By:  Karen Sullen


As with other events, planners help bring the details together.  An experienced and resourceful event planner can make all the difference when planning a major event.  There are party planners, wedding planners, and now baby planners!  As consultants for busy moms and dads, baby planners provide the extra set of hands needed to get everything done before the baby's arrival. 


Sometimes, preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy can bring on a bundle of work.  Setting up the gift registry, preparing siblings for the change, researching the ever-changing trends in baby care and products, finding the perfect baby bag, and child-proofing the home are just a few of the concerns that parents-to-be must address.  For some parents, handling these tasks becomes stressful and overwhelming.  Relying on the experience and expertise of professional planners helps expectant parents remove some of the stress from the process so that they can better enjoy the maternity experience. 


Planners have been known to schedule doctor's appointments, help design the baby's room, interview potential nannies, schedule private CPR classes and personal chefs and even help negotiate time off of work.  One mother even requested a Hollywood-style photo shoot to capture her pregnant form.  Providing more than expert advice, baby planners are available to assist with a variety of requests (but they do draw the line at changing diapers!) 


Baby planners are not just for couples expanding their families the "old-fashioned way."  Many parents who are adopting or using surrogates have also enlisted the aid of baby planners.  A quick search on the Internet will yield a host of planners, some in your area and some who assist clients nationwide.  An initial screening during a complimentary consultation should help determine which planners are right for you.  Baby planners typically charge about $100 an hour, so here are some questions to ask to be sure it is money well spent:


-          Can you provide a reference list of clients that you have worked with?  Be sure to check the references provided.

-          Give me an example of how your attention to detail informed your client of an issue that she was not aware of?

-          How long have you been providing this service?

-          How many children do you have?  While it is not a prerequisite, baby planners who are also parents may have particular insight that others might not.


However, baby planners might not be right for everyone.  Planning for your new arrival might be challenging, but it is also exciting!   It can be a time of bonding with your child and developing your parental role as your baby develops within.  Handling the details yourself is one way to prepare mentally and emotionally for the baby.  Some parents would rather not defer that process to anyone else because they fear that they may lose some of the excitement and opportunity to create cherished memories.  But whether you do the planning or someone else helps you, preparing for your baby's arrival is a special time that will be filled with joyous memories.