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Babies, babies, babies what would we do without babies? They are cute, cuddly, happy, and you need to spoil them every chance you get. Bakersfield has many services, resources, and boutiques to help make your baby's life more enjoyable. Here's a potpourri list of everything you need to know about babies from A to Z.

A is for Announcements. A local stationery store, Dear Annie, features adorable and unique ways to share the news of your baby's birth in the form of an announcement. Co-owners and sisters, Kim McNeill and Nancy Brannon, have hundreds of birth announcements for you to choose from, or you can be creative and design a totally custom one. They can also create invitations for your baby's first birthday party or christening. The store is located at 4200 Easton Drive, Suite 14, or you can call 633-9874 for more information.

B is for Bling. A baby's outfit is not complete without a little bling! A darling boutique in Northwest Bakersfield, Baby Me Beautiful at 9919 Hageman Road, is the place for baby bling. In addition to name-brand clothing, essentials, and accessories, you can find blinged-out pacifiers, bottles, shoes, onesies, and much more. For more information, call 588-2775.

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C is for Cute Child. Bambini Carini, Italian for Cute Child, is an upscale children's boutique in the heart of Downtown Bakersfield's Arts District. Specializing in unique nursery and youth furnishings, exquisite apparel lines, and fine accessories, Bambini Carini's owner Stacy Persel spends her time searching for the finest children's products available. For more information visit her store on 19th Street between H and Eye Streets, call 323-5793, or visit www.bambinicarini.com.

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D is for Dinner. Finding time to feed your family when you're pregnant or a new mom can be virtually impossible. Dinner My Way, located on Coffee Road in the Frugatti's Shopping Center, offers an innovative way to prepare your family's meals. They do all the menu planning, shopping, prep-work, and clean-up; all you have to do is assemble, take home, cook, and enjoy. If you're pregnant, they will assemble your meals for free. And, new mothers of babies up to six months old, get free assembly and a 10% discount. "This offer helps them out when learning to be a new mom and they can still feed their family delicious, healthy meals," says Darla Cook, co-owner with her husband, Bill. For more information call 396-PREP(7737), or visit www.dinnermyway.com.

E is for Electrical Outlets. Baby proofing your house can start with covering electrical outlets. At www.safebeginnings.com, they sell everything you need to make your house safe for your new baby. At this one-stop shop, you can find childproofing products for your windows, fireplace, furniture, bathroom, cabinets, and much more.

F is for Foster Care. May is National Foster Care Month and gives you a chance to thank all those people who help make a difference in the lives of children. Foster Family Network (FFN) began in 1986 to address the growing need for loving foster homes. FFN recruits and trains families who are willing to open their hearts and homes to Kern County's children. For more information, visit www.childnet.net.

G is for Goldfishies. Teach your child to love the water early. The indoor, heated pool at the American Splash Swim School at American Kids Sports Center has beginning swimming lessons for babies. The Water Babies, six to 20 months, and the Water Bugs, 18 to 30 months, require parent/adult participation. The Goldfishies classes allow toddlers 24-36 months to practice beginner swimming skills as well as water safety and survival. For info call 589-2100, or visit www.americankidssports.com.

H is for Holy Cow. If you can't quite make it to the grocery store with your baby in tow, don't worry because a local delivery service can bring some necessities to your doorstep. Holy Cow offers delivery plans as low as $1.50, and the products available include milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, eggs, tortillas, and much more. For more information, call 979-5444, or visit www.holycowmilk.com.

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I is for Infant Center. A Good Time Out, a drop-in daycare center, will soon open an Infant Center right next door. Co-owners/directors and sisters-in-law, Karen and Melanie Sherman, are proud to announce the arrival of their Infant Center. "We have created the most unique, healthy, and happy environment for the babies of Bakersfield. Newborns up to two years old will have a wonderful, cozy place to stay while parents get stuff done," says Karen. For more info, call 410- TIME(8463), or click on www.a goodtimeout.net.

J is for Jewelry. You can keep your baby close to your heart with mommy jewelry that features personalized charms. Kayzie's at the Marketplace sells Lucy Ann products in gold and silver that can be engraved with kid's names and dates of birth. Call 663-7538.

K is for Keepsakes. Baby Sightings, located in the shopping center at Coffee Road and Truxtun Avenue, features a 3D/4D keepsake studio where expectant parents get to see the first glimpse of their baby's face. Co-owners and mother/daughter, Deborah Klassen and Krystal Bond, recommend mothers have the ultrasound during their 26-28 weeks of gestation. Baby Sightings also provides photography services, prenatal massages, and a chic boutique. For more info call 832-BABY (2229), or visit www.babysightings.com.

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L is for La Leche League. Started in 1956, La Leche League International strives to provide mother-to-mother breastfeeding support through encouragement, education, and infor-mation. In Tehachapi, La Leche League meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at the Scout Hut. For local information, call 821-0659 or 822-5306. For national and international information, visit www.llli.org.

