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Elisabeth Röhm’s Blog: Preparing My Pregnant Best Friend

03/17/2011 at 09:00 AM ET
Adam Hendershot

Elisabeth Röhm, best known for her role as Serena Southerlyn on Law & Order, has a busy 2011 ahead of her.

The actress, 37, can be seen on the big screen in the upcoming films Chlorine, Transit and Abduction, and can be found online on Facebook or @ElisabethRohm on Twitter.

In her latest blog, Röhm — who is mom to 2½-year-old daughter Easton August with fiancé Ron Anthony — is excited to pamper and prepare her pregnant best friend — and wants you to share all your baby-related favorites with her!

 

The only experience that is as exciting as having a baby is being the best friend of someone who is having a baby. So my news today is: ‘We’re having a baby!’ Not me of course, my best friend is pregnant! Woo-hoo!!!

As my dear friend and her husband get prepared to welcome their bundle of joy, it’s my job to help make this wonderful experience as stress-free as possible. This means that I’m available 24/7 to wait on her hand and foot for the duration of her pregnancy. I also commit to throwing her the most gorgeous shower that will make her feel like a princess, to take her away for a best friends retreat, share my hard earned little insights and of course, to get her registered. I’m going to do all this and I’m counting on you to help me, PEOPLE.com readers.

Having done this blog for over two months now, I’m convinced that you moms are going to be able to help me help my friend. You are always full of ideas, revelations and wisdom! I thank you for that. So, to that end I’ll start with her registry.

Here are the top items that are an absolute ‘must have’ for the first two years of a baby’s life. My registry choices are total necessities so that she is not overwhelmed with stuff. As much as spring cleaning can be a catharsis, let’s keep it simple for this new haute-mama! I’m hoping you’ll throw in your ideas as well. I’m dying to hear your tips, adds and anecdotes for my best friend.

My favorite nursery furniture:
Classic: Young America (Easton has the Isabella line)
Modern: Oeuf

Best glider and ottoman for those cuddling sessions:
Classic: Little Castle (Easton’s is the Royal Glider)
Modern: Monte Design’s Luca Glider (so chic)

Absolute coolest bedding and room accessories:
Lambs & Ivy meets everyone’s personal style and comes at a great price point. My top picks:

 

Strollers:
I only wish I had this mac-daddy of strollers/car seat: Orbit Infant Travel System
Then for your easy on-the-go stroller: Baby Jogger City Mini

Courtesy Baby Jogger

 

As for as the boob department:
Best pump: Medela Pump In Style Advanced On-the-Go Tote
Best soothing ointments: Medela PureLan 100 and/or Mini Organics Soothing Nipple Balm
Innobaby Nursin’ Smart Gift Set/Grow With Me
Cutest cover-up: Bebe au Lait’s Hooter Hiders
Glamourmom nursing tank tops — the ease in this clever design is much appreciated, thanks ladies!
LilyPadz from Simply Lily are an absolute must (no need to explain why)
Philips AVENT Express Electric Bottle and Baby Food Warmer

Soothing Swings:
Easton had the sweetpeace by Graco and we loved it!
Mama Roo by 4Moms looks great, too!

Play:
Evenflo ExerSaucer (every family should have one and it’s a great hand me down)
Tiny Love Gymini activity mat (everything by them seems to entertain)
Juno Baby

Top picks for bassinet for Mom and Dad’s room:
Monte Design Ninna bassinet
Arms Reach Mini Convertible co-sleeper (we used this one)

Courtesy Monte Design

 

Best sleeping tools:
Miracle Blanket (they were a miracle)
Aden + Anais 4-pack swaddling muslins
Sleep Sheep (a definite must-have)

Just hanging out:
Bloom Coco Lounger
BestEver Animal Mats (we wore our pink bear out till it had holes in it)
Nap Nanny (the hot thing)

On the go:
Graco Pack-N-Play (was our crib of choice while travelling)
BABYBJÖRN (Easton saw the world from one of these things)

Best monitor (so mom can be on the go):
Philips AVENT SCD510 DECT Baby Monitor

All things tushy-oriented:
CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT the Dékor diaper pail (seriously no smell) and you must have refills!
Pampers IS the best!
Best Wipes: It’s a toss up between Pampers and Mustela
Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer (not a must have but nice for the tush)
Rumble Tuff pad cover

Bathing:
Classic: Fisher-Price Rainforest Bath Center
Modern: Hoppop Bato

Cutest hooded towels:
Lambs & Ivy Bath To Go (comes with toys too!)
Aden + Anais towels
Boom Ladybug Pod: to stay organized in the bath
Aveeno: our favorite for sensitive skin

Courtesy Fisher-Price

 

Speaking of sensitivity ladies, this was an absolute necessity for us:
Classic: Graco Cool Mist Humidifier
Modern: Crane Cool Mist Humidifier

Teething — is what it is, but a few things seemed to take the edge off:
Sophie Giraffe
RaZbaby teethers
Peg Perego, Boon and Graco are my favorite high chairs.

Last but absolutely not least:
Summer Infant Carter’s Infant Health Deluxe Grooming, Oral Care & Healthcare Essentials
BebeSounds Ear Thermometer
La Cross Safety Tip Scissors
Mullen & Fitzmaurice Natural Brush and Comb set

Fashion is my total weakness, but when it comes to kids they grow so fast. I say it’s better to stay within the cheaper price points in this department. But for those of you looking for something a little more high-end, I’ve included your tastes buds too.

Here is my list of children’s clothing:

Affordable that we love: Carter’s, The Children’s Place, Gymboree, Splendid for Target

High-end that we adore: Soft Spun, Jack & Salma, Deluna Kids, Mi Primavera, Kicky Pants, J. Crew crewcuts, and the Gap

And of course, every mom loves toys, toys, toys.

