When it comes to prepping everything before baby’s arrival, one the best pieces of info that I received was “you will need less than you think”. Perhaps a generation ago, when the marketplace for baby products wasn’t as varied, it was less overwhelming. You simply made a list based on what your parents and other mommies had to say was useful. More so, there simply were fewer options to select from, and there was no need to find out the opinion of 200+ other people on an item via internet forums and ratings. But now with so many different products and brands that promise to be the next “must have” item or to solve the most specific of dilemmas, how does a first-time parent know what is an essential versus a “nice-to-have”, or even a “don’t-even-bother” item?
Currently I’m really liking the newborn checklist on Today’s Parent magazine. It gives a good rundown of the essentials that are generally required, and I particularly like how they split the items into lifestyle too, like “If you are formula feeding” vs breast feeding, and splitting diapering under re-usable vs disposable. The specific number of items that are suggested are a great help as well since new mommies, like myself, are not well versed in knowing, for example, how many crib sheets, change of outfits or bottles are considered “enough” to stock up on. I certainly would not want to be caught short on something and having to send hubby out in the middle of the night for last minute purchases, but yet it would be a waste to over purchase items that do not get to be put into good use. For those of you located in colder climates, taking a look at the the government issued maternity package that is issued to all parents in Finland upon their request also gives a good guide to what sorts of basics that baby will need for the initial first month too.
It’s interesting to see that items like fancy bedding sets, decorative pillows, designer outfits, Moses baskets and even things like a baby wipe warmer are not on the list of must-haves. Shoes and an overload of toys are also products that many would advise as being completely non-essential for the first few months. While all these things may add the extra touch to a nursery or look cute on baby, your baby certainly will not miss these items, and if not, it sure doesn’t hurt to divert the funds that would have been spent into something more useful.
So far, my husband and I have focused on allocating our resources mostly into items that have to do with safety and help with ease of transportation. These include an approved crib and firm mattress for a safe sleep environment (Read more on safe sleeping here. You may be surprised at the items that you will not be needing because they are not recommended!), car seat and ergonomic stroller. As for the cute clothing and toys, these have shown up as gifts. Baby bathtubs and bassinets are things that generous friends have either given or loaned us because they also fall into the category of items that have limited use and can be quickly passed down from one family to another. All in all, I have yet to test out everything that we have purchased and also the items that have been so lovingly gifted to us, but it certainly is comforting to know that it is not necessary to purchase every last product that you see in a store or advertisement. It is good to be assured that the safest and healthiest care for your baby during those first few months at home can be done in a practical and smart way.
Nursury furniture and baby gear safety is a top concern that parents and care givers of young children most often have (Read our tips on crib maintenance and general crib safety), but did you know that baby bedding and soft textile items should also be included in general safety awareness? This past year, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) launched their “Bare is Best” campaign. It promotes how to “keep your baby cozy without the clutter”.
While the trend in the past was to fill the crib with pillows, stuffed toys, and decorative bumpers, the advice is that a safe environment not only involves furniture that meets North American safety standards, but one that is clear of clutter. The CPSC explains that “Bare is best when placing a baby to sleep in a crib. By creating the toughest crib safety standards in the world and urging parents to keep pillows, quilts, heavy blankets, and sleep positioners out of the crib, CPSC has made great strides to ensure that babies and toddlers have a safe sleep.” Read more about reducing SIDS and creating the safest environment for baby to sleep here and here.
(Image taken from CPSC)
So what’s one to do when all those adorable frills and fills for the crib are no longer recommended? Does this mean that the dream nursery that you had already pictured has to remain plain and lack the plush look that we all love? Fortunately for design addicts, quite a few crib bedding companies have made the transition towards creating bedding options that will make you never miss all the clutter. Below are some of my favourites.
Skip Hop’s Complete Sheet bumper-free crib bedding has seven adorable designs to select from. Without that bumper, the crib may seem like it’s missing that extra decorative element, but Skip Hop has solved this by putting the print along the side of the fitted mattress sheet. I’ve already got a few of these sets selected on my baby registry list already!
Got a rambunctious child that you eventually realize does need a bumper to prevent bumps and bruises? Target 365 crib bedding makes sets where the bumper is included should you decide that a bumper is something that is required for your child. But even without using it, those crib skirts with their bold and playful patterns do more than well in keeping the design element present in the overall look of the crib.
