Jaime King has a ritual after she wraps a work project: She beelines it to Skywalker Ranch. George Lucas’s private resort is sort of her spirit home; the rugged Northern Cal landscape suits her outdoorsy side. Plus, she’s a second-generation Star Wars die-hard. Which you wouldn’t necessarily guess about the former model who spent her teens palling around with Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford. The latest trip to the Ranch (memorialized with an Instagram none of us at CC HQ can get over) was to recover from the third season of Hart of Dixie, a rigorous season joyfully interrupted by the arrival of baby James Knight, now almost 7 months old.
We chatted about the jolt of returning to set, the baby products she lives for (there’s a lot) and her five-part method for obliterating teething pain. Dr. Jaime King is in the house!
Godparents are a big deal. They’re not picked at random because they’re your bestie or because it’d be cool to have a fellow actor as your godparent. I picked Jessica [Alba] because if anything happened to us, I know she’d take care of James Knight the way we would.
My husband [director Kyle Newman] was away filming during my pregnancy. Together we thought about who would be his surrogate if I went early, and I chose Topher [Grace] because he’s very similar to Kyle – traditional and artistic, family focused. He’s reliable and trustworthy. Both me and my husband consider him a best friend, which is really special. When Kyle was gone, Topher would take me out for ice cream.
I was in labor for 26 hours. My friends saw things that friends should never see. But that’s what friends are for, right?
I returned to work at 6 weeks. I’d be up all night breastfeeding and up at 4am to go to set, shooting 12-16 hours a day and running off to feed the baby. I felt like I was leading a double life; a consummate professional and a hormonal mess wanting my husband and baby. What got me through? My child. And Rachel Bilson, she was just so loving and happy for me.
It’s been interesting to watch my husband “learn the baby”. He came back home and was so “game on” about it. There was no grand revelation about watching Kyle become a father; I always knew he’d be that way. But I love watching him step into the fullness of fatherhood.
We all have a lot of grand plans about our pregnancy and delivery. People would ask me about my preferences or my birth plan, but all I cared about was that the baby was happy and healthy. I’d see other women who wanted a natural birth or to breastfeed and when things didn’t go as planned, they’d judge themselves. It’s the same with childhood. It doesn’t matter how you want to raise your kid but that you are conscious in your choice to be loving, responsible, giving, caring and sharing and raise your kid to be the same.
I’m concerned about raising a kid here [in Beverly Hills]. When I was young, if I didn’t have the Esprit top, it was a travesty. Now kids ask, “do your parents fly private?” It’s a whole new crazy level of comparisons that I don’t want my son subjected to. But I have to roll with it.
We do lots of walking and hiking and incorporate him into our everyday lives, rather than changing our whole existence for him. My husband loves to watch soccer games, so, the guys come over and we put him in the BabyBjorn seat and they hang out and have fun. If we have friends who aren’t so into the baby, they come over when he goes down.
For teething I have what we call the “dentist’s office” bag. Amber necklaces. Hyland’s teething tablets. Camila homeopathic drops. These clove pods with a little Q-tip to rub gums. Together, it’s a magical combination! And, if your baby won’t take the bottle because his gums hurt, fill a bottle with 4 oz water, then turn it upside down in the freezer, the water freezes in the nipple and the baby will gum it, and it numbs his gums and he’ll take a bottle!