Nursery Noodling.

By: Jen Shoop

Preparing for micro from a logistical standpoint is pretty straight-forward as he will be sleeping in our room until we are forced to move at the end of our lease. We are dreading it, but I know I will be itching for more space by the end of the summer and will welcome a third bedroom with open arms. Mini only slept in our room for about three months, and I am curious as to whether I will be clambering to have micro in his own space by around the same time. I know the current recommendation is that babies sleep in their parents’ room for the first six months to a year of life, but mini’s move to her own nursery was unplanned and organic, and I found that everyone slept better once she slept in her own nursery. (Though I wouldn’t trade those early weeks sleeping with her at my bedside for anything. The convenience and peace of mind alone…!)

All that said, I’ll take a small break where I can get it and admit that it’s kind of nice not to have to think about setting up a nursery just yet. There’s enough to keep me preoccupied at the moment anyway, and I’m having fun occasionally pinning products to revisit later without the pressure of finding everything by May. (Though, truthfully, you don’t really need to have everything together by the baby’s birth. You don’t even need to have a crib and changing table, IMHO, until around month three. Mini almost exclusively slept in her Monte Ninna Nanna bassinet and was changed on a Gathre mat at the foot of my bed or in our downstairs living room for, like, weeks. So no stress if you’re about to deliver and frantically searching for all the right things.)

A couple of pieces I am loving right now:

+I am infatuated with overall aesthetic of the picture at the top, which was designed by my FAVORITE interior decorator, Amy Berry. I love the idea of clustering these wicker pendants in the middle of the room for lighting and using one of these vintage-style ride-along cars as a key decor point.

+When we do end up upgrading to a three bedroom, we’ll need a new crib (mini’s converts into a toddler bed), a new dresser, and a new glider for micro. I can tell you that I love campaign-style dressers for a boy’s room and am pretty much determined to make it happen. I’m thinking this will be the starting point for all design decisions. I love this in the navy (get the look for less with this), possibly with this to coordinate as the crib. (Not sure if I’d like the matchy-matchiness of it all; would need to evaluate the room. If it’s a larger room, it could work well tying things together. If a smaller room, it would probably feel crowded and bulky.) At any rate, how cool would those navy pieces look if I were able to wallpaper the walls in a neutral grasscloth and add this printed glider?! I’m already having a vision about how this room will work. (And if we don’t buy and therefore can’t install the grasscloth, maybe I’ll still make this vision a reality with this peel & stick version.)

+Several friends have asked whether I think a glider/rocker is a necessity in a baby’s room. In true urban living form, these are women who have had itty bitty nurseries where they’ve had to debate whether to have a proper dresser/changing table or a glider, as they’ve only had room for one. I would strongly recommend the glider. We actually repurposed a white Crate & Barrel dresser that *barely* fits a changing pad cover (like, could not fit one of these toppers and has no space for a diaper caddy) as her changing table in order to make space for a glider. The dresser is honestly too tall for me and it’s not ideal for changing mini but I’d still cede that space for a glider, and here’s why: when baby is little, you will welcome any spot you have to sit and hold and nurse the baby. I loved having this little nook to feed mini all alone in her room when we had guests over (and we had a revolving door of guests!) It was also a kindness to our nanny. I hadn’t thought of it when assembling her nursery, but our nannies have spent countless hours in the nursery with mini and they need a spot to sit! And as mini has grown, I have used it nightly (and often at nap-time, too) to read her books and rock her to sleep. It’s a non-negotiable IMHO. I would recommend one of the upholstered swivel ones — and DEFINITELY get the foot stool! I remember many of you urging me on this front and you were right. You will want a place to prop your feet! I ended up using a mongolian fur stool similar to this because our glider (which looks very similar to this but is upholstered in a green and white stripe) did not come with an ottoman and I thought it added a little texture and fun to the room. I love the look of this glider and its coordinating ottoman, but I would advise a trip to the store to make sure the arm-rests feel comfortable; I’m wondering if the ones on this style would be comfortable. Imagine holding a baby in your arms in it for HOURS. Is there a good spot for you to rest your arm?! Finally (guess I have a lot to say on this front), don’t limit yourself to just looking at gliders/rockers specifically for nurseries. We found ours at Crate & Barrel because we loved the print and just added the mismatching stool I mentioned above. You might do the same with a fun print like this!

