For my second installment of my nursery buying guide, as promised, I've come up with a shopping list (and my picks for each) of smaller essentials you may want to use when creating your nursery.
Admittedly, I went overboard when it came to buying toys for Noam's room. I considered them decor just as much as toys (at least until he's old enough to use them), so I sought them out and bought them that way -- there was a theme, a color scheme and a consideration for how they'd look together, etc. Overboard. Yes. To corral the toys in a way that looked nice in the nursery, I picked up these braided wool baskets from RH Baby & Child. I love that they're neutral and simple and can be used for a variety of things in the future both in and out of kids' rooms. Some other toy storage options I like: Wee Woodland Crochet Bins, Round Woven Storage Baskets, Canvas Storage Bins, Modern Weave Storage Bin, Cove Rope Baskets.
As alluded to above, I may or may not consider myself a baby toy connoisseur. I ended up with a good mix of plush animals from RH Baby & Child, Pottery Barn Kids and some independent companies like Walnut Animal Society and Hazel Village. Some other stuffed animals and toys that'd look great in any collection include: Gund Rococo Fox, Gund Niffer Giraffe, Jellycat Bashful Bunny (Jellycat has a ton of adorable options like a hippo and dinosaur), Janie and Jack Owl.
When designing Noam's nursery, I knew I wanted to do something fun with a large, empty wall we had. Since I had decided on wall decor for the other walls already, I chose to put shelving up so that the wall would be both interesting and functional. I went with the Holman Shelf from Pottery Barn and decorated it with lots of books, wooden blocks and toys from Little Sapling Toys and other toys like a stuffed animal Hazel Village. Other shelving options that would look nice on a blank wall are: Book Ledge, Style Wood Shelf, Threshold Picture Ledge, RIBBA picture ledge.
I've never done so much laundry every week in my life - the mounds of dirty or clean, unfolded clothing that began to accumulate around our house in the first few weeks was pretty astonishing - but I think I've got it down to a science at this point. The key: many hampers and laundry baskets that act as shuttles for clean and dirty laundry. I keep this matching braided wool hamper next to Noam's changing table so I can easily toss his dirty clothing, blankets, etc. He's got a multiple outfit a day habit between the occasional blowout or spit-up and the excessive drooling that's just begun (is he beginning to teethe already?!). Other hamper options: Sweet JoJo Hotel Hamper, Rutherford hamper, Land of Nod hamper.
You'll need a changing pad regardless of which type of changing tab you choose (unless you go with something like the Keekaroo Peanut). I went with the Giggle Organic Cotton Contoured Changing Pad because it's made with safe materials and shaped so baby can't easily roll off of it). Other great options include: Simmons Organic Contour Changing Pad and Oeuf Changing Pad. Just make sure whichever one you choose works with the changing table or tray you've chosen -- some come in different sizes. Don't forget a changing pad cover to fit your changing pad, too. I love Aden and Anais muslin changing pad covers and the Pottery Barn Kids Organic changing pad cover.
I purchased the Giggle Better Basics Organic Cotton Crib Mattress for Noam, but there are a ton of options out there. To choose one that's best for you, consider: size (there's a universal crib size but if you have a special size of crib, you'll need a special size of mattress), material (cotton, latex, etc.), and versatility (a lot of crib mattresses are two-sided: one for infants and the other for toddlers so you can use them with convertible cribs). I was most comfortable with organic so that I wouldn't have to worry about what Noam breathes in while sleeping, and I love and trust Giggle products (their Better Basics are great!). Other great crib mattresses include: Naturpedic Organic Cotton Crib Mattress, LA Baby Organic Coconut Latex Mattress, Serta Perfect Eco Supreme Crib Mattress. You'll also need a crib mattress cover and fitted crib sheets, too. I've gone with this waterproof, all-natural cover and these organic cotton crib sheets.
The crib mobile is definitely not an 'essential,' but I love having one because 1. Noam loves the music that comes out of it and 2. it makes for a really beautiful (highly photographable) moment when he's lying in his crib looking up at the flying elephants above him. I have the Wool Elephant Crib Mobile from Pottery Barn Kids, which plays Brahms' Lullaby. Some other mobiles that I love (but that don't necessarily play music) are: Wool Felt Cloud Mobile, Heart Cloud Mobile, Handmade Lamb Mobile (in fact every mobile from this Etsy shop is amazing), Wool Moon and Stars Mobile.
One thing I didn't consider when initially designing the nursery was that other people (namely my husband) might be joining Noam and me in the nursery for extended periods of time. Once I realized this, I knew we needed to have extra seating in the room. Since it didn't make sense to put multiple large chairs in the room or keep extra seating in there all the time, I went with the ottoman solution: it can be used as a seat, backrest, foot prop and table and it takes up little space. Specifically, I chose the RH Baby & Child Braided Wool Pouf to match the baskets I had chosen. Other ottomans that'd look great in a nursery are: Moroccan leather pouf, Essex Upholstered Ottoman, Threshold Round Tufted Ottoman, Knit Cotton Pouf.
This is more of a big basic depending on whether or not you need a rug in your nursery (we did because all of the floors are hardwood). But even if you don't, I think a rug adds an element of softness and texture to a nursery (and any room, really) and is a nice place to lay or sit with baby. I ended up going with the Souk Wool Rug from West Elm and this sheepskin rug. Some other similarly styled rugs are: NuLoom Moroccan Wool Rug, Berber Shaggy Rug, Kasbah Wool Rug, Delaney Rug.
Wall decor is where I incorporated my 'theme' of animals -- specifically animals you'd see on an African safari -- for the nursery. I chose these beautiful watercolor animal illustrations and these elephant heads from White Faux Taxidermy. Since art is such a personal thing, the wall decor you choose should be in line with the theme you've decided on (if you've decided on one) and pieces that you love. If you're going with a similar theme as Noam's nursery or animals in general, here are some great animal art options. From Minted: Golden Gait cheetah illustration, Tiled giraffe print, Fading giraffe. Baby Giraffe Little Darling (I love all of these prints from Sharon Montrose's The Animal Print Shop). From Land of Nod: Fox Pop Wall Decor, Linda and Harriet Wall Art, Falling Fox Wall Art. From Chloe Fleur: Paper Elephant Kit. From Etsy: James River Studio's Safari Animal Prints, What Nashville's Giraffe Print, Fox Hollow Design Co.'s Giraffe Watercolor, Small Adventure's Elephant Print. And, though I love White Faux Taxidermy, an alternative to them is Wall Charmers.