Stylish Moms Share Their Faves!

As I move through this pregnancy I’ve relied on asking my friends who have already been through it for so many recommendations.  In fact this weekend we went to look at strollers and while Andrew thought is was aweeeeeeesome to fondle all the gear, I was SO overwhelmed. So I thought why not share some of that brilliant information?  I asked four of my stylish, fabulous friends to share some specific favorites and tips!

Marie Whitney Family Session copyright Laura Winslow Photography (68)

Marie Whitney

Founder & Creative Director of Two Penny Blue (and one of my besties), mom to sons Jack and Drew.

MATERNITY CLOTHING:

Jeans: AG JeansTees/ Tanks: Liz Lang for Target or Monrow

Leggings: Topshop High Waisted Maternity legging and GAP Supersoft maternity legging 

Bras/ Underwear: Cosabella Never say Mommie Bralette , Never Say Maternity HotPant (don’t mind the TERRIBLE names!) 

Dresses:  Definitely a Black Ruched Maternity Tank Dress by Ingrid & Isabel  – a tank dress is so comfortable and easy to dress up with heels and some jewelry or down with some flats and a denim jacket.

And a wrap dress too!  perfect  for a growing belly.

Swimwear: Liz Lange for Target has some cute pieces that won’t break the bank, I like to keep is classic and black. Add a great coverup and big sunglasses.

BEAUTY:

Belly Product: Elasticity Belly Oil by Belli or Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil – both work great and are 100% safe for baby.

Anything specific beauty-wise that you loved during this time: Clarisonic and Belli Anti-Blemish Face,  Zoya or  SCOTCH (chemical free) nail polish, Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil

HEALTH:

Workout: Pure Barre

Pre-Natal Vitamin: New Chapter Perfect Prenatal

Favorite Drink: Fruit-Infused water (great with fresh fruit or lemon&mint)  or occasionally Izze for some carbonation.  This is great for making infused waters.
Favorite Snack/ Craving: I’d always carry individual packs of almonds and Bumpboosters Pregnancy cookies in my purse just in case
What kept you sane? Acupuncture, prenatal massages & support from other moms!

GEAR:

Stroller: Stokke Xplory

Car Seat: Maxi Cosi

Baby Carrier: Baby Bjorn Carrier One

sst_playdate_AB-8613 copy

CAITLIN FLEMMING

Founder of the blog Sacramento Street & interior designer, mom to son Jackson.

MATERNITY CLOTHES:

Jeans: Paige Skinny Jeans

Tees/ Tanks: V-neck Tee by Liz Lange for Target– I wore these almost every day!

Leggings: Splendid Leggings

BEAUTY:

Belly Product: Honest Belly Balm

Anything specific beauty-wise that you loved during this time: I started using all organic products by True Botanicals – they are a dream!

HEALTH:

Workout:  Pre-natal Pilates – it kept everything toned and although I didn’t feel like going afterwards I felt more energized.
Favorite Drink:  Cranberry juice

Favorite Snack/ Craving: Pickles and carbs at the beginning, then all I wanted were salads and red meat.
What kept you sane? Lots of walks.
Best Baby Book/Guide You Read: Pregnancy Day by Day, when your little is born Baby Day by Day is my favorite.

GEAR:

Stroller: Uppababy Cruz – it’s the perfect city stroller. Lightweight and easy to fold. Get the infant insert! Bob Revolution – we use this stroller for running and when we go on long walks.

Car Seat: Maxi-Cosi Meco it’s nice and basic.

Baby Carrier: Beco Gemini Carrier – tons of girlfriends recommended this carrier, I love it. Doesn’t hurt my back and it’s all black.

Natalie

NATALIE SCHWARTZ

Founder of the Chic Child blog (great source for amazing kids clothes) , mom to daughters Sloane, Emelia and Presley (twins!)

MATERNITY CLOTHES

Jeans: Any kind of skinny jean, these change year to year (and pregnancy to pregnancy)

Tees/ Tanks: Pea in the Pod ribbed (had in every color) and James Perse (non-maternity)- the key to a good tank is it being long!

Leggings: Faux-leather from Hatch

Bras/ Underwear: Elle McPherson Intimates – loved her nursing bras even while pregnant.  I wore my Cosabella thongs all through my pregnancies (and then had to throw them out after due to them being stretched out!).  Bela Bum Bum is also amazing for underwear/ bras/ PJ’s.

Dresses: Loved maxis for summer, for special events I’d just buy up a size or two of whatever I wanted to wear. Hatch Collection makes my favorite top to bottom maternity line (works just as well for after baby when you aren’t back to pre-baby size yet).

