Where to start with baby stuff? This is actually a very overwhelming question. Before significant baby shower scheduling took place, I decided the crib and nursery furniture was a decent place to start, especially since these are the most expensive items. When we moved in the house a couple years ago, we renovated all the bedrooms, painted and replaced the pink and blue carpeting with floating hardwood. We used a green tone in each room, good neutral color so we are not going to repaint the room. Neither of us are major decorators so we probably won’t decorate the room too much either, but we will see how that goes.
As far as the crib goes I decided to start with Consumer Reports. I have always included CR as a component of my research process when buying stuff. CR’s buying guide breaks down cribs into three prices points, economy, mid-priced, and high end. When I buy things for myself I am typically very price conscious, but have learned you really do get what you pay for.
I began my search looking for American made cribs, but apparently there are no more crib manufactures in the US. My first search was a failure, so I started looking at highly rated cribs on Amazon to get an idea of what is available (style and price). The majority of these cribs seemed to fall in CR’s economy/mid-priced range, which was fine, but I was not going to pick anything out with “feeling the crib” and we both wanted to see how they looked in person.
I searched for crib stores within a reasonable distance from the house…there were a few furniture stores and one crib specialty store and one Buy Buy Baby, I was surprised I expected to have a few more choices. I searched the websites of the furniture stores and they had a very limited selection of cribs, again I was surprised. We decided to stop by one of the local furniture stores and check things out…they had one room with three cribs, disappointed we left. Then we went down to the crib specialty store. This place had a boatload of options, but they were all middle mid-priced and high end which was fine, since we were truly looking for a broad range of options. We ended up picking out three favorites, a “specialty store only” Westwood Designs, one from Franklin & Ben, and a super fancy one from Romina. All three we convertible cribs, which provides them the opportunity to sell you three pieces of furniture at once. You start with the crib and mattress. You buy the toddler rail, but still get to use the same crib mattress, finally you buy bed rails to transform the crib into a full size bed (this mattress you buy in 5 years or however long it takes for them to outgrow the toddler bed. None of these were within our price range, but they did come in sets which included other furniture such as a chest, dresser, nightstand, changing table, all kinds of different things. We had to look at our other local option.
Buy Buy Baby had a couple of the same cribs as the local specialty store, however they also had a few economy and lower mid-priced options as well. I am glad we decided to check out this store and see what the economy options looked like, since a few of these had great ratings on Amazon. I was not impressed. The furniture was light weight and was visibly not as well made. Several of these pieces did look nice, but they did not live up to the options at the other store.
While we debated what to do, B’s parents said they would purchase the nursery furniture for us. I typically refuse these offers, is it principle, stubbornness, whatever I tell my own parents not to give my gifts. I prefer to do things on my own. However, B’s mother had previously sat me down and said, “you have to let people help you out when they want to…” this was my first opportunity to put this “learning moment” into effect, so we decided to let them buy the furniture for us. We headed back to the specialty store and agreed on the Westwood Designs crib, dresser, and chest. Now we need to wait 8-12 weeks for it to be delivered.