Being a friend is such a privilege and there is nothing like the sisterhood of a best friendship.

From her registry, to great parenting tips and words of wisdom, I hope you will help me brainstorm on how to best support and guide my friend on her new path of parenthood, readers.

– Elisabeth Röhm

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Showing 98 comments

jessicad on

My daughter didn’t latch well at first and I had the wonderful experience of cracked and bleeding nipples, the Playtex soothing gel pads were a lifesaver. I even put them in the fridge before wearing them to help ease the burning:)

Also the little pajama sets that look like dresses are great for middle of the night changes because you don’t have to deal with a ton of buttons. I’d get so frustrated because my daughter would be screaming and kicking her legs then I’d get done dressing her and realize I missed a button! They make really cute sets for boys too, even though I’ve heard some men complain about it being a “dress”, silly.

Those are my top two must have items. My sister is having a boy in a few months and I know exactly how excited you feel. I get to have all the fun of a newborn then give him back for the hard work!

Jessica on

I would just say that in stead of Pampers (which tend to give sensative babies a rash) maybe try a simple cloth diaper system. Something like BumGenius, Happy Heinys or another all-in-one system would be great. They are just like disposables (as in easy to use) but do not have the chemicals like disposables do. Plus they save bucket loads of money.

Other than that your list looks great!

Jen K on

Does she have ANY photos of her and her daughter that aren’t staged?

J on

Jen K, I was just wondering that too..lol!

Kelly on

I would like to add….I loved “Mother’s Little miracle” line of stain removers and Seventh Generation products also..especially their wipes. And..Earth’s Best baby food and cereals.

Jgirl on

Jessica, It sounds like you have used cloth diapers. I am currently pregnant with my third baby, and I work full time. Is it pretty time consuming to use a cloth diaper system? I already feel like I do a million loads of laundry. Thanks for any advice.

Andrea on

I want to add Mini Boden for clothing. Super cute clothing and with the discounts they email you it makes it more affordable. For shampoo for baby’s first year, so you don’t have to worry about cradle cap, would be Mustela. The baby bottles I used were Dr. Brown’s. I used those bottles for both of my kids. The jogging stroller I have is the Bob stroller. Everyone I have talked with that have a Bob stroller do not have any complaints. They love their Bob strollers. Halo sleepsacks are a must have and I continued using them until my son was 2 1/2. They have Halo sleepsacks with legs for the toddler. I have the Baby Bjorn front carrier, but then I got an Ergo carrier and you can either have them in front or on your back. I love my Ergo carrier. But the Baby Bjorn worked really well when my baby was 4 months and younger.

Helena on

There’s some even more fun things out there. If anyone is interested checkout the nominated categories at Crisbie Awards.

Laura on

I never read what she writes because the photos of her are always so ridiculously contrived. Must every photo of her (not her daughter who looks perfectly appropriate and natural) be a glamour shot? I feel sorry for her daughter when she grows up with a mother who is going to end up constantly upstaging her in photos!

momofone on

You forgot the Boppy pillow.

Cody on

Okay Elisabeth..If you really want to pamper your best friend, you HAVE to check this out!!

I gifted my best friend a BLANQI bodystyler….www.BLANQI.com.
It supports and lifts the bump, and does a great job at shaping. She LOVED IT!!! She wore it day and night, and swears that this is the 1 MUST HAVE for every mom-to-be!!

E on

There is a really cute, not staged picture of them on Elizabeth’s personal website. Just click on her name in the entry above and it will take you there. Scroll down – the picture is really cute.

ecl on

I highly recommend seventh generation diapers and wipes. Every time we have used most major brand wipes, our son has gotten a rash. For clothing, I recommend Zutano and Tea Collection. They don’t have any of those obnoxious little phrases like “Daddy’s Sweet Princess” or “Mommy’s Little Strongman” etc etc, just really cute, patterns and classy looks. I also recommend the Ergo over the Bjorn. We started off with the Bjorn, but quickly had to switch because of the back pain. I also recommend not buying certain items (such as a wipes warmer) until you know you need it. We never needed one because our son doesn’t get upset by cold wipes. And try to get big items like the jumper handed down as she said because they use them for such a short period of time. That’s my 2 cents.

AA on

Can’t have a baby without a Boppy pillow! All time favorite baby item. Great for lying, belly time, learning to sit, and lying next to your angel while bottle-feeding.

Tammy on

I agree about the staged photos. I also think her writing is pretentious.

To Jgirl and Jessica- I use a cloth diaper system by FuzziBunz and it’s awesome. Yes it does cause more laundry but they same money, time (because you never have to run to get diapers on the way home or late at night), they do not cause diaper rash, they do not leak any more than disposables, and they will not take hundreds of years to decompose at the land fill like disposables do.

I registered for the diapers through Amazon and love them. Unfortunately, daycares in my area make all parents bring disposables. On a good note I am saving the environment 1/2 the time.

Heather on

Wow, these are right on! I have almost everything on this list (at least 1 in each category) and I agree with Elisabeth 100%. My baby is 3 months old. I am going to share this with some of my preggo friends. This is really great. Thanks go out to Elisabeth :)

HM on

I consider the Boppy and a bouncer an absolute must have.
Boppy is great and you can take the cover off and wash them.
Wipes I found the best were generic from Costco.

LJ on

I loved using the “Hug me Dry” towel for bathing newborns and infants. It’s basically an apron/towel mom wears. When bath time is done, no need to figure out how to wrap a wet baby or carry a wet baby to a towel – you’re already wearing it! Just hug the baby to you and wrap them up! I found mine at weesisters.com

Christina on

I found our battery powered Fisher Price swing a must have. When baby is having trouble sleeping and you need your arms back for a bit, it is a great great help! There are also ones with plugs which Im sure are also great, we just didnt have one.

sandy on

7 gen wipes! come on people!

