Mini Cribs – A Great Option

Mini Cribs are just that…mini.  They are a great option for new babies because they really can fit all over the house.  You can have your baby sleep in your room for the first few months, without investing in a separate co-sleeper.  You can put them in a nook (or a closet) if you don’t have a separate nursery space.  They can easily fit into an existing child’s bedroom.  They are narrow enough to even move from room to room if needed. They are versatile and should last through the first year of your child’s life (depending on the size of your baby).

In general, I like to recommend products that will last longer than the first year which is why I love a transitional crib that can move through toddlerhood and even beyond.  But, I know many folks don’t have the space for a larger crib – especially in the first year as they’re adjusting to bringing another person into the family and the space that used to work for 2 (or 3, or 4, etc.) Manufacturers are catching up with this concept and a few of the cribs below actually convert into twin beds.  I’m not quite sure what you do between age 1 and the time your baby can be alone in a twin bed.

Mini cribs come in modern to traditional styles.  Here are a few I like.

Bloom Alma Mini

  • Size: 49.5″ x 37.25″ x 33.125″ (LxWxH)
  • Colors: Cappuccino, White, Gray, Green
  • Foldable
  • $340

 

 

Babyletto Grayson Mini

  • Size: 39.14″ x 25.4″ x 33.6″ (LxWxH)
  • Colors: Espresso, White, Gray, Navy
  • Foldable
  • $249-299

 

 

 

 

 

Davinci Annabelle MiniDaVinci Annabelle Mini Crib

  • Size: 40″ x 27″ x 38″ (LxWxH)
  • Colors: Espresso, White
  • Converts to a twin bed
  • $159

 

 

 

Davinci Alpha Mini Rocking Crib

  • Size: 38.75″ x 26″ x 35.25″ (LxWxH)
  • Colors: Espresso, White, natural white
  • Stationary or Rocking (picture shows the rocking option)
  • $109

 

 

 

Davinci Emily Mini

  • Size: 39.5″ x 28″ x 37.8″ (LxWxH)
  • Colors: 6 options
  • Converts to a twin bed
  • $149

 

 

Davinci Kalani Mini

  • Size: 40″ x 28.6″ x 38.2″ (LxWxH)
  • Colors: 5 options
  • Converts to a twin bed
  • $149

 

 

 

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Space Saving Tip for Toys

As Peep gets older, her toys and their parts just seem to get smaller but the boxes they come in just seem to get bigger and more annoying.  Small puzzle pieces come in odd shaped boxes.  Reading games come with wooden alphabet parts in odd shaped boxes.  Board games have dice and come in all different shaped, odd shaped boxes.  Legos (enough said). There’s a theme here.  The toy companies are trying their best to make our lives miserable by having all different shaped containers – big and round, big and square, small and square but a different size square from the next.

 

 

Ugh! They don’t fit in a bookshelf all nicely stacked or in the square storage bins everyone has and ultimately, they end up looking like this.  It’s like a game of Tetris just to get them to fit.

 

 

 

Some of the boxes are so annoying that I’ve given up on them entirely which leads to my space saving tip. Throw that box away, and store the small pieces in large plastic bags.  It’s not that pretty, but there are now 4 large bags containing puzzles, blocks and a game plus a few small bags of miscellaneous elements to other games in this  8″ x 12″ box.  The other benefit is that Peep can easily see what she wants, get it out and then clean it up without any help!  No Tetris skills required.

So go look at your toys.  Are there some that don’t need directions and you can ditch the box?

 

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Quality Baby Products Last

When Peep was born (5.5 years ago), my husband and I decided that we would purchase fewer things, and instead invest in well designed, high quality baby staples that we loved – you know, the whole quality over quantity thing.  Our two big ticket items was the Stokke crib and the Bugaboo Cameleon stroller.  Peep used both for 3+ years, and we remained very pleased with our decision.

With the arrival of Teapot, both are back in our lives and used daily.

Stokke Crib
 

Teapot in Bugaboo Cameleon

 

When we moved Peep out of her Stokke, she started sleeping in the best example of “they don’t make em’ like they used to” beds.  Roughly 38 years ago, my parents purchased an antique farmhouse bed that was slightly shorter than a twin, cut the legs down and made the sweetest little kid’s bed I’ve seen.  All 4 of my siblings and I slept in this bed, it was a daybed in our TV area for 15 years, and now it is where Peep dreams each night.  Obviously it has had new mattresses along the way, but other then that and a couple of coats of paint on the headboard, it remains as solid as ever.  Given that I’m a sentimental creature, I get daily pleasure snuggling Peep each night in my childhood bed that will hopefully live long enough for her to pass on.

(Another sentimental note: the doll that is sleeping there on the left was also my childhood doll. I promise that I’m just a sentimental keeper of things…not a  hoarder.)

So as you make purchase decisions, consider purchasing quality baby furniture & gear over quantity – you might just see your grandkids using it one day.

 

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Truth in Advertising

I couldn’t resist sharing this photo my sister sent. This is an ad running in the NYC metro.

