A father asked his young daughter what she would like for Christmas. She said that what she wanted more than anything else was a baby brother. That Christmas Eve, her mother came home from hospital clutching a baby boy.
The following year, the father again asked his daughter what she would like for Christmas. "Well," she replied, "if it's not too uncomfortable for Mommy, I'd like a pony."
Most first-time parents probably know as much about caring for ponies as they do babies. Any veteran mom can tell you, having a family can be one of the most rewarding—and the most challenging—part of our lives.
That’s where Berkeley Murray comes in. A 15-year Fairfield resident, she has recently launched Bliss Baby Planning. She has a master’s degree in Elementary Education, certification with the International Baby Planner Association, and countless years working with families who just need a helping hand.
Murray, an easy-going mother of two, said getting her business off the ground has been years in the making. Parents struggle with the new responsibilities of taking care of a child. It can be a pretty daunting task taking care of a newborn, juggling the new baby with a toddler who has sleep issues, or becoming an adoptive parent for the first time.
“Having a baby is the most wonderful thing in the world,” said Murray. “But there’s no guidebook to being a parent. I’m here to help guide you. Fairfield County is ready for something like this.”
She was quick to say baby planning has become a booming industry, particularly on the West Coast. Adding a new baby to already chaotic lives feels like more than we can handle sometimes. And that’s where baby planners can make a big difference. “This is a ground-breaking industry,” Murray agreed. “I’m not a mid-wife. I’m not a doula. I’m here to help you make your transitions seamless.”
Murray admits that, in today’s world, part of making that seamless transition includes the most environmentally friendly products for you and your family. “I don’t think you can NOT be environmental,” she said.
These days, parents are more concerned about toxins that may affect their children. Products that are BPA-free or made from natural materials are flying off the shelves. Murray said the materials used in crib mattresses are also a huge issue for parents.
And what about diapers? Disposable diapers clog up landfills by the millions. Many parents are turning to cloth diapers with laundry services. But there are still some, no matter how green they are, that can’t seem to tear themselves away from the disposable kind. In a September 29th article in The New York Times, Josh Dorfman and Stephanie Holzen, partners living in Colorado with a new baby, have a home made from either recycled material or reclaimed wood. They pride themselves on the organic products they use and their recycling habits. But they just can’t make the break from disposables.
“We tried cloth and think it’s totally unrealistic, and that’s really environmentally sinful,” Dorfman was quoted as saying. “It’s plastic derived from petroleum. You use them once and then they get tossed in a landfill. It’s a terribly inefficient use of natural resources. Not only do I feel guilt, I feel hypocritical. But it’s the most functional diapers we’ve found…They happen to work the best, and that’s annoying.”
Murray’s approach has more of a go-with-the-flow attitude. Families need to do what works best for them. “A happy mom equals a happy baby,” she said.
Part of keeping mom happy is providing her with enough information to make appropriate choices. But Murray warns that there’s almost too much information out there from “friends, parents, or even strangers on the street.” She stressed that you need to go with your gut and do what you think is best. Sometimes, you just need a little help along the way. “You have a question,” she said with a smile, “I’ve got an answer.”
For more information, visit the Bliss Baby Planning web site about services, consultations, or gift certificate packages.