Question: Does Real really matter anymore?
Last century, way back in the 1900's, there was a time when people were "earthy". Some were called hippies, or other names, most were just middle class, hard working, trying to raise a family they could be proud of people. Middle class, middle America, REAL people. Then, somewhere in the latter parts of the century, things started to change. Gone were the days of seeing & believing. Everything was fake. Fake wood (MDF & Veneer), Fake food (GMO), Fake People (Boobs, hair, nails, noses, etc). You just couldn't tell the difference between what was genuine and what was "generated".
Fast forward to the "twenty teens" . Everyone is trying to get back to what is simple and real. We want a little of what generations had before us. We want a life that is genuine. Real Wood, Real Food and real people. Now we use the terms "Boho", "rustic" & "paleo" to describe simple back to basics. FAMILY.... It all starts there. We're buying whole foods, we're looking for organic options whenever possible. We are reading labels to find what is going into our bodies and our homes. We want real food and real furniture that isn't going to harm our families with toxic anything.
Like you, I'm trying. I mean, seriously... I'm REALLY trying to find things that are real. You see, I am in the business of the most important room of the house. The baby's room. Nothing is as important as the nursery. It's where a family grows. I try my very best to avoid "made in China". It's hard, I'm not going to lie to you. It's difficult to find furniture that's real wood, tested and ceritified. I look for Green Guard Gold certified, I look for 100% wood. No veneers, no MDF. It's not easy. Everyone knows if you want real, you're going to have to pay for it. But that's not possible for so many in today's world. The big giants have killed the mom & pop stores. Stores like mine. Little stores under 4000 sq. ft. that try to cater to the local families and neighborhoods. I'm trying to get to know my customers and their families. I want to know what they want in their homes. I care that their kids are going to the same elementary school I went to all those years ago. You see, I want to get back to simple too. While I am guilty of shopping Amazon, Wayfair and all those GIANT small business killers, I try to shop locally first. I try to keep my money local as much as possible. I want the local shop owner like me to be able to go home at the end of the night and feel like they were part of their community. I want them to be able to pay their mortgage and put real food on their real table. I want Mayberry. Or at least the romantic idea of people making a difference in lives of their neighbors. But, that's another blog for another day.
This particular blog is about real furniture and the hopes that it matters to you as much as it does me. I found a wonderful new company that makes real baby furniture. Real wood, with thoughtful touches that of course, a woman designed. It's called Milk Street Baby and the best part is, you won't find it on Amazon! A genuine company with a genuine designer that thinks about what parents really want in furniture. The cribs are incredibly beautiful. Wood all the way! But the dressers... ahhh the dressers! This is where you know it has a woman's touch! First of all, the 6-drawer dresser comes standard with an under-mount nightlight. This soft light has three levels of brightness so you can work at night without waking your little one. The electrical cord can be housed in back of the case where we specifically designed extra room for cord storage when not in use. The nightlight plugs into a standard, electrical outlet. The top two drawers of all Milk Street 6-drawer dressers come standard with motion sensitive LED drawer lights. The LEDs turn on automatically when you open the drawer, and turn off after drawer has been closed for 15 seconds to save power. Brilliant! That's what you get when you put a woman in charge of designing furniture! Did I mention, it has a cedar dust cover along the bottom to protect your woolens?
We also sell Natart furniture out of Canada. It's solid wood as well and they have some gorgeous pieces that they've just added to their lineup. I mean GORGEOUS! I know we all have budgets, mine is tighter than most, unfortunately. But, we choose quality when we can or want to. Those expensive coffees we drink are the perfect example of putting out more for what we really want. I'll cut back on some things, but not the things that really matter (to me). So, what are you doing to try to get back to real? Are you doing anything at all? I'll admit, I'm no overachiever. I've never been one to be the gung ho, get behind a cause and make it my own activist type. I'm more of a, "I'll sit right here and watch while cheering you on" kind of gal. I'm trying a little harder these days to get back to what matters most. So, if you're in the market for some furniture for your nursery, look me up! I think I can help you find exactly what you're looking for. Even if you're not ready to take the plunge into real wood, I've got real iron as a backup! So, call me at Polka ToT Kids in Hendersonville, TN or call our store in Mobile, AL. It's Polka ToT Designs. We're ready to help you, no matter what style you want. Let's get to know each other and decorate.