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Organization for a Small Nursery – 6 Double Duty Basics

Small Nursery OrganizationIf you’re faced with a tiny or small nursery space, organization is going to be key.  One of the most important design decisions is to make sure every item has more then one purpose, or will be able to grow with your child.  Some of these are so basic that I think we forget them when looking to put together a room.

Six Double Duty Basics:

1. The crib.  I’m a true believer in purchasing a small crib that will grow with your child.  I do not believe that you need to buy one that will grow with them all the way to college (the crib to double bed phenom), but it should get you through little kid stage at the least.  In our house, we chose the Stokke Sleepi for this, but if you look at the Sleep section, there are many other wonderful options (with more to come as I continue to add new options!).  One element of the Stokke Sleepi that is not perfect for organization is that the design doesn’t allow for easy storage below it.  There is plenty of room to store out of season clothing, or extra diapers, it’s just really hard to get to, and every time I look at it I think…”Grrr that’s a waste of perfectly good space!”  So if you really have a tiny room, consider a crib that would allow you some under bed storage.

2. A dresser.  You will want somewhere to store clothes, blankets, diapers, toys, more diapers, etc.   A small, waist high dresser is a great choice because the top of it can also be a changing table. If you have room, you can put the diapers next to the changing pad, but you can also store them out-of-sight in the top drawer.  Below is a great example of what this could look like (our drawer for Teapot’s diapers is organized but not pretty right now).

 

3.  The walls. This one may sound funny, but don’t forget to look up.  Walls are great storage opportunities – think about where shelves would work, or a few great hooks.  Peep’s room doesn’t have a lot of wall space due to the 6 windows and 2 doors, but there is a bookshelf that runs 10 inches from the ceiling along 2 walls.  Perfect place for books, and other decoration.

Look at the picture below – dream land of shelving!  I’d probably make it less about toy display and more practical, but you get the idea.  For ideas about hooks and hangers, Land of Nod has really made some great wall storage items which I wrote about here.

 

A small nursery (with built-in shelves)

Source: refinery29.com via Emily on Pinterest

 

4The closet. Some of you, like my sister, are laughing right now – closet??? Are you kidding?  We only have one closet in the whole apartment!!  Ok, so if you’re lucky enough to have a closet in the room (as opposed to using your walk-in closet AS the nursery) then utilize every last spec of space in it.  Move the bar down or up.  Put in shelves.  Take the door off for easy access.  You get the idea.  If you can’t visualize, here are a couple courtesy of my Pinterest boards.

great small nursery closet organization

 

Changing station

 

5. A bookshelf. This is of course a no-brainer, but a small well placed bookshelf can host well, er, books, and anything else you can think of.  A few good boxes/baskets are always a great oranizational investment.

6. The floor. No really.  If you have a few extra empty feet, consider putting a basket or a bucket for shoes.

Organization for a small nursery can make or break the room way more than what color scheme or bedding you purchase.  Consider and explore all your options before doing anything to the room (nook).

 

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Badger Basket – Folding Doll Furniture

If you have a child that loves all things baby as much as I do, and you have a small space, then these products are for you.  Badger Basket makes folding doll furniture.  The set includes a crib with storage, an armoire with 3 hangers and a high chair with tray.  And best of all, when your child isn’t playing with them, they can be folded up, and stored in a flat case.

badger basket folding doll furniture

badger basket folding doll furniture - storage case

Case for Storage

 

Other Great Features:

  • The furniture is made from sturdy pink canvas fabric and has a white binding.
  • The crib and armoire have concealed magnets to hold them closed
  • The crib comes with a pillow and blanket
  • The highchair has a removable tray and storage below
  • While a creative kid will play with this with any size doll, it’s made to accommodate dolls up to 20 inches
  • The three piece set is $69.99 on be purchased on their website.

 

I love that idea that these can be easily stored when not being played with.  There is some assembly and disassembly when utilizing the storage case, but there are no tools needed.

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Teapot is here!

My little Teapot has arrived.  She was born November 30th, weighing in at 7lbs 5oz and looking the spitting image of her big sister.  Peep, as you can see in the pictures, is beyond thrilled with the addition of her sister.  We are now home and getting used to our new normal.  And, we are all, totally in love with this new addition.

New Baby - 1st week in pictures

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Can 2 Car Seats Fit in a Mini Cooper?

Can 2 Car Seats Fit in a Mini Cooper?We are 11 days away from meeting Teapot, and it’s starting to feel like Noah’s Ark around here – 2 kids, 2 kid beds, 2 of everything (actually, it’s not that bad, but you get the idea).  One thing that we also have is 2 cars since the subway conveniently stops at the doorstep of our town.  I have a Subaru Forester to do all my mom stuff in, and my husband has a Mini Cooper S since he spends most of his time in and out of the city.  I should mention here that my husband LOVES his Mini – it’s his first brand-new-off-the-lot-car and he’s kind of a “car-guy” so loves the sporty handling and the “zippy-ness” as Peep says.  The two of them go off on adventures in it all the time.