Swimwear: Bikinis! I love a pregnant belly on display on the beach!

Beauty: Tata Harper! #1 best ever!

Belly Product: Tata Body Oil and coconut oil.

Anything specific beaauty-wise that you loved during this time: Blow outs- with my twins I could barely stand up through blow drying my own hair.  Mani-pedis are a nice luxury too.

Workout: Yoga with my twins Presley and Emelia and pilates with Sloane.

Pre-Natal Vitamin: I could barely swallow vitamins, so a chewable/gummi multi.

Favorite Drink: Poland Spring Lemon or Lime Sparkling water mixed with lemonade or grapefruit juice.
Favorite Snack/ Craving: Carbs!!!
What kept you sane? Baths, pre-natal massages and knowing that soon I would be holding a baby in my arms and the rollercoaster of pregnancy would be behind me!
Best Baby Book/Guide You Read:  I didn’t read many books- I just received weekly Baby Center updates (which I still do).  Right before the twins arrived my husband and I watched a video called Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. We thought it was insane and laughed through the whole thing while vigorously rocking and “shushing” our first daughter!
GEAR:
Stroller:  I love my Bugaboo, but then I became partial to the City Select Double Stroller.  A nice big stroller with a bassinet is best for walks in the beginning and then a base that works with your car seat for later.   And I love the Maclaren umbrella stroller for traveling and trips into the city.
Car Seat: Britax Chaperone (make sure it works with your stroller)
Baby Carrier: Beco- it’s the easiest to use and best for your back.

erin

Erin Hiemstra

Founder of the blog Apartment 34 and Apartment 34 Media, mom to son Carter.

MATERNITY CLOTHES:

Jeans: Jbrand, Asos, Genetic Denim

Tees/ Tanks: Storq, Hatch and over-sized versions of my usual faves like Everlane and Heidi Merrick

Leggings: Gap body, lululemon (sized up) and Jcrew maternity pants.

Bras/ Underwear: I didn’t need different ones than normal, but now I love Ingrid & Isabel nursing bras and tanks!

Dresses: Hatch and amazing full length jersey tank dresses from Old Navy

BEAUTY:

Belly Product: African Botanics for belly oil and moisturizers.

Anything specific beauty-wise that you loved during this time: Tata Harper and Pacifica for natural  skincare. Aesop for hair and bath products.  One Love Organics (moisturizers and lotions).

HEALTH:

Workout: prenatal Pilates and yoga – went all the way up to 42 weeks! And tons of walking, especially walking hills. It is San Francisco after all.

Favorite Drink: Lemon water and coconut water though nothing made up for missing wine like crazy
Favorite Snack/ Craving: Mexican food. My baby was raised on burritos and enchiladas.
What kept you sane?  Staying super busy. I never really slowed down. My pregnancy really flew until I was past my due date – then time ground to a halt!  Oh, and sleeping in. Sleep till noon like you’re a teenager again. Do it constantly because you will never do it again!
Best Baby Book/Guide You Read: the only book I read before I gave birth was Bringing up Bebe, which I loved. It revealed how so many of things we’re told we “have to do” are totally cultural – like not eat unpasteurized cheese or even how much weight you should or shouldn’t gain. 

As for baby books, skim them all because you really don’t know what philosophy is going to work for your family and your baby. The Happiest Baby on the Block and its method to sooth a crying baby does really work. I’ve also gotten good tips from books like The Baby Whisperer, 12 Hours in 12 weeks, Healthy Sleep Happy Child and Sweet Sleep.
I also really love apps for both pregnancy and babies. I loved Nurtur app to track my pregnancy, Baby Log for tracking all things baby after he was here (because you really truly cannot remember what you did 15 minutes ago) and Wonder Weeks to learn about their development.
GEAR:
Stroller: Nuna IVVI Stroller – Obsessed!
Car Seat: Nuna Pipa

 

 



45 comments

  1. It can be overwhelming because we’re made to believe we need a lot of expensive gear, but many times you end up not using it.

  2. Get the best stroller for your lifestyle and the easiest high chair to clean up – end of story!

    Oh, and get a portable chicco hook on high chairs for restaurants, friends houses, etc – they are a lifesaver if you love to dine out and/or are visiting lots of friends houses for dinner parties. It stresses out the host if they do not have a high chair for you, and you don’t want baby and you eating on your lap. No fun. I had two, they are great. Perfect for your baby shower registry!

    1. Agreed! I loved our Vista initially, but we switched to a BOB to handle all our trips to the beach, nature trails, cobblestone roads, etc. And boy do I regret my aesthetically pleasing, but miserable to clean high chair. Currently shopping for one with easy wipe surfaces, so if there are any faves, please share!