Shop, enjoy and tell us what you think!
Polka ToT Kids is located just 15 min. north of Downtown Nashville in Hendersonville, TN. We sell furniture for the nursery as well as baby bedding, rugs, lighting & gliders & recliners.
Polka ToT Designs is located in Mobile, AL on the central Gulf Coast. This location is where our custom baby bedding is made. Stop by to say hi and take a look at what we have to offer!
Not in the area of either? Check out the websites!
So, it's that time of year again when the "powers that be" at Pantone tell us what colors we're going to be seeing in the way of clothes in our closets as well as what we will be using in our home decor for 2017. This year Pantone's color of the year is Greenery. There are some beautiful tones this year! I think the tones for 2017 are very "Mother Earth". Isn't it funny how our color mood reflects what we're feeling inside? We are re-purposing & recycling almost everything these days. If you are a baby wearer, organic cotton diaper using, eco friendly Prius driving mommy , what can I say? You're going to LOVE the colors of 2017. From the sunny side of Primrose Yellow to the watery tones of Island Paradise to the earthen tone of Kale. There really is something for everyone. Even the disposable diapering non-recyclers will find a color or two to love this year!
Now, while I've never been accused of being a fashionista, I do know a thing or two about how to decorate a home. I'm old enough that I've seen trends come back around to meet through the years. I did afterall, grow up in a house where the refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and even the house phone were avocado green. So, trust me. I've got this!
We've been seeing a lot of silver/gray tones over the past recent years. You've noticed the metallic golds thrown in with the metallic silver, no doubt. Well, this year the gray gets a little warmer. It's adding in some brown for beautiful neutral taupe color. Look no further. According to Pantone, Hazelnut is the answer to your neutral wall conundrum. It's a great warm neutral. A transitional color that plays well with others. I have always loved yellow & taupe together! I'll tell you what else is very pretty. Using this years Pantone color Pale Dogwood with Hazelnut is gorgeous and gives your baby girl's nursery a soft and sophisticated look. I've used it in several baby bedding sets over the years.
You'll find the old favorites are reappearing with Pink Yarrow & Island Paradise. Those are old favorites through the years in the world of Nursery Decor.
Soooo..... see anything that interests you? Don't worry, if you're not warming up to them now, you will in a few months. Once you start seeing the colors on everything in stores, they will grow on you and before you know it, your closet and your bedroom walls will conform. It's just the way things go.
If you're expanding your family and need some help making sense of the new tones or if you're a resister of change, Either way, we'll be happy to help you pull it all together into a nursery that is magazine worthy! Give our designers at Polka ToT Designs a call, or shoot us an email. We've been doing this a long time! We'd be honored to work with you on the most important room in your house. Your nursery.
So, without further ado... Here is your top 10 Pantone Colors for 2017 Let us know if you love them or hate them.
Kim & Kanye may not have to think about these things while expecting, but let's face it, the rest of us do! Babies are expensive! From diapers and wipes, to cribs, to baby bedding, to formula, the list literally goes on and on. Based on a report from 2010, the USDA estimates the average middle-income class family will spend roughly $12,000 on child-related expenses in their babies first year. IN THEIR FIRST YEAR... FIRST. YEAR!!!! Insane, but they're totally worth it, right?!
I'm here to tell you just a few ways you can save when you're expecting a new baby.
Before leaving the hospital, if you haven't already been asked, ask the nurse(s) for a "welcome baby bag". A lot of maufacturers give maternity wards bags like this to give to new moms. They often include formula samples(sometimes FULL sized cans! WOW!), new mom books/pamphlets, coupons, diaper rash cream, etc.
Breastfeed if you can. Nursing can save literally THOUSANDS of dollars each year for not having to buy baby formula, baby bottles, and all other items associated with formula feeding. Sure, it isn't for everyone. Trust me, I know. I made it 2 weeks with my oldest child, and 8 months with my youngest. A fed baby is best, whether breast or formula fed.
