Tag Archives: Birth

Three Celebrity Celebrations

Photo by Walker/Getty via DailyNews
Photo by Walker/Getty via DailyNews

Famous? Well, the playing field levels out when you’re having a baby, getting married or adopting a pet (especially pets and babies; they don’t know if you’re famous or not….)

1) People magazine is reporting that Lance Armstrong and his girlfriend are expecting a baby.  Obviously, they’ll be reading our advice from moms, nurses and doctors on what to bring to the hospital.

2) There are questionable reports that NFL football star Tom Brady and model Giselle Bundchen are engaged.  They are reviewing what saved brides and grooms from disaster in our Wedding Day Emergency Kits for the bride and the groom.

3) Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston are celebrating a box office success with Marley and Me.  We’re sure they read info in Get Prepared – Pets.

Lots of celebrations…

– Susan

Save Money, Have a Baby (Part 5 of 5)

Thanks for joining us for our final post in our series on saving money while planning for your baby.

I Can Be Inexpensive!

Clothing, Diapers and Dollars

Onesies, booties & sleepers – how can something so little cost so much? There must be ways to save. Here are a few ideas we have come up with:

If you plan to have multiple baby showers, here is a great tip to pass on to the hosts

  • Designate an age for each shower: 0-3 mo., 3-6 mo., 6-9 mo., etc. – this way you won’t end up with 50 newborn outfits.  (Especially important because babies double their birth weight by 5 mo. and triple by 1 year.)
  • 5,300 – This is how many diapers you’ll change until your child is potty trained.  That’s a lot of diapers – and dollars!  A good solution is cloth diapers – cost effective, eco-friendly AND you can save by purchasing used.
  • Be cautious when washing and drying infant clothes and diapers. That soft, baby skin is very sensitive and prone to reactions. Drier sheets and fabric softeners are one of the major culprits – we suggest skipping them entirely.
  • If you find yourself getting too many items in the same size, hold off on washing the majority until you are truly sure you will use it. That way you can return those items, unwashed with tags on, if needed.
  • Let’s say you acted on that pre-labor spurt of energy, got overly ambitious and washed all of the baby stuff you had. All we can say is…thank goodness for consignment shops. If you can’t return it, sell it.

As you have learned, there are some very simple ways to save while baby shopping. The next time you attempt to attack those baby aisles you can think outside the box. Take these tips and run with them. Be proud of your newly acquired skills of penny pinching, reusing, and repurposing.

- Sarah and Linda

Linda Bauchwitz and Sarah Chambers are a mother/daughter team and owners of Before & After Baby Planning LLC, a concierge and consulting service that helps new and expectant parents prepare for their new arrival.  They can be reached at 763-494-3201 and on the web at:  www.planning4baby.com.

Save Money, Have a Baby (Part 4 of 5)

Hello – it’s our fourth post with great tips on saving money while you plan for your baby.

Missed the earlier ones? Here they are –

1. General hints about baby shopping

2. Saving when prepping the nursery and

3. Your on-the-go lifestyle.

4. Around the House
Home is where the heart is. This is also where you will be spending the majority of your time post baby. Here are some home-wise tips:

– Hospitals rent breast pumps by the day if you are interested in the try before you buy method. As you research right hospital for you, add this service to your list of questions!

– Stock up! Pump and Freeze.  Note that breast milk can be frozen in a chest type freezer for up to 6 months and a refrigerator freezer for up to 3.

– Is your blender lonely? Is that food processor collecting dust? Bust them out and make your own baby food. Freeze it in ice cube trays, pop the cubes out, and store in zip-top freezer bags. Walla!

– This is the ideal time to buy stock in your favorite battery company.  You will find yourself strongly supporting them.  Look into swings, monitors, toys, etc. that come with AC adaptors or rechargeable battery packs; reduce your carbon footprint.

See you soon for our fifth and final posting in the series!

- Sarah and Linda

Linda Bauchwitz and Sarah Chambers are a mother/daughter team and owners of Before & After Baby Planning LLC, a concierge and consulting service that helps new and expectant parents prepare for their new arrival.  They can be reached at 763-494-3201 and on the web at:  www.planning4baby.com.

Save Money, Have a Baby (3 of 5)

Our first two posts covered general hints about baby shopping and how to apply those hints in the Nursery.Now it’s save money for your On-the-Go Lifestyle.

On the Go
In the car, strolling the mall, hiking the trails, riding the train – sound familiar? Parents are always on the go.

