Even if you can afford to plunk them down next to you in business class, babies make being bi-coastal just that much more trying. Which is why a Los Angeles company named Baby Delish rushes to meet its mommy clients upon arrival at LAX. “If the mom wasn’t able to have a glass of wine on the plane, we’ll make sure she gets one when she lands,” says Baby Delish founder Ally Conley. “She might need champagne ready for her in the limo.” Or the appropriate kiddie SUV: “You can’t walk down the beach path in Santa Monica in just any stroller,” says Delish client Brooke Stewart, 30, who’s one of about 100 New York women who use the service. “You need a nice stroller. We used a Bugaboo.” Presumably, her 9-month-old son, Henry, recognized the $800 pushcart as just like the one he had back home, and found that soothing.
The company will babyproof hotel rooms, fill the fridge in your vacation rental or hotel room with baby food, and even recommend baby spas, all for as little as $275 a week. “You don’t have to do anything,” says Kim Fulton, a Connecticut mother of two.
The most extreme service is the West Coast Doppelganger Nursery. Mothers send a picture of the baby’s East Coast crib, and Baby Delish—if the landlord approves—repaints the room and outfits it with baby’s exact bedding, furniture, toys, music, and baby wipes—and is even careful to wash the ringer blankie in the same detergent. The effect is to duplicate all sights, smells, textures, and colors so the child senses nothing amiss. This can cost $12,000.
But is it worth it? Child-development experts doubt the Delish science. “As much as babies or toddlers like predictability,” says Dr. Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development, “it’s healthy for children to be able to adapt to change. There’s nothing wrong with sleeping in a new house.”