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Guest Guru: Lauren Brockman, Executive Editor - Pregnancy & Newborn

This week, we have guest guru Lauren Brockman, Executive Editor of Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine sharing some of her favorite musings on today’s top baby trends, best new products, and of course, the snuggliest blankets around, Little Giraffe.
Have you noticed any trends in nursery color or décor?
I love all the nurseries I’m seeing that are both baby- and parent-friendly. They fit right in with mom’s eye for design but don’t ignore baby’s need for softness and fun. The best takeaways from these nurseries, in my opinion, are to avoid anything too matchy-matchy and instead pick pieces that look great together and will work long-term as baby grows. Choose a changing table that will function as a dresser later, artwork that you’ll love for a lifetime, and a rocking chair that will look good in your living room when the nursery no longer needs it. 
What are your top products found in a new nursery, and a bit about why?
Two of my favorite elements to choose for a nursery are the mobile and the rug, probably because of the significant impact I think they have on the room. The right rug and mobile and can really take baby’s abode to the next level and give it that “finished” look.
There are some seriously gorgeous mobiles on the market, so there’s no reason to deprive baby of something beautiful to gaze at. In fact, don’t hesitate to buy (or make!) two mobiles: one to hang over the crib and one to hang over the changing table to distract your tot during diaper changes.
If you have hard-surfaced floors or short-pile carpeting, adding a rug can increase the coziness factor exponentially. A colorful design can pull together the various elements of the room or a so-soft shag can be a nice luxury for bare feet during middle-of-the-night trips to the crib.
What is your favorite baby gear (for bedtime, for bathtime, etc.)?
For bedtime, sound machines are fantastic. Not only are the sounds soothing to most babies, but they also serve to mask the noise from the rest of the house (i.e., rambunctious older siblings, the washing machine, the television, etc.). Plus, most are super portable, so you can create a familiar sleep environment for baby even when you’re on the road. Of course, sleep sacks are also essential for cozy snoozing, ensuring baby rests comfortably and mom rests easy.
For bathtime, I am a huge fan the Puj Tub for the first six months or so. It slides into a bathroom or kitchen sink to cradle baby beautifully and make bathtime a thousand times less terrifying. Plus, it stores flat and takes up virtually zero space. Once baby is clean and fresh, wrap her is an absorbent hooded towel for some impossibly cute photo ops and heart-melting snuggle sessions. 
What would you consider must-have newborn gear?
Five items that top my must-have list include muslin swaddle blankets (seriously, these are a must!), plenty of burp cloths, cotton or bamboo bodysuits and sleepers, an easy-to-use baby carrier, and a stroller that’s car seat compatible. 
What would you say make the best baby shower gifts, & why?
Again, swaddle blankets rank high on my list. First-time moms often don’t know what a godsend they can be and might not think to have any on hand, so it’s nice to help them out and ensure their arsenal of soothing solutions is properly outfitted. (And veteran moms are sure to appreciate brand-new baby blankets too, since chances are the ones they already own have been used and abused by their previous kiddos.) Other go-to gifts I love to give include heirloom-quality wooden blocks by Uncle Goose (they come in a variety of styles and languages—and even Braille!—so you can tailor your choice to the family you’re buying for), the Puj Tub (see above!), and monthly milestone stickers from Sticky Bellies (which allow for adorable documentation of baby’s first year).
For more insider scoop on nursery design and must-have products, visit Pregnancy & Newborn’s Stuff We Love blog


ittlegiraffe- Guest Guru Lauren Brockman, Executive Editor - Pregnancy & Newborn

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