      1. We had a Boon Pedestal high chair and absolutely loved it! It’s not cheap, but it’s a cinch to clean, takes up a small footprint compared to traditional high chairs, and comes in fun colors!!

  3. Beco Gemini carrier is our favorite too & we also had a Bjorn & a Moby (which was super comfortable to wear, but had an insane learning curve just to get the damn thing on!). We live in the South End in Boston and have used our Uppa Baby Vista stroller almost everyday for more than four years & still love it! In fact, the bassinet was our daughters’s exclusive bed for the 1st four months of her life. Also, I swear by Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth and gift that book to all my expecting friends! Good luck!

    1. i agree with Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Read the first part before baby and referred to it often over the first year. He’s a 7-7 sleeper and has been since he was 4 months.

  4. Natalie – so surprised to see you here! You look beautiful and I cannot believe how big your girls are. I remember when they were newborns (and we all had newborns) and we were fighting to keep our winter babies healthy during flu season. Congrats! You all look so happy.

  5. There were two items we couldn’t do without. Strongly recommend the Bob Stroller — because it collapses, it’s the only one we needed (even though we bought another one). Perfect for travel, running and shopping. The Baby Bjorn is indispensable for carrying the little one everywhere when they are little. Very happy for you — being a parent is the best experience ever!

  6. The resale children’s shops offer some TERRIFIC gear for less $$. There is a great one in Belmont center, Growing Up Children’s resale boutique ( https://www.facebook.com/growingupbelmont). I visited the store in late May to consign some clothes my girls have outgrown. The had an AMAZING selection of high-end strollers, high chairs and other gear. The people who work there are very sweet and helpful.

  7. Love this! We loved our Uppa Baby Vista and the Stokke High Chair.

    Also – this website was super helpful – sends out weekly updates and good, practical advise for all the baby options out there! http://www.lucieslist.com/

  8. I love Erin’s advice to skip all the baby books! When I was pregs with my first, I had people telling me all about what “method” they used and they all sounded like the same thing…a three hour schedule. And guess what… I didn’t read a thing or try any “method” and they basically get on a 3 hour schedule all on their own and start sleeping longer stretches at night around 6 weeks all on their own. I’m convinced all these authors plagiarized Mother Nature to sell books by convincing new mothers that they’re actually in control of their baby’s schedule at such a young age. I agree with the others on Happiest Baby on the Block… A short read or 20 min video and it does work to calm baby. A life hack instead of shushing in baby’s ear incessantly…. The range hood vent fan is a great white noise and has the same effect – calmed both my babies in seconds. Also, download a white noise app on your phone for when you’re out in public and away from your hood vent!

    1. I like the range hood life hack that you suggested… I’ll have to keep that one tucked away for future reference!

  9. I have two girls and our family is complete, so I didn’t read through all the answers, but highly recommend the Bugaboo stroller!!! I got mine at a consignment store slightly used. They also have them on Craigslist. Great investment! I’d totally buy it again.

  10. A friend recommended the book Baby Bargains and I found it SO helpful – not just where to spend/save but safety and tips as well – it is really helpful from diapers, clothes, gliders, car seats etc.

    And Nosefrida! gross but effective!

    Congrats and best of luck!

    1. Nose frida! Yes! I wanted one but husband was grossed out. Finally bought one after baby’s first cold and he became the biggest supporter of Nose Frida then.

  11. Lol my husband spent hours at several baby stores just looking at strollers. That was his dad “I must protect” moment. I wandered through so many stores while he did this…Finally got the City Mini by Baby Jogger. Love it!! You do have to buy accessories for it which is annoying but it folds SO easy that I would buy it again in a heartbeat just for the single handed easy fold.

    Bio Oil for the belly. Every night and whenever it starts to feel tight. I have horrible skin and didn’t get any stretch marks. Gelatin is supposed to help also.

    Just remember you can return anything so don’t get too stressed by all the options :)

    1. I second the city mini. No need for a bassinet – it lays back almost flat, has a cover that provides the best shade and the folding mechanism is without doubt the best design ever. You can pick up baby and with the other hand fold and put away the stroller in the car in less than 5 seconds.
      5.5 yrs and two boys later, we still talk about this being our best baby investment. I have friends that regretted buying the fancy $1500 strollers as they are just so cumbersome and bulky.
      Don’t forget, the baby is only tiny tiny for 3-6 months. Soon they want to be sitting up and seeing the world. Save your pennies and go for function/design over brand names.