+We have our bassinet situation covered, but I have long loved this uber-traditional wicker bassinet with the cloth skirt. It’s so grand and sweet at the same time. Not Mr. Magpie’s vibe AT ALL though, and I still think we went the correct route with this (ours is in a dark wood color). Provided we have the space, I can repurpose it as a repository for stuffed animals/toys when micro outgrows it. I have also heard good things about the Halo Bassinest, which includes settings that rock/vibrate the baby — a major pro TBH. It’s almost like having a rock and play and bassinet in one! I wasn’t as into the design, but I can see its appeal. I like that the base could be tucked right under the bottom of the bed so baby is virtually co-sleeping with you. It’s funny — before mini arrived, I always thought that co-sleeping was not my style. And mini rarely actually slept in our bed unless I nodded off while nursing or cuddling her and then would awake in a panic. But I understand its pull from a convenience standpoint: you are feeding the baby every two hours and MAN sometimes even just hoisting yourself up to retrieve the baby from a few feet away was too much. I like that the Halo keeps the baby as close as possible to you while keeping her safe. And then there’s the Snoo Sleeper, which is apparently the best thing since sliced bread. It actually responds to your baby’s cry by rocking/vibrating the baby, presumably preventing you from an extra soothing trip. I think it comes with a built-in swaddle and everything. It sounds cool and I like the styling but $1,300 for an uber-temporary bed for baby feels…off, even to me, and I can get swept up in these things.

+We had — and loved — the Phil & Ted high chair. I like the futuristic design and especially loved how easy it was to keep clean. I’ve heard the OXO Tot high chairs — while stylish and traditional — are an absolute nightmare to keep clean (look under the pad!) Ours still looks brand new. It converts into a toddler chair, which was a key selling point for us, and we have been using it for mini for the past many months (she started resisting the high chair around 18 months or so I think). She loves to eat her dinner in it, color at her table in it, put her dollbabies in it, etc. But my big gripe with it is that the piece that is used to keep the tray in place cannot be removed, so there’s always this “peg” that mini has to climb around when she’s getting into and out of the chair, and she often gets stuck and flustered. We decided that her big birthday gift from us (in less than a month!) would be a new table and chairs that were a bit more stylish and functional. We settled on an epic toddler-sized Kartell ghost chair (in pink! — I’M DYING CAN I BE MY DAUGHTER; get the look for less with this or this) and this tidy white wood table from PBK. I’d briefly considered these S&L chairs (so adorable) and this light wood set but they just didn’t vibe with our apartment. I LOVE those bunny ear chairs though!

+I still stand by the Phil & Ted as an excellent high chair. My other contender was the Stokke Trip Trapp. I love the style of it, but it felt annoyingly expensive and I personally preferred the idea of a traditional high chair with a tray. (The whole concept behind the Trip Trapp is that baby eats on the table / at the table with you from a young age.) I am also drawn to the styling of this Baby Bjorn high chair but haven’t done a ton of research into it so can’t comment fully. I will say that Baby Bjorn products tend to be pretty well-made and well-designed. AND that aqua color!


+I am currently looking for (totally random and boring rabbit hole) a diaper caddy for our bedroom that I can keep tucked under micro’s bassinet for middle-of-the-night changes. With mini, I kept a wipes dispenser, diapers, diaper cream, her changing mat, etc in a monogrammed LL Bean tote, which is my first instinct. My thinking was that it could be repurposed down the road for innumerable functions. I currently use one of mini’s LL Bean totes (size medium) as a stroller bag for when the nanny is out and about with her. It has all of her essentials in it and I don’t need to swap anything out of my own diaper bag. BUT I did recently discover that there are ACTUAL diaper caddies that were designed JUST for the purpose I’m mentioning, like this hard-sided Ubbi (I have found all Ubbi products to be excellent — I especially love their diaper pail, duh, and their bath tub toy caddy, the bottom of which can be removed to drain excess water! GENIUS! NO MOLD!) On the fabric front, I’m drawn to this (love the print and the overall dimensions). Then again, maybe I’ll just repurpose one of our Hinza totes (<<currently on sale!) for the few months I’ll need something in our room. I love them — easy to clean, stylish, simple. And can be reused 239808 different ways.

+Very random: love this for boys and this for girls when it comes to changing table covers.

+A cute laundry basket for a boy’s nursery.

P.S. A dream nursery

P.P.S. Baby gear redux and my formal registry for baby two.

P.P.P.S. Practical advice on preparing for motherhood.

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18 thoughts on “Nursery Noodling.

