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A pretty sweet idea

Friday, March 7, 2008 Leave a Comment

A while ago, I was wondering what exactly a baby planner does.

So I talked with April at Sweet Pea Baby Planners about her business, and why she started in the first place.

April's a mom of three kids. When her first son was born, she received tons of baby gear -- cribs, car seats, jumpers, high chairs, strollers -- and within a few months, much of it was broken, inadequate, or worse, unused. She found herself having to research and replace all those expensive gifts with her own money. A self-described research fiend, April became the baby-gear expert among her friends.

When a friend called her in tears from Toys R Us, with the registry gun in hand, utterly overwhelmed, April had that most entrepreneurial thought: There has to be a better way.

And a business idea was born.

What if you had your own consultant, who had already done all the research, who could help you pick just the right baby gear?

April's business began with personal shopping tours to help moms-to-be get their registry just right. What are the things I really need? Which car seats are the safest? What should I consider in a stroller?

It used to be, you just asked your Mom or your Aunt or your sister, or got hand-me-downs from your girlfriends. But most people don't live as close to family, and there is a dizzying array of products to choose from, and safety guidelines change quickly. That five year old Peg Pereggo hand-me-down stroller can feel like a 50 pound dinosaur next to a new Phil & Ted stroller.

You might be asking: But I'm on a tight enough budget as it is, how can I justify paying a baby planner?

Good question. April claims that her services will not only help you make the most of your budget, but will save you countless hours of frustration.

"The last thing you want to do is spend money on baby gear that you don't use or that you'll have to replace," April says.

Her consulting services range from personal shopping tours to helping set up your gear, to helping you put together a birth plan, to selecting a doula, to finding a lactation specialist, to sleep consulting, to finding a photographer, to helping find a playgroup... you get the idea. While she can't offer medical advice, she can help you find the right professionals to help.

When April started Sweet Pea Baby Planner, there were only two other baby planners in the country. Since then, the Hollywood baby boom has contributed to a better awareness of the need for this type of service.

Most of April's clients are over 30, new moms, and while not all are working full time, most know the value of time-saving help. She'll customize her services, and her fees, to your needs. She views her business as creating a personal support system for moms.

"Advice from your friends is great. The problem is it's great for your friend, but not necessarily for you," April explains. "I can help moms establish their own parenting style that works for their family."