When you work at one of the most design-minded companies in the baby business, chances are you know a thing or two about style. And now in the case of Bugaboo North America’s Digital Marketing Manager Morgan Smith, that style know-how extends into maternity. The online and PR maven is due with her first babe in June, and her adorable bump has got us ooh-ing and aah-ing about more than just Bugaboo’s newest set of wheels. While we’ve loved fawning over her super-chic fashion choices while she’s growing Baby Boy Smith, we loved her perspectives on becoming a mama even more. “Life doesn’t have to stop with children,” she says. “Instead, life continues on, incredibly enhanced, as you are able to not only show your kids a new beautiful world, but relive it through them.” Here’s how this baby industry expert and mama-to-be is keeping her cool while she’s Well Rounded in L.A. How would you describe your maternity style? This is my first pregnancy, and the whole experience has been so new. Every pregnancy stage, it’s evolved, trying to re-work and figure out what flatters the bump along the journey. I am a big online shopper, and it’s been tricky not knowing your body and what will work. Lots of trial and error. Thank goodness for Asos.com free shipping…both ways! I have pretty much lived in dresses which make me feel more feminine (and more comfortable!)… and lipstick always goes a long way these days! I need that pop of color. What are you favorite “belly-friendly” brands and your staples throughout your pregnancy? Free people (non-maternity) Asos (maternity / swimwear and resort wear for the babymoon) Hatch Collection (maternity for formal event, wedding) Zara (flowy dresses) Target (maternity leggings) Also, I’m so happy that retro ‘runners' are back in because I wear my New Balance 410’s to the office. They feel cool and sporty, but I’m actually wearing them because they are unbelievably comfy! They’re also great for travel -- I have lived in them this pregnancy. What’s it like being pregnant in L.A. vs. somewhere else? Luckily we’re graced with some good winter weather, so I have been able to get outside our place and take daily walks and weekend hikes – keep that circulation flowing! Sunshine really is just good for the soul. Those first several months were hard with the morning sickness, and it helped to get some fresh air and sunlight on my face. How have you felt during the pregnancy? Any surprises when it comes to your body? I feel like everyday there is a new surprise. Surprise, swollen ankles! I was on 14 flights during my pregnancy so far, so I got really friendly with compression tights. Isn’t it crazy our bodies can do this? All the little inconveniences become worth it though, when I feel those kicks or get a close-up of the ultrasound. It’s amazing what a love and bond you feel for a little person you haven’t met yet. In your job, you pretty much know everything that’s around the web. What blogs have you been reading while getting ready to welcome baby? I love the newly launched Cricket’s Circle. It’s a product review site that is curated really well and keeps it less overwhelming with only three selects from each category. I love everything Kid & Coe is about. Not only is it a beautifully, well-designed site, but it provides such inspiration and excitement for life with kids – knowing there are resources that can allow you to still keep traveling and exploring with your family! And of course, Well Rounded NY! It’s such a great feeling, knowing we aren’t alone – but instead all in this new overwhelming and magnificent experience together. I love being able to get a fresh and modern take on pregnancy from WRNY! How has working in the baby industry prepped you for being a mama? I do know a thing or two about car seat adapters and stroller assembly, but aside from the maintenance, my favorite thing about working in the industry is that over the past two years, I have gotten to work with these genuine and inspiring families that have given me such enthusiasm for life with kids. Working closely with passionate and creative parents, I’ve realized that life doesn’t have to stop with children. Instead, life continues on, incredibly enhanced, as you are able to not only show your kids a new beautiful world, but relive it through them. I can’t wait for that. I can’t wait for the adventures we are going to go on and the memories we are going to make. Tell us about your nursery. What’s been your inspiration and how have you designed the space? Much to my surprise, I have absolutely loved doing a boy’s nursery. It’s felt a little more unexpected. I’m getting to pull in some dark leather, cool vintage prints and mid-century furniture, keeping it neutral and minimal yet masculine. Any favorite L.A. baby shops? Santa Monica: I love Giggle. It’s so happy and colorful…yet clean and organized! Great merchandising. West Hollywood: Bel Bambini. Ask for Rick, he has incredible product knowledge (on everything!). Manhattan Beach: Gum Tree Kids / Bloume Baby – everything is beautifully designed. It’s hard to walk away empty handed. What are you most nervous or excited for when baby arrives? Family to me is everything, and I’m just so excited to be creating mine. I can’t wait to feel a deep love I haven’t felt before. And also to jump into this next chapter with my husband, and deepen our relationship by creating and raising this little human that is half of us. Such a blessing! And as far as nerves go, I would say balance and fulfillment; trying to figure out how to be a great mom (one that my child deserves), while managing and balancing the rest. I would like to keep my identity and sense of self (interests, outlets, work), while trying to avoid as much mom-guilt as possible (although I hear it’s inevitable). It’s a new, beautiful life, one I feel so blessed and honored to have, yet one I know will take some major adjusting and growth on my part. And finally --- what Bugaboo is little Baby Smith going to be riding around in? THE question. It’s still a debate at our place. My husband at 6’5 is pulling for the Bugaboo Buffalo being a “taller, robust and masculine” stroller -- he loves the all terrain aspect. I think I want to go for the Bugaboo Donkey Mono. That side basket at the farmer’s markets and beach days is everything. Who doesn’t need extra storage? And the stroller can also grow with your family for #2.
Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.
Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)
Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.
Go shopping with a veteran parent
As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.
By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.
Include items at a variety of price points
When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.
At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)
Think about the gifts you would like to give
The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.
I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.
Ask for things to grow with your child
Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.
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This article was sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
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Whether I live next to you or across the country, social media makes it easy for us to stay updated on each other's lives and that's a wonderful thing. I love seeing pictures of your kids and I think it's great that you choose to share videos of your child singing, giggling and taking his or her first steps.
I simply choose not to share pregnant pictures, or even a family photo from the hospital once our daughter arrived because my pregnancy, birth and growing family are parts of my life I wanted to protect from the outside world.