If you choose to breastfeed your baby, check with your health insurance company about purchasing a breast pump. Most insurances will FULLY cover the cost of a breast pump. Also consider reusable/washable nursing pads instead of having to keep buying boxes of them over and over. If you do need or decide to formula feed your newborn baby, sign up for coupons and exclusive savings from formula manufacturers such as Similac, Enfamil, and Gerber. This can save you so much money as they usually send formula checks (use like a coupon) monthly.
When shopping for your new baby's furniture, try to purchase "multi-use furniture." Meaning cribs that turn in to twin, full, sometimes even Queen beds later on. Or, dressers that double up as a baby changing table. Not only will this stretch your budget, it will give you more space in your baby's bedroom. It will also save you money from having to update their bed to a larger one once they get older. Here at Polka ToT Designs, we have a baby registry. That's a great way to decorate the nursery on a budget! We can help you design your nursery decor to put on the registry and your family & friends can purchase gift certificates for you! We had one mommy years ago that registered for everything we made. It was over $1000! By the time she applied all her gift certificates, her out of pocket expense was only $64. We still tell that story. She's become a bit of a legend here!
Ask your local grocery store if they have a Baby Club. Two of our local stores here in our hometown have one, Publix and Winn Dixie. Being a part of these store's Baby Clubs give me access to special coupons, savings, offers, and much more! I love it! It's for sure something to look into and can save you hundreds of dollars a year!
Make your own baby food. By doing this, not only is it healthier, you're saving money! I like to mash up a banana, or some steamed carrots for my 13 month old,and she LOVES them!
Skip the maternity tops. Just buy a size or two larger than your normal size to save money! Maternity clothing prices are CRAZY! When saving up for a new baby, we try to save money wherever possible, right? Don't skip on the pants though, get the pants!
If you plan on having more than 1 child, save your baby's clothes (even though you won't know the gender for a while). I am SO GLAD I personally did this. I have 2 girls, and when I found out I was pregnant with my second, I saved all my oldest's clothes even though I had NO clue the gender of the new baby. It has saved us a LOT of money since she has been born! Plus, it's always fun to remember what it was like when your other children wore it. My oldest does not believe she was ever a baby or wore some of the clothes her sister currently wears! When you're ready to upgrade to a new or bigger carseat, check with Toys R Us. Once or twice a year they do a trade in program where you can bring in your old car seat and purchase a new one for a percenage off! Try (key word, TRY ) to wait to purchase anything until after your baby shower if you're having one. Usually you'll rack up pretty well and you don't want to worry about exchanging or returning items because you now have two. Know of other ways to save? I'd love to know! Leave comments!
Oh, and while you're budgeting... don't miss our sale! You knew that was coming, right?
*Shelby Ezell has worked for Polka ToT Designs since 2009. Taking the occassional time off throughout the years to grow her family. She is also a coupon extraordinaire! This girl knows how to pinch a penny until it screams! We're so glad she's back with us. We've tricked.... I mean, talked her into blogging for us. Passing along her experiences as a new"ish" young mother & wife.
The first thought in every parents mind when it comes to putting the nursery together is what colors, prints, patterns, and themes to do. There is literally THOUSANDS of ideas to choose from. From Woodland to Nautical, to Sports themed & Animals.
Courtesy of www.facebook.com/PolkaToTDesigns
When designing a nursery, especially if you're on a budget, try to pick something the baby can grow with so you don't have to keep changing it every few years. Sure, little ducks and princess crowns are super cute for babies, but is the child going to want them when they get to be 6 or 7? Chances are, probably not.
Think about the baby bedding growing into the toddler years. If you play your cards right, you can utilize the same crib bedding in the room as the crib changes from Baby Bed, to Toddler Bed, to Day Bed and finally Full Size bed! Definitely more bang for your buck! When you hit the full size, you've got to change into the big kid room anyway. You know what they say... Time Marches On! And you're about to find out how quickly it does.
Instead of going nuts with your football team logo on EVERY square inch of the nursery, think about using solid team colors on the baby bedding. Keep it simple. Then, go crazy accessorizing all over the room. You can dial it back or turn it up as much as you want when you start with the basics. Here is a perfect example. With Red, White & Blue, you could be a Red Sox fan, Cubs fan, Nautical theme or Americana. Easy to add a theme, logo or anything you'd like to the nursery when you stick with simple color on the baby bedding.