Melissa on

Aveeno Baby Wash is the best bath product, for sure. It has a nice light smell and rinses clean – I even use it for myself in a pinch!

Neeshia on

@ Jgirl ~ I have been using cloth diapers for our 3rd child for the last 10 months and I also recommend Bumgenius cloth diapers, they are as close to easy to use as disposable diapers are. I hate laundry with a passion and that had me sort of worried and put off with cloth diapering but once I got a system down it’s really not that bad. I have enough diapers to last 3 days before I have to wash, on wash day I throw them in the washer do a cold rinse (to get all the icky stuff out) then a regular wash with hot water and detergent and then throw them in the dryer. Takes maybe an hour out of my day. If you Google cloth diapers you will find tons of websites with information.

Sandi on

Jgirl,
I’m not sure what State you live in. When my son was a baby I went the cloth diaper route through a service. I recieved so many diapers a week and they would pick up the dirty ones. It cost the per month as you would spend on Pampers or Luvs:) And no extra laundry for you to do. Sandi

Anne on

I love these nursing tops that are stylish as well as functional. You can look cute, nurse your baby, and not expose your entire torso in front of the world!

http://www.milkstars.com/

Best of luck to your friend, that is exciting.

Anne
Mum to 3 darling (most of the time) little girls! ; )

Alison on

Please please please don’t get the Bjorn. The Ergo w/ infant insert, or many other carriers, are so much better for you & your baby. The Bjorn is a “crotch-dangler”, so rather than being in a seated position, your baby is dangling by their crotch, which is bad for their spine. Imagine laying on the floor on your stomach with your arms and legs up in a “Superman” pose. See how long you can hold it. That’s how your baby feels in the Bjorn.

Sandi on

Teething…. I tried anything that was sold to help my son during teething. The one he used and liked the most might seem weird.. He loved to chew and suck on a small semi frozen pickle. It worked everytime he was crying and fussy when the teeth were just peaking through.

Faye Fillers on

As a granny of three, I did much research before my grandchildren were born and purchased what I thought were the most logical, usable, and best ideas. I keep my youngest full time while his Mom works and the items I would most recommend (the Mothers completely agree):

1) Woombies – my 7 month old grandson is just getting out of this product. He is so comfortable when you put the woombie on, he just closes his eyes. 2) Sophie the Giraffe 3) Tummy Tub! He took his first bath in it and has never cried – he loves it. Too bad that being such a active baby, at 7 months he is trying to pull up in the tub and it looks like it will be have to be put away until the next baby, and 4) NOSE FRIDA – it is gross to even think about, but it works so much better than those plastic bulbs and you don’t have to stick it up the baby’s nose.

I love Pampers diapers (we discussed cloth but decided it was too much work) but I prefer Huggies wipes. I also really like Butt Paste for diaper rash.

Jodi Kilgore on

I highly recommend the Fisher Price Rain Forest Swing. It was the only swing I found that you could either plug in or use batteries. I happy to say that I used it for two kids and never put batteries in it. I donated it to the local daycare and they were thrilled. When the kids had colds I would put them in the swing for the night since it is easier for them to breath sitting up more.

Stephanie on

Please don’t use a Bjorn! They are not ergonomically correct for baby or comfortable for mom or dad! Babywearing is a WONDERFUL thing if you get the correct carrier.

Wraps (both stretchy – ie sleepy baby, lovey duds, Wrapsody) and woven.
Mei Teis (ie Babyhawk, Kozy, Wrapstar).
Soft Structured Carrier (ie Ergo, Beco, Boba, Olives and Applesauce, Dream Carrier).
Ring Slings (ie Sweet Pea, Sleeping Baby Productions).

Kim on

I never liked the Boppy pillow, ‘My Brest Friend’ is an absolute necessity if you plan to nurse your baby. Those half-moon pillows are good for propping baby up when they’re learning to sit.

Jenn on

Gripe water, I prefer the ones from Canada as they have less chemicals, is wonderful for getting rid of gas in baby’s tummy (works for adults too) and it also used as a teething soother. My daughter used it ALL THE TIME. It was a blessing. Also, Totally Toddler is the best stain remover for all baby stains. Kmart, Babies R US and walmart sell it in the 1/2 gal and gal size, so you will always have some on hand. Also, plain cornstarch or Gold Bold medicated baby powder works MUCH better that the other diaper creams in getting rid of diaper rash.

Stephanie on

For the on-the-go, I’m in love with PeaPods. We got one for my daughter when she was 2 because she got too tall to sleep in her pack and play (she’s a tall kid). The PeaPods break down into a MUCH smaller package, have an inflatable mattress (in a separate pocket so no risk for itty bitty babies to roll into the corners), and include a sleeping bag that can be shortened to infant size. My daughter BEGS to sleep in it, even when we AREN’T traveling! And she has plenty of growing room to last her quite a while and she’s over 3 ft tall.

Jessica on

Jgirl… I do cloth diaper. I make my own but also have BG’s, prefolds and covers, various WAHM’s, happy heinys and gDiapers. It is a little bit more laundry but sooo worth it. I do a diaper load every 3 days and it takes about 2 hours (or less) out of my life. It is so rewarding for me to not see my baby with rashes on his bum. But also with the different types of diapers out there his diapers are also cute! I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

angelika on

“Please please please don’t get the Bjorn. The Ergo w/ infant insert, or many other carriers, are so much better for you & your baby. The Bjorn is a “crotch-dangler”, so rather than being in a seated position, your baby is dangling by their crotch, which is bad for their spine. Imagine laying on the floor on your stomach with your arms and legs up in a “Superman” pose. See how long you can hold it. That’s how your baby feels in the Bjorn.”

