Interviews

Jessica Alba Talks Baby Essentials and How to Pack a Diaper Bag

By now, most moms and dads and their part-time proxies have heard about Jessica Alba’s line of personal care and lifestyle products. The Honest Company strives to provide the safest and most responsible household cleaning and body care formulas on the market. The integrity of the company’s mission and its real results have made the actress a spokesperson for conscientious parenting.

We spoke with Alba about her tips to help new moms and dads maintain their sanity. (She searches for advice on YouTube, too!) Read on for our interview with the actress, then shop all of her picks.

Jessica Alba and familyWe love The Honest Company diaper backpack. Did you develop it for a specific kind of parent or lifestyle?

As a parent, I always felt like I shouldn’t have to carry a bag for me and another bag to take care of my kid’s needs. As a woman, I just wanted to make a cute bag that would work with everything and hold enough to get me through the day.

I saw a real need for a gender-neutral, hands-free backpack, since everyone could use a bag that fits every part of their lives. I designed it to be truly versatile for the office, the park, a playdate or a weekend. Modern parents are on the move constantly, so how do we make that work and look great?

These bags show that it’s possible to be safe and stylish. I’m proud to say that they’re free of PVC, BPA, phthalates and toxic foams that you find in most bags. The speed and sophistication of the backpack is functional and fits your life. There are so many pockets but not a lot of bulk, from insulated pockets to padded compartments for laptops. The EVA linings mean you don’t have to worry about any mess either, whether that’s a diaper or a drink.

Do you have any tips for packing a diaper bag? Any indispensable on-the-go items?

You don’t need to bring every favorite toy and book. One each will usually suffice. Little bags that hold specific items are great for organizing and help manage the tendency to overpack. You can just use Ziploc baggies or get these beautiful Baggu pouches.

Some of Jessica Alba's baby gear picks
What tips do you have for bath time? What features did you look for in a tub?

I liked the bathtub that I could take into the shower with me, especially if it had a compartment for warm water under the bum. I would put them in the shower with me, or I would set the baby bathtub in a bigger tub.

When they were older, they would use a bath seat, so that they were able to sit up and not slip around during the bath. An important tip: Have a stool in your shower that you sit on while bathing the kids. A pitcher in hand to rinse their hair and body is necessary. The Skip Hop Moby rinser is so adorable. And when you’re done, I love a hooded towel like this Little Giraffe luxe chenille towel to bring coziness and playfulness to our ritual.

We’re sure there’s more than one, but if you could choose your absolute favorite skincare product from The Honest Company, what would it be and why?

It’s impossible to have favorites; I love them all. My go-to multipurpose wonder is the Organic Healing Balm. It soothes, calms and nourishes. The ultra-gentle, hypoallergenic formula is good for baby and family. For me, the Organic Body Oil is also a daily necessity. It leaves my skin supple and silky. I like that it smoothes on lightly but moisturizes deeply.

Do you have a favorite swaddling or receiving blanket? Any tips for busy parents who might not be adept at folding and tucking a swaddling blanket yet?

Modern technology really helps with something old-school like this. Watch YouTube tutorials and make it tighter than you think. My kids were really into it and I swaddled them pretty tightly, from day one at the hospital. Practice makes perfect! The hospital blankets were my favorite to swaddle them when they were newborns. After that, I would recommend organic swaddle blankets.

Honest collaborates with aden + anais for our swaddling cloths because they’re the best combination of function and style. They have some cute Nordstrom-exclusive styles, like the Hearts & Fireflies and the Sail Away 3-packs.

What advice would you give to new parents trying to decide on a car seat?

My advice in one word: YouTube! I would watch videos with reviews, and the tips on installation and cleaning are so necessary. It helps a lot and covers all the things you can think of…and a lot that you don’t.

What clothing or layette did you find most helpful for newborns?

As cute as all newborn clothing can be, easy access and comfort were my top priorities for my babies. I liked dressing the girls in A-line dresses and tunics, but the big constant was leggings during the day. Peek makes such cute printed styles. The wearable sleeping bag was also a lifesaver—I love this classic from aden + anais.

What’s the one item you wished you’d heard about sooner to help with naps or bedtime?

I’ll give you two! The first is a sound machine, like this adorable aden + anais Serenity Star, to create a soothing environment that lulls them to sleep. Keeping it cool is as important as keeping it quiet. The Crane Air Drop humidifier is a sleek, stylish way to maintain air quality.

SHOP: all of Alba’s baby gear picks

—Britt Olson