtubs, grooming, safety items and other necessities." And they educate newbie parents with information about their options for car seats, strollers and other big-ticket items.
Why hire a baby planner?
Instead of wading through the information available through mail, the internet, books, magazines, and more, new parents turn to baby planners for the most essential knowledge. Baby planners narrow down the decision-making process, giving parents a range of options that suit them best and allowing them to select what they'll need or want most while navigating pregnancy, childbirth, the nursery and beyond.
"There are so many products on the market and new parents often don't know where to begin and don't have the time to do the research," say Carr and Cattie. "We know which brands are the best and which products are useful and which are useless."
For new parents who may want help with just a few tasks, most baby planners offer "a la carte" services. "Using a baby planner is a very personalized experience," Carr and Cattie explain. "There is no 'one-size-fits all.' Different families will have different needs. Most expecting parents will only need one or two of our services, but we're certainly available for parents who want it all."
Is a baby planner right for you?
Thinking about consulting with a baby planner? Ask yourself the following questions first to see if you might be a good candidate:
- Are you too busy to fully research the choices you need to make for your new baby?
- Are you overwhelmed by all of the choices available?
- Are you lacking a support system in your area to show you where to shop, what you need, where to take classes, etc.?
- Do you wish you had one main resource to help you focus on what's really important and what's not?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may want to consider hiring a helping hand from a baby planner.
Ultimately, Carr and Cattie -- parents themselves -- want to ease the minds of harried, overwhelmed or worried parents. "Asking for help does not make you a failure. Baby planners offer unbiased information and make sure that every decision made is the best for the entire family."
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