I agree with this. My son was a tiny peanut and it still killed my back to carry him in the Bjorn. Loved my Ergo and my Hotsling…although the latter worked better when he was a bit older and sat on my hip.

riley on

While the Bloom Coco Lounger looks cool, it can not be that functional. A true bouncy seat/lounger should vibrate and play music, maybe with lights. This keeps the baby entertained and stimulated and the vibration can calm a fussy baby. The lights/music can be turned off for some relaxation. My daughter loved the Jungle Theme bouncer from Fisher Price. They have a few other pattern options which are cute too :)

Megan on

I agree with the prior comment, the Baby Bjorn is the WORST, for mommy and baby. The Ergo is much more comfortable for everyone, and is far more supportive! Also, the Moby wraps are amazing.

I think that Pottery Barn Kids makes the softest bath towels for babies, and I also really recommend the Baby Jogger City Mini! BEST STROLLER EVER!!!

Oh, and for post-partum, the Belly Bandit is a must!!!

chelsea on

Despite the negative comments I think you pictures are beautiful.

Jillian on

LOVE the belly bandit and my Breast friend!!
Thanks for sharing the list. It is awesome and a great tool. Love your blogs.

laurie on

Hi-the BEST thing to get your friend is the stay dry bath apron-changed my life. So much safer than hooded bath towels. http://www.happyhealthymom.com has that plus a whole newsletter of other good ones.

Holly Manning on

The temporal thermometers are amazing, and are always on my “must have” list for new moms. We have the Exergen temporal thermometer it is always accurate, it is extremely fast, and no waking the baby to check the temperature!

J on

She does look beautiful. There were no negative comments, people just questioned the photos while being civil actually. Please don’t make this the battle for this article, Chelsea…

Kendra on

I’m actually passing on advice to a few Mommies-to-Be among my friends and have been keeping a list of fun things I’ve found with my 6 month old son.

Our tops are – Wubba-nubs! Cutest soothers EVER! My son was a premmie and its the same soothers the hospital used but they’re attached to adorable little stuffed animals that make them easier for baby to hold. When shopping for showers they’re a must have for me now!

Soothie Soothers and Bink Link Pacifier Clips – WAY more chique than regular soother clips and the soothers themselves are much better for baby…they can be sanitized more thoroughly because they’re just one piece!

Bumbo and Tumzee – one for sitting and the other for tummy time! My son had meltdowns for either one and absolutely loves both of these products. Also the Bumbo comes with a tray that we can pack up and take with us for trips to Grandma and Grandpa’s when he finally starts solid food in a few months.

BabyLegs – My son HATES clothes and these keep him warm while allowing him to hang out in a onesie when we’re at home. They’re like little leggings instead of pants and are apparently awesome for sun protection and crawling! I can’t wait to expand his collection :)

Banz Earmuffs Ear Protection – we got these the other weekend for baseball games this summer (my husband is a HUGE fan) because sudden loud noises startle our boy and this protects his tiny ears!

Adventure BanZ baby – protect those little eyes! Also is there anything cuter than a newborn sporting shades?

AND although Sophie is awesome (we have her!) we ended up getting our son the other Vulli teethers (Camp, Pie and Gnon) because he’s an early teeter and they are easier to hold for babies learning to grip! Its the same company and material as Sophie…just easier to hold :)

Wishing your bestie a healthy and happy pregnancy!! Take great care of her!

Erin on

I would like to add the boppy also to the list. I had one in my car and in my house. It was always a must! Also, the medela is the best breast feeding system to get. I wish you friend best of luck with breast feeding, it was a joy for me and my daughter. I also used a sling when nursing in public, it worked great with my feeding apron.

Also, I would add the Gerber storage bags for your breast milk. You can write on the bag and then pop it into the freezer to thaw out when you need a bottle. They are great!

Our daughter loved the NUK bottles and pacifiers. They were great. Someone else mentioned the Zutano clothes. They are so great, so affordable and they last forever, they wash well too. You can wear a dress, then wear it later for a shirt. They are really versatile.

I think that is it. You really did compose a great list. We used alot of what you have listed.

LolaDallas on

The Little Lasso is my latest discovery and one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” items. It secures toys, sippy cups, bottles, etc. to stoller, high chairs, baby bjorns, etc. It’s my new “go-to” shower gift:)

D on

Don’t forget the Bumbo seat! Both of my kids LOVED it! Also, I couldn’t live without my hand held Summer video monitor. It’s a life saver to keep me from going in their room when they are stirring and not really ready to wake up yet!

Jgirl on

Thanks for all the advice ladies. I am going to try out cloth diapers. Fortunately, my mother runs a daycare and watches my kids. She probably won’t be thrilled with the idea, but I am sure she will support it and help me out. Again, thanks for all the positive feedback!

susan on

OMG! Yes shout out to the Belly Bandit! It’s a must have for new moms who want their pre baby bodies back. I can’t believe she didn’t mention a post pardum compression garment. I am sure she used one right??

Susan on

First….what you do NOT need is a change table. What a useless piece of furniture. Set up mini diaper stations throughout the house because you will want to change the diaper wherever you are. So, for that reason I love cute portable change pads…..check etsy for lots of choices.

Things that I loved…..jogging stroller for walks that take you on more nature trails rather than city sidewalks and a pocket sling for when a stroller is not convenient (again, check etsy for lots of cute choices). I also used cloth diapers so as accessories for them I loved my wet bags and adorable cloth wipes.

BTW – to poster above who asked about the laundry…..buy enough diapers to get you through 2 days plus 1 or 2 diapers extra for while you are doing a load. Really, ONE extra load every couple of days is not that much. And it isn’t like it takes a lot of work folding and putting them away after. Really, it is like 5 extra minutes of work out of your entire day. And a really good All In One diaper (Happy Heinys and Bumkins were my faves)is no more work than a disposable….only less garbage.