M is for Milky Juggs. These innovative nursing covers for mommies with style give you a chance to breastfeed in public modestly. Each cover comes with a detailed bow, an adjustable Velcro strap, along with an inside pocket for your nursing pads or your baby's binky. Not only are these covers functional but they also come in all kinds of adorable fabrics: zebra print, pink camoflauge, geometric, and many more. For more information, visit www.milky-juggs.com or call 979-2896.

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N is for Noble Plan. With a new baby comes unwanted post-pregnancy weight, and the challenge of taking it off. The Noble Plan is a nutritious, fresh, well-balanced way to reach your weight-loss goal. The Plan provides three meals and two snacks daily delivered to your doorstep or office, and everything is prepared fresh in their local gourmet kitchen. For more information, call 808-7649 or visit www.thenobleplan.com.

O is for Obstetrics/Gynecology. Celebrating their 35th anniversary in July, San Dimas Medical Group provides Kern County residents with quality and compassionate care. With 10 OB/GYN doctors and four nurse practitioners, San Dimas covers many different specialties within women's health care ranging from preventative health to infertility to pregnancy to menopause. For more information call 663-4800 or visit www.sandimasmedical.com.

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P is for Pregnancy Center. The Bakersfield Pregnancy Center is a non-profit organization that offers women answers and services in a variety of areas including free pregnancy tests, education, resources, assistance, and counseling. The center hosts a 24-hour phone line at 326-1907. For more information, visit www.wehelpyou.org.

Q is for Questions. One of the best ways to have most of your childbirth and baby questions answered is by hiring a doula. A doula is an experienced, non-medical assistant who provides physical, emotional, and in- formed choice support during prenatal, labor, delivery, and even postpartum. "We basically pamper the mother and take care of their every need to help them have the most memorable and comfortable birth experience possible," says local doula Rebbecca Schlitz of the Doula-Connection. For more information, call 952-7062 or visit www.doual-connection.com.

R is for Register. You can register for baby shower gifts at many local stores, which will ensure you get just what you want in the right sizes and colors. JM's Just for Children located on Wible Road has 10,000 square feet of a wide selection of strollers, car seats, clothing, hair bows, and even furniture. JM's offers moms a chance to personally register for gifts on their "Mommy-2-Be" Registry. For more information, call 834-7277 or visit www.jmsjustforchildren.com.

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S is for Stork Connection. What better way to announce the birth of your baby than with a seven-foot tall stork perched on your lawn? The Stork Connection gives parents a truly unique way to announce the birth of their little one. These storks can be rented for one day to announce the location of a baby shower, or for a week to announce your little one's information with a personalized star. And, to make sure the siblings don't feel left out, you can buy additional stars for older brothers and sisters. Visit wwwthestorkconnection.com or call 322-1610.

T is for Tight Jeans. As your pregnant belly expands, your jeans don't. Pretty soon your belly pops out of your jeans to the point that you can no longer zip them up. Bella Band is the answer to your wardrobe dilemma. This versatile maternity accessory is a seamless knit band at your waistline that fits over your unbuttoned designer jeans, over slightly big maternity pants, and helps with tight pre-pregnancy pants postpartum. For more information, visit www.ingridandisabel.com.

U is for Urgent Care. When your child is sick and you can't get into your regular physician, check out the newly opened Advanced Urgent Care at Riverlakes Drive and Coffee Road. In addition to quality medical care, Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield provides x-ray and laboratory draw services on site. Open seven days a week, call 679-1970 for more information.

V is for Volunteers. A division of La Cresta Foundation, WarmLine volunteers offer free telephone support for caregivers of children from birth to six-years-old. These trained caregivers provide a confidential listening ear helping parents deal effectively with the crucial and often difficult situations that occur when raising children. Help is just a phone call away at 323-3531 or outside of Bakersfield at 1-888-955-9099. For more information, visit www.e-warmline.org.

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W is for Watching them Grow Up. One of the best ways to mark your baby's milestones, changes, and quirks is through pictures. Local photographer Linda L. Hamilton captures your precious memories of your baby's young life with her "Watch Me Grow" program. For more information, call 587-2592 or visit the web at www.lindahamiltonphoto.com.

X is for XOXO another way to say "I love you!" Historians debate how the sequence of letters Xs and Os came to mean "Hugs and Kisses." One theory is that before people could write they used the "X" as their signature a mark of one's word. An "X" at the end of a letter was "kissed" as a seal of honesty; thus, in modern times, this "X" came to represent a kiss.

Y is for Yoga. The Yoga Space, located at 1201 24th Street, gives you a chance to unwind, de-stress, and focus your mind. With 14 classes each week, surely one will fit your busy schedule. A free intro to yoga will be held on Sat., May 3 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. It is a great way to learn basic yoga postures. Call 323- YOGA(9642) or visit www.bakersfieldyogaspace.com

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