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  • Shop ‘Til You Pop: The Best NYC Area Baby & Maternity Stores

    From Upscale Boutiques To Comprehensive Super-Stores, The NYC Metro Area Has Baby-Shopping For Every Budget And Need

    By Mia Weber
    NessaLee Baby

    NessaLee Baby

    Editor’s Note: For more shopping ideas, check out “High (Style) Expectations,” an article on great local maternity stores. 

    Creating the perfect happy-place to welcome your newest family member into the home is a task in careful curating that could rattle even the most seasoned of shoppers. Luckily, New York City is bursting with fabulous retailers all ready to help you feather your nest. We asked owners, managers, and buyers from some of our favorite city shops to share their insight, knowledge, and savvy shopping tips.

    ALBEE BABY
    Interview with store manager Peter Roberge

    What are the store’s core offerings?
    We run the gamut of children’s products, from strollers to cribs to nursery furniture, and bedding, décor, diaper bags, toys, and feeding items.

    How long has the store been in business?
    This is our 81st year, owned and operated by our founder’s children and grandchildren.

    Any advice for parents shopping for a nursery?
    Everyone wants a nursery that’s special and comfortable, but make sure it’s comfortable for the parent as well as the baby. And don’t be afraid of colors.

    What’s one product you love right now?
    We have a new crop of European strollers, including Jané, Mima, Mamas and Papas, and Nuna, that offer great quality and versatility at great prices.

    715 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-662-7337; albeebaby.com

    BABIES“R”US

    What are the store’s core offerings?
    Babies“R”Us offers an unparalleled assortment of apparel, gear, and furniture for little ones, as well as all of the necessary essentials for baby. Plus, our registry is the top choice for expectant parents everywhere.

    How long has the store been in business?
    The Toys“R”Us family gave birth to us in 1996.

    Notice any interesting trends in the nursery?

    It’s all in the details! Personal touches like monogrammed pillows, blankets, and keepsakes complete any nursery.

    What’s one product you love right now?

    The Kardashian Kids collection [launched] in select stores in March! The line pays close attention to the details and features sweet, on-trend ensembles for girls from newborn to 24 months.

    24-30 Union Square East, 212-798-9905; babiesrus.com

    BEHR’S SUPERSTORE
    Interview with co-owner Jared Behr

    What are your store’s core offerings?
    Behr’s has the largest display of fine baby and kids’ furniture and accessories in the Tri-State area (housed in over 30,000 square-ft). Plus, we now offer online shopping! That’s a huge deal for Manhattan customers who can’t make the trip to Long Island.

    How long has the store been in business?
    107 years! We’re now in the fifth generation.

    Notice any interesting trends in the nursery?
    Grey is here to stay! This gender-neutral finish just continues to get more popular with stylish moms, especially since companies such as Young America are adding more mid-century modern collections available in the grey finish.

    What’s one product you love right now?
    The Naples crib in Grey Satin by Dolce Babi. This crib offers incredible details such as dental molding, fluting, and is available in a stunning hand-rubbed Grey Satin finish. The Naples crib is currently on display in our Behr’s Superstore showroom.

    1220 Hicksville Road, Seaford, Long Island, 516-541-2347; behrsfurniture.com

    BELLINI
    Interview with co-owner Michelle Freedberg

    What are your store’s core offerings?
    Our signature collection of nursery and juvenile furniture, including cribs, beds, dressers, bookcases, armoires, and gliders. We have the Bellini collection as well as other custom lines.

    How long has the store been in business?
    We’ve been in business for 31 years.

    Notice any interesting trends in the nursery?
    A trend in nursery design is white. White has made a huge comeback in furniture and it’s keeping things crisp and clean. Also, an eclectic mix of traditional and modern.

    What’s one product you love right now?
    A specific product I love right now is the Bellini changing table. The over-sized space makes changing your baby so much easier.

    Several locations in the NYC metro area, including one at 1305 2nd Avenue, 212-517-9233; bellini.com

    BOING BOING
    Interview with owner Karen Paperno

    What are your store’s core offerings?
    As the country’s first breastfeeding boutique, we are proud to offer the widest selection of nursing bras in the Tri-State area. We also have a great selection of nursing clothing and breast pumps (to rent or buy) and all the spare parts you need.

    How long has the store been in business?
    At your cervix since 1996.