Susan on

I noticed previous commentors mentioning the posed photos……I was thinking how lucky she is going to be having all these wonderful professional photos of her and her daughter through all these stages. I wish I was so lucky. What a wonderful scrapbook she’ll be able to make for her daughter one day.

KC on

I echo the comment above, could not have survived without My Brest Friend nursing pillow ( the boppy didn’t help with nursing and I nvere trusted propping up my little one on it), love everything Boon, Kicky Pants and Plum Organics.

Susan on

Oh, I second the recomendation for babylegs!! I forgot that one. A great way to add some fabulous funky fashion to a baby that pretty much spends all day in a plain ole onesie!!

I do support the use of a boppy (or other breastfeeding pillow) though they never did me much good. And while some babies love a Bumbo neither of mine did so it was a waste of money. These might be things to try out (borrow from a friend) before spending the money on them.

Nursing mama on

I would add the Momzelle nursing tops (http://www.momzelle.com) to the list of must-haves for the boob department. I have one for every day of the week and could not live without them!

Fraya on

A battery operated nose aspirator. Best $20 I ever spent!

bepen on

I would definetely say:
Boppy

Butt Paste for diaper rash
Gentle Naturals Teething drops (all Natural with chamomile)

Gorgeous picture of you and your daughter!

DP on

The Graco nasal aspirator is one of the best items we put on our registry. We use it all the time with Little Noses nose drops when our daughter has a stuffy nose or whenever she is teething and/or has a runny nose.

I don’t think babies need so much stuff, especially when they’re so little. Our daughter had a hand-me down exersaucer, which was great (although she would never sit down in it; she always stood, even at 6 months old); a swing (Graco), which we only used the first two months or so, although it was good for playing white noise; a bouncer, which was awesome, because we used it to rock her to sleep when she was a little colicky, and also used it as her bed for the first couple of months; and a little play mat, which she also only used for the first few months (once she started crawling, at 6 months, she never wanted to be constrained in any way, even just lying on an activity mat). I would suggest having her put more things on her registry for her baby at older stages, like books and educational toys, more so than “baby” toys.

She’ll also need stuff for feeding time, like a high chair (we have the Nature’s Purest one by Summer Infant) for when the baby is a little older.

As far as the crib goes, we have the Fisher-Price Rainforest Waterfall Soother, which our daughter loves, and the Fisher-Price Precious Planet 2-in-1 Projection Mobile, which is WONDERFUL. Our daughter loved watching the animals spin around on the mobile when she was younger, and now we have it with just the projection, and she can watch it before she goes to sleep at night.

I guess it depends on your budget and how much space you have. We always wanted everything as minimal as possible, but now that our daughter is a year and a half old, we are ready for a few more toys to help challenge her more.

Kellan on

Little babies don’t like having onesies pulled over their heads so it is for that reason that I love, love, love those little crossover t-shirts. Gerber do some with snaps but I prefer the ones with soft velcro if you can find them. These are an absolute must for me!

Ashley on

We could not live without our Bumbo seat & tray. The seat is perfect for helping babies sit up and strengthen their backs. The tray comes in handy when they are learning to eat cereal, baby food or small snacks. The best part is that it is portable!! I recommend one to any mom-to-be!

We also love our Flip camera. It makes recording those oh so adorable moments quick & easy. And it charges on the computer instead of having to have batteries.

Kellan on

Oh, and the Stokke stroller and highchair are just the best. Can’t recommend them highly enough!

Julie on

Bumbo and Angel Care!
Im a mother of 11 month old twins. I hated my boppy. It still sits in the corner of the nursery untouched since the first few weeks I tried it out. A couple of pillows worked much better and I already had those. I did love my Bumbos! Theres a point where a baby can get bored laying on their back but they arent quite ready to sit up on their own. I would set them up on the kitchen floor while I loaded the dishwasher, etc. and theyd just watch every move. They loved holding and playing with toys out in front of them. My twins were just a little early, but I still got a ton of peace of mind using the Angel Care Monitor. I’ve heard other people complain about it going off with false alarms all the time but that was never a problem for us.

Julie on

Bumbo and Angel Care monitor!
Mom of twins, I hated my boppy for feeding. We did use it a little for setting them semi upright now and then but it wasnt great at that either.

ecl on

I agree with Susan that a changing table is a total waste of money. If you have to get one, at least get one that converts into something useful.

Charlotte on

Don’t forget that “Baby Shusher” App for iPhone!!!!! Can’t leave home w/o it.

Kristen on

Ok…these products look great but has anyone clicked on some of the higher priced items? An almost $1000 stroller?!? $600 glider?!? I’m all for splurging on a nice item every now and then but I wouldn’t say that they are “must haves.” I understand that celebs have a different budget than most people but I think even if I were a millionaire, I would have a tough time couging up that kind of cash! Whatever floats your boat, though. :-)

Alexis on

I say keep it all affordable, most of this stuff is used for less than a year, and your baby may not like that $230 swing(my first didn’t, second tolerates it). Those Aden + Anais blankets, or any musin swaddlers(Target has some, pretty affordable) are AWESOME!!!! Nursing covers, swaddlers for the bigger babies that still startle, floor blankets for tummy or back time, car seat covers for rain/sun, diaper change mats, you can use them for everything! I got a set as a gift and use them daily.

Also, cloth diapers as burp cloths was the best idea ever passed on to me. They absorb, when flannels and terry cloth don’t. Car seat travel systems are great, the infant seat that removes from the car is a lifesaver when the baby’s asleep, no waking baby up to take him/her our of an installed convertible seat at every stop. You can get a cheaper stage 1-2 or 1-4 later, like I did, when baby outgrows the infant seat.

