Baby Gear Part I – Nursery Furniture

With babies popping up (out?) all over the place, and Nolan officially a toddler, I thought now was a good time to collect my thoughts and put together a list of what has been most useful to me in this first year of motherhood. I labelled each item as, Buy It, Borrow It, or Believe Me, You Don’t Need It. Just to clarify, when I say Borrow It, I literally mean borrow because you are giving it back. Being given something, such as a crib, because the owner really never wants it back, falls under Buy It.

Crib – BUY IT

The most important piece of furniture in your nursery, the crib can also be the hardest to choose. Although you may not even have one baby yet, it’s smart to look a few years down the road to help you decide what kind of crib you’ll want. Many become toddler beds with a removable side rail, some become a double-bed headboard (not so useful if you’re working with a small space and will wind up putting your child in a twin-sized bed), and some are not convertible at all. Consider how many children you want, and how many years they’ll be spaced apart (assuming things go as planned), to make the most practical choice for you. We chose the Sparrow Crib from Oeuf for our house and my parents generously purchased a Jenny Lind-style crib from Amazon (under $200) for their house. Jenny Lind cribs look like the one below and come in a variety of finishes and colors.

This is our crib (in Nolan’s room!)

Our crib converts to a toddler bed like this:

Changing Table – BELIEVE ME, YOU DON’T NEED IT

A changing table is nice for having open storage, but if your kid is anything like mine, the table loses its diaper-changing function when the baby is seven or eight months old. Nolan squirmed, rolled, sat up and climbed so much that we had to start doing all diaper changes on the floor. Instead, buy the changing pad and three (yes, three) inexpensive covers and attach the pad to the top of a sizeable dresser.

Dresser – BUY IT (used)

Dressers are expensive! Like, whoa, what the what, expensive. Go to a thrift store or garage sale and buy a high-quality wooden dresser that has seen better days and paint it. Or if you’re me, balk at exposing your fetus to paint fumes and ask your mom to paint it. Look for drawers that are made of solid wood and not fiberboard since it tends to sag and break over time like everything in my bedroom from Ikea. Painted furniture looks so lovely in a baby’s room. This is Nolan’s dresser that my mom painted. I bought new hardware online.  It’s cute but too small:

Here are some additional ideas for painted dressers:

Bookshelves/Bookcase – BUY IT

Like the dresser, you can buy used shelves and paint them, but there are more affordable options out there if you want new ones. Even though I have sworn off buying furniture from Ikea since my bedroom looks like an Ikea graveyard, I would make an exception for the Expedit shelves for a kid’s room. They kind of look like crap in the store just sitting there empty, but they can be dressed up with baskets and other niceties.

Bassinet – BORROW IT

I loved having a bassinet in our bedroom for Nolan’s first few months. Newborns are heavy sleepers but wake up often for feedings and having a bassinet bedside made for a much easier night. We borrowed one from my sister-in-law and kept the one that came with our stroller in the living room. Depending on your baby’s size, you’ll likely use a bassinet for no longer than four or five months. Since it will be stowed away in your room, don’t get hung up on what it looks like or if it’s your style, etc. Definitely buy a few bassinet sheets for the inevitable middle of the night, “He peed through the diaper!” moments. Those are great.

Glider/Rocker – BUY IT if you want a few kids or think you’ll keep it in your bedroom when your kids are older, otherwise, BORROW IT.

I’m probably not the person to speak to about gliders because I chose the Luca Glider, which is the same one as Rachel Zoe. To be fair, I had it first.  It was (another) generous gift from my parents and I love it and I’m not going to apologize for it. So there. Oh, and I got the matching ottoman. You can certainly find less expensive options at the major baby places. This is the chair in Nolan’s room, next to the changing table I wish I never bought:

Moms and moms-to-be, what nursery furniture do you love/recommend? Where did you find inspiration when creating your nurseries?

Stay tuned for Baby Gear Part II – Nursing/Feeding

Barreling into 28 Weeks, Stomach First

I know I’m going to look back and laugh at myself, but at this point I think, “How could I possibly get any bigger??”

Now strangers are noticing and approach me with a smile saying, “When are you due?” As of yet I haven’t had the balls to say, “I’m not pregnant!!!”

Progress is happening in the nursery, slowly but surely. We bought bamboo shades at Lowe’s ($17 per window!). They look pretty close to these:

image: lowes.com

We haven’t put them up yet but they look nice lying on the floor. I ordered a rug from Overstock.com last Sunday and it was delivered two days later! Ok, so it was delivered to the abandoned house next door, but it was delivered somewhere just two days later.

image: overstock.com

The crib and changing table will be delivered next week and we’ll try our best to put them together without calling either of our dads in a panic.

