Shopping with Rosie Pope: How to Buy the Best Baby Gear and Maternity Clothes

The maternity maven shares her shopping tips

Rosie Pope with her son

Rosie Pope is synonymous with all things maternity fashion. Even if you're not sporting heels throughout your pregnancy, there's still a lot to learn from the style guru, entrepreneur, and mom of four (her youngest was born this March!). Pope also recently gave birth to another endeavor, Rosie Pope Baby, a line of chic baby clothes and accessories. We caught up with her before the New York Baby Show this weekend to get advice on some of our most pressing shopping-related questions.

Q: Shopping for a new baby can be expensive. How can parents save money? A: You don't need to buy everything before your baby is born. Buy the things you need at the beginning, then buy as you go. For the first eight weeks, your baby is sleeping most of the time, so you won't even have a chance to use most of your purchases.

Q: If you could only splurge on only one piece of baby gear, what would it be and why? A: A safe crib and mattress. Knowing that your baby is safe when he or she is sleeping is priceless.

Related: 6 Crib Safety Tips to Use Now

Q: What are the biggest mistakes new parents make when buying baby gear? A: This goes back to the first answer, but the biggest mistake is buying everything in advance. Babies all have unique personalities, so get to know your baby before you start buying products.

Similarly, give yourself some time to figure out what kind of parent you're going to be. For example, you might buy a jogging stroller in advance, thinking you're the type of mom who's going to want to jog with her baby. But you may discover that you love having just 20 minutes to jog by yourself while someone else watches your little one.

Q: What's the most underrated piece of baby gear? A: Swaddle cloths! They're so inexpensive and many people don't realize you can use them for everything, not just swaddling. I use them to pull boogers out of my kids' noses, and as beach towels, cover-ups and burp cloths. They can be used in a million different ways, which saves you money on other things.

Q: What type of maternity-wear should pregnant women invest in? A: Transitional pieces. Buy things you can wear during the day and night, and clothes you can move and lounge in. Buy a classic desk-to-dinner dress—something you can wear at work and in the evening.

If there's truly one item you're going to splurge on, make it your baby shower dress. It's kind of like your wedding dress, but you don't need to spend nearly as much money. It's your special day and there's no reason you shouldn't feel as special as you possibly can.

Q: It's going to be a hot summer! What should pregnant women wear to stay cool? A: Be conscious about fabrics. Cottons and linens can be cool and comfortable, but they can also be expensive. Nylon is a less pricey option.

Don't forget about layers: Some office buildings feel like they're 10 degrees below zero in the summer. Keep a lightweight pashmina with you that you can wear inside. Plus, wearing a pashmina around your neck is a great way to make leggings and a T-shirt look chic. Outside, you can use it to cover your head if it's sunny. And it'll last beyond pregnancy—even as a breastfeeding cover-up!

Q: During pregnancy, bra cup sizes change so much. How can you stay comfortable without spending a small fortune on 35 different sizes? A: I'm a big fan of sports bras. You can find them in different sizes and each size has a much bigger size bracket than regular bras, so you can wear them as you grow. They also tend to be smoothing, like shape-wear, so you don't need to be self-conscious about lumps and bumps. These days, there are a lot of sports bras that are seamless and have ribbing around the areas where the breasts are for more definition.

Q: How can I find clothes for my baby that she won't outgrow within weeks? A: Just like maternity clothes, baby clothes need to be transitional. Kids are constantly growing, so you end up buying clothes that don't fit. I tried to make the Rosie Pope Baby collection as versatile as possible. For instance, since babies' feet tend to grow first, all of the feet on our clothes fold back, so Baby can still wear the outfit if the feet don't fit anymore.

Related: Newborn Clothes: What You Really Need