“I make sure that my business, Baby Nav Baby Planners, focuses on personalization and customization,” said South Salem’s Julie McCaffrey as she sat down recently with The Ledger.
“I get to know the expectant family and their needs — lifestyle, budget, personalities — and anything else that can have an impact on effective planning for their new baby. I then swing into action, cutting through the massive amount of baby planning information out there, and get to the heart of what they really need to buy and need to know.”
Ms. McCaffrey said her overarching goal is to take the stress out of pregnancy and bringing the baby home.
“Whether it is baby gear consulting, personal shopping, nursery organization, postpartum scheduling, or child care consulting, I want to ensure that expectant moms can focus on a healthy pregnancy and enjoy this amazing time in their life. Many expectant parents today simply feel overwhelmed. My goal is to work with them so they feel comforted and ready to focus on their birth experience and welcoming their baby into their world.”
Baby Nav got its start when Ms. McCaffrey decided to leave her successful corporate career at a hospitality company for something different that spoke to her heart.
“I had a very demanding job and at some points was overwhelmed by work in my specialty of project management,” she said. “During all of this my husband Tom and I had three children, Aidan, now age 4, and 3-year-old twins Blake and Riley, only 18 months behind Aidan.”
Ms. McCaffrey continued working during her pregnancies and after the babies were born.
“I had to use my project management skills to get through all I had to do,” she said. “After delving into and researching everything out there about babies and baby care, I decided that I could apply what I had learned for myself to help others.”
With the demands of a full-time job and motherhood mounting, Ms. McCaffrey decided to take the plunge, leave her corporate career behind, and focus on a business centered on babies, maternity and post-delivery planning.
“I left corporate America in 2012,” she said. “By this time I had researched information in hundreds of books, magazines, online, and by attending trade shows. I was well-armed and well-prepared.”
Finding what’s important
Ms. McCaffrey said the wealth of information about babies and baby care is changing dramatically and quickly.
“First-time parents are particularly overwhelmed,” she said. “I cut through the clutter of information and help them focus on what is important for them. No two experiences are the same. My goal is to reduce stress and point them down the right path.”
Ms. McCaffrey meets with expectant parents either in their home, or, if they prefer, outside.
“Some I meet once or twice, others multiple times,” she said. “I am always available by phone or email. Some of my duties are things like setting up a baby shower registry, shopping, stocking and organizing the nursery, setting up the home safely, and making up a customized baby care schedule.”
In addition to customization, Ms. McCaffrey offers specialization in several areas of baby planning and care. “I provide postpartum as well as prenatal services,” she said. “I work with families to develop a routine that works for the whole family. There are often older children, maybe both parents going back to work, or any number of other situations.”
Ms. McCaffrey enjoys helping couples plan for multiple births.
“I am able to combine my own experience with my twins, along with my maternity and baby gear expertise, to support parents expecting multiples,” she said. “Raising multiple babies, which more and more parents are doing today, brings a unique set of challenges and blessings. I work hard to ensure these parents are informed, educated, prepared, and supported as they bring their babies home. And I always remind them they really don’t need two of everything.”
Setting a sleep schedule is another area where many parents need help.
“Getting sleep is crucial,” she said. “I work with families to figure out a routine that will work for them, and come up with a customized sleep schedule. Sleep involves both quantity and quality, so I offer tools and techniques that help put a baby to sleep at the ‘right’ time.”
Ms. McCaffrey said some babies have to be taught to sleep in a crib after being left to regularly drift off in a car seat or baby carrier. “What I call ‘self soothing’ is actually a learned behavior,” she said. “If a pacifier works, parents should use it. And if they want to take the baby into their bed, I offer advice and techniques of safe co-sleeping. There are many things that work and I have done research on them all.”
Before Ms. McCaffrey signs up with a client, she offers a free 30-minute consultation.
“This way I get the chance to meet and get to know each family,” she said. “Once that takes place, every service I provide to them is 100% customized and personalized. Everything I do is individually created with that specific family in mind.”
Ms. McCaffrey said she is happy to be in the forefront of what she sees as a new industry.
“So far, my business has been built on networking and personal referrals,” she said. “I believe I present a calm, soothing and knowledgeable approach to what can be an overwhelming life experience. I am happy to share all that I know and look forward to building up Baby Nav.”
For information: babynavbabyplanners.com or call 914-218-1831.