Check out these hints:

  • The most expensive car seat is not necessarily the safest. Do your homework before purchasing (or call us and we’ll do it for you).  You can also find some great tips on ‘Child Car Seat Safety’ here.
  • Contact your insurance provider before shopping for a car seat. They may pick up the tab.
  • If you have an extra receiving blanket handy, roll it up and use it as an infant head support for your car seat.  The store bought supports are an added expense you don’t need.
  • Yeah that travel system (stroller/infant seat combo) looks great, but it probably isn’t the best fit (See this mom in the picture? That’s a heavy stroller!). Most of these strollers are 30 pound beasts. Instead, concentrate on a safe car seat and from there find a lightweight stroller that’s compatible.

We’ll see you shortly for the fourth post with more great money saving tips!

- Sarah and Linda

Linda Bauchwitz and Sarah Chambers are a mother/daughter team and owners of Before & After Baby Planning LLC, a concierge and consulting service that helps new and expectant parents prepare for their new arrival.  They can be reached at 763-494-3201 and on the web at:  www.planning4baby.com.

Save Money, Have a Baby (2 of 5)

Welcome the second in our series of great tips on saving money while you plan for your baby.

First, we passed on some general hints about baby shopping.

Now we’ll cover  where smart shopping will save you money: the nursery.  Let’s get to it!

The Nursery
The nursery is one of your biggest expenses. You are probably going to purchase large pieces of furniture as well as bedding and accessories. Through our research we have found multiple ways to minimize some of these exorbitant costs.

  • Although cute, changing tables can be a waste of space and money.  Rather, use a low dresser (possibly one you already have around the house) with a changing pad placed on top. This will give you extra storage and a piece you can use beyond the diapering years.
  • If you are looking to buy new…check out regular furniture and unfinished furniture stores.  Regardless of where you buy, look for dovetailed drawers and solid wood construction.
  • Always wanted a convertible? Well, this is the perfect time to buy it. Buy a convertible CRIB that will morph into a toddler bed or even a twin or full. We say go all the way – get one that will last until freshman college orientation.
  • Steer clear of drawers under cribs. You are paying more to collect dust (most drawers don’t have any type of cover). If you are desperate for storage you are better off picking up a couple plastic under-bed storage bins with lids.
  • If you strip a screw, lose a bolt, or break a caster don’t toss the whole crib – replace the part. ProductAmerica.com is a great resource for these crib emergencies.
  • When looking for crib bedding, avoid the all-in-one bedding sets.  Keep it simple. Nice sheets and a great light weight blanket are all you’ll need.

– Sarah and Linda

Linda Bauchwitz and Sarah Chambers are a mother/daughter team and owners of Before & After Baby Planning LLC, a concierge and consulting service that helps new and expectant parents prepare for their new arrival.  They can be reached at 763-494-3201 and on the web at:  www.planning4baby.com.

Save Money, Have a Baby (1 of 5)

You Just Found Out Your Pregnant and You Want to Buy Everything!

Hi Mom and Dad!
Hi Mom and Dad!

So, you just found out you’re pregnant.  Let’s face it…the “nesting instinct” has officially taken over and you immediately want to run out and buy every soft cuddly thing you can get your hands on.

Coming from a couple of experienced baby planners, we say…HOLD YOUR HORSES!

The good news is…there are thousands of baby products out there.  The bad news is…there are thousands of baby products out there.

The pressure to purchase every single item on the market is enormous.  You don’t need it all and most people can’t afford it all.  Well, drop the guilt trip and let’s talk penny pinching, recycling, and re-purposing.

General

From here until due date you are going to be spending many weekends roaming the baby aisles.  To help you get through we have put together some general tips and tricks to help along the way.

When Purchasing New :

  • First and foremost, you don’t need everything the minute you wheel out of the hospital. Eating, sleeping, and pooping don’t require itty-bitty baby shoes. Wait until those feet are being used for their true purpose – standing, walking, etc.
  • Don’t shop too early. Be aware of return policies when purchasing baby products. Most policies are 90 days and if baby doesn’t like that soft carrier you fell in love with and bought four months earlier, you just may be stuck with it.
  • Keep ALL receipts, tags, and packaging until you are sure the item will become a permanent fixture in your home.
  • Grab your winter coat, mittens, hat, & scarf – the best baby sales are in January.
  • Looking to support the local community but think you can’t afford the prices at those smaller baby boutiques? Don’t rule out those specialty stores – many will match the big box prices.

