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Professional Baby Planners: Good Idea, Or Waste of Money?

professional baby plannersI don’t have to tell you people how much information there is to wade through on the subject of having a baby. Crib or co-sleeper? Doula or baby nurse? Which stroller to buy? Which sleep method to try? Is that wipe warmer, crib bumper, bottle sterilizer, etc…really necessary?

Until now, moms have been relying on the wisdom of books and websites and parents who have been there to help them make the best choices. But now there’s a new kind of expert in town. The professional baby planner has arrived.

Now the question is, is that professional baby planner really necessary?

On the one hand, of course not. Parents have been dealing just fine without professional expertise for quite some time. Most people have networks of friends or family somewhere in the world they can turn to for advice. And for those who don’t, well, that’s what the internet is for.

But on the other hand… I scoffed at this initially. Why pay someone for what you can get for free?  But in time, I’ve sort of seen why this service could actually be kind of valuable. Sure, you can get recommendations from people you know. But they’re always going to tell you what worked for them, and their own experience is probably all they really know about. Maybe it’s like talking to a friend about a problem, vs talking to a professional (ie, a shrink). The idea is that people you know are always going to answer the problem from their own personal perspective, where (ideally) a professional will have a broader view that considers your needs and situation without filtering it through their own experience.

That’s a sort of optimized view based on the therapeutic model. The reality of Baby Planners may be quite different. I could see this business overtaken by bossy moms with personal agendas, or fueled by shady kickbacks. But the high road version does seem kind of inspiring. It’s almost a given that people who can afford it work with professionals to plan a wedding. And that’s to help them organize an event that’s over in a day. Okay, a weekend, considering current trends. But having a baby is a long-lasting enterprise. Using that logic, maybe it’s reasonable to have some professional help organizing this as well? In an article about the baby planner phenomenon at the Philadelphia Enquirer, Shannon Choe,  who founded Premier Baby Concierge, explains: “When they first came out, everybody was scratching their heads wondering why people didn’t just plan their own weddings. Now it’s an institution. I think one day it will be like that for baby planners.”

What do you think of this idea? Is it a valuable service, or a waste of parents’ money? Would you use a baby planner or planning service?

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