I have always recommended to do non themed bedding (use solids, stripes, paisley, chevrons, etc) and bring in your theme elsewhere such as accent pieces, pictures, etc. That way, when you (or the child) are ready to change themes, you don't have to basically start all over.
Courtesy of www.facebook.com/PolkaToTDesigns
Of course, there's no way to know what the child will be in to when they get older, and the nursery is mainly for the mom. Face it, is the baby REALLY going to care that there's cute little sailboats all over their room? NO! Color is just that, COLOR! It's not permanent, and can always be changed.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Me personally, I did a semi theme nursery with my oldest daughter. I did pink and gray, with elephants. Easy to change, and little girls love pink! I did no specific theme with my youngest.
For the record, that's yours truly back in June of 2013. The elephants are on the back of the bumper so they show on the outside of the crib. This was my first. Since then, we've had another precious girl that just turned 1.
What theme are you wanting to do? Maybe you're not wanting to do a theme. Let us know! Not sure? Give one of the experienced designers at Polka ToT Designs a call!
EAT IT to BEAT IT!
Foods that will help with the discomforts of pregnancy.
This article starts with morning sickness, but ends with chocolate.
Proving once again that everything gets better with a little time!
It's a beautiful life experience for a woman. Shopping for clothes, nursery decor , and even diapers can make a mommy to be so excited for her new little bundle of joy on the way. With all the fun aspects of being pregnant, there are some down sides about being pregnant. You know the ones.... Your feet swell up like party balloons. Or, you're hot and miserable during the heat of July. You just want to sit in a baby pool with a big bowl of ice cold watermelon! There are days where you feel like you're literally going to die of pregnancy induced misery. Or worse, kill someone if you don't get some relief or ice cream soon! Let's face it there are some things about being pregnant, mommies to be wish they could erase from the pregnancy chapter of life. Like morning sickness, constipation, and even sometimes sciatica can make our pregnancies into a miniature nightmare, just to name a few. Did you know that being conscious about what you are eating can help eliminate those annoying symptoms? Nutrition is such a key part of our lives. But, especially when you are eating for two. You know, when you are pregnant you can have some outrageous cravings you just cannot seem to fight off that might just affect your not so great pregnancy symptoms negatively. Here are a few tips on what foods do and don't alleviate your pregnancy symptoms!
Morning sickness can have you dreading to take even a small bite of that yummy food craving you have had on your mind all day long. There are some delicious foods you can eat though that will satisfy your tummy in more ways than one!
YES: Sorbet, Salty Crackers, Lemons
No: Spicy Foods
Not being able to release what you have eaten all day can be an awful feeling. By eating certain foods you can alleviate the pain and have smooth sailing from there.
Yes: Whole grains, Vegetables, Fruit, Honey
No: White bread, White rice, refined grains
When you are pregnant it's a given that your back might be a little sore. But, when the sciatica sets in and not only does your back ache, but now you have shooting pain down your legs as well. It's miserable, yes, but there are some great food options to help heal the pain!