I’ve found that Luvs or Target diapers work great at holding in most everything. I did use Pampers Swaddlers when both babies were born, just until I knew they didn’t have sensitive skin. And Purex baby detergent is cheaper than Dreft, you use less because it’s concentrated, and it’s not like pouring water into your washer. My 2nd breaks out if I use Johnson’s lotion on him, so I’ve been using the Huggies lotion and wash and it works great. Aveeno baby is also great for new skin.
I 2nd the vote for the Medela electric pump. LOVE mine so much more than even their manual.

Most of all, enjoy it. They’re only little for so short a time, and even though you’re so seep deprived, love on that little one as much as you can. And, sleep when that baby sleeps!! Housework can wait or someone else can do it. That’s what daddy’s for. ;)

Alexis on

Oh, and a Woombie! Even easier swaddling, and the little wigglers can’t get free as easy. ;)

EmilyElizabeth on

I agree on a cloth or eco-friendly diaper system. GroVia offers cloth, hybrid and bio-degradable disposables. A diaper for every family, all of them good for the planet.

I’m also loving our Hevea Baby pacifiers…. no nooks and crannies, I hated sterilizing my avent pacis then ending up with water dripping out and the inside getting cloudy, the hevea is not only made of natural rubber and therefore healthier for baby, but also doesn’t have nooks & crannies for water/germs to get stuck in.

T on

I use cloth diapers and try to only buy nontoxic toys and products, especially those used on my daughter. My favorite diapers are bumGenius elementals [though I use prefolds a lot, too, and they're cheap] and I love bath products by Earth Mama Angel Baby. I have lots of recommendations at xixmmx.blogspot.com.

Monica on

So many must haves but here are a few.
*Kiddapotamus swaddler blankets (Summer me at babies r us)
*Then a sleep sack for when they grow out of the swaddle blankets
*Lanisoh lanolin nipple cream- it’s the only one you don’t have to wash off before baby eats!
*Medela disposable nursing pads
*definitely Boppy (I only ever used Boppy and LOVED it- my friend tried My Breast Friend and hated it, but Michelle Duggar loves hers and she’s kind of a kid expert)
*Bumbo
*Carter’s dribble proof bibs- a life and clothes saver for teething!!
*Hyland’s Teething Tabs- currently recalled but should be back on shelves soon- the BEST for teething
*Bumkins bibs- work great until baby figures out how to pull off velcro
*Nuk pacifiers- latex lasts longer than rubber
*Booginhead pacifier clip- baby can’t pull it off clothes!

Becky on

The best advice I got was from my lactation consultant who said while nursing to use Olive oil. It kept my nipples from cracking and being sore, it keeps your breasts free of bacteria and other microbes and doesn’t stain clothing also safe for babies.

Li on

Because she recommended so many different highchairs and a few other categories have more than one item in them- did she actually have multiple highchairs and baths (seems excessive, but to each their own), or I wonder if these are actually just paid advertisements via her blog?

I agree that the Ergo is a million times better than the Bjorn.

Laura on

Great list and little Easton is adorable! My son is now 2, but I am quite the shopper of all items baby. I personally LOVE the Boppy and my son Jack uses it for his pillow as we speak, which is the perfect starter pillow since it is so firm and offers good neck support.

My go-to shower gift, among other things, is definitely Dreft stain remover. Hands down, the BEST stain remover I have ever used and it gets out any and all stains. Amazing.

A few of my loves: Footed pajamas that zip (far better than snaps), Robeez shoes, Nuk bottles and pacifiers, Taggies blankets, Carter’s clothes, the Graco travel system (includes the car seat and the stroller)although the car seat is very heavy–weighs 9 lbs without baby–better work on your biceps before baby!

If you want support for all those questions, I highly recommend BabyCenter.com, which has been my go-to since March 2009 and I still talk to those mommies online daily. It is a lifesaver-sometimes only other moms can understand the stress and joys of having a baby!

Jay on

Oh my goodness, my daughter loved her ExcerSaucer! I gave it to a neighbor with a newborn when my girl out-grew it.

And the Graco Pack N Play was awesome for days at the park, or short trips.

I think the best thing ever invented is the Diaper Genie. It makes disposing of soiled diapers clean, easy and odor free. And it’s small enough to fit nicely right next to the changing table. :)

One thing my ex mentioned was how she was surprised by how often she had to pee in the hours after delivery. She said no one told her and it wasn’t in any of the books she had read. :)

Jillian on

Li, I actually don’t see any highchairs. For all the items she suggests a classic or modern based on style, which is wonderful! The rest is bath accessories….right?

MiB on

My biggest advice is to take a step back and think about your needs. It is so easy to get caught up in an image of how you are going to be as a parent, that you forget what your actual needs are. Yesterday I had a walk with my neighbour and her 3 month old son, and she complained about their stroller. It’s not that it isn’t a good stroller (it is) but it is not built for walking on uneven surfaces, and she likes to take a daily brisk walk on the gravel paths in our nearby park. Another friend had the exact same stroller, and her complaint was that it was heavy and combersome to put into the car, a problem my neightbour doesn’t have as she doesn’t own a car and public transport is quite stroller friendly where we live. The stiff suspension and unpadded wheels (that my neighbour complained about) where really no problem for her. But the thing is, it’s still not a bad stroller, it’s just a stroller that doesn’t work for either of them, for different reasons. They bought it because women they met at the OB’s office and in other places had raved about theirs, and because it looked a bit like the bugaboo, but wasn’t as pricy. Truth is, my neighbour would probably have been better off with a real Bugaboo as it fits her lifestyle better, whereas my friend should have gone for a McLaren, a Citi Mini or one of those wheely bases for a car seat insted, because it would have been more suitable for her lifestyle. That brings me to another advice; if you want advice from a more seasoned mother, chse one that has a similar life style to yours. If you like hiking, ask hiking mothers what kind of baby transport they prefer, if you go from house, to car, to mall, ask a mother at the mall what she thinks of her choice of stroller. And then try it out yourself before you buy it, because your 6 feet husband my complain that the handles are too low or that he’s kicking the bar between the back wheels with every step he takes, your 5 feet mother who is going to take care of the baby once you return to work may feel that is is to heavy, or unstable, and you may hate the way it folds.

