Melissa and Ellie
Melissa and Ellie: Baby Experts

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  • Disney
  • ivillage!
Melissa Gould and Ellie Miller are the founding partners of The Baby Planners™, a nationwide baby concierge and consulting service that caters to the needs of expectant parents. Their company was developed to guide clients, whether pregnant, adopting, or using a surrogate, through the overwhelming amount of baby products and services available in the marketplace.

Baby planning experts Ellie and Melissa created this innovative service to provide parents-to-be with the research, recommendations and reassurance they wish they had when they were expecting. The Baby Planners’ mission is to stay on top of the most current safety standards and the latest trends. They do this by tasting, touching, smelling, sleeping with, wearing, carrying, pushing and pulling every possible baby product and/or service available!

With more than 25 years between them in the creative and fast-paced world of television, The Baby Planners were well prepared to take on this entrepreneurial endeavor. Ellie is a former network news producer and manager for various news organizations, including CNN and Channel One. Melissa is an award-winning screenwriter whose work as appeared on such shows as Beverly Hills, 90210, Party of Five and Lizzie McGuire.

Since its launch in fall of ’06, The Baby Planners have set the standard in this emerging field. Their blog, Ultrasounds, has quickly become a must-read for expectant and new parents, and industry insiders alike.

The Baby Planners have been featured on the Rachael Ray Show, CNN, People magazine, the Washington Post, Daily Candy, the Daily News, NBC’s In the Loop with iVillage, Pregnancy magazine and others. They can be found at
  • Best Umbrella Strollers
    From a practical standpoint, there’s nothing like an umbrella stroller. These compact, light, and easy-to-fold strollers make your daily trips to the grocery store a breeze and your walk in the park a wee bit easier. The line has been blurred about what an umbrella stroller is, but the Baby Planners are thrilled that today’s “umbrella” stroller is not only functional, but increasingly fashion forward as well. These easy-to-use fold-ups should no longer be relegated to the back of the super-store or hidden away in the trunk of your car – feel free walk tall with these little, lightweight luxuries!
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  • Best Baby Bedding
    The Baby Planners have found that when choosing crib linens for the nursery, our clients inevitably swoon over the plethora of fabulous choices available to them. Our list here reflects not only our top picks, but also those of our go-to source, Jenny Mullennix of JennyBec’s – the owner of our favorite toy and family furnishings boutique in Santa Monica, CA. JennyBec’s commitment to finding quality products make this store a standout and as someone who knows “the best of the best” when she sees it, we asked Jenny to weigh in. Following is our collective picks that we’re sure will give you, and baby, a great night’s sleep!
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  • Best Jogging Strollers
    Exercise enthusiasts have no fear - your love of the outdoors does not have to suffer with the arrival of your baby. There is a wide variety of fabulous jogging strollers out there that can accommodate everyone from weekend warriors to the daily dedicated. While tracking down a jogging stroller that best fits your exercise profile is important, it is equally essential that the stroller be designed with certain basic safety features.

    Be on the lookout for a five-point harness that will prevent your little one from slipping in the seat and rear-wheel brakes that can prevent the stroller from folding or collapsing when in use. While you’ll find that many jogging manufactures say a baby can be in a stroller at eight weeks, our medical consultants all say that a baby should be at least six months old (eight months for off road riding), able to sit up on their own, and have some head support to withstand a potentially bumpy ride.

    With so many stand-out jogging strollers and the 6 month lead time, have fun finding the one that best fits your exercise, style, and safety requirements… and let the race begin!
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  • Best High Chairs
    Whether it’s bagels for breakfast, a gourmet lunch, or a pizza night feast, meal time gatherings shouldn’t be missed… even for baby! No matter if your style is sleek and modern or traditional country, there are a variety of high chairs to make you and baby feel right at home. When looking, be sure to take into account your baby’s comfort, safety, and the chair’s adjustability. Also, keep in mind that baby isn’t ready for a high chair until around six months when she can sit up on her own. She’ll be in it for a good couple of years which is why The Baby Planners say take your time to find the high chair of your dreams. Yes, really. Even the Cheerios will be happy!
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  • Best Diaper Pails
    Before we get into the whos and hows of diaper pails, here’s the thing you need to know about babies. For all their cuteness, for all their preciousness and for all their wonderment, babies poop. And poop. And poop again some more. Everyday. A lot. A good diaper pail won’t let you forget this fact necessarily, but it also won’t remind you of it by emitting unpleasant odors. Which is the whole point, plain and simple. While the diaper pail serves as a place to throw away dirty diapers, its main function is to eliminate foul smells because of them. Some diaper pails may be “prettier” than others, some may have lids, some may twist to close, but the bottom line is, if you can walk into a baby’s nursery and smell nothing but the cutie-pie, sweetness cooing in the bouncy seat, the diaper pail is doing its job.
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  • Best Diaper Bags
    When it comes to planning for baby, expectant parents spend hours obsessing over everything, from what kind of bottles to use to what color to paint the nursery. Thankfully, diaper bags offer a reprieve from these concerns and open up a world of fun and, yes, even fashion. Gone are the days of plastic linings and rubber ducky motifs, now is the age of sumptuous leather and faux fur – how fabulous!

    Our favorites are singled out here, but the list could really go on and on (and on!). Our criteria are based on versatility, functionality, style, and, of course, anything that doesn’t scream “diaper bag!”

    These companies have all passed this challenge Big Time. You’ll see there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the diaper bag, and we admit, it was hard to narrow it down to these ten picks. We say try one - or all ten - on for size, and we can assure you the oohing and aahing won’t just be about your baby!
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  • Best Baby Carriers
    You’ve mastered diapering, got the hang of swaddling, now it’s time to tackle what others make look so easy – the art of “baby wearing.” Most of the carriers listed below can be used with newborns so you have plenty of time to get used to them. Pediatricians and experts alike recommend baby carriers for a variety of reasons: baby is up close and personal with both mom and dad, when worn face-to-face baby can feel your heartbeat and breathing, and most importantly baby-carrying mimics a “womb-like” environment perfectly. That’s right, nice and cozy!

    For the parents, baby carrying also means hands-free comfort so you can go about your daily life, even nursing, all while bonding with baby. Baby carriers are also easy and convenient during those times when adding a stroller to the mix would be too cumbersome like climbing stairs, grocery shopping, or walking through crowded streets.

    The carriers we mention here should not be confused with slings, another choice when it comes to baby wearing. Slings are made of fabric, have no “hardware” and are typically worn over one shoulder, but we’ll get to them in another article! The carriers here are structurally “built”, have some sort of lumbar support as well as shoulder straps, belts, clips, buttons and/or fasteners - all of which adjust as baby grows and give you and baby the support you both need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable.
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