Yes: Bananas, Carrots, Spinach, Dark chocolate
No: Refined Sugar
Pregnancy truly is such a life changing & wonderful part of a woman's journey. Every little moment of being pregnant is special. Even those awful symptoms you wish would go away. By taking out some of the foods that aren't good for you and bringing in the ones with magical healing super powers, you will be sure to feel a difference! Now go grab some dark chocolate and prop those feet up, girl. You're eating for TWO! (or more)
Kayla Hartley is a baby bedding/ nursery designer at Polka ToT Designs. She designs adorable nurseries along with custom baby/kids bedding & window treatments for those who are looking for that perfect room to fit any budget. You can reach her at 251-639-5265 on most days. Or, you can email her for help at Kayla@polkatotdesigns.com
Feel like you can't seem to make any decisions? Even the simplist ones? Or maybe you're second guessing yourself? If those symptoms apply to you, you may have come down with a case of pregnancy brain. It's okay, most mommies- to- be get pregnancy brain at least one time during their pregnancy. What exactly is pregnancy brain you might ask? Pregnancy brain according to webmd.com (http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/memory_lapse_it_may_be_pregnancy_brain ) is when a soon to be mommy forgets things easily. Another name for pregnancy brain is "momnesia". Finding out about pregnancy brain might have you a little uneasy thinking that somehow, by you being pregnant your brain has decided to go crazy and do its own thing. Thankfully pregnancy brain doesn't actually alter your brain at all! The reason you seem to be forgetting things is simply because planning for a new baby can make your schedule busy and even a little stressed. To go along with the stress and busyness of being a new mom you probably are missing out on some much needed sleep too. Now that we know the reason behind your pregnancy brain let's find a way to fix it! Like with most problems there is a solution! Here are some tips on how to fight away that pesky pregnancy brain: (http://www.everydayfamily.com/slideshow/4-ways-to-overcome-baby-brain/ ) (http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/pregnancy-health/dealing-with-pregnancy-brain/ )
- Sleep, Sleep, and more Sleep : It is so important to make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep in general, but especially when you're pregnant! Sleeping will help your mind to get the rest it needs to function the way you need it to. Not to mention, once the baby comes, you'll never sleep again. Might as well get as much in as you can now.
- Work it out, girl : Make sure to get some exercise in to boost your energy and your brain power! You don't have to work yourself out to the max. Just make sure to get some good light workouts in and not only will it help shoo away the pregnancy brain, it will help your health! You may be to the point that you can't see your toes, let alone touch them, but try it anyway!
- Eat your troubles away : Getting the proper nutrition you need will definitely help with your mental awareness! Use the cravings excuse to send your partner out in the middle of the night for the ice cream that you've never let yourself eat. You've got a 9 month window to eat for two. Don't miss it. ;)
- Jot it down : Making a list of things you did during the day and decisions you made will help with forgetfulness. There is never any harm in writing things down. You could even make it into a pregnancy journal! Write about all the important decisions you made while pregnant! Not to mention the funny things that happen day to day in the life of a pregnant woman.
- And Breathe: Meditate and relax periodically during the day to keep a free mind!
- Friend support : Try and talk to other moms and moms to be about the insane things your pregnancy brain made you do. Laughing it off is the best medicine of all.
Pregnancy brain can be frustrating at times, but when you look back you'll laugh and smile at those little moments life gave you. So sit back, grab a snack, and relax, girl! You deserve it! And don't worry we are trained here at Polka ToT Designs on pregnancy brain. We speak crazy momma! ;)
Come see me or Laura at Polka ToT Designs in Mobile, AL. If you live outside the area, pick up the phone and give us a call. We'll help you create that nursery you've got in mind.
Kayla (baby bedding designer extraordinaire)
When did being mean become socially acceptable? Why is mommy shaming slowly becoming the the norm and not the exception? I grew up in a time when we didn't have an oportunity to make every thought we have known to anyone who took the time to read it. If we had something to say, we had to say it in front of people. We had to weigh the risk of speaking our opinion against the backlash that might follow. In other words, if you were brave enough to give it, you better be brave enough to have it thrown right back at you. Even our parents taught us that if you were going to be a bully, you deserved the consequences that would no doubt come back to you ten fold. You better think twice before opening that mouth of yours! So when, did we all get so mean? (well, not me, I'm talking about you. Yeah, you know who you are) . When did our parents stop teaching us that we're no better than anyone else? That everyone makes mistakes. That when you are without sin, then and only then, are you allowed to cast the first stone. I think it began around the same time that Al Gore invented the internet.
Mommy shaming is becoming a sport. Like boxing. You take a jab or two and retreat. Then you come back and pound the heck out of your opponent. You know you're not supposed to hit below the belt, but if you can get away with it, why not? It only increases your chances of winning, right? Wrong!
Here is what I've wondered when reading different message boards, or comments on blogs or facebook, or anywhere else for that matter. When did you mean mommies become an expert in the field of parenting? Are you teaching your children to be critical of everyone around them? Teaching them that it's okay to bully others? Setting the example that if they or anyone else makes a mistake that they become targets and fair game? Is that how you mommy shamers are raising your children? If we all tell you that YOU are wrong and that you shouldn't raise your children to be the same critical jerks that you've become, doesn't that make us mommy shamers too? That line is so thin, it's nearly invisible.
