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The Desperate Parent's Survival Kit
The city never sleeps—and neither do you. Here, tips on ordering everything from yoga lessons to organic meals.
 
BY SUSAN AVERY
 

You document everything and are dying to start your baby’s scrapbook—before she’s born.
Mandy Karangelen of Amanda K Photography will come to your house while you’re pregnant and document the growth of your midsection. She’ll also shoot the birth (at your home or in the hospital) and finish up with wonderfully warm at-home-with-the-newborn shots.
Details: $580 for on belly and one baby shot; $1,020 for belly, birth, and baby shots; $1,020 for baby’s first year, which includes three photo shoots (917-991-1103; amandakphoto.com).

You can’t get to yoga class and are losing your poses (not to mention your abs).
Even if you don’t know the difference between vinyasa and iyengar, Cynthia Adams will come and help you stretch and strengthen.
Details: She charges on a sliding scale of $80 to $100 per hour, with additional traveling fees outside of Manhattan (646-327-4244).

You’ve got reservations at Megu, and the sitter just bailed.
You are not alone. Absolute Best Care will send a qualified babysitter to your door on a moment’s notice (well, you may have to give them a few hours). They manage a large pool of child-care pros who have all been thoroughly screened, including criminal-background check, driving-record review, and Social Security trace to confirm identity.
Details: You’ll need to pay the agency a $30 reservation fee, then $12 per hour directly to the sitter. Twenty-four-hour baby nurses for newborns are $200 per day (212-481-5705; absolutebestcare.com).

Feeling like a pack mule finally got you to give in and buy a car. Now what about the car seat?
The federal government runs a certification program on child-passenger safety. During an initial phone consultation, certified instructor Alisa Baer quizzes you about your car, your taxi-taking habits, and stroller choice, before recommending the right car seat for your baby. Then she comes to your home to show you how to install the seat and make sure the baby is harnessed correctly.
Details: $45 for one child (rideonthesafeside.com).

You're too wiped out to cook, let alone schlep to the grocery store. And all that ordering in is a diet-buster.
NuKitchen NuMoms, 5-month-old food-delivery service the specializes in the nutritional needs f pregnant women and nursing mothers, drops off perfectly balanced and (if you request them) organic meals right at your door. A registered dietician develops a custom menu of three meals and two snacks a day that arrive in a cooler bag between midnight and 6 a.m. We tried the standard meals and were very impressed.
Details: Standard fees are $34.99 per day, or $29.99 per day if you sign up for 40 days (866-685-4824; nukitchenfood.com).

You're a die-hard recycler and it kills you to dump Pampers into a landfill.
Retro is the way to go. In other words, cloth. Nature Baby Diaper Service comes to your home every week with a load of soft, white cotton diapers and picks up the dirty ones. The modern twist: You can forget diaper pins. The service also provides waterproof diaper covers with Velcro closures, and does at-home demos on how to wrap the diapers properly.
Details: $19 per week for pickup and delivery of 80 diapers; an additional $3 per week for six diaper covers (800-344-3427).

The only pumping you've ever done is iron. You need help learning how to use that other pump.
It's so New York: a breast-feeding boutique. Not as uppity as it sounds, the Upper Breast Side has earth-motherly specialists who, if you balk at baring all at the 71st Street location, will come over and demonstrate a variety of breast-feeding techniques. There's a try-before-you-buy policy on the equipment, and renting is also an option. The Upper Breast Side also features an extensive line of nursing bras and trendy baby-friendly clothing, including a slinky black gown with hidden milk-accessible slits.
Details: 220 West 71st Street (212-873-2653; upperbreastside.com).

You always meant to take that CPR course. What if there's a health crisis?
Of course you'll call 911. But in those crucial few minutes before the medics arrive, you can save your baby’s life. An at-home session with Barbara Levinson and her staff from Baby Be Safe shows you how to administer infant CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, and what to do in case of a bone break, burn, eye injury, allergic reaction, or poisoning. They also give you tips on how to make sure every square foot of your home is safe for the new, and curious addition.
Details: $250 (1-888-SAFE-557) babybesafe.com).

 
     
 
From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide
   
   
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