When our clients embark on their nursery designing adventure, they often ask us for recommendations for quality items that will not only compliment their lifestyle and home decor but also offer convenience and safety.
We’ve divided our recommendations into three main categories (and three separate posts):
- The Big Stuff
- Clothing and the Layette
- Baby Care Products and Accessories
Your baby is going to spend a lot of time in the crib during the first few years of his or her life, so picking the perfect one is probably important to you.
Oeuf offers a few options that are kind to the environment and will help to minimize your baby’s exposure to toxins. Extra plus: these cribs can be converted to a toddler bed and offer a classic yet contemporary design that will go well with any decor over many years.
For those who need to save some space, the Stokke Sleepi Mini is a wonderful option. Wheels allow this crib to move from room to room, and it can be adjusted as your child grows. The circular shape creates a nest-like environment that will help your baby feel safe and contained.
The swing of choice for our clients seems to be the 4moms Mamaroo. With the ability to swing side to side as well as bounce up and down, this swing has a removable cover and comes in a few different colors and patterns.
For those looking for something a little sleeker and simpler, the Nuna Leaf offers a motor-free option. Give the Leaf a gentle push and it will swing side to side for about two minutes. If your baby is one that thrives for motion, you can purchase an additional attachment, the Leaf Wind, that will keep the swinging going indefinitely. The best thing about the Leaf? If you’ve got a big helper who likes to try out all the baby things, the Leaf can accommodate up to 130 pounds!
As far as car seats go, you’ve got two main options for your new baby. You can purchase an infant seat and base which will enable the seat to come in and out of the car, snap into a stroller, or be toted around, or you can purchase a convertible car seat, which will last you longer but must remain installed in the car.
As far as infant seats, we have two favorites. The Orbit Baby G3 offers the amazing convenience of rotating on its base, making the process of getting your baby into and out of the seat super easy. Like most other infant seats, it can be carried and also snaps into a stroller. Our clients also love the Cybex Anton, which boasts a sleek design and is extra light in comparison to other seats on the market.
For the convertible option, Clek Fllo or Clek Foonf offer a modern appeal and boast cushions made of Crypton Super Fabrics, which are not only eco-friendly but are also the ultimate option for stain resistance. The Clek seats are one of the few seats on the market that offer a metal frame, and they’re also one of the narrowest choices on the market, enabling you to fit three seats across the backseat of most vehicles. Both the Fllo and the Foonf can be used from birth if you purchase the Infant Thingy insert.
The UPPAbaby Vista offers a unique design that allows you to easily transfer your baby from strolling to sleeping and vice versa, and also offers a range of configurations to accommodate not only your growing baby, but your growing family. The Vista is compatible with some car seats and also includes a bassinet and toddler seat option. An additional seat can be added to fit two children.
Bugaboo offers a similarly luxurious design and convertible features, but has a few more options than UPPAbaby. The Bugaboo Donkey is a fantastic option for Chicago parents of twins.
For the runners, hands down BOB makes the best jogging strollers around. They have a few options in terms of design, but the main decision you’ll have to make is whether or not you want a swivel wheel. Having a swivel wheel allows for better flexibility in terms of using the stroller for both running and getting around, but a fixed wheel is better for those who run long distances and will be using the stroller exclusively for that purpose.
The High Chair
One of our clients’ favorite high chairs is the Stokke Tripp Trapp. The Stokke is meant to accomodate your baby from birth well into childhood (it can hold up to 300 pounds!) and offers attachments for those purposes. The classic design of the Tripp Trapp will complement any home decor.
Another favorite is the Bloom Fresco Chrome, which offers a modern design and the same versatility as the Tripp Trapp. The Fresco Chrome comes in a variety of colors so you can find the perfect one to suit your decor.
The Nursery Rug
Your baby will spend plenty of time on the floor enjoying tummy time, rolling over, and learning to crawl, so picking the perfect rug is important.
Oliver Yaphe offers amazingly high quality, 100% wool rugs that come in classic colors and designs that will grow with your baby.
Lorena Canals offers more contemporary designs, including brighter colors and busy patterns. The best part about this option? All of the rugs are machine washable!
Another option to consider is the sheepskin rug. Studies actually show that babies cry less and sleep more when placed on a sheepskin rug. The sheepskin breathes, meaning it can both warm and cool the baby and is ultrasoft. Exposure to the sheepskin may also reduce the risk of allergies. The American Academy of Pediatrics hasn’t reached a consensus on whether or not actually sleeping on a sheepskin in a crib or bassinet is safe for babies, but the sheepskin rug is great for play and for daytime supervised sleep. Etsy has some beautiful, sustainably made options.
Stayed tuned for Baby Essentials (Part II): Clothing and the Layette