While the timing varies for each expectant parent, there comes a point in a pregnancy to start preparing your home for the arrival of your child. Parents-to-be glean everything they can about car seats, blankets, baby toys and other essentials—and it’s the job of a baby planner to help them make good, informed choices without getting overwhelmed. We have been so impressed with the expertise of Jennifer Link of Sweet Pea Baby Planners that we invited her to curate our first model nursery. Working with a city couple expecting a baby girl in August, Jennifer helped them select everything from breast pumps to bath toys. The final list includes items for the nursery, kitchen and bath, along with other essentials like a stroller and changing station. As you go through this list of nursery highlights, please keep in mind that neither Jennifer nor New York Family is recommending these products as the absolute best of their kind. But we are recommending them as very good products whose selection also reflects the preferences and budget of the couple. For other expectant or new parents, it’s a handy list to refer to as you figure out your own preferences.
Teething Rattle, Wrist Rattle, and Blankie by Apple Park “These toys are so cute and soft, they speak for themselves!” (applepark.com)
Sleeping Gown, Onesie, and Bib by Magnificent Baby “Tiny magnets make the best buttons; these clothes make getting dressed and undressed simple.” (magnificentbaby.com)
Baby Hat and Mittens by Satsuma “Made from bamboo materials and super soft for delicate skin, these are wonderful for the first trip home from the hospital.” (satsumadesigns.com)
Swaddle Dream Blankets and Dribble Burpy Bib by Aden & Anais “These muslin blankets are breathable, perfect for swaddling and become softer with every use.” (adenandanais.com)
The Cuddle-Up Blanket by Ambajam “This is the softest blanket ever and comes in great, ‘not so baby-ish’ colors.” (ambajam.com)
Rockabye Storage Rocker in blue, $149; giggle.com.
Nursing Cover by Moboleez “This out-of-the-box nursing cover is a must-have; it’s a floppy hat to rest on baby’s head that gives moms some privacy too.” (moboleez.com)
Nursing Pads by Bamboobies “Very soft nursing pads (one for daytime use and a thicker one for nighttime) made from bamboo, hence the clever name.” (buybamboobies.com)
Luna Lullaby Pillow by Bosom Baby “This pillow has the perfect shape—it fits with any chair and helps the baby rest comfortably while eating.” (lunalullaby.com)
Society Satchel Diaper Bag by Petunia Picklebottom “Diaper bags are one of those things that you could spend hours shopping for—and hours carrying! Having a few is a great idea, but make sure you have one that’s all about you. This model proves that diaper bags can be both functional and fabulous.” (petuniapicklebottom.com)
Luxo Crib by Bloom Baby “This crib caught my attention the moment I saw it! It’s stylish and made from low-VOC materials, plus it can convert to a toddler bed later on.” (bloombaby.com)
Luxo Dresser/Changing Table by Bloom Baby “This dresser’s deep drawers are great for storing all sorts of little-person clothing, and the changing table on top is removable and easily storable when no longer needed.” (bloombaby.com)
Crib Mattress by Bloom Baby “Organic is the only way to go!” (bloombaby.com)
Sweet Music Makers and Cuddle Toy by Cloud B “All three models are fantastic—the Sleep Sheep goes anywhere and can help drown out city noise, the Dolphin keeps pleasant tunes floating through the air, and the Cuddle Cub calms little ones with subtle shivers.” (cloudb.com)
Comforter and Pillow by Dwell Studio “When this client looked at the Dwell Studio patterns she was instantly drawn to the owls. We have the comforter and the pillow shown here, and while you wouldn’t use those until the little one is older, it’s a great pattern choice for the nursery; plus, it served as the inspiration for the mural!” (dwellstudio.com)
Halo Sleep Sack by Giggle “This sleep sack is perfect for keeping the baby warm when you’re no longer swaddling.” (giggle.com)
Temperature Monitor by Grobaby “Want to make sure the nursery is staying the right temp? This GroEgg takes out the guesswork.” (gro.co.uk)
Blanket by Giggle “Also from Giggle’s Basics line, a great blanket for tummy time or other snuggling.” (giggle.com)
Babycare Loungewool Soft Rug, $80; giggle.com.
Dwell Studio Owl Boudoir Pillow, $34; giggle.com.
Ikea Dudero Floor Lamp, $14.99 ikea.com.
