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married with children
how to survive a visit from friends with babies 

by Samantha Renfrow |
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2. Baby food and formula | If you're picking up your guests from the airport, stop by the grocery store on your way back home, or if they've had a long flight, after you've given mom, dad, and the baby a chance to rest up for a bit. Since different regions can carry different flavors of food, you'll want to make this shopping trip with your friends. Remember, though, to clear out a little space in the kitchen ahead of time all those cans and jars can take up a fair amount of room, and you'll want your friends to have a nice, easily-accessible spot where they can store all those goodies.

3. Strollers | Today's strollers are like mini-SUVs: Strong. Sturdy. Really Big. Try to rent one so your friends don't have to lug one of these monsters along with them as they travel. Many companies that rent equipment for parties also rent baby equipment. Check out the American Rental Association at www.rentalHQ.com to find a location near you. There are also specialty stores such as Baby's Away; go to www.babysaway.com to see if there's one in your town. You can get a jogging stroller for around $8 per day. Loading everything into a nice, spacious stroller will make life a lot easier for everyone while you're sightseeing. 

4. Toiletries | Babies are sensitive little creatures; prone to rashes and allergies that bottle of Finesse Shampoo-plus-conditioner might be fab for your hair, but not so hot for the wee one. Baby lotion, baby shampoo, baby powder, and especially baby wipes are all a must get acquainted with that baby care section of your friendly neighborhood drugstore. Again, ask your friends if there are any particular brands they prefer, or specific products that should be avoided. 

5. Air freshener | When it comes to odors, these little guys really pack a punch. Don't underestimate what a couple of dirty diapers can do to a room. Buy some air freshener.

6. Extra sheets and towels | Because babies can make a mess. 

7. Sleeping | Since you probably don't have a baby bed, clear a nice open space on the floor next to where Mom and/or Dad will sleep. We used couch cushions and folded blankets to make a small makeshift bed. Prepare yourself for some nighttime crying; it's bound to happen. If you live in a small house or apartment, the best you can do is keep your bedroom door closed. (In warmer months, the soft humming of a fan can also help muffle any outside noises.) Be a gracious host and let your friends get some extra sleep; watch the little one while they take a daytime nap. 

8. Bathing | The kitchen sink is the best place. Be sure you offer to help -- it's really a lot of fun!

don't stop: more great tips!

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