Saturday, August 4, 2012

Our Favorite Nursery Products

Safe, Classic, Stylish, Affordable, Durable, Beautiful. These were all things important to us when we selected products for our baby registry and nursery for Noah.

I was inspired by that gorgeous gal behind Whippy Cake and a post she wrote on her "baby must-haves" and what she has learned she did and did not need after her most recent baby darling (and was surprised to find my list was very similar!). I too have been wanting to share what we learned, and am finally getting around to writing about it.

First...a tremendous THANK YOU to all of you who shared YOUR incredible advice on what you needed and didn't need, what you loved most and what didn't hold up in the wash...all your suggestions were incredibly helpful.

Of COURSE this is all just my personal opinion, and soley based on my personal experience--certainly not to be taken any other way. I am sure what is "best" for everyone is not always the same. This is simply what worked best for us, and what didn't. I hope that there might be one mom-to-be out there who might be looking for advice and find even one thing about this post helpful. we go!

Since this is going to be long, I am breaking it up into two posts. This post covers the nursery. The next will cover all the other baby items!!!

How we shopped...we wanted items that were first and foremost safe. We used several national associations and organizations dedicated day in and day out to testing baby items for safety ratings as a form of measure for this. We also tested what felt like every crib from Babies R Us to Target to Pottery Barn Kids....let me tell you Ryan and I were extremely cautious and dedication to doing all our research on this! We researched EVERYTHING thoroughly, wanting what was safest for baby.

We also wanted items that were durable, the best quality for the best price.

Then, of course, we looked for items that were classic, beautiful, and stylish.

*The Nursery*

These items are all our nursery "must-haves" and have worked extremely well for us. Truthfully, these aren't all "NEEDS" but more "GREAT TO HAVES".

A safe place for him to rest was the priority, and we certainly know you don't even need all this basic "stuff" to do that.

And why style mattered, we would have gotten the cheaper IKEA crib (highly rated for safety) if we felt it was a bit sturdier. We wanted our child to know that we would never jeopardize his safety for a brand name or to "keep up" with others.

1. Crib & Crib Mattress: We LOVE our Pottery Barn Kids crib (shown above)

Clean, classic, simple, wood and white (their white is a creamy white, though they now have a bright white finish). We have a crib no longer available, but it is a 3-in-1 crib like this one, which we purchased the toddler conversion kit for. It can convert to a toddler bed. I believe we got it for $299 on sale!!! It is as sturdy as a rock, extremely solid and comforting to us!

Their customer service was outstanding, and we chose their exclusive lullaby crib mattress to go with, because we learned not all crib mattresses fit all cribs...their sizes can vary, and you want the fit just right. The fit was perfect, and we have been extremely happy with the quality. We found the price comperable to many we found at discount stores.

We use their mattress pads, but also have found this one from Target to work great as well, which is significantly cheaper.

2. Changing Table: We opted for a small changing table, again from Pottery Barn Kids, to match the crib.

 (Note: much to my surprise, their cribs and changing tables were often significantly CHEAPER than what we found at major discount and baby stores! Even with shipping. PBK often lowers or waives the delivery surcharges on new baby furniture essentials, so it really helps. So take note: for us, this was not about a name brand, but more about safety, quality we could trust, style, and price!--trust me, we were shocked too to discover the cost lower at a place we didn't expect it)

We love it. For the good-sized but not huge nursery, it is perfect. We got the longest we could, and are glad we did, as Noah was just shy of 30" at 6 months old!

Again, what we chose is no longer available, but if I had to select a favorite now, it would be this one since it has a dresser with extra space on the sides to hold all changing necessities...

 We got ours on sale for $350-ish I think--we were ecstatic.

Another note: We selected one that has the removable changing table topper, so we can use just the base (cabinets and shelves) as a dresser/storage after we no longer need the changing table. I highly recommend this. I also find it to be sturdy and I never felt concerned the table would topple over!

What we would have done differently: Looking back, it would have been great to get one with a little extension to put the basket with the changing essentials right on it (as the one pictured above). Instead, we have a Pottery Barn Kids side table near the changing table (we bought the store sample of this accent table for a ridiculously low $30.00, BARGAIN!), with the must-haves for diaper changing. It has worked great, but would have been simpler if all on one unit.

3. Changing Table Pad and Pad Covers: We also love the coordinating changing table pad and coziest changing table pad covers, also from Pottery Barn Kids.

We purchased 3 changing table pad covers, and that is more than enough--even 2 would have been fine, as we can launder them regularly as needed. I tried a couple from Target and while I didn't love the colors and styles as much, they definitely have worked great and I would recommend them! ALL have held up beautifully through many washes already!

