Since the arrival of Vera Bradley Baby, we have been talking about little ones quite a bit. As the excitement around our recent collection continues, we invited five expecting Vera Bradley moms to gather around the table for a little snack and chitchat about all things baby. From cravings to bedtime stories to finding the perfect name, we covered it all.
We asked our guests – from Alyssa, who is anticipating the arrival of her first child, to Lindsay, awaiting baby number five – to reveal their all-time favorite baby bag and color. Pull up a chair and listen in as these ladies dish on all things maternity.
From left to right: Susan W., Alyssa B., Lindsay H., Anah B., Tracy G.
On the guest list:
Susan W. – Marketing Account Executive | Due date: June 8
Baby bag: Mom’s Day Out in Tutti Frutti
“I carry this style now with my 2-year-old son. It’s a very minimalist bag, and is great for someone with a toddler because you don’t need as much.”
Alyssa B. – Payroll Coordinator | Due date: August 7
Bag bag: Backpack Baby Bag in Jazzy Blooms
“Jazzy Blooms is my new favorite color, but I’m having a boy so I’m going to have to go with something a little more neutral moving forward.”
Lindsay H. – Sr. IT Business Analyst | Due date: June 8
Baby bag: Backpack Baby Bag in Midnight Blues
“We know it’s a boy … actually boy number four with a girl in the front, so baby number five. I need my hands!”
Anah B. – Supply Chain Analyst | Due date: September 12
Baby bag: Messenger Baby Bag in Classic Black
“I like being hands free, and the magnetic flap. Plus, Classic Black is perfect for me.”
Tracy G. – Human Resources Business Analyst | Due date: May 10
Baby bag: Make a Change Baby Bag in Jazzy Blooms
“I use this style now for our little girl and I love the pockets, size and changing pad that folds right out.”
Q. Does everyone know if they’re having a boy or a girl?
Susan: We’re going to be surprised. We didn’t find out with our first either.
Alyssa: Good for you! I don’t think I could last that long.
Lindsay: Lillie, our first, was the only one that was a surprise. My husband and our parents said, “If you find out, you can’t tell us.” So we just didn’t. After that, we always knew the sex. But this time around – it could be our last baby but we haven’t ruled out more – we thought it would be fun to be surprised. We had them write it down on a card and put it on the refrigerator. It lasted two days! But it was fun; we had the kids open it and tell us, so they were all excited.
Susan: Even your daughter?
Lindsay: Yeah. She was hoping for a boy because she’s finally figured out it’s a good thing to be the princess. She knows that she and I can go off and do our girl thing with all the guys at home.
Q. Since most of you have children, any advice for Alyssa with her first?
Alyssa: Yes, please, bring it on!
Lindsay: Enjoy your maternity leave.
Susan: I would say take help when it’s offered to you. Family, friends … when they want to bring dinner over or help clean your house, take them up on that!
Alyssa: I don’t think I’ll be lacking in that. My Mom has already made two baby blankets, and she’s got a list of things she’s making. I told her to pace herself.
Lindsay: I’d suggest getting your husband involved as early as possible with changing diapers, taking baths … Get them started from the beginning!
Anah: And if the house isn’t perfect, that’s okay!
Q. How are your nurseries coming along?
Alyssa: We went a few weeks ago and found an entire set that we liked. We have the glider, the crib, the changing table … We have everything put together! We still have to do the painting and decorating though.
Susan: There’s so much gear you have to buy with the first one.
Alyssa: We’ll save some smaller items for the registry, but we wanted to get the bigger things in the room. Now it’s real! There are things in there!
Tracy: We’re keeping my daughter June in her room. We didn’t know what we were having with her, so the room is pretty gender-neutral already, which would have been nice, but I don’t know if she would really like moving. And she’s already giving up her furniture for the baby, so we are just starting over. We just finished painting the new one soft gray.
Susan: My son is moving out of his room. We’re giving him a Mickey Mouse bedroom so it gives him something to be excited about. He’s more excited about that than being a big brother! He just wants his Mickey bed!
Anah: We have our spare bedroom all cleared out and ready to go. My daughter is 14 months, so we’ll need an additional crib. We’re going to wait to find out the gender before getting the paint and decorations.
