Hoo boy, this can keep you running. I'm just now trying to find some sheets for my son's first twin bed that do NOT contain television characters. Ugh. And who is this guy who looks like the enormous lump of cheese? Sponge bob? Somehow I really don't think I'm missing all that much...
Baby stuff - acquisition thereof
For baby stuff locally (SF peninsula area), I'd suggest:
Lullaby Lane (and the lullaby lane discount store, located 1/2 block North of the Lullaby Lane store.) Planet Kids (and the Planet Kids discount center, located two doors north of Kid Planet, on El Camino in Menlo Park.)
We actually bought our crib at a place in San Francisco.
And there's another big place up in, like Santa Rosa?
We paid $700 for a crib. Totally insane in my book. The problem is, of course, that I asked my husband for his opinion and then I had to listen to it. In my opinion, you should just go into the discount centers and see if there are any nice cribs. The ones that really got me were the wrought iron ROUND cribs. <snicker> After the tech crash, we haven't seen all that many things like that 'round these parts any more. I guess it's slithered its way back down to Beverly Hills, where the beautiful folks live.
Severely upscale baby stuff
Have you heard of Jonathan Kaye baby? Neither have I. However, I have heard that one solution to postpartum depression is to go out and spend literally thousands of dollars on finely-stitched linen stuff for babies. Not sure where I read that though. Graffiti in the Neiman-Marcus ladies room? They're in San Francisco, by the way. Speaking of which, Frette has total poser boring beige baby sheets, if you're in the mood. Since they can see patterns in black and white and red and so forth, I think it's so much more fun to have designs that they can play with. Simon's hanging toy was bugs. Very cute. Emphatically Not Frette. BTW, the link above goes to the sitemap so that you don't have to see the slow graphics. (Like I go to a sheet website to zonk out ... sheesh.)
Internet links where you can check out baby stuff
I had all of these on my computer. Apparently I spent those sleepless nights in late pregnancy ... web surfing? Tsk tsk.
Beautiful Baby has pillows, covers, bumper pads, and so forth. Plus they make glider covers (hint hint) although personally, if I ended up with a glider cover with big, huge, shirred ruffles like the one they show, someone would have to medicate me.
Discounted baby stuff
Just found this link. Nursery Depot, anyone? Want some discounted crib bumper pads?
Gliders and rockers
One very simple thing. If you buy a glider, you cannot accidentally rock over your child! Any more questions?
Here's a link to look at gliders. We got one of the Dutailier gliders. I would suggest (if you think in advance) that you buy a nice, complex fabric with a good level of thickness and some nice pattern on it and have them make you a custom seat cover. Call them first to find out how much material you need and just take it on up. We ended up with a light green jobby which looks as though it doubled as the footstool in a porn shop. Mostly because Simon's doctor prescribed a nightly rub of petroleum all over him and sometimes he'd break free and go jump on the chair! Impossible to get petroleum off of a chair.
Oh, by the way, was it comfortable? Not on your life! Not quite as painful as the Baby Bjorn (ouch), but I had to doctor it up with a fluffy slipper (inside and underneath the back cushion) and then one of those thermaflex back panel thingies. Ouch. It's much better now that I only sit in it for a normal length of time. I strongly suspect that very few things are all that comfortable if you have to sit in them for 6 hours at a whack.
Big kid beds
I guess that the next big thing after the crib set is the bed, right? Well, here are some cool beds:
Homevisions.com probably has the most fun collection of beds that I've seen. We, um, got our kid a loft bed. Not the ones shown (I didn't know that they made a FIREHOUSE bed!!! but we got him one with wooden things on the top so that I can custom-make different tents and covers for it. Seemed like fun. Ah, here it is.
other locations for loft beds: Try www.jcpenney.com, then press For the Home, then kid's room (under the Shop by column), then Youth Furniture (under the shop for column).
By the way, I decided to get a junior loft because a friend in Finland has them and she loves them (I'd never heard of half-height loft beds before). I searched online and then got Planet Kids to order it for me. In Finland Sieva is the manufacturer for the furniture. If you click on the Sieva link you can admire the furniture that you can't get here!
Twin bed sheets for kids
I wanted something non-commercial but cool. I was given these links by the great people on the Berkeley Parent's advice list. Yay!
Garnet Hill is to die for. Unfortunately, the sheets that were perfect were discontinued and they only had crib and queen comforter covers! But get this: my brilliant husband looked at it and suggested that I buy two queen comforter covers (regular price about $75, sale price $18) and just have them made into a twin comforter cover and some sheets! Although this is the pain in the rear way of doing it, I had to note that they had wonderful sale prices! Land's End online also has a bedding section. Who knew? And I'm really not a big Land's End fan, but the flannel sheets sound wonderful for a kid. I just found an interesting kid place called Olive Kids. They said that they formed the company to give parents an alternative to commercial sheets for their kids. Perfect! The one thing that really irritates me though is the lack of comforter covers for children, though. Sheesh.
Another thing that strikes me after looking at other places not listed herein: why on earth would you put your child (or anyone for that matter) into polyester sheets? Ugh. Let me guess. The no-iron thing?
Also, I was told to check out Ross Dress for Less now and then - it's hit or miss but they tend to carry great brands - just last year's styles.
I went to Target (was directed there) and bought a bunch of stuff but thought better of it on the way home. IMHO Target is just fairly poor quality stuff at not-all-that-low prices. Get this: a twin comforter for my 3 year old at Target would be $100! I figured I'd return it all and go to Bloomies for their next sale. I have always preferred bloomies for pillows and such anyway (even if their quality is way lower than it was about 20 year ago.) Wierd to go to Target and buy egyptian cotton, you know? Things are very different. Now, no matter how much you buy, it's hard to get good quality stuff. So I went to Bloomingdales, but caviled at the idea of spending, oh, about $300.00 on a comforter for my child. Insane. Sheesh. Finally, I wandered into Ikea and got a fine twin comforter for about $30 or $50. Perfect. Exactly what I wanted.
We had a very difficult time getting a wooden kitchen for our child that wasn't really dinky and didn't cost, like $350 dollars. Ridiculous prices. I just found a link to some very cute kitchens on the internet and figured I'd post it here. We bought ours in Berkeley one day, but I liked all three kitchens here. Also check out their art table and chair, for only $75.
These are big. Every little Tyler and Elizabeth has one! Seriously, these are wonderful. I just have a problem with something that is so finished. I would like to have something that we build ourselves, even if it's not perfect. These are like lovely little kid condos, and it's my belief that they stunt creativity. Just like those "perfectly finished" children's rooms that look just like castles and such when the child is two. Nope. Let the kid make what they will of their room. You are not doing them a favor overproducing their childhood.
That said, check 'em out. Aren't they neat? Barbara Butler is an artist who makes very neat playhouses. Also, on the road between Salinas and Monterey (goes past Laguna Seca) is an amazingly cool place that makes playhouses out of tree stumps. If you have vast amounts of money, I'd suggest one of those. They are wonderful
Shelves, bookcases, and nursery furniture
I was just mailed a recommendation for Community Playthings furniture and shelving. The lady who recommended it told me that her child's preschool uses it. I looked and it's lovely. Furthermore, the prices for shelves don't seem to be all that far away from some others that I've seen.