    Please share some breastfeeding advice.
    Skin-to-skin contact calms the baby while encouraging breastfeeding, so as often as you can, take your top off, and with baby just in a diaper, hold them against your skin. Nurse frequently, and if the baby is falling asleep on the breast, take them off, remove their clothing, and latch them on again.

    What’s one product you love right now?
    I love the lightweight slings that are being made right now. It’s about time! The Rockin Baby Sling has reversible ring slings lined in seersucker—which is perfect for warmer weather. Sakura also makes elegant linen slings in muted colors that are just right for a New York City summer.

    204 6th Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-398-0251; boingboingbk.com

    BUYBUY BABY

    What are the store’s core offerings?
    We offer an excellent assortment of top products and brands for children from birth to age 4, including strollers, car seats, bouncers, bassinets, cribs, clothing, bottles, breast pumps, monitors, nursery furniture, and various safety and personal care items.

    How long has the store been in business?
    We’ve been open for business since 1996.

    Notice any interesting trends in the nursery?

    Parents are loving fresh and chic designs these days! We are seeing a rise in nurseries with a contemporary feel and furniture that has clean lines. Lighter furniture finishes such as light grey and white are super on trend right now and can really make the nursery shine brightly for your new little star-to-be!

    What’s one product you love right now?
    The Baby Brezza Formula Pro, which lets you prepare your baby’s bottles in one easy step.

    Several stores in the NYC metro area, including one at 270 7th Avenue, 917-344-1555; buybuybaby.com

    Caribou Baby

    Caribou Baby

    CARIBOU BABY
    Interview with owner Adriane Stare

    What are your store’s core offerings?
    Caribou Baby offers adorable and eco-friendly maternity and baby essentials and hosts a full schedule of educational classes for new and expectant families. We have the widest selection of baby carriers in the Tri-State area and families hail from near and far to shop and learn from our staff about baby-wearing and cloth diapers.

    How long has the store been in business?
    Three years.

    Notice any trends in pre- and post-natal clothes?
    I’ve been seeing a lot of “before and after” pieces on the market lately—these are maternity tops that are designed to fit you during pregnancy, but also fit well after baby and be “nursable.” We like the ones from the brand BoobDesign, because they are stretchy and ruched at the sides to fit your pregnant belly, but they still remain quite fitted after you lose the baby bump. Also, the ingenious chest panel that is characteristic of all of Boob’s nursing-wear means that you can pull it up to nurse easily and discreetly without having to fumble with awkward clips or show your tummy.

    Please share one piece of baby-wearing advice.
    Baby-wearing can be really intimidating for new parents when there are so many carrier choices on the market, or when you are struggling at home with your carriers while seeing other parents seeming to wear their babies so effortlessly. Try to remember that we were all novice baby-wearers once, and that we all started in the same, helpless place that you did. It’s okay to feel like it’s hard! Just like so much about parenting, baby-wearing is a skill that is learned and perfected over time.

    What’s a specific product that you love right now?

    If I could own one swimsuit for the rest of my life (pregnant or not!), it would be the before-and-after Fast Food swimsuit by BoobDesign. It’s totally flattering and I love that I can nurse my baby easily without pulling my breast over the top of the suit.

    272 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, 347-460-2229; cariboubaby.com

    GIGGLE
    Interview with owner Ali Wing

    What are your store’s core offerings?
    Nursery, gear, and gifts. This encompasses cribs, car seats, strollers, high chairs, décor, bedding, layette, keepsakes, and more, including giggle’s own line of baby products, giggle Better Basics and giggle’s Best Baby Registry.

    How long has the store been in business?
    The first concept store opened in 2003, and the flagship and first New York store opened in 2005.

    Notice any interesting trends in the nursery?
    Color. We’re seeing more blues and variations on blues again. We’ve heightened awareness of the environment, and there’s no better place than nature to look for inspiration. And yellows—like mustard, gold, and butter—with positive, fun, energy.

    What’s one product you love right now?
    The giggle Gustaf Crib. Made from solid European birch, the giggle Gustaf Crib is all about premium wood craftsmanship and that trademark Scandinavian style. With beautifully carved dovetail joints that give the piece a cool-on-warm accent, a slow-closing and push-open drawer for storage, and refreshing minimalism, the Gustaf Collection bucks all the trends.

    1033 Lexington Avenue, 212-249-4249; 352 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-362-8680; 120 Wooster Street, 212-334-5817; giggle.com

    NESSALEE BABY
    Interview with owner Vanessa Antonelli

    What are your store’s core offerings?
    We offer strollers, furniture, gear, bedding, layettes, clothing, and custom nursery design services. Basically, we’re a one-stop shop for parents looking for everything, plus service.