  12. For my second girl (just turned fifteen) I would put her infant seat on the counter and turn the Kitchenaid mixer on – nothing in it, but it kept her occupied while I got a little dinner together! Only downside is the rest of the family thinks something good is being made, and you hand them mac and cheese with an Oreo for dessert!

  13. It’s been a while since I needed baby gear, but I do remember one thing: make sure your high chair has wheels. It just makes your life so much easier to be able to wheel the chair from one end of the kitchen to the other, or even just to push the chair over to your spouse for a while, while you get to have a few bites of supper! I also remember looking for strollers with good, sturdy wheels because we live in a winter climate (as you do) and wanted to make sure it would move easily over slushy, snowy sidewalks. It should also fold easily and not be too heavy. Have fun shopping !

  14. I second the City Mini! It folds up soo small and has an amazingly large shade! I got this for my second child and totally wished I had it with my first. The ride is smooth and it’s a pretty color! I thought I wanted one of the fancy Bugaboo strollers, but when I saw how much room it took up in the car and the 2 piece fold I was completely convinced that I’d leave one of the pieces on the curb next to my car while loading 2 kids in car seats into the car.

    You really don’t need all that much stuff. My first trip to the baby store while pregnant left me in a panic attack. I’m normally a completely calm and cool person, but this was just too much for me. We are moving out of the tiny baby stage and I’ve been selling off a whole bunch of stuff that I thought I needed but never even took out of the package with 2 kids!

  15. I agree with Ingrid’s comment on Baby Bargains…….hands down the best book I read on selecting baby gear. The couple who wrote it are consumer advocates, so have carefully researched safety, convenience, etc. Think of it like Consumer Reports in baby book form. ;) Best of luck!

  16. Good advice! There is soooo much out there that’s it’s hard to plan. I’d stick with the basics of the basics. You never know what works for your child because even when they’re tiny they have options on what the like and don’t. I have two boys but they preferred different comfort methods. For example I got an Ergo carrier for my first but he hated it, which was a shame since I wanted to be hands free sometimes. I almost gave the thing away but glad I didn’t because #2 loved it! It’s a great carrier for the guys to use too since it accommodates the taller fellas.
    I also wouldn’t get a high chair until you need one. First, because they come out with stuff constantly, and second you may want to forgo a huge piece of equipment. We have an Inglesina travel chair that clamps on to eating areas, it’s great and the footprint isn’t big.
    And since we’re sharing our loves…get a Bob! They’re awesome for outdoors! Seriously the best. For my regular stroller I had the Peg Perego Skate. Similar to the popular Uppa Baby but I preferred it to the Uppa. Have fun!

  17. I second the beco carrier but when baby is first born you can’t beat the Sakura bloom ring sling no inserts needed and so so so easy to pop baby in and out when running errands plus helps the strengthen their neck as well as keep them so close to you. It’s super supportive and easy on your back I still use mine and my daughter is 14 months old. Plus the fabrics are gorgeous. They are based out of Northampton MA

  18. Second the Nuna products. They are the best. Also, BOB stroller, Diono Radian car seat, and Ergo 360.

  19. Erin,

    Trying on maternity clothes can be very, well, not fun. Find a brand that fits you well. Liz Lange for target was too short waisted for me (I am tall with a very long torso). Your body proportions change throughout the pregnancy. H&M Mama was so comfortable, and it took me forever to figure out that they fit me the best. In the last two months of my pregnancy, I wore H&M Mama basically every day. And before that I NEVER wore H&M a day in my life. So find the brands that fit YOU and Baby Gates. :)

    1. So funny you say that because my absolute FAVE pair of maternity jeans are H&M Mama! They are amazing! So much better than the $200 pairs.

  20. I loved Rachel Pally maxi dresses when I was pregnant. I didn’t even need to size up and they were so comfy, it was seriously like wearing pajamas but I could still feel put together and chic. I also love my city mini stroller. I tried all of the expensive ones but found the fold mechanisms cumbersome. Love the one handed fold on the city mini! Also, we went through 3 baby carriers until we found one my son liked. He hated the K’tan and Bjorn One, but he loves the Ergo 360. They come out with their own personalities and preferences, it’s amazing. As a long time follower, I’m so excited for you as you begin this incredible journey!

  21. Ok you’re so lucky to be pregnant now and not 13 years ago when I was pregnant with my first! Stylish maternity clothes were a bit hard to find. Let’s just say I wore denim maternity overalls…NOT a good look! You’re making pregnancy look so easy and stylish! Nice work mama!

