Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby Registry

I have had quite a few people ask me what I put on our baby registry. This task for a FTM (first time mom) can be so unbelievably overwhelming because there are just a few SO many items out there for babies, whether you find them all to be necessary or not. I did search for a guideline as to what to register for and came across The Bump Checklist which was helpful. Every mom-to-be is different so what I chose for my family may not be right for your family. Once I decided what items were necessary I did research which brand had the best reviews and so on. Here are a few of my favorite items and why we chose to put them on our baby registry.

Starting at the top left hand corner and going clockwise...

  • Born Free Classic Bottles - I plan on breastfeeding Baby B, but I want the baby to be able to take a bottle as well. This will give Mike a chance to bond with the baby during feedings and make it possible for me to be away from Baby B if need be. Needless to say, we also registered for breast milk storage bottles and freezer bags. I did research the millions of different bottles, (okay okay) several different bottles, Born Free had top reviews along with Dr. Browns. Most moms (and dads I'm sure!) said they were the best bottles that didn't leak. I did however read the Dr. Brown bottles have tons of parts and it can be a pain to wash, assemble, etc. Us new mommas do not have time for that! I also LOVE that the Born Free bottles are also available in glass, in case you're worried about your little munchkin drinking out of plastic.
  • Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump - just as I mentioned, I am planning on breastfeeding, no need to say more....but we also registered for the Medela Breast Pump Accessory Set just in case a piece breaks or somehow goes never know!
  • Baby K'tan Carrier - Honestly, you can't be carrying the baby every second of the day, you have to get things done! There are many baby carriers out there. The only thing I can suggest is go to the store, try them on. Ask yourself if it's easy enough for you to put it on by yourself or not....some carriers can be very complicated. We also registered for the ERGObaby carrier because once again, top reviews and it works better for when the baby gets bigger. It can be used on your belly or your back. I did look into the Baby Bjorn carrier, however I don't care for that one nearly as much because the baby sits more on its pelvis rather than it's bottom, which I've read can be very uncomfortable and strain their itty bitty hips.
  • Bright Stars Ingenuity Automatic Bouncer - I fell in love with this bounce (I hope Baby B does too) because it's automatic like a swing. We do already have swing that we purchased at a crazy low price, but the nice thing about a little bouncer is you can take it with you when visiting Grandma and Grandpa's house!
  • Imaginarium Sensory Balls - I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and spent nearly the last 2 1/2 years teaching at a preschool for children birth-kindergarten. It is amazing how much infants learn through sensory play. I really like these sensory balls because they're textured which make them easier to grip as baby gets older. I'll post more tips in a later post about other sensory items to use with your babies too.
  • Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets - Your precious little sweet pea just spent 9 months in a super warm and snug environment you created for them. They're going to love being wrapped up just like they're use to in your belly. These again had fantastic reviews ;) I also love that you can use them for multiple purposes: breastfeeding cover-up, burp cloth, blanket and of course for swaddling.
  • Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller - All I can say is....test it out and you may fall in love just as my husband and I did. It is sleek, very functional and the best part......get only take ONE HAND TO FOLD IT UP! Amazing! It comes in different colors (Crimson, Blue, Green and Black) we of course registered for black to stay neutral. They also make different accessories such as car seat bar, weather canopy, belly bars and parent consoles. You can completely make it your own and I love that. 
  • Puj Baby Bath Tub -  One of my sisters actually told me about this sweet little thing and wished she had it when her kids were infants. This is really nice if you're tight on space. This little bath tub folds and fits into the sink and when you're done you can put it away in cabinet or closet or hang it. 
  • Rock N Play Sleeper - Because we recently moved and are living with my parents, we are keeping the baby in our room. Of course the baby will have a crib and everything, but I really wanted this sleeper so I could keep it right next to my side of the bed in order to make feeding easier. The sleeper also folds up and can travel easily. Another rocks manually instead of being a stationary piece.
  • Aprica Haven Open Air Play Yard - I really dislike character prints on baby products. It's just not me. I also didn't like the play yards that have all the extra accessories. I'm sure they're really convenient, but to me it made them seem bulky and once I looked into the weight capacities (up to 15lbs for the bassinets, etc) we felt we would rather have something simple and easy to fold up. This is also why we wanted to get the Rock N Play Sleeper to use as the bassinet because it was easier to tote around. 
Again, these are items that we felt fit us the best and hopefully we'll feel the same way once we actually use them, if not we will definitely let you know!
When you do make your registry, do the research. Just because something looks cute doesn't mean it's practical or that it will fit your needs the best. We hope these tips help you when you create your registry and feel free to share some of your must haves as well! Who knows...maybe Mike and I completely missed something. If we did let us know! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Modern Vintage Nursery Design: Part 1