Oilo’s crib bedding: Need a set with bumpers? Check! Need a great skirt that can make a crib look great without bumpers? Check! So whichever pattern you have fallen in love with, and whether you go bumperless or not, Oilo’s got the options for all their sophisticated crib sets.
This past Friday, the StorkCraft staff surprised me with a baby shower that included a cake with an adorable pair of icing booties and a desk full of gifts and decorations! Thanks for all the well wishes and the thoughtfulness, StorkCraft!
Tomorrow will be my last day at StorkCraft before I take my maternity leave. I still have not determined the full amount of time that I will be on this “break” yet, but right now it looks like it will be a full year to ease into being a new mom and being able to visit my parents for a few months. Hopefully I’ll be able to document my new journey into new motherhood via this blog during this time.
With the birth date being a month away, it seems to me that I will have a bit too much time on my hands, but all my mommy friends say that taking the one month off before the due date is a God-send for having some rest and getting last minute baby purchases and room organized.
How did you spend the weeks leading up to your due date? Any “must-do” items or things you wished you had done before your baby was born?
We can’t wait for the Target 365 Cribs by StorkCraft to launch in a few months time (Keep tabs on when they go on sale here at Target)! The two tone colour is so versitle as it allows you to play with your accent pieces.
For this espresso/white version, you have the option of selecting white dressers for a light and airy look, or espresso ones for a rich and sleek decor. What do you think of some of these pairings? One makes use of accessories that can grow up with your child and also transition into other rooms of the house if need be, and the other goes all out with everything cute and adorable.
Find all accessories featured below at Target.
For all those parents who have children in school, you’ll know that Spring Break is coming up right along side the Easter holiday. Any plans for keeping the family occupied? Here are some craft projects that I have been stashing away on my Pinterest craft board.
Milk carton houses: How cute is this easy craft idea? Suitable for both boys and girls, your children can create a small neighbourhood to a sprawling city.
Dyed Easter eggs: Ombre is the way to do colour and this mess-free method is one simple option of getting those eggs brightly decorated.
Wee Mouse Tin House: Could this be any cuter? Make use of those empty Altoid tins and scraps of felt and transform them into a little travel play kit that can slip right into your child’s pocket.
DIY jet pack: Halloween is far off, but this DYI project is still perfect for everyday dress-up and running around the yard.
Thank you to all our blog readers for their feedback on the new 2013 Stork Craft cribs! We love seeing your comments that tell us if the designs are a “yay” or even a “nay” in your books, as well as the concerns and inquiries that you may have for cribs and Stork Craft products in general.
If you have been following our Facebook page, you probably have noticed that over the past year we have switched from doing our photoshoots in house to using an amazing studio. Below are the studio’s take on the Princess 4 in 1 Crib and Santino 3 in 1 Cribs. Looking pretty good, don’t you think?
The studio’s interpretation on decorating around the Princess 4-in-1 Crib shows that this crib really works well as the centerpiece of the nursery. With all its little details that make it unique, it doesn’t need whole lot of accessories to make it stand out!
Previously we had shown the Santino 3 in 1 Crib in white, and here it is in a classic espresso finish. This darker colour gives the crib depth and richness, but still allows the piece to stay true to its contemporary design.
If you had told me a few months ago that buffering ample time out for maternity leave is a good idea because it’s hard to gauge energy levels as the birth date approaches, I would have given you an ambivalent, “I’ll see how it goes”. Normally I do consider myself as someone who has stamina and being able to “hang in there” when it comes to tolerating a bit of discomfort or fatigue. The past two days spent out of commission in bed, however, have made me realize how the final stretch of pregnancy can really take a toll on the body. Throw in a cold, slight ear infection that makes getting up quite woozy, and couple it with restless sleep due to the inability to find a comfortable position for this unrecognizable body, and it’s two embarrassing straight days of calling in sick to work.
