Monday, March 31, 2008
The Great Crib Search
We have nursery furniture! After a weekend trip to the Twin Cities, we returned home with a car-full of baby furniture. Literally.
Ray and I went to the Cities this past weekend to meet up with some friends of ours that we haven't seen in a very long time. But the main goal for Saturday morning was to find a crib and accompanying nursery furniture. I have been wanting to buy nursery furniture since we found out about Baby in October, but something has always prevented us from actually buying something.
The Great Crib Search began in December, probably, as Ray and I began browsing through the stores looking at baby furniture. We realized something rather quickly: Cribs are expensive. Seriously, very expensive. You could easily spend $600 to $1,000 on a crib. So, we went back home and developed a budget for Baby's room. As the process moved forward, I only really had two requirements: I did not want a drop-side crib (I prefer the static sides), and I wanted a non-white, preferably dark-colored, finish.
I was primarily responsible for finding pieces that I liked and showing them, usually online, to Ray who would either give his OK or disapproval. In late January or February, I finally found the pieces that I wanted from J.C. Penney's. We were planning to order it all online since they don't actually carry the stuff in the store. Shipping was somewhat steep, but it wasn't as much if you ship it to the store. Plus, Penney's offered a discount for the mattress if you ordered it at the same time as the crib. OK, so in early March, we sat down all set to order our furniture. Well, longer story shorter, the crib and the changing table could be ordered to the store for something around $100 shipping, but the mattress for whatever reason had to be shipped to your address, for an additional shipping charge. OK.... Further complicating matters was that because the three pieces had different shipping destinations, thus they needed to be handled in two separate transactions. Which meant we weren't getting the mattress discount. About an hour into this ordeal, we quit and decided to look for another nursery set. It was getting rather expensive and, more importantly, too frustrating.
So, we cruised the Internet some more and finally settled on a really cute set by Simplicity, a less expensive brand. It was really cute -- and Ray liked it more than he did the first set.
About that same time, a very kind aunt gifted me a book on how to find quality baby items without spending a small fortune. In this book (Baby Bargains, if you are interested), it rates potential brands for items such as cribs, swings, strollers, etc., from A to F based on cost and reliability. While perusing the book, I found that Simplicity received an F due to massive recalls in the past. (In the interest of full disclosure and fairness, Simplicity's recalls were limited to drop-side cribs and ours would be static.) So that brand was out.
I was now beginning to panic a bit. I joked to Ray months earlier that our baby was going to end up sleeping in a cardboard box in the living room (this was during a period of time in which we were dragging our feet on cleaning out the spare bedroom to make room for Baby). But, this was beginning to look much more likely as time progressed.
So, I began doing research and reading this Baby Bargains book from cover to cover. Seriously, I think I have it memorized now! There are just a handful of companies that got As in the book -- most were the higher-end companies. But Ikea was the only "cheap" brand that got an A. So, what the heck, Ray and I checked out their stuff online and there was one crib that looked pretty nice. We didn't want anything fancy in the nursery taking away from his painting and the decorations.
OK, so this past weekend, we went to Ikea and we just fell in love with our nursery set. We bought the crib and matching changing table (pictured above). We also plan to buy the matching toy box and mattress when we return in mid-April, but we just didn't think we could fit it all into the car. We also found a few other decorative items that we just love for our Northwoods theme, so we're going to pick them up next time as well, once we have a bit more room.
So that was our weekend. We just absolutely love how everything is coming together.
Thanks for checking on us -- sorry this got so long!
- Bethany :)