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cc_blog_spacerYou’ve probably heard the one about how the designer behind the famous “Morning After Bag” became a mom, right? There goes glamorous, fancy-free nights and here comes early morning feedings and clothes launder.

But Rebecca Minkoff hasn’t lost an shred of her fierceness. In fact, the birth of her son Luca three years ago has emboldened her even more.

First of all, his birth was natural. Drug-free, ladies. And when we saw her out and about a few weeks later, wearing Luca in her Ergo, it was at a cocktail party. Then we heard she nursed during meetings! And when we asked the designer herself, the truth was even wilder. She co-sleeps! She even pumps in meetings! (“It was awkward in Japan. They’d evacuate the room.”) She almost got in a bar-fight while wearing her baby! (“This girl was talkin sh*#. I was like, do you have a problem with me?!”)

So here’s this uber-successful designer – her designs are sold in more than 1,000 stores in 35 countries – making the kinds of choices (nursing, co-sleeping, front-pack as uniform) frequently associated with attachment parenting and  lovey-dovey hippies. She’s a fashion biz badass with a serious motherly instinct.

Her tour de force continues with two special arrivals this summer: In June, a flagship store on Greene Street in Soho and in August, baby #2. “I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to do that and have a fashion show a month later,” she says. We say: refresh your bad self with the sage stories you shared with us. Here’s 8 ways Rebecca stuck to her guns – the heck with what you think.
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cc_blog_rebecca_tipscc_blog_rebecca_tips1I met Brandon Holley when she was Editor in Chief of Lucky magazine. I was pregnant and planning to do natural childbirth, but she had a home birth. I was impressed! She’s the editor of a magazine, but she still came as close to nature as possible.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips2You only get a little nugget of time before they grow older. I feel like I saw too many people take a clinical approach to childbirth. And I was like, what’s the point?

cc_blog_rebecca_tips3My friend never breastfed because the nurse said she was starving her kid. They’re nurses, not police! You have to take the stance of this is what I’m gonna do. You have to command respect in yourself first.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips4Before the baby, I wanted to nurse for at least a year. And once we settled into a routine I thought I might go for two. But he broke up with me at 15 months. I’d follow him around with my boob! My husband told me: It’s his decision, let it go.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips5We’ve never had a set time for dinner because our schedules are so crazy. So, when we’re all together as a family, we eat. My husband and I believe in treating Luca as an adult in a little persons body –  we trust him and he tells us when he’s hungry.

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Too many people are scared of what other people think. When it came to nursing and pumping, I didn’t care. This is the best thing I can do for my kid. I was always: Don’t eff with me, this is what I’m gonna do.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips7The longest I’ve been gone for work is 5 days, and I’ll never go longer than that. It wasn’t good for me, it wasn’t good for him. But I know fashion editors that leave the baby for 3 weeks; I just can’t do that. You have to do what you feel comfortable with.

cc_blog_rebecca_tips8We’ve had to roll with it. Luca slept with us until he was a year old – in our bed until 7 months and then in a crib in the room. He learned to basically “pole vault” out of his crib, so then we trained him again, but we were traveling a lot and the jet lag made it all fall apart. He soon got his own room, but he started crawling into our bed at 6am. So what. I figure, there’s gonna be a point where he doesn’t want me. It’s OK if he crawls into my bed for now.

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baby name

One of the most difficult things about pregnancy is agreeing on a baby name with your, ahem, opinionated partner. (Seriously, what’s wrong with Coco Lilypie Firchau?!) Before you find yourself settling on a moniker you’re lukewarm on just to get the hell out of the hospital, give these a try.

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BabyNameGame is a 99-cent app that randomly serves up names for you to swipe right (love it!) or left (NOPE!), Tinder-style. If you and your partner use it separately, it will let you know which ones are mutual winners.

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Put names you like through the blind date test. Imagine your baby is all grown up and being set up on a blind date – “hey, want to go out with my friend _____?” When you picture that person, do you want to meet them? (We owe Joanna Goddard for this trick!)

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Another mental check: the Supreme Court Justice test. How does your potential name sound after “Chief Justice”? (If the answer is “bizarre”, but you still love the name, consider it for potential middle names. You know, if you care.)

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Hit your favorite well-stocked newsstand and run through the mastheads of interesting magazines. If the name “Serena Van der Woodsen” makes you swoon, pick up every international edition of Vogue. More of a Blair Waldorf? Town & Country.

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If you want to honor, say, your Great Aunt Bertha and your partner’s grandfather Herbert, without giving your kid a scarring-for-life name, this crazy site will spit out anagrams of up to three names, giving you more elegant — but still commemorative — options like Heather or Barrett.

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Go to a museum and note artist names on placards. (Go big or go home, people.)

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Narrow your search with Awesome Baby Name: It takes your last name into account and suggests names based on available URLs. (At this time, ArloSmith.com is not taken.)

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The Baby Names by Nametrix app allows you to search by the most common names for each profession. As in “Hannah”s for playwrights and “Vernon”s for plumbers. And yes, there’s even data on how likely one is to be a stripper name.