Want to recycle or reuse?:

  • Everything from bathtubs to Baby Bjorns can be purchased used. Not only are you saving money but reducing waste. * For safety reasons we strongly recommend cribs, car seats, and breast pumps be purchased new.
  • Good opportunities to snag those used items are…craigslist, eBay, garage sales, consignment (check out stores in upscale neighborhoods), and freecycle.com
  • Have a friend with an infant quickly growing out of clothing, toys, etc.? Ask for hand-me-downs. Babies grow so fast often times things only get used a handful of times.
  • Try before you buy. Bouncy seats, swings, and carriers can be either a lifesaver or a nightmare.  If friends and family can spare their baby paraphernalia for a few days, we say borrow before you make the purchase.

Now that we have given you some general hints about baby shopping, our next posts will talk specifics for the Nursery, your On-the-Go lifestyle, essential items Around the House, and Clothing.

See you!

– Sarah and Linda

Linda Bauchwitz and Sarah Chambers are a mother/daughter team and owners of Before & After Baby Planning LLC, a concierge and consulting service that helps new and expectant parents prepare for their new arrival.  They can be reached at 763-494-3201 and on the web at:  www.planning4baby.com.

It’s a boy! Wooo-Hooo!

Too cool – there’s a new addition to our neighborhood – our next door neighbors had a little boy.  His name is Kai.  He’s two days old.

And America’s got your back …. let’s see –

1) They started here:  Choosing an Obstetric Healthcare Provider

2) Nailed this:  Naming Your Baby

3) And next up:  Putting a Birth Announcement in the Paper

Now for a gift.  Nothing noisy.  Time to get creative…..looking for ideas ….. feel free to post ideas…..


Bringing Your Newborn Home

By Steven W., busy dad and our family blogger

2300011.JPGBringing your first newborn home from the hospital can be a daunting task for new parents. In particular, dealing with car seat installation can be frustrating, at best. Here are some tips to help get you and your car seat prepared.

Before the Big Day

1) Get the car seat, now

You will need a rear-facing infant car seat to take your newborn home from the hospital.
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy it and install it. Get one somewhere around week 30, or sooner.

Steven’s Tip: I recommend getting the type that detaches from the base. That way you can get a sleeping baby out of the car easily, without waking him or her up.

2) Do a dry run of the car seat installation

  • First, read through the installation guide to give you an idea on how to install the car seat, but don’t expect everything to be crystal clear. You may want to visit the car seat manufacturer’s website, in hopes that they have a helpful installation video. If your car has LATCH anchor points (and most newer cars do), plan on using them. Otherwise, use the seatbelt method.
  • Next, give yourself an unrushed hour to try to install the car seat the first time. After connecting all of the connectors, buckles, and tethers, pull the belts until snug, but do not tighten them. Take a step back and make sure the installation is right, none of the belts or straps are twisted, and give them all a good wiggle and tug.
  • After you are convinced everything is right, then start tightening each of the straps. Put a knee on the car seat and lean your weight into it as you tighten the straps. You want it to be snug-fitting installation.

3) Do the final car seat installation

Now evaluate the installation. Does it look right? Do you have any questions? Take a break, and consult the installation guide and website over the next week.

The next weekend you may need to take it completely out, make some adjustments, and install it again. Don’t worry about it, this is why you are starting early! Again, give yourself an hour. (After installing car seats dozens of times, it still takes me 15-20 minutes to put one in!)

TOP TIP: Get an expert opinion.
If you want an expert’s opinion, many states offer car seat evaluation appointments with the highway patrol or at local seat inspection stations.

Eventually your car seat will be all set for the big day, and even if that day arrives a little sooner than planned, you will be ready.

4) Make an Emergency Information card

Make and put an emergency information card on the side of the car seat. A simple 3×5 card with the child’s name and some emergency contact phone numbers will give you peace of mind.

5) Fill out the warranty card

This is the one and only warranty card that I fill out. You want to be the first to be notified if there is a safety recall on the car seat. This happens more often than you would expect.

On the Big Day

6) Bring the car seat into your room, early

Early in the morning on the big day that you will be taking your newborn home from the hospital, take the car seat out of your car and bring it into the hospital room. This shows the nurses that you have the required car seat, but more importantly, the car seat will adjust to room temperature and also give you an opportunity to test fit your newborn.

7) Test fit your newborn

A few hours before you will be checking out of the hospital, put your newborn in the car seat for a test fit. Adjust the straps as necessary for a snug fit, then take your newborn back out.

Now when the big moment arrives to leave the hospital, you will easily be able to put your newborn into the car seat with a minimum of hassle or delay. Congratulations!

The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. These tips are from people who have shared their real life advice; always check with appropriate professionals you trust in making your purchasing or life-related decisions.