Kiwi.green on

As a mom of one 16- month old boy, and a baby girl due in a month, here’s my must-have list:
– Aden+Anais bamboo muslin swaddles, dream blankets and cozy sleep sacks!!! They are the #1 item I can’t live without.
– Woombies
– Bumbo seat
– Baby K’Tan & Hotsling carriers
– Kidco’s Peapod for travel
– Baby Jogger City Select stroller – you buy the single one first, then you can just get attachments to convert it into a fabulous double stroller when baby #2 comes. Has the ease of a jogger with the function of a stroller, feels incredibly ergonomic, and everything adjusts one-handed. Wish like everything I’d known about it the first time around!

Also absolutely LOVE my Ragazzi baby furniture & Dutailier glider/footrest. I agree on the changing table – buy a dresser instead and put the changing station on top. Regular changing tables are a waste of money.

jessicad on

I would use professional pictures for this blog too. I have them taken every 6 months since my friend is a photographer. I love this one so much I think I’ll wear a red dress for our next session:)

TM on

The ergo baby carrier is awesome! I used it pretty much daily with my daughter when she was between the ages of 3 months and 12 months. I found it so much more convenient than a stroller.

Vivan on

I hear the ItzBeen timer is very useful. It helps keeping track of the times when you feed the baby, change diapers and nap times. You can also set the side you breastfed last. $26 dollars and my friend said it’s a must for the first 3 months at least, so I got one for my stepsister.

ella on

And do not forget about mom in the hospital, I wore a hospital gown by Baby Be Mine Maternity, or known as a Gownie and have so many great pictures in it with my beautiful daughter. It felt great!

LB on

Get her a gift certificate to CleanBeeBaby to have her stroller or car seat cleaned! Once the baby starts spitting up in the car seat it will be disgusting! They do house calls in LA and will steam clean everything so its always fresh and germ-free!

Jillian on

jessicad, that is great that you do that, so do my daughter and I! Thanks to my friend! I love it and love being creative. It is sooo much fun and wonderful to have all of the memories. I agree that I love the red and the white. I may have to try that one.

Tina on

I am a recent first-time mom and I would have to say the u-shaped pillow by FAO Schwartz is a must-have. It’s great for feedings (breast or bottle) and awesome for daily tummy time. It will also be great as my daughter transitions into sitting up, for back support. Best of all, it only costs $30 at Babies R Us.

Kirsten on

BOOKS!!! It is never too early to start reading to a baby. :)

My favorites:
Authors:
-Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Julia Donaldson, Mo Willems, William Steig, Kevin Henkes, Arnold Lobel, Sandra Boynton
Books:
-Little Gorilla
-Goodnight Gorilla
-Knuffle Bunny
-Olivia
-The Snail and the Whale
-The Gruffalo
-The Bunny Book
-My Mommy Hung the Moon
-Guess How Much I Love You?
-Corduroy
etc, etc, etc…

amy on

First, is this an ad? Seriously, why all the product placement? Is she getting paid for the endorsements?

Secondly, you people have way too much time, money & space on your hands. Seems like the European products are so “en vogue” lately. Want to raise your baby like the Europeans do? Get rid of all that crap! Who needs it?!

Thirdly, clearly I have too much of one of the above. (And it ain’t money or space!) :)

Best wishes for your friends’ pregnancy, Elisabeth! Your baby is beautiful.

Lisa on

She should have told her friend to make sure when she travels she uses Babies Travel Lite, http://www.babiestravellite.com, to have all of her baby supplies waiting for her at her destination. They deliver everything making it much easier to travel with a baby. Order diapers, wipes, gear and food online and don’t worry about packing it or having to pay the airlines to loose it. Everyone with an infant or toddler should check it out. I use the service all the time. They have great customer service and deliver everywhere.

Minnie on

A friend of mine gave me a cape that had my initial on it from http://www.powercapes.com. I had a lot of pregnancy issues and was feeling really blue for about a month and kind of like a failure when everyone else made pregnancy look so easy. She gave me the cape to remind me that I’m a super mom too!

Samantha on

Hmmm, I have 6 year old twins, a 20 year old daughter and am older than dirt but not too far past the nursing and cloth diapers stage. So I would say most of this list is overkill, unnecessary and just adds to the stress of having a little one. But many won’t realize that until either more children or more years.

If you have trouble with commercial wipes, making your own wipes is easy and you can choose ingredients that match what your child can tolerate. Use good quality paper towels (yes, paper towels), whatever baby wash you use for bathing and some baby oil. There are several good recipes on the internet.

Having less things overall and choosing good quality low cost items that need less care means more time to enjoy your children and to take care of yourself.

Cheers!

Caroline on

Nature Babycare diapers are the best; all the convenience of a disposable but chlorine free and as earth-friendly as they come. Pampers are full of chemicals that I wouldn’t want near my baby’s skin!

The best high chair is the Stokke Tripp Trapp, it will last for years (a true investment purchase), looks fantastic and allows the baby to eat off the main dining table and feel more integrated into family meals. Love love love ours!

The Baby Bjorn is terrible for your back when the baby gets bigger. We tried our several carriers and are still crazy about our Beco Gemini; it allows front, back and hip carries and is amazingly comfortable for mom or dad to wear. Uppababy Vista is the stroller to get… the Orbit’s basket is so tiny and impractical, all the moms I know who bought one before their babies were born have sold theirs on Craigslist and gone for a Vista, Cameleon or a Baby Jogger (all much more practical that her dream stroller).

