Community Baby Shower equips mothers-to-be with supplies and skills

Staff photo by Hannah LaClaire Madeleine, a mother expecting another baby girl in June, peruses some of the larger raffle items

NASHUA- Several dozen new and expecting mothers took a step forward in giving their babies the best possible start in life by attending the United Way of Greater Nashua Community Baby Shower at Nashua Community College Thursday.

The second annual shower went off without a hitch, organizers Liz Fitzgerald and Mike Apfelberg agreed, despite initial worries over collection locations.

Nevertheless, there were hundreds of clothing items, dozens of strollers and high chairs and even more resources for the families to choose from.

There were more than twenty informational stations setup along the perimeter of the room, offering nutritional advice, tips on newborn care, vision screenings, free vaccinations, budgeting help and more. There was even a professional photographer on hand to take free family portraits.

At each station, mothers were given a heart sticker which they could then redeem for items in the Baby Boutique.

Staff photo by Hannah LaClaire A mother searches through the piles of donated baby clothes at the Community Baby Shower

Kris Murphy, a children’s library assistant at the Nashua Public Library volunteered, manning the library table, handing out free library cards, raffling off books and teaching parents about the library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative.

“One thousand books sounds like a lot but if you read one every day,” she said, “it fosters a love of learning and education … and helps parents engage one on one with (their children).”

“It’s great to be able to engage with people who may not come to the library and tell them about our programming. We’re not just books,” she added.

Among the attendees were several first time parents, some expecting their second, third or fourth, some expecting twins and some who had only recently had their babies.

One mother, Aurileya, expecting her second child, said she enjoyed the tables where they talked about what to expect out of labor and how to properly swaddle, diaper and bathe their babies.

Staff photo by Hannah LaClaire Dolls on a able designed to help teach newborn care, such as swaddling,

She was the first number drawn from the raffle and along with the gift basket and high chair that all attendees received, walked away with a stroller and brand new diaper bag.

Apfelberg said he was “completely” ecstatic with the turnout, which was higher than last year’s shower, and was thankful for the “army of volunteers” that helped run the event.

The next United Way Day of Caring will be a food packaging event June 4.

Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243 or hlaclaire@nashuatelegraph.com