  22. Hi Erin, congratulations on your pregnancy! I bought the Bugaboo Cameleon for my first, it’s a great pram but not flexible. The shopping basket sucks as it’s small and if you have a 2nd child, that’s it, you have to buy another pram. After I had my 2nd child, I ditched the Bugaboo and bought a 2nd hand Baby Jogger City Select double pram off Ebay and haven’t looked back. Do not buy a Bumbo, you’ll hardly use it! I recommend the Ikea high chair, cheap, safe and easy to keep clean. For the small stuff, I suggest borrowing from friends, as you’ll hardly use some things. You don’t know what you are going to really like until the baby is with you, so save some stuff until you have the baby. Best of luck with everything!

  23. Sorry – one more comment (adding to my stroller response above) – the IKEA plastic highchair is another great buy. You can pretty much hose it off (which will be required at some point). It’s simple yet stylish design works in almost any kitchen. It also has a small foot print so it doesn’t take up half your kitchen/dining. I have friends that have the Stoke one as well, and they love it as it extends it’s use to a chair down the track. You need to keep reminding yourself that the baby baby stage is so short – think ahead!

    A great post may also be – “things I regret buying when I had a baby”!

  24. “Expecting Better” is the one pregnancy book I read and a complete lifesaver. It talks through all the pregnancy dos/ donts and breaks them down by an economist, dissecting which studies support these claims or not. It puts the power back in the woman’s hands by allowing her to make educated decisions for herself on topics such as coffee, alcohol, deli meats and much more!

  25. I’m forwarding this to my niece who just LEARNED HER GREAT NEWS…after so many disappointments…must be the moon!!! We are over the moon happy for them (and you two!) franki

  26. Great idea to have Andrew test drive strollers. My husband is also tall and some aren’t comfortable for tall peeps to push. Finding one that worked for him was a ‘must’ for us.
    Much easier and less overwhelming to go somewhere like Magic Beans (there is one at the plaza on Linden st in Wellesley) than Babies R Us; more knowledgeable staff and more of a curated collection of stroller options ;)

  27. The best tip I received was a plain old yoga ball, great for laboring and also bouncing the baby to sleep.

    Congrats!

  28. I have a 10 month old daughter – like you, I also became overwhelmed planning for her arrival and all the advice that comes flying from every direction. I purchased so many things in advance that I ended up not needing or the baby didn’t like. It is very true, what works for one baby might not necessarily work for your baby. I discovered (after purchasing two Solly baby wraps in different colors and a classic Ergo carrier) that my baby hates being wrapped and carried and hated facing in, which was the only option with the Ergo I bought (the 360 gives more options for carrying). The only suggestion I can really give is that if you have some mom friends who no longer have a need for their carriers, ask if you can borrow it for a week to see if your baby even enjoys it, because not all babies do,…then invest.
    Also, when looking for car seats, try to pick up the car seat with some weight in it. I have an Uppa Baby and although I love it, it is VERY heavy, especially now that my daughter is bigger. I would have gone in a different (lighter!) direction if I could do it over.
    The only other thing I will suggest is that if you can take a parenting prep class, or something of that sort do it. At least look into it. You will be amazed at just how much a baby changes the dynamic of the relationship with your husband – even if you go into it thinking you know how you will be or your partner will be once the baby arrives or that you are married to the best person on earth and it isn’t necessary – it is all very different in practice. This is advice I wish I had taken. Best wishes Erin!

  29. So much out there…

    Peg Perego for car seats, high chair and strollers
    Love my Peg Perego Siesta high chair and Peg Perego Pilko Mini Stroller – great for errands and travel. First car seat was a Maxi-cosi -liked it a lot. Went for the Peg Perego Convertible seat – better quality. Peg Perego is made in Italy- lot of functionality – some ease of use issues, but great quality and long life design.

    Ergo Baby -much better than Baby Bjorn

    Happy baby shopping – enjoy the adventure.

    J

  30. Great post! I second (or third or fourth;) the recommendation for the Baby Bargains book- it was a lifesaver for us! I am a neurotic researcher for these types of purchases and it helped me make informed decisions on all the overwhelming choices. I have a six month old (after trying for YEARS) and am so happy with the items the book recommended for our lifestyle. And like a lot of the other posters, love the City Mini GT and also definitely recommend pacing your purchases!
    If you don’t know what you want and don’t need it urgently, wait and see. We have borrowed from friends and test drove some things before we made our decision- that’s worked great. That way your house doesn’t fill up too soon and you can get the newest model when you are ready;) What a fun journey you are on– I remember having to constantly reprimand myself to slow down and just enjoy it. Congratulations!

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