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Small Spaces: Nursery Furniture

BuyModernBaby founder Esther Garfield shares her expertise on nursery furniture, style and small spaces.

Small Spaces: Nursery Furniture

We all have our obsessions during pregnancy. For some, it’s finding the purest stretch mark preventative on the market, and for others, searching the city for the perfect dill pickle is a necessity. For Esther Garfield, the founder of BuyModernBaby, nursery furniture was her fix. She has since turned into one of the best nursery resources on the web. With two boys of her own, Garfield says she imagines having an infinite number of nurseries to fill and then then chooses the pieces to fill them. But that doesn’t mean every new crib on the market is going to make the cut. “If I don't like it, it's not on BuyModernBaby, and you'll just have to find it on someone else's blog. It's not about price or exclusivity, it's about style. Nothing makes me happier than finding affordable pieces that fit my aesthetic,” says Garfield.

But not everyone’s aesthetic is the same and buying nursery furniture can leave people feeling hopeless in a sea of pastels. Garfield believes your nursery can be just as stylish as the rest of your home. “Get what really fits your style. Don't limit your choices to just the pieces you can find in your local baby shop. There's a world of wonderful products out there, and I've made it my mission to make sure you can find them,” she says, which is why so many continue returning to her blog. But she also suggests thinking outside of the nursery. “Other than the crib, the furniture you pick doesn't even have to be ‘nursery furniture.’ You might find baby's dresser at your local thrift shop or the furniture shop where you found your favorite sofa,” she says.

If space is a challenge (don’t us New Yorkers love a challenge?), Garfield suggests foregoing a piece of nursery furniture all together. “Do you need a dresser in that space, or can you store clothes in the closet? Instead of a changing table, how about a changing platform that goes over the crib or even just a mat on the floor? Maybe it makes more sense for you to rock baby in the living room instead of in the nursery. Leaving just one piece out can make a lot more room for the rest,” she says. And finally, companies are listening to us urban-dwellers. “There are lots of products designed now for small nurseries or shared spaces that ensure the furniture footprint is small,” says Garfield. Go small or go home.

Garfield gives us her top picks for small space nursery furniture essentials.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

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