How to Choose The Best Nursery Furniture For Your Little One
Choosing your nursery furniture is one of the most exciting points of the journey leading up to baby! You want to blend your personal style with all of the necessities of childhood, all in a smart and sustainable way.
Learn about the top eco-friendly brands that excel in style yet tick all the boxes of what any new parent (and baby) needs. The best nursery furniture has never been so easy!
The Approach To The Best Nursery Furniture
Once you know you’re in need of a nursery, you’ll want to start plotting your course. There are so many new types of furniture you have to learn about, not to mention the unfamiliar brands.
So what exactly is a nursery? A nursery consists of a crib and a changing table, a glider or rocker, and some shelving for storage. Later, you can add decorative elements like pillows, blankets, artwork, and rugs to give more personality and style.
Timing actually matters when it comes to nursery furniture, as the baby waits for no one. “Oh, you say the Italian factory is closed for the month of August? No problem, I always wanted to be a Virgo,” said no baby ever.
Guided by both timing and style, start by figuring out your crib and changing table first, which are the ‘anchors’ for the room. Generally, designers offer companion pieces so that whites and woods match perfectly. (But that doesn’t mean that you have to keep them in sync, there are lots of options!)
We love the modern furniture collections by Oeuf, Spot on Square, Bloom, Nurseryworks, Studio Duc and Stokke, for instance, each giving their own style to a room.
If you have your heart set on a crib that has a long lead time, consider a bassinet. Although city people don’t always want extra furniture in the house, a bassinet is handy for the first months when baby feeds every couple of hours.
In addition, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, new parents should have baby in their room (but not in their bed) for the first 6-12 months.
Once you choose your crib and changing table, move on to the glider, another essential for a nursery. A new parent spends loads of time soothing and feeding the baby, so a comfy chair is a must-have. It can transition to a reading chair down the road. If you don’t want a glider, get a rocker. Just make sure it’s not too low and has comfy armrests.
Next up: Storage. Think shelving, boxes and bins. You’re going to have loads of books, blankets and toys, so it’s best to have a plan on how to store them. There are lots of great options from the plain to the whimsical. One of our fave bookshelves by Nurseryworks is shaped like a tree.
Top Tips To Choose The Best Nursery Furniture
Here are some of our top tips to guide you through the process of choosing the best nursery furniture!
Shapes Tell Stories
Round or rectangular; Plain vanilla (and let the bedding/art/décor tell the story) or OMG!
When you’re decorating a city nursery you know that you’re short on space, so every square foot matters. In Downtown NYC we are in Loft-Land. That means you can see into a good deal of the apartment from wherever you stand. As a result, your style should sync up throughout the house.
Keeping the flow, you’ll know what sort of style of furniture works for your space. We normally see that a plain white or wood can fit the bill quite nicely with clean lines and a simple design. Then you can “tell the story” of the room with other things, like artwork, bedding, wallpaper, and décor. Now the flip side is letting the crib tell the story.
Enter: Nurseryworks. These standout cribs are sometimes acrylic, sometimes coated with 24K gold and sometimes mimicking the natural shape of the Oculus. Believe us: these are always standout. If your budget allows, give them a look. Even if it doesn’t check them out – they’re like pieces of art.
Most cribs are rectangular, as there is a rectangular “standard” crib mattress that fits nearly every crib sold in the US. Be sure you know that the crib you choose is “standard.” Anything from Spot on Square, Oeuf, and Studio Duc are standard (right now), but for instance, Bloom offers the Alma Papa, a slightly smaller crib that has its own custom mattress, and Stokke offers its ever-popular ovular crib which can feel like a space saver in a tight space.
Just keep in mind if you buck the “standard” crib size, you’ll need to get a custom-sized mattress and sheets throughout the life of the crib, as standard goods won’t fit snugly and properly. If you do go for a standard-sized crib, the world is your oyster. Pick from the many different crib mattresses and sheets, from plain to patterned to our Aden and Anais x Babesta taxi and pretzel sheets.
Location, Location, Location
You want to ensure that your dream nursery is as good as it looks. Many ask where it is made, preferring companies that manufacture in Europe or the United States than those made in Asia. There are no hard and fast rules (and China is a big country full of good & bad just like here!) but here’s the skinny. We love the Oeuf collection, as it is made in Europe (Latvia, to be exact) of sustainable materials. Everything they do seems to be thoughtful and representative of a good value system.
Monte Design is another brand we love as it's made in Canada and is family-owned. Monte is a whiz at gliders and beds (as well as other furniture!). The collection by Nurseryworks is generally made in the USA, and is stand-out in design. It’s also a bit pricier, but the designs are like works of art! DucDuc Studio is made closest of them all, in Connecticut!
A Matter Of Timing
The question of when is an important one in the world of baby. I mean, the baby is on his own schedule, and furniture will have to comply (or else you’ll be stressed and we definitely don’t want that). We’ve seen a good rule of thumb is to choose furniture that is in stock and in the United States. If it’s not in the US then find out if it’s “on the water”. If it’s on the water, you should have a pretty good gauge of arrival. But remember, customs works on its own schedule and things can get stuck! It’s always good if you purchased something that’s not here in the US that you have a backup plan, just in case (a bassinet and changing pad/cover at the least!).
Babesta “holds it til you need it” for free so that new parents can know that their chosen goods are here and waiting, and they can direct their perfect timing! It can help sidestep the timing issue that “just in time” deliveries fall prey to. One we love if you need it quickly (and HUGE bonus, as we mentioned they're made in Connecticut!) is the DucDuc Studio line. These can ship in 3 days and are made of 100% hardwood. What's not to love there?
Space Concerns (and easy ways to address a small room)
Got a small space? Join the club. The NYC problem is one we know well. First, you may want to start with a bassinet and graduate to a crib (keep your footprint as small as possible). The Alma Mini by Bloom is a good choice as it can be used for a year (the base goes down), whereas many bassinets can only be used for 6 months. Stokke too makes a bassinet-to-crib option that we love. The bassinet is used for 0-6 months, then you convert to the crib.
Convertibility & Next Steps!
Most cribs these days can be converted to a toddler bed when the time comes, by using a (separately purchasable) “toddler conversion kit”. This will turn the crib into a mini-bed with 4 low sides, like the adorable Oeuf Classic Crib with toddler conversion, or a daybed like the Oeuf Sparrow and the Spot on Square Roh Crib with toddler conversion.
White Glove Services (and more!)
When buying a crib, it's nice to know you have a service that can put it together, take away the garbage, and inspect it. Babesta’s white glove service does just that. These items aren’t hard to assemble but it’s nice to have the peace of mind of a professional. This, alongside “hold it til you need it” service and the nursery journey is a snap.
Now that you’ve got your nursery, it’s time to round out the room with the perfect bedding like Loulou Lollipop’s fitted sheets and blankets and rugs and pillows by Lorena Canals. Bonus: the rugs are even machine washable! Come by the store or shop the site for our latest array of high-personality décor!
Babesta At Home
Another nice perk for our local customers: Babesta’s At Home service gives locals the opportunity for a home visit where we can consult and try to help bring your dream nursery to fruition! If you're not in NYC, don't despair, we can arrange for a virtual consultation: A Room-Zoom!
OK, now you have the lay of the land! Get shopping (or registering) and be sure to take advantage of our unique services designed to make it easy for you. While you're here, you can pick up a cute NY ensemble to boot! Remember, don’t lose your cool shopping for baby furniture. Babesta’s got your back!