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Know the first letter you want to use but wary of diving into the abyss of a general name site? (Maaike, Maalik, Mab, Mabel… not helpful.) Try Amazon’s alphabetized list of biography subjects and you’ll get a more succinct (and inspirational) list — think Marc (Chagall), Marianne (Faithfull), Morgan (Freeman).

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If you like the idea of a family name but aren’t crazy about the ones you know about, use Ancestry.com to dig in and unearth further-back relatives… and their (awesome) names.

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Scroll through photos in the #1weekold feed on Instagram to see what babies around the world are being named in real time. (Potential dealbreaker/maker for this one: You’ll also find some #1weekold puppies and chicks here.)

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On Our Radar: April 16, 2014

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Little Explorers: My Amazing Body
WHO: Parents of littles curious about their body (or yours).
WHAT: A new lift-the-flap book about how the body works that even toddlers will understand.
WHEN: Give it to them straight from the very beginning.
WHERE: booksamillion.com

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Ubbi 3-In-1 Potty
WHO: Parents ready to potty train.
WHAT: Proof that a potty can not only be brilliant but also beautiful – one contraption is both a potty chair, a potty seat, and a stool.
WHEN: Start ‘em early.
WHERE: ubbiworld.com

HungryRoot
WHO: Parents looking for healthy, quick dinner options (hello, everyone?).
WHAT: Think Blue Apron but for spiralized veggies. These tasty, locally-sourced 7-minute meals (think carrot “noodles” with tangy Sriracha peanut sauce) are gluten-free, GMO-free, and under 500 calories each.
WHEN: Your kid knows the delivery guy by name.
WHERE: hungryroot.com

Mini Rodini Bedding
WHO: Parents and littles with a wild side.
WHAT: Mini Rodini’s new bedding prints are to-die – hippos, pythons, and zebras, oh my!
WHEN: The sheets need a refresh.
WHERE: minirodini.com

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saturdays Melissa Kushner
Lives: Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Family:
Husband Jeremy, daughter Raya (4), twin daughters Aviv and Leyla (15 months)
You might know her: Founder and Executive Director of Goods for Good, an amazing nonprofit transforming orphan care in Southern Africa by building businesses that support children and uplift their communities.
Secret obsession: Exotic candy, Rachel Comey shoes, and teaching my children Chichewa, the national language of Malawi.

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6:30am:

Wake-up call from one of my three little ladies. Milks all around and some romping around in the twins’ room. Inevitably, all three end up in one of our Oeuf Sparrow cribs, jumping and being silly. My hubby brings me breakfast number one (I am pregnant so I need to be fed every three hours), which usually consists of apple, plain yogurt, cinnamon, and almonds – I swear by it. Obviously, my kids eat half while Jeremy guzzles two cups of coffee.

8:00am:

We head downstairs for real breakfast. Twins get loaded into their Boon Flair highchairs and Raya is my sous chef – heart shaped pancakes for everyone!

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9:00am:

All the ladies head upstairs to get dressed while my doting husband puts the kitchen back together and unpacks the loaded dishwasher from our Friday night Shabbat dinner party. Twins go down for a nap, and Raya and I finish getting dressed and make beds.

11:00am:

Aviv and Leyla are up, and we head off to the kids’ program at our local temple. My girls are in it for the unlimited grape juice and challah bread, while Jeremy and I get to catch up with friends.

2:00pm:

Raya and Daddy are off to Brooklyn Boulders, an amazing indoor rock climbing facility near our new home. I get the twins down for a nap and breathe a sigh of relief/exhaustion. I either take a shower or catch up on work email. With a six-hour time change in Malawi and our annual Gala coming up on April 27th, work can be demanding, but I love it and my whole family is pretty invested. My husband and I lived in an orphanage in Malawi for a year before we started our family, and each of my children have both English and Chichewa names.

3:30pm:

Twins are shouting in baby talk from their cribs! Quick diaper change before I pack them into our City Mini GT double stroller and head to Carroll Street Park.

4:00pm:

We meet up with Dad, Raya, and lots of neighborhood friends. We are new to Carroll Gardens, but it’s filled with families and is so neighborhood-y.

5:00pm:

We head home for dinner, baths, and bedtime. I heat up some veggie chili, which all three kids love and I can make big batches of – two reasons it is an instant staple in our house! There’s as much chili on the floor and on the babies as there is in their tummies, so we plop everyone into a bath, read stories, and tuck everyone in by 7:30 sharp! Raya has a menagerie of unicorns, dogs, and penguins that she arranges just so on her bed and the twins snuggle up with their Angel Dear blankies, that for some bizarre reason we call “snuffies.”

8:00pm:

Everyone is asleep. Despite our exhaustion, Saturday night is date night in our house. I slap on some blush and mascara, jam my growing belly into the cutest thing I can find, and we meet up with friends at a new restaurant in Gowanus. Let’s just hope I don’t end up face first in the soup!

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