Sunscreen, Calming Lotion, Bug Spray and Baby Oil by Badger Balm “Always check safety ratings on products like sunscreens and lotions with the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s recommendations. However, you can’t go wrong with Badger Balm’s fantastic products.” (badgerbalm.com)
Temporal Arterial Thermometer by Exergen “You don’t need to wake the little one to take a temperature with this handy thermometer; a simple swipe on the forehead gives an accurate temp.” (exergen.com)
Bath Toys and Bug Pod by Boon “These bath toys come in crazy shapes and colors—definitely not your run-of-the-mill rubber duckies. The toys don’t get moldy, and the Bug Pod lets you scoop the toys, rinse them and hang them to dry.” (booninc.com)
Bottles, Sippy Cup, Teethers And Buzz B Nail Trimmer by ZoLi “This line of products is made by a mom who knows what she’s doing. The teethers are genius, the Buzz B makes nail-trimming much more pleasant and everything is super chic.” (zo-li.com)
Pod Bouncer by Combi “This bouncer is really light and easy to move from room to room, so it’s a great way to keep the baby involved in whatever you’re doing. Plus, the vibration is soothing for babies.” (combi-intl.com)
Infant Bathtub by Puj “Most people are drawn to the Puj for its unique design, but the fact that it’s easy to clean is what keeps me coming back. It’s also great for city apartments; it fits in most sinks and stores flat. Genius!” (pujbaby.com)
Freestyle Breast Pump by Medela “A great portable pump that is also hands-free. Done and done.” (medelafreestyle.com)
Pacifier by NUK “Sometimes going with a classic is a great choice; if babies are picky about pacifiers or bottles, I find they will almost always take a Nuk.” (nuk.com)
Drying Rack by Boon “This grass drying rack is the perfect place to rest utensils, bottles, sippy cups and more. It’s something that you don’t mind looking at everyday, either.” (booninc.com)
Prima Pappa High Chair by Peg Perego “There are lots of great high chairs out there with amazing functionality, but the Prima Pappa incorporates just about all of them. The tray tips, the seat reclines and the height of the seat is adjustable. Oh, and it folds for storage, too.” (pegperego.com)
TASSIMO T-20 Hot Beverage System by BOSCH, $129.95; target.com.
The 30/30 Primo Viaggio Car Seat by Peg Perego “This car seat fits in the Uppa stroller with an adapter and quickly snaps into the base in the car.” (pegperego.com)
Mamaroo Motorized chair by 4Moms “A wonderful soother for baby when mom’s hands are full.” (4momsonline.com)
Om To Go Travel Pack by OmAroma “A great travel pack to throw in your hospital bag or to keep in the diaper bag.” (omaroma.com)
Butterfly 2 Baby Carrier by Beco “This cool carrier works for a newborn all the way up to when the child is 45 lbs.” (becobabycarrier.com)
Thirsty Tote Thermal Sleeve by BuiltNY “Take a chilled or warm bottle with you and keep it just the right temp with this handy thermal sleeve. Or bring two on an outing and use one for a beverage for yourself!” (builtny.com)
Changing Station by Dipe N Go “A super handy way to store everything you need for a quick change in the car or stroller. Restock it periodically and keep it on hand.” (dipe-n-go.com)
Diaper Wallet by My Royal Heiney “The diaper wallet is great for a quick errand or if you’re running into the bathroom to change and don’t want to take the whole bag with you.” (myroyalheinie.com)
Vista 2010 Stroller by Uppababy “In a stroller city, this is always one of my favorites. It’s easy to maneuver and really versatile, plus, the storage compartment underneath holds tons.” (uppababy.com)
BEHIND THE NURSERY
The Baby Planner After a career as a business development executive in media and music, Jennifer Link was inspired by her own experiences as a mother-to-be to become a baby planner. She prides herself on helping “[her] clients enjoy the process while making sure they are prepared.” Her services include advising expectant parents on everything registry and gear-related, including nursery stocking and organization, childbirth classes and complete parent preparation, in addition to helping new parents after the baby has arrived. For more about Jennifer, visit sweetpeababyplanners.com/jlink, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Photographer A portrait specialist with a subspecialty in product shots, Thaddeus Harden has a gift for bringing out the essence of people and products alike. He has shot many New York Family cover subjects, from Wynton Marsalis to Christie Brinkley. For more about Thaddeus visit thaddeusharden.com, or email him at email@example.com.
The Muralist Marked by their fanciful artistry and dreamy fun, the murals and paintings of Sam Simon are a big hit with parents and kids alike. Simon says his number one goal is “to bring a space to a higher level of beauty, function and design.” In this case he included a chipmunk because “Let’s face it, chipmunks, with their black and white Mohawk stripes, are the little punk rockers of the squirrel posse.” For more about Sam and his work, visit samsimonprojects.com, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stylist New York Family’s Style and Shopping Director, Joy Sherwood, oversees the styling of our cover shoots and feature stories, as well as the Joy of Shopping blog at NewYorkFamily.com. Before joining the New York Family team, her career highlights include being a general manager at Hirshleifer’s and a buyer for Chanel and Hermes.
A Word About Our Model Apartment…
To photograph our model nursery, we took up temporary residence at 2280 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (2280 FDB), a new luxury condominium building near 123rd Street in Harlem. Within its architecturally unique facade, the building is filled with luxury amenities that simplify family life (like top-of-the-line kitchen appliances and super-capacity washers and dryers) plus plenty of places for kids to play, like the massive outdoor recreation space and rooftop terrace. For more information, visit 2280fdb.com.