    How long has the store been in business?
    Our Freehold, NJ store opened almost four years ago, and our second location in Livingston, NJ opened last year. We’re now opening a larger location in Manalapan, NJ.

    Please share a piece of great advice for parents shopping for a nursery.
    I constantly hear people saying: “We don’t want to spend a lot of money on the nursery because it doesn’t last long.” Says who? Create the nursery of your dreams and make it last. Make choices your child can grow with.

    What’s one nursery product that you love right now?
    The Mamas and Papas Galaxy Mobile. It’s one of my top ten favorite baby products (all which are tried and tested by me) because it does so much and has a long lifespan. It not only moves and plays music, but it lights up and is interactive.

    What’s a trend in your industry that you’ve noticed?
    Metallics are popping up everywhere from paint to wallpaper to furniture and bedding. I love that it adds a little bit of glam to the space and it’s great because it can appeal to traditional or modern taste.

    346 Mounts Corner Drive, Freehold, NJ; 732-431-0008 & 615 South Livingston Avenue, Livingston, NJ; 973-200-2422; nessaleebaby.com

    SPROUT SAN FRANSISCO
    Interview with founder Suzanne Price

    What are your store’s core offerings?

    We sell everything that you need for baby in the most natural and organic possible materials. We have a huge selection of organic cotton clothing, ages 0-4 years, and organic bedding and mattresses as well. We also sell solid wood furniture, all natural personal care, wooden and organic cotton toys, and strollers and car seats free of all toxic chemicals. We also offer classes in our playroom, such as music and baby yoga.

    How long has your store been in business?

    We’ve been on the Upper East Side for 2.5 years.

    What’s a specific product that you love right now?

    We just got in the only glider chair on the market that is foam-free. Instead, it’s made of all natural latex and covered in material that is Oeko Tek certified to be free of harmful chemicals.

    Any advice for new parents as they shop for the essentials?

    At Sprout, when we’re asked what is the one thing that must be organic, we always urge people to invest in an organic crib mattress. Traditional mattresses are made of polyurethane foam and sprayed with flame retardant chemicals—not materials you would want a new baby to sleep on.

    1375 3rd Avenue, 212-861-0670; sproutsanfrancisco.com

    THE UPPER BREAST SIDE
    Interview with owner Felina Rakowski-Gallagher

    What are your store’s core offerings?
    We’re a full service lactation resource center which has a very unique “milk bar.” There, women are able to physically try and learn the proper use of the hospital-grade breast pumps we rent or the personal-use breast pumps we sell. We expertly fit women for supportive nursing bras and beautiful, accessible nursing clothing.

    How long has the store been in business?
    Since 1999.

    Please share one piece of breastfeeding advice.
    If you are having trouble, run—don’t walk—to the phone and call a board-certified lactation consultant (they can be found at nylca.org). Then you can immediately begin protecting your milk supply until you and the baby regain momentum.

    What’s one product you love right now?
    We have a nursing tank top right now from Australia that our moms can’t live without! The brand is Ripe.

    135 West 70th Street, Suite 1L; 212-873-2653; upperbreastside.com

    YUMMY MUMMY
    Interview with owner Amanda Cole

    What are your store’s core offerings?
    All of our offerings are geared towards making breastfeeding easier and more comfortable—and we sell tons of nursing bras, nursing tops, and breast pumps.

    How long has the store been in business?
    We opened in May of 2009.

    Notice any interesting trends in maternity clothes?
    Just a few years ago, clothing was designed either for an expectant mom or a mom who was breastfeeding. Today, tops and dresses are made to be worn both during pregnancy and after pregnancy for breastfeeding. We’re also seeing more organic fabrics.

    Please share one piece of breastfeeding advice.
    It’s really important to be your own advocate. If you’re determined to breastfeed, educate yourself with a prenatal class. Speak up in the hospital to ensure you’re seen by the lactation consultant. Tell your partner to protect you from anyone who isn’t in support of your breastfeeding goals.

    What’s a specific product that you love right now?

    Bravado Design’s Essential Embrace nursing bra is a new favorite—of mine and our customers’. It’s super supportive and sturdy with full-coverage, but is also soft and pretty.

    1201 Lexington Avenue, 212-879-8669yummymummystore.com

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