Baird was born in Miami, Florida. Her mother was also a model. She got into acting when her mother enrolled her in an acting class to help her overcome introversion. Later, she became vice president of her school’s Thespian Society.
At the age of 17, she moved to Los Angeles in hope of pursuing an acting career. To earn money while auditioning, she worked at The Gap as well as a clown at children’s parties, caterer, waitress and pre-school teacher until breaking into the modeling industry, most notably with Guess?. Her exposure increased considerably with an appearance on the cover of the August 2005 issue of Playboy magazine. She was signed to Elite Model Management in Miami.