Definitely agree on the Little Castle glider (Wal-Mart have a range of gliders manufactured by the same company for almost half the price… check out their website). Love the Miracle Blanket and Aden Anais muslin cloths, too: ours proved indispensable in those early months

C on

Talk about consumerism at it’s finest. Your babies need very little. You, food, simple clothing and a safe place to sleep. It’s fine to have “stuff” but don’t place it’s importance above time spent with your child. I would agree with Samantha that too much stuff just adds stress.

My advice to a pregnant woman is to plan her birth, find a good lactation consultant and trust her instincts.

Sun on

Why all the negative, judgmental comments about “staged” photos? I have gorgeous photos of my family that were taken throughout the years by professional photographers, and with a few exceptions, those are the photos that I have framed or displayed around the house. Why? Because they are far superior to my snapshots in terms of lighting, composition, etc., and because in those professional photos I have made an effort with my appearance. If you see me on a daily basis, I am in what my younger daughter calls my “Mom-ish” look which as she defines as: “messy hair, no makeup, sweats, and glasses.” I look pretty rough 99.5% of the time, but during the rare occasions that I do make an effort, it’s those photos that I want to look at and have displayed, not my usual unkempt self.

I’m sure Elisabeth Rohm has her moments when she’s unkempt, but just because she doesn’t want to publicly display that side of herself doesn’t mean anything negative.

As mothers, can we be supportive and appreciative of the hard work that we do, despite how glamorous (or not) some of us may look?

The Baz Fam on

She absolutely can’t not live without a Moby Wrap! I am a big fan of attachment parenting and it is a must have. There are lots of different positions that you can wear your baby with. It’s a CRITICAL piece of a new Mom’s life!

tootsie on

Lis,
3 things that helped us SO MUCH with Miles-from now on, these have been, and will always be in our care package for our pregnant friends.

1)Mylicon; safely relieves newborn gas. a crying baby is not always colic!

2)Dunstan Baby Language- she was on Oprah, and it’s true, it works. There are dvds you can buy, and we did, but i’ve since discovered the quickest way is to look her up on youtube. Search Dunstan Baby Language and you will have all you need to know. There are 4 main sounds that an infant makes that can tell you what they need. And it was a Godsend for me to learn these. Their language starts to change after 3 or 4 months and these will no longer apply, but by then, you and your baby are much more in tune with communication. I’ll list the 5 primary words here. I almost always knew what he needed…whether to pat him high on the back to burp or low on the back to pass gas..etc.

EH- burp me
Eairh- pass gas
Neh- i’m hungry
Heh- change me
Owh- i’m sleepy

youtube is very helpful in regards to actually hearing these sounds made so that they can be picked up from your baby.

And last, the book Baby 411- it has everything in it! anytime Jamie or I had a question or concern, this book had the answer.

Hope you are well and hope this helps! Sure is nice seeing your beautiful and awesome mother daughter team here!
love to you and E

Amanda on

The BabbaCo car seat cover should definitely be on the list. It’s super functional with a cold weather option or warm weather option. It’s a smart, simple design that makes getting out the door a little less challenging, and getting out the door is ALWAYS a challenge. Here’s the link http://new.babbaco.com/

Jilly G on

I got a lot of my inspiration from the adptly named ‘Tips’ company. It’s a group of mothers and midwives who have tried and tested a heap of products! The Tips Awards are particularly helpful!

http://www.tipslimited.co.uk

Elisabeth on

Random question- but what Lipstick is she wearing in this picture- I love it!

jessica on

It is so sweet that you are doing this for your friend but I wish more moms would recommend less dangerous items to new moms. There are so many carcinogenic chemicals in the baby products you are recommending. Do your research! The EWG.com site has a list of chemicals to avoid and check out beautytruth.com. Also, check out the greeningsage.com in the sprouts section for info on pampers. Bad news!

I am so careful about what I put on my 8month old’s skin. He has NEVER had diaper rash. We use Seventh Generation because it doesn’t have any fancy absorbent technology which I am convinced is what causes babies such problems.

I would recommend the following lines to your friend. I would stay away from DEA, TEA, parabens, sulfates etc. Our babies are so precious. We really have to be so careful because the companies are looking out for their bottom lines not our babies.

California Baby Products
Boon products
Erbaviva Baby (love this line)
Q collection Junior
Born Free Bottles

Books: Raising Baby Green
Feeding Baby Green (Both by Dr. Greene

Good Luck with your pregnancy and delivery!

Tess on

I haven’t had any babies myself, but I was pretty involved in helping my sister with her pregnancies and was my first niece’s nanny from 4months old to 12months old.

These I would suggest:
1) Puj Tub. Got sis that because she had such a hard time bathing 1st niece in those old fashioned plastic tubs. The 2nd niece came and I wanted something easy that she wouldn’t curse at so much. She loves it and now is getting some for her preggo friends!
2) Teething Tablets. I can’t for the life of me remember what their name is but oh my gosh, about 6 months old, I carried those around in my pocket because 1st niece had the worst little tooth aches.
3) $10 Cheapo stroller. I couldn’t live without it! Driving around the city and running errands – this was my life saver. If I could spend whatever I wanted – I’d probably go with the Bugaboo Chameleon. It looks pretty easy to use and it comes in more colors than black. Seriously folks. Who wants a black stroller on a hot day?!

Nancy Layman on

The best nursing cover EVER is the Booby Trapper. It’s the only two-rim cover … so fabric stays away from mom’s neck AND off of the baby’s head and face. My 11-month-old still nurses beautifully under my BT because she has full eye contact with me, and she can breathe (without fabric flopping on her face). Check it out at http://www.boobytrapper.ca.

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