Mike and I are so excited to share our ideas on our baby's nursery. There are SO many ideas out there and in the beginning we were a bit overwhelmed. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to leave the baby's gender a surprise. Since making that decision, it has been a bit hard planning and registering for certain baby items. We knew we wanted to keep everything pretty gender neutral because we plan on using many of the same items for our future little ones. We would agree that when starting to design your baby's nursery, you must decide whether or not you plan on finding out the sex of the baby. If you do decide to find out what you're having, you need to decide if you want to choose a design that's neutral and can be used over again or colors that will be specific for your baby (blues for boys, pinks for girls).
To be honest, I chose most of the items for the nursery while taking my husband's opinion into consideration.
Our general style of decor is Modern Vintage. We love incorporating older pieces with more modern pieces. Here's how we have started the design for our baby's room...

Color & Design Inspiration
I definitely did a lot of searching for fabrics and color combinations. No offense but, I am NOT a fan of character prints (Disney characters, Winnie the Pooh, etc) on fabric or baby furniture pieces.  I did however fall in love with the owl epidemic and I love patterns and textures. I am currently into the color gray. It's very neutral and it can be paired with practically any color. Needless to say, we chose this as our main color and we are pairing it with shades of white and then plan on accenting it with either pinks or blues depending if baby is a girl or boy.

The Bedding
I found some great modern fabrics at a local fabric store. I decided to make my own bedding for the baby's crib. I made a pleated bed skirt and fitted sheets. I did not make a bumper pad because there is so much controversy regarding it with SIDS. Here are the fabrics we chose...the top fabric will be used for the skirt and the bottom fabric will be used for the fitted sheet. Like I mentioned above, once the baby is here I will also make more fitted sheets in either a modern pale pink or blue fabric.

Dark gray and white fabric found at Country Sampler in Omaha, Nebraska

It is always fun picking out new furniture...well most of the time! In this case we were very excited to choose items for Baby B. Here is where Mike and I incorporate older vintage pieces.

The Crib
We started with the crib. There are so many new guidelines that have to meet crib standards and they are very different than 20 years ago. So choosing an older crib is not always the safest option. We bought a brand new crib that carried a vintage style. We went with the non-convertible DaVinci Jenny Lind White Crib. This crib can be found at several different stores. We ordered ours from Koo Koo Bear: Baby & Kids (when I ordered the crib I swore it said it was made in the USA, however when it arrived it said something different. Who knows! Pregnancy brain can mess you up sometimes!) I immediately fell in love with this crib because it has the older spindle details and it can be used for a boy or a girl. I also really like the idea of being able to change the color of the crib if we choose to for another baby just by painting it. This crib is solid pine wood, which also won me over because it will last longer than a crib made of particle board and a veneer.

DaVinci Jenny Lind Crib

We did debate on buying a convertible crib, but here's why we didn't....

1) You have to store all the extra pieces that actually convert it from crib to toddler bed to full size. We don't have the space and really didn't want to deal with trying to find all the pieces later.
2) Some of the convertible cribs can't be converted back to a crib once it's been changed into a toddler or twin sized bed.
3) They are huge! I was shocked how large some of these cribs are and we don't have a ton of space to begin with.
4) We plan and hope to have more than one baby, so we asked ourselves this question: If we have more children, are we seriously going to have to buy another convertible crib, because chances are our previous child will be sleeping in initial crib/toddler bed.

The Dresser
I have grown up in a family that refurbishing different items is like second nature. My family and I have always been good with our hands and a lot of my family are in trades (wood-working, renovating, plumbing, arts, etc). We love antique shopping and we are always up for buying older pieces and fixing them up to add character in our homes.
Mike and I had to stay within a budget when designing the nursery and furniture can definitely be pricy depending on your style and quality. As you know, we prefer furniture made from solid wood because it last longer, has more character and can be changed. My parents had an old dresser in their barn that had been sitting for about 15 years. We decided to use that for Baby B. Our plans are to clean it up, paint it white and change the hardware! I absolutely LOVE the store Anthropology and have found some beautiful hardware there. We also lucked out and found another free piece round night stand that was left behind at one of my parents' rental properties. We'll see if this fits in the room after we clean and paint it. It does take time to do projects like these, but so much love goes into it and we know we will appreciate it so much more! Plus who can beat...FREE????

Bubbled Glass Knob from Anthropology....$8.00
Wood Dresser....$0...Free
Night Stand....$0....Free

More to Come...
Since Little Baby B won't be arriving until early this summer, this will be a step by step process. We will continue to share our progress as we build the nursery so stay tuned! And we hope we have inspired you with some of our design ideas!
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