Lindsay: So she has no idea what’s about to happen?
Anah: Oh, no idea! She knows that my belly is getting bigger. And when Mommy itches her belly, she itches her belly.
Q. How are the older siblings handling your pregnancy?
Susan: I don’t know if he’s really caught on yet. We talk about it all the time, and say he’s going to be a big brother – get excited! – but he doesn’t really acknowledge my belly. So we’ll see how this all goes.
Tracy: That’s like mine, too. She’ll be 2 in May, and she’s at the age where she does a lot of repeating, but it’s like a parrot. When we finished painting the room, she started calling it “Mama’s room!” No … it’s the baby’s room. “Mama’s room!” I don’t think she really understands.
Susan: We like to ask Luke for suggestions on names to get him involved, and it’s pretty funny. Mickey Mouse comes up there, too!
Alyssa: That’s how my nephew is. We ask him about boy names, and he’s bound and determined that we call the baby “Belly,” because that’s where the baby comes from! We’re like good thinking, but …
Q. For those of you who already have children, is this time different?
Anah: Oh yeah. First pregnancy was like heaven. No morning sickness, I felt like I only gained weight in my stomach and it went straight forward. This time around I’ve gone a little bit sideways. I feel queasy and tired. Plus, I have a child at home so that changes things, but I feel a lot different this time around.
Tracy: I second that. I never really felt pregnant the first time. It was like a dream. And now I totally get what people complain about!
Susan: Same for me. My first one was so easy! I didn’t realize how good I had it. This one started out a little rougher but got better. But now, as I get further along, I’m getting more and more uncomfortable.
Alyssa: I’ll count my blessings with this one!
Lindsay: I have pretty easy pregnancies – obviously, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be having this many kids. I can’t complain – I enjoy it!
Q. So, Lindsay, what’s life like with soon-to-be five children?
Alyssa: Do you drive a 15-passenger conversion van?
Lindsay: I’m pretty organized, and my husband stays home. He’s been home for the last 3 years, so he does a lot. But yeah, we have enough room for one more kid in our van. My daughter is 10, and the boys are 8, 6 and 2. They’re fighting over who’s going to take the back seat in the middle. My daughter is like, “I am not going to sit in the back with those boys.” I’d like to get something bigger, but I don’t want a bus either!
Q. What’s your go-to baby book for reference?
Alyssa: I have “Happiest Baby on the Block.” My sister-in-law swears by it. She said her babies were sleeping through the night by 7 weeks following that schedule.
Other ladies: Wait, what is this called?
Susan: I have “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” We bought that after I found out I was pregnant the first time. And then after the baby was born, we bought “Baby 411” and that was our go-to for a while. I’ll have to dig that one out again as a refresher.
Lindsay: Do you guys have any of the apps? I have the What to Expect, BabyCenter, and Sprout ones, and I look at them every single day.
Tracy: Even with number 5?
Lindsay: I want to know, is it the size of a cantaloupe? There’s one app that shows what the baby looks like at that time and my kids love it.
Q. What are you loving from Vera Bradley Baby?
Susan: The Plush Blanket is my favorite.
Tracy: Oh yes, the Plush Blanket.
Susan: And the Lovey Bunny.
Alyssa: It’s so soft!
Susan: And the Dress and Bloomers set is pretty cute, too!
Lindsay: I can’t believe you guys don’t know what you’re going to have!
Susan: I can’t think of anything I would have done differently, except maybe buy more clothes. And really, we wanted things to be more gender neutral so we could use them with all the kids. I think it’s worth not knowing. It’s a pretty cool moment in the delivery room when you find out.
Tracy: I had envisioned this big “And it’s a ____!” and it was not like that at all! My doctor handed me my daughter, and was like, “Here she is.” I was sitting there, and some time passed and I was like, wait, did you just say she? It’s a girl? You kind of forget it in the moment until you realize, I don’t even know what I’m holding! But it was great.
Susan: We were so convinced that we were having a girl. All of the old wives tales and signs all said girl. So it was a huge surprise when we had a boy.
Q. Have you narrowed down names?
Susan: We’re trying. We have 3 or 4 for each that we like. We didn’t walk into the delivery room last time with our minds made up, either. We wanted to meet the baby and see what he looked like. After the delivery my husband was like, “OK, you get to pick!”
