The problem with most pregnancy books is they only give you the play-by-play on what's happening with your body and your fetus.
Or at least what should be happening. There's not a whole lot in there about what you'll need after baby's here.
Do I get the travel system stroller? The umbrella? The super-deluxe jogger with music and titanium rods and diamond-plated steering wheel?
For that most of us turn to our mothers. Our sisters. Our girlfriends.
And what happens when you don't have one of the above or at least one nearby?
That's where the baby planner comes in.
According to a story on Fox Charlotte, these experts come in and help you set up your baby registry, teach you to make baby food, even prep your birth announcements.
And not surprisingly, this kind of thing doesn't come cheap: The typical fees quoted are anywhere from $50 to $200 an hour.
For a service that they claim saves you money by keeping you from buying useless baby products and focusing on what you really need.
If you have the money, that's one thing. But here are a few ideas for the rest of us:
- Go online -- you're doing it to read this, so why not start googling baby checklists and comparing and contrasting. You'll get reviews from real moms on a lot of the products out there.
- Draft your own baby registry -- then send the link to a mom you know to look at. She doesn't have to be local; my aunt who lives four hours away (and whose son is 11 months older than my daughter) went through and told me what to strike off the list.
- Take a prenatal class -- ask the leader questions not just about childbirth but about what you'll need at home. That's what they're there for.
- Find a parenting message board -- you don't have to be a parent yet to sign up, post a notice about your soon-to-be motherhood, and get some advice. Bonus points: A lot of people use these to post notices for stuff they're selling or giving away; you could save on a new baby swing and a bag of clothes.
Who's helping you plan for baby?
Image via Mat Culpepper/Flickr