While my anxiety spikes at the thought of emails and voice messages piling up, I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to for other pregnant women who have children and a larger household to take care of, regardless of whether they are feeling under the weather or not. Kudos to mommies and other devoted caregivers for being on-call 365 days a year. There’s no Blackberries to simply switch off, and you sure can’t tell a spouse or the kids to “leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible”. Over the course of these last eight months, I am often reminded by those who have traveled this road ahead of me to cherish the experience, as “afterwards” is yet another chapter that does not promise anything easy either, but with determination and devotion, it too can be an extremely rewarding journey.
Stork Craft has been making cribs and dressers since 1945, but did you know that our top sellers of today are our glider and ottoman sets? Our Hoop and Tuscany glider and ottoman sets have been such big hits, that retailers have requested Stork Craft to design some pieces that are exclusively for them to offer to their customers. Take a look at these and tell me you don’t want to kick your feet up in one too! They’re great for rocking baby to sleep, or even just for yourself to take that much needed break.
For those of you who are waiting for baby and have a stiff back, SC gliders with the nursing ottoman are a option to ease up the strain on the body. I finally attended my prenatal-in-a-day class at our local hospital this past Saturday, and the nurse mentioned that good posture with your lower back pressed up well to the chair’s backsupport is essential to decreasing back pain. In order to help with this, she suggested we place our feet on a nursing stool. These gliders sets below with the pull-out nursing stools are perfect for mommies’ prenatal and postpartum rest!
Hampton Glider & Nursing Ottoman: Found exclusively at Walmart.
Kingston Glider and Nursing Stool Ottoman: Sold exclusively at Burlington Coat Factory
Davenport Swivel Glider and Nursing Stool Ottoman: Sold exclusively at Burlington Coat Factory.
Needing extra storage? That’s our Aspen Cube Organizer Change Table to the right in the above image. It works as a change table with a changing pad, and when your baby grows up, it turns into extra cubby space, with the perfect top to keep small items from rolling off.
I’ve been on Pinterest quite a bit now that I have all things baby on my mind! From food to decor, here are my pins of the week.
How smart and simple is this for an easy, yet healthy, on-the-go snack? Peanut butter is a great source of protein especially during pregnancy if you’re not a big meat eater. Better yet, is to use an all natural peanut butter. I’m currently constantly at our local Whole Foods refilling the PB at the fresh grind PB station!
Home-ec class back in high school was a bit painful for me (I had no patience with the sewing machine and measuring), but I may have to dust off those sewing skills after seeing this project. Using outgrown baby clothes to make an activity book (buckles, Velcro, zippers, buttons, clips, snaps, etc.) is a great way to recycle, have something compact as a keep sake of some favourite pieces, and a gift for your child!
-Style File for the Mini Me:
Boy or girl, every parent will tell you that they will love their child as he/she is. The only “but” is that girls just hands down have cuter clothing selections!
As everyone probably knows by now, I’m am partial to more contemporary styles and especially ones that pay tribute to Scandanavian design, so I’m thrilled to announce that Stork Craft has partnered with Target on the Target 365 Crib! How awesome is this grey/white combination pictured below? Move aside white and espresso, grey is the new neutral to go with everything! Get yours in grey/white or the classic espresso/white at Target. Too bad I already selected the crib for my own nursery or else I’d be all over this one.
Infuse your baby’s nursery with Room 365 Convertible Crib’s fresh, modern charm. The perfect combination of style and function, this solidly built crib converts into a toddler bed, daybed and (with the separate purchase of a full-size, double-ended mattress rails) a full-bed. Select your preferred theme colour in a classic espresso/white, or sophisticated grey/white combination.
- Available colours: Espresso/White and Grey/White
- 4 in 1 crib that converts to daybed, toddler bed, and (with separate purchase of a full-size, double-ended mattress rails) a full-bed
- Toddler rail included
- Fix-side rails for security and safety
- Three adjustable mattress heights
- Made of solid wood and wood products with non-toxic finishes
- Meets or exceeds to all North American safety standards
- 1 year manufacturer’s warranty
A crib like this needs some fun accessories for the rest of the room. I’ve got my eyes on these.
Dachshund Lamp by Offi: We had a mini doxi when I was little so anything to do with these adorable dogs, I am all over it! This lamp comes in a selection of colours.
Michelle Mason’s London and Picadilly Circus Cushions: I would have one on the Stork Craft Tuscany Glider and Ottoman set!