Tracy: I had a similar experience. We both had favorites for boys and girls. The doctor said, “So, what are we going to name this baby?” and my husband said, “Oh you know, go ahead.”
Alyssa: I was surprised. I thought we’d be so picky about the name, but it was a 15-minute conversation, and we knew. Done and done! We decided on Cooper Michael.
Lindsay: We have an unintentional theme in our family. The girls – my daughter and I – are both “L,” and then the boys are all “C” names. It wasn’t a pattern, I swear, until the last baby and we felt like we had to keep it going. So this one will start with a “C,” too. We have a list of about 20 options.
Susan: Oh my gosh! You would think you’d be running out of ideas!
Lindsay: The kids want to name the baby Chin Ho, but that’s not on the serious side of the list. I think he’s from Hawaii Five-O? They’re all blonde hair, blue eyes, and we’d have a Chin Ho? I think we’ll wait until the delivery.
Anah: We have our name picked out for a boy because we are bound and determined it’s going to be a boy. So we’re not even considering any girl names! We always keep ours a secret until the very end and then we announce. Some family members don’t really like that, but it’s a fun secret.
Tracy: We have names that keep coming up that we talk about, but none of them feel right. My husband is really good at telling me all of the names that he doesn’t like that I like, but I have yet to see his list. We need to move forward. The clock is ticking!
Anah: Susan, did your son have any good suggestions for names, besides Mickey Mouse?
Susan: Well, my husband likes to set him up. “Do you like this name?” for the ones that he’s campaigning for. And my son said he really wants a baby sister.
Q. Any weird cravings?
Anah: Ketchup. The first time, it was fruit, which really helped me not gain a lot of weight. But this time, it’s ketchup. And what goes with ketchup? Salty food. Like French fries, tater tots, cheeseburgers …
Susan: Mine with my first one was Oreo cookies. My husband knew not to touch them.
Q. What’s your favorite bedtime story to read to your little ones?
Anah: Ours is called “Little Blue Truck.” My husband owns a business where he sells semis and trailers, and he has this big blue semi, so our daughter will point and say, “Dada’s truck.” It has animals, too, which is a big hit.
Susan: My son loves “Goodnight Moon.”
Tracy: My daughter is in that phase, too. We’ve had it for a week and she’s never cared about it, but now we read it 10 times a day. And I don’t know if she really loves it, but I like reading “Is Your Mama a Llama?”
Susan: He just got a few new Dr. Seuss books last week and I love them! He loves his books, and I’m so glad. I’ll support it even if it means I have to read it 40 times.
Q. What are you most looking forward to with the baby’s arrival?
Lindsay: Since my husband is at home, it’s like a 12-week summer vacation. We’re very lucky in that regard. The last one was a June baby as well, and it was the best summer for our family.
Susan: Yeah, I’m looking forward to spending time with my son and the baby. Going to the zoo and for walks.
Anah: I’m anxious to see how my daughter reacts to the baby, like the love she’ll have for him or her. Well, hopefully the love. How she wants to help and nurture the baby. I think it will be very heart warming.
Tracy: It’s fun to see what they look like!
Alyssa: When we look at ultrasound pictures, my husband is like, “That is totally my nose!”
Anah: You’ll see every bit of you in them.
Tracy: I’m looking forward to seeing how the baby is different to my first one. I look at my nieces and nephews and see how the same parents produce such different kids. In my head sometimes I think, oh it will be like another June, a little sidekick, but the baby will be nothing like her I’m sure!
Susan: It’s hard to imagine anything beyond the child you have right now. And it was hard to imagine having a kid at all. It becomes normal.
Lindsay: Are you guys nervous about going from 1 to 2?
Tracy: People say it’s the hardest transition, but it can’t be harder than going from 0 to 1!
Lindsay: Second time around you have to take care of the newborn and the toddler, so you’re split.
Susan: I can see going from 2 to 3 being hard. You’re out numbered!
Lindsay: It just gets easier. As my daughter has gotten older, she helps out a lot more. When we walk into church, she’s holding the hand of one of her little brothers. It’s sweet.
Congratulations to all of our expecting moms!