Since I have the bigger car, I’ve never worried about 2 car seats fitting into my back seat.  However, the Mini is another question.  We have been putting off trying to put 2 car seats into the Mini until now.  The fact is, Peep’s booster fits perfectly behind the passenger seat.  I’m short (5′) so I don’t mind moving up a little in the front and we can easily go places as a family.  My husband is tall (6’2″) so the driver seat is all the way back and is about one inch from the back seat. So given this, the question remains…can 2 car seats fit in a Mini Cooper?

The answer we found this weekend is – kind of.  The infant seat will fit behind the passenger seat if it’s all the way forward, and Peep can fit behind my husband if she puts her feet up a little, and he pulls forward an inch or so.  Not ideal for anyone.  But…it’s not for forever right?  And I’m sure Noah’s Ark got a bit tight in the large animal section right?

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No space for toys? Rent them!

With the holiday season upon us, there are many Holiday Guides being put together both online and in our own heads.  What should I get my child? What do they need and/or want? What can I get rid of to make room for new things?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of extra space for new toys.  I am also very nervous about buying new things for Peep unless I know she’s going to love them and actually PLAY with them. (How many toys are sitting in your house not played with right now taking up valuable space??? Drives me crazy!)

So I started to look around the internet for toy rental companies.  The one I came across that I liked the best is called TOYconomy.  (I should state right now that I have not tried them out yet, I’m simply passing on the fruits of my research!)  What I liked about them is that you can pick the toys you want to try and there are a few levels of participation.  Many of the other options pick the toys for you that are “age appropriate” and often have only limited participation fees.  The toy store options are set up by age and the brands range from Melissa & Doug to Lego and LeapFrog.  The toys come fully cleaned, with batteries if needed and if your child falls in love with one of them, you can purchase it for a discount!

Here are a few screen shots from their website to help you understand what they’re all about.

TOYconomy Pricing

TOYconomy PricingTOYconomy Pricing

As I said, I have not tried this service (yet) but would love to know if anyone has or would they?

 

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Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Review

Last week I had the opportunity to learn more about the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 that was recently launched through an event hosted by Charlene of Charlene Chronicles.  What a great opportunity for a newer blogger such as myself to spend the evening learning about a great new baby product with a bunch of new and expectant moms.  I should also mention it was held at a MiniLuxe spa so I was also treated to a manicure – whoo-hoo!  Here we are, learning about the product:

I am familiar with the line of  Graco SnugRide car seats since that’s what we had for Peep when she was born.  But this new seat is different.  The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 is the only infant car seat that provides rear-facing protection for babies from birth to 2 years old, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The infant car seat grows with babies from 4 pounds up to 40 pounds, so parents can keep their children rear facing longer, while making sure they stay comfortable as they grow.

I was anxious to get this new seat home and check it out. The first thing I played around with was the adjustable base.  This is really the revolutionary part to this seat. The base adjusts with 8 recline positions to allow the seat to grow with your child and give them more leg room as they grow to age 2.  There is also a harness system in the seat that allows parents to adjust both the harness and headrest with just one hand – without having to rethread the harness.  Both of these features are definite upgrades to the the base SnugRide we had with Peep.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 - newbornGraco SnugRide Click Connect 40 - extra foot roomSince I still have a month to go before Teapot arrives, I don’t have a real baby to test this out on.  So, I found Peep’s doll Emma who is the size of a preemie (17 inches long) to help me out.  Here are two pictures of Emma with the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 in my car. Notice in the second picture, that I have the base adjusted to the furthest recline position which would allow her a lot of leg room as she gets older.  There is also a “kick plate” that you can pull up and protect your seat from kicking toddler feet.

 

Other Benefits

  • I received the Mena™ design and it is a lovely scroll pattern that is clearly for a girl, but not overly “girly.” It is also available in a gender neutral design called the Moonstruck™.
  • The infant insert is extremely well designed to fit around your newborn.  Emma was snug and sweet and made me excited to see my real baby in it!
  • It fit in my car.
  • The seat without the base is 9.38lbs – not too heavy!

Concerns:

  • It is more expensive than the other SnugRide’s in Graco’s line.  These retail for $219.99 at Babies”R”Us either online or in stores while the base models start at $139.
  • I have a Subaru Forester, which I consider to be a big car.  When the seat was in the infant recline position, it easily fit in the back seat.  However, when I adjusted it to the furthest recline position I had to move the front seat all the way forward to get it to fit.  Not sure my 6’2″ husband would fit up there.  Our 2nd car is  Mini Cooper – same problem only more so.
  • One of my favorite features of our previous SnugRide was the fact that with an adaptor, we could also use our it with our stroller.  With this new Click Connect system, the only stroller you can use this seat with is the accompanying Graco stroller.

Overall, I’m truly impressed with this car seat.  Bravo to Graco for responding to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  I have a feeling this won’t be the last type of seat to help parents keep their child rear facing until age 2.

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Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Infant Car Seat - MenaThe Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40– the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

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