  1. A plug for the modern wingback recliner from PBK! It has a more narrow silhouette so ideal for a small Manhattan nursery. Only downside was the multiple delivery date delays because the gray linen is in high demand. Lost years of my life for that damn fabric!

    The 4Moms high chair has worked nicely for us too. Functional, easy to clean, and not a huge eye sore.

    1. LOVE that glider. So chic. The lines are elegant! I hate waiting for products from PBK and the like — ugh.


  2. Oh no are you still doing shop the post browse at the bottom! It’s so easy to peruse- hope you consider again!

    1. I know, I know!! I have been without childcare for a week (nanny out sick, and headed on vacation) so have had to trim that habit temporarily!! Will restore!


  3. That Kartell ghost chair is amazing!!! We too are low on space and I’m trying to figure out where to put a small table/chair for the baby so she has space for arts and crafts. We have some room in her bedroom, but I’d prefer it in the family room where we spend most of our time, and between her kitchen and armchair (and all her toys and books) we’re out of room. When the weather is nicer we have an easel set up outside, but it’s been gross even here lately. I don’t know!

    And another vote for the Phil and Ted high chair – we have it too and it’s the best!

    1. I hear you! We put the table in our living area, too. She eats her meals at it (she currently uses a less stylish plastic table that we are anxious to get rid of — it’s actually her former activity center from when she was a baby; pretty nifty but a bit of an eyesore) and loves to color and play at it. It’s great for her to have her own space, at her own height, while we are all relaxing in the family room.


  4. We’re putting the larger size of the wicker pendant in our bedroom. I could have bought a cluster of them at the outlet for less than the price of one at retail. Le sigh. We have the same PBK bassinet and kept it to hand down to our kids one day. Love Mini’s ghost chair, but we lusted after those mini riviera chairs too.

    1. Ooo love that wicker pendant!!! So jealous! I keep seeing that you visit all of these outlets and I’m so, so jealous. Amazing!


  5. I have no children and therefore about zero experience with any of the products, but I did want to note that you shouldn’t feel that you HAVE to get that third bedroom… My nieces (almost 4 and almost 2) have shared a room since the youngest was evicted from Mom & Dad’s room and honestly, it’s great. Number 3 is due in April and my SIL is very seriously considering putting her in there too (and this is not a big room). They’ve done swimmingly sharing their space and even if it doesn’t last forever, I kind of think it’s sweet. I know micro is a boy, but honestly, it’s probably years before that would ever be an issue? Just two cents from someone who has no cents (or sense?) to give 🙂

    1. HA! OMG, Mr. Magpie is probably going to print this out and put it on our refrigerator or blow it up and paste it to our ceiling. He is desperate to try to make our current apartment work for longer with two children. My issue is that mini’s room is TINY. We *might* be able to squeeze a second crib in there, but then we’d need to take out the glider and/or probably the dresser, too. I can’t see logistically how it would work unless we got rid of our dining table and started using the dining area as a play area/continuation of the nursery so we could store their toys and gear and even clothes out there, and then it just feels like we’d be living in a hovel. If we had a bigger two BR, I would be on board and we’ve not ruled that out. There’s actually one on sale in our building right now that we could feasibly make work — the 2nd BR is big enough that you could even put up a small divider and create two rooms out of it — so we’re contemplating options…

      Thank you though for the thought — you are right! I’ve had lots of New York moms say, “Eh, you could make it work!” But one other element has me held up — I work from home. It might be one thing if both kids were in daycare and I worked outside the home and we literally only slept and ate here in the mornings and evenings. But I am here ALL day! I need this space to work for me, too.

      Anyway, all that to say — thank you — and definitely food for thought!


    2. Those all seem like very logical reasons. I know even the smallest of houses in DC doesn’t compare to a NY apartment, haha!

  6. We have and love the peg perego primo viaggio high chair and I can’t say enough good things about it. It looks big at fist glance but folds up horizontally almost like a Stoller. Huge bonus-you can use it from day 1 as a place to park the babe b/c it reclines all the way flat. Anyway, we have loved and used for 2 kiddos and it’s still going strong. Also comes in a gorge leather colors, we have tan but friends have all white and it is so chic!!

    1. Wow!! Had not heard of this but LOVE that it works from day one. Such a smart idea! I have mentioned this tons of times but I was so startled when mini was born by how nice it was to have multiple places to “stow” baby during the day. This seems like a smart addition to something that’s just always in your house already. Thanks for the tip!

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