June 29, 2004

The Classic-est Crib

jenny_lind_crib.jpgLooking for a crib we could stand was a hassle. It's such a big purchase, you don't want to screw it up, yet almost every crib out there is over-designed, over-done, or overwhelming, like some giant Price Is Right showcase.

We finally went to Schneider's in the East Village in order to see multiple cribs at once. More than just a classical or traditional crib, we wanted an archetypal crib, the one in the dictionary. The closest thing we found--and the one we ended up buying--was the Jenny Lind. [The style dates back to the mid-19th century; it's named after an opera singer, if you're interested--or going on Jeopardy soon.]

Many companies make Jenny Linds, but we found the best--Angel Line--to be one of the least expensive ($144 at Baby Age).

The guy at Schneider's was extremely helpful, and we would've bought ours there, except they'd just sold their last one. He also said that designers regularly buy Jenny Linds there for $150, paint them up, distress them, etc., and resell them for $800-1,000. Which sounds more shabby than chic to me.

Setting it up is a very dad-like experience.


We checked in with Schneiders as well, but my wife really wanted a matched set of furniture and was hoping things would be able to be used past the intial infant stage...

We ended up at Bellini and are happy with the purchase, though since we've been co-sleeping, the crib has become a catbed. ;) We purchased it before the baby came along so things would be ready... she's slept in it for a few naps in 7 months -- not once through the night.

A friend of ours gave us this exact crib - it's been wonderful. And yes, putting it together is a very Dad thing. John has slept well in it since we got it, but now that he's pulling up I'm going to have to drop the mattress to its lowest position or he'll happily toss himself over the edge and onto his head. It's in the corner of our bedroom, too, and we're going to have to put it in his room or he's going to start doing Rob Van Dam-style frog splashes onto our bed. This would not be good if we were sleeping.

We had the opportunity to get a Jenny Lind crib from a relative, but passed on it in favor of a more "sleigh style" crib from Babies R' Us. Only $100 or so, which was about $700 cheaper than the similar crib at Pottery Barn Kids.

Now, my best advice to new parents is not to drop a lot on a crib. Not only are you going to use it for no more than 2 years or so, once your child gets teeth, they start biting. By looking at the end of our son's crib, you would think we kept a dog in it that was using the wood as a chew toy.

Our crib purchase was among the most satisfying of all time. We found it in the Housing Works thrift store on the Upper West Side. It was a simple model in great condition, so we paid 50 bucks for it and dragged it home. I later looked up the make and model on the internet and saw that they retailed for about $900. I miss Housing Works in well-off neighborhoods.

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