4. Upholstered Rocking Chair and Ottoman: One of the BEST investments, ever. LOVE IT.

I highly recommend getting a very comfortable upholstered rocking chair and ottoman, if you plan on rocking baby to sleep, to comfort, to feed...everyone loves it in our house!

Much to our dismay, they don't come cheap. We had to really search. I LOVE the PBK ones--they are amazing, but weren't in our budget.

My mom popped online and found (and my parents gave to us as a most generous gift), a fabulous ivory chenille chair and ottoman (both rocks AND glides)...from Target! It is soooo cozy, a terrific size (plenty roomy), comfortable, durable, and despite what you may think, we have found the ivory to still be as white as the day we got it.

My mom gave us an ultra cozy oversized throw blanket at Home Goods in ivory as well, which is so cozy to snuggle under.

5. Lighting: We have two perfect lamps, one table lamp from PBK with one of their beautiful lamp shades, and the other a floor lamp from Home Goods, which looks identical to this one:

These two lamps are all we have needed. I put the light blue shade on the white candlestick base, and it is perfect on the accent table by the changing station.

No nightlight in our case--not yet, anyway!

6. Window Treatments:

I have to take a moment to gush about Carolyn of Sweet Tea and Linen here. She created the MOST GORGEOUS LIGHT BLUE AND CREAMY-WHITE TOILE FLOOR LENGTH DRAPES--EVER.

Her work is always spectacular. They are lined with a light black-out fabric, and with our extraordinarily long windows, look stunning and are a focal point of the room.

I highly recommend the black-out fabric, based on our experience. Ours is light enough that it really doesn't black out the room entirely, but keeps the room a peaceful and calm level of darkness for afternoon naps.

And if that wasn't enough, Carolyn created matching Euro and standard pillow shams in the same toile fabric, to go on the daybed in the nursery (which has been a tremendous gift to us all--if you have room for one, I can say from our experience it is a wonderful addition!)

We used curtain rods we purchased at Target, which worked perfectly.

7. Floor Coverings: Our nursery is carpeted, but I had to have an area rug.

Layla Grayce truly has a magnificent floor covering selection...I mean, WOW!

So I got a super soft, cozy shaggy jersey cotton "t-shirt rug", in a lovely and perfect light blue. It feels so soft under the feet--great to put in front of the crib or the changing table. Easy to wash, too! {Note: I have seen these sometimes at Home Goods, in lavender, pink and yellow, but never saw in blue!}

8. Nursery Bedding: Oh, so many FABULOUS companies and styles to choose from! I debated about some of my favorites from Serena and Lily (our bedding is from there and we LOVE it--gorgeous, and beautifully made), PBK and many from my favorite Layla Grayce, but ended up going ultra classic with tufted white pique. PBK has this gorgeous collection that is so clean, soft, simple, understated and gorgeous.

For crib sheets, we have purchased some from here and there and everywhere, and the softest by far have been the organic cotton from PBK. LOVE these. We have 4 crib sheets (including 1 light blue animals on parade as seen below), and I easily could have 4 more.

While we don't use it as bedding yet, we do love our toddler quilt (coordinates with the pique nursery set), monogrammed with Noah's name and birth date, as a wall covering.

The baby blue breathable crib liner is great also.

(We have the Ellie's Elephant sheets as seen above, too!)

9. Shelving & Storage: We found a bargain on some classic white wall shelves to display Noah's silver baby cup and a few other special items {like the baby blocks from his baby shower}, at Target!

These woven baskets from PBK are super for storing toys and stuffed animals, as they are soft and with him crawling about, no sharp edges to fall on!

10. Room Decorations:

We got these fabulous white letters to spell out 
N O A H on the wall above the changing table, from Amazon. They were a perfect way to personalize the space.

Thank you all so much for even taking the time to read this!

 There are many more personal touches in Noah's nursery, but these are some of the basics, and I know having good resources were really helpful when we purchased these items.

Cannot wait to share the baby products we love (and the ones we realized we didn't need!)

Do you have nursery favorites? Would love to hear what you found to be fabulous!


Lisa Nelson-Jones said...

I adore PBK!! I have been looking everywhere for a crib like the one you purchased, but cannot find the name of it:( love, love, love your beautiful, classic taste- especially for a lovely nursery!!

Kate Landers Events, LLC © 2009 said...

Thanks so much Lisa! The crib is no longer available, I am trying to remember the name of was in summer 2011, I think it was the "ella" maybe? I think the closest now is the Kendall, which is on sale now!!!!