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Then Came Baby

Pregnancy guru Rosie Pope finally brings her fashion touch to teeny, tiny sizes.

Then Came Baby

During pregnancy number one, I spent an unhealthy amount of time watching Bravo. “Pregnant in Heels” had just made its debut, and I was both terrified and inspired by its star Rosie Pope, the not-yet pregnant pregnancy expert whipping Manhattan mamas-to-be into shape. Of course, I had to make a pilgrimage to her Upper East Side maternity shop, where I discovered that her impeccable taste expanded far beyond nursery design and 5-inch heels. Her namesake line not only flattered in all the right places, but you’d never know it was maternity...the holy grail when you’re a pregnant New Yorker. Now a seasoned mama herself -- times four -- Pope is finally making clothes for the smaller set under the label Rosie Pope Baby. The designer recently filled us in on the details, and gave us the rundown on newborn necessities that any mom, whether on her first or fourth babe, should invest in. You started your pregnancy and maternity business before you were even pregnant. How does that inform your brand’s style? When you are pregnant, it’s all consuming, and you second-guess yourself. So many of the most accomplished women that I know -- women who know how to dress themselves -- walk into a maternity store and don’t know what to do. When you’re pregnant, you still want to have style and stay true to who you are. Designing maternity from a lens of not being pregnant meant I could stay more true to the style that women had before they were pregnant. What are NYC moms looking for that’s different than moms in other cities? Today the way we dress our children, and what we want in our nurseries, is more of an extension of what we wear and want ourselves. New York City has its own sense of style and what moms are putting their babies in reflects that style. When it comes to designing the nursery and buying baby clothes, this is your last opportunity to do what you want. By the time your child is two-years-old, he’s going to have opinions! It happens a lot quicker than you’d expect. So right now, take advantage of the fact that you don’t have to have monkeys on your glider. What got you interested in doing layette? It’s always been a goal of ours. Since we started, we wanted to provide great products and education, but we always intended to follow people in their journey. Ultimately our business progressed as we progressed. We’re unlikely to have a tween line anytime soon, but baby really made sense. Our customer base and clients and friends still want to come to us for product and we want to continue to serve them. Tell us about Rosie Pope Baby. What’s your point of view? There’s so many gorgeous baby lines out there, but either there’s too much function or too much fashion. There’s not much that’s a combination. We wanted to create a classic, contemporary collection that’s comfy and looks great, but comes with a level of function and education that makes your life easier. We used fun, sophisticated, contemporary prints, but they’re also comfortable and practical for baby. Like a kimono layette, which is easier to put on. And the romper -- the biggest complaint I’ve heard is that baby’s feet would always grow faster than the rest of the body. The feet grow out of a footed romper so quickly, and a lot of moms have to cut the feet out. So all of our romper’s feet button open and roll up. That’s the kind of function in the line. We’ve also taken snippets from our education courses and put them onto the hangtags as “Mommy IQ.” For example, one might say “The best temperature for baby’s nursery is 68-72 degrees.” It’s these simple, easy things that can empower you as waiting for child. How big is the collection and what does it include? There’s 72 SKUs, ranging from layette to 2-years-old in boy, girl and unisex. You’ve spanned now from baby in the belly, to baby outside of the belly…what’s next? We want to continue moving into the baby space and providing more than just apparel. It’s a long-term priority to reach many different price points as well. You were born and bred in London, had your first three babies here in NYC, and recently moved to the suburbs. Do you miss the urban jungle? I love the city, and I’ll always love the city – I’m a city girl at heart. I’m still here almost every day, so it’s still a big part of my life. How has the pregnancy experience changed over the course of your four pregnancies? Every pregnancy has been very different. I’m reminded each time that even on the fourth pregnancy, you return to a state of complete anxiety -- about giving the kids enough attention, juggling it all -- it all comes sliding back. I’m less stressed about childbirth, though, and the everyday aspects of feeding and bathing, using car seats...I’m not going to get freaked about folding a stroller this time around. But when you add more children, you start to think about balancing all of that. Now that you have some perspective, give us 5 items that you absolutely must have for baby. 1-Baby Carrier. 2-Bassinet. For right next to the bed. 4-Swaddle. I’m a big-time swaddler. You have to learn how to do it right. 5-Belly Bandit. But you have to wear it religiously! 6-Light bouncer. You want one that you can take into the bathroom while you shower, or into the kitchen. Not some colossal heavy thing! Check out Rosie Pope Baby on amazon.com, rosiepope.com and at retailers nationwide.

My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

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Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

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