Weird pregnancy stuff:

– my leg hair has almost entirely stopped growing (awesome!)

– my ribs feel like they are being ripped open and when I sit down I get the sensation that someone is jabbing his thumb into my back (not awesome)

– my hair has become non-oily enough that I can actually shower before bed and not have to wash my hair by 10 am (awesome!)

– Baxter still has no idea I’m pregnant.  Even when he lays in my lap and gets kicked by the baby, he seems to pay no attention. He’s in for a rude awakening…

– being pregnant is a great reason to get massages. I’m looking forward to one at Nordstrom next week!

Happy Things

Here are some things that made me happy in the past week:

– We ate a DELICIOUS dinner at A Mano in Mattituck tonight. Wow. The butternut squash ravioli made me happy, the chocolate torte made me swoon, but the few sips of Matt’s glass of 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Paumanok Vineyards made me nearly implode with joy. So light, fresh, cool, and lovely.

– We received our gas and electric bills yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised to see this from National Grid:

They owe US money – suckers! Keeping the heat at 60 when we’re sleeping or not home has its perks! In case you’re wondering, we keep a space heater in the kitchen for Baxter. And to answer your next question, No, it did not raise our electric bill.

– The Today Show’s story about a gorilla who walks on two legs is fascinating and freaky!

– I’ve been looking around for a vintage-y looking poster to hang in the baby’s room and I think this one from Poster Corner might be the winner.

Image: postercorner.com

– Sandwich #2 from Press 195. They have locations in Park Slope, Bayside, and Rockville Centre.  I took Matt here after he shoveled for three hours on Thursday. The turkey, brie, roasted red pepper and garlic panini was definitely worth braving the snow. Worst website, best sandwiches. And beer. And sangria.

– Here are few more blogs I’ve added to my daily clicks:

A Cup of Jo – Joanna Goddard has great taste and a super cute baby.

Unruly Little Things – this one is a spinoff of Alyson Brown’s main blog, Unruly Things. She is expecting a baby boy right around the same time we are, and this site focuses on baby stuff.

Thx Thx Thx – Leah writes a thank you note a day. Some are to people, often strangers, some are to words, ideas, events, places, etc. Here is a recent one:

Image: thxthxthx.com

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

Nursery Snippets

While ideas for the nursery had been floating around my mind since I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t allow myself to do too much thinking until we found out the baby’s sex. Which is weird, actually, because pretty much everything I like and pick out is very gender neutral. I want something that’s classy, pretty, not too childish, but not too cold.

At the start of the summer, we had a painter come in to do some, you guessed it, painting. We chose a very pale green for the nursery. So pale that it’s actually from the Benjamin Moore Whites Collection.  I think I’d be happy if every room in our house was painted this color. It’s just light and bright and pleasant.

There are two standard windows in the room, and as has been the case with EVERY room in the house, one is above the radiator. That eliminates the possibility of just doing drapes so I’ve been deciding between roman shades, wood blinds, woven wood blinds, blah blah blah. I think we’ve settled on woven wood shades (like the ones below) with drapes hung over them. The drapes around the radiator just can’t be closed all the way. Ever.

Image: Calico Corners

We ordered the crib and changing table a few months ago when Giggle was having a sale – Mama likes to save her some money!

Image: oeufnyc.com

It’s WAY nicer in person with some bedding in it.  Like unspeakably nicer. The changing table is not the one that coordinates with the crib but it’s better for two important reasons. One, it has open shelves instead of drawers. Two, it was half the price.

Image: giggle.com

Dwell Studio makes fun, modern bedding for kids and adults and they recently came out with a few new patterns that aren’t quite as bold as previous designs. I chose a few pieces from the mix and match collection. The patterns combine gray, white, brown, and pale blue.

This is the main pattern:

Image: dwellstudio.com

Here is what it looks like all combined (not a great image, but the best I could find):

Image: dwellstudio.com

For Christmas, my parents bought and framed four prints from the photographer Sharon Montrose‘s online shop. She takes beautiful, interesting pictures of animals and we’re excited to hang them! Here are a few images from her website:

Image: theanimalprintshop.com
Image: theanimalprintshop.com
image: theanimalprintshop.com

That’s the progress for now! Lots of happenings in my brain, not too much in the actual room just yet …