Listen, I'm no expert by any means. But, I have a plan that I think might just work to fix this entire mess. Here it is... Keep your opinion to yourself. Be kind. It takes a village to raise a child. Don't be the village idiot. I know you think you're helping, but you're not. We're not all talking about how smart you are and how right you are to point out our flaws. No, we're rolling our eyes behind your backs. We would confront you, but then, wouldn't we be lowering ourselves to your level?
We all have access to the same information. We didn't just canoe out of the jungles of the Amazon. We know the same stuff you know. We have internet. We can Google the same things that you can. Having WebMD bookmarked on your device does not make you an expert. Stop telling other moms what they're doing wrong! If you're going to dish it out, you should be prepared to get it back. But, you're not. You don't want to be told you're the one who could be wrong. You only want to point out what others are doing wrong to hopefully take the heat off your own mistakes you hope no one is noticing. But, I digress.
So, now that I've pointed that out to you. I guess that makes me a mommy shamer, too. I'm sorry. It had to be done. I totally get where you're coming from now. Sometimes, you just have to rant against the ones who don't seem to get it. Here's a thought. Let's try to band together as women. Let's lift each other up and have each other's backs. Let's recognize our village and get to work protecting each other instead of throwing rocks. We have too much work to do to busy ourselves in mud slinging. Every life matters. Everyone's opinions are just as important as yours. There are many roads to get to a specified destination. Does it really matter that you took a different highway than someone else? Isn't the important thing that we all arrive safely?
I'm sure I'll catch some flack for this. I'm sure my grammar or writing skills will come into question. Please know this. I'm not an expert on anything. Especially blogging. I decorate rooms. I am not a mom. I am an aunt, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a wife and an entrepreneur. I want the mean people to stop being mean and the kind people to rise up and be heard. If I get through to one mud slinging mean mommy, then my work here is done. If you recognize yourself in this, please, try to think before you speak. Stop the word vomiit. You never know what kind of day someone is having.
Now, having said all that, let me say this. If you're in the market for baby bedding check out our cute stuff. My company is Polka ToT Designs. We have people to help you decorate your nursery. If you want bumpers, we'll make them, if you don't that's fine. We have alternatives. Design what you like. We don't judge. Everyone has different taste. We're just here to help you make your nursery a pretty place for you & your baby to rest.
Time to listen to our mothers parenting advice
I'll admit, this blog was originally going to be about the dangers of monitor cords in the nursery. Then I started looking into wireless monitors and it scared me even more! According to PowerWatch, a wireless baby monitor at less than 3 ft. away from the baby's crib was roughly equivalent to the microwave radiation experienced from a cell phone tower only 164 yards away. If your local authorities wanted to put a microwave or cell tower only 164 yards from your child's school, you'd have a meltdown! We don't want those things anywhere near our kids. Yet, every day, new parents are putting the cordless monitors in the nursery just a few feet from their precious sleeping newborn. After all the research I've done, I think our parents knew EXACTLY what they were doing. I mean they raised us and we turned out awesome, right ?
The fact is, the only really safe way to monitor your child, is to , well... Monitor them yourself! No electronics. Just keep an eye on them the old school way. Go into the nursery and physically check on them. That's right, just like Grandma ( I know, she hates being called that) did when you were in your crib.
If it's possible, move the baby into an adjacent room of the master bedroom. Or into the master bedroom itself if you can. At least in the first 3 months of life. Check on them often. No monitor or robot or fancy new state of the art equipment can ever be as effective as mom or dad.
Everyone has been so terrified of bumpers, carseats and every other possible danger over the last 6 years, we were totally oblivious to the fact that we are pumping EMF radiation directly into the nursery!
EMF radiation health risks
EMF radiation carries several documented health risks for adults. But, our children and babies are especially vulnerable to wireless radiation. The use of wireless monitors in the nursery carry the same hazard as using high frequency cordless phones. But where cordless phone use is occasional, the baby monitor is used for hours on end in the nursery within a few feet of your sleeping child. Get all of those wireless devices away from the kids! They are dangerous!
Definition of digital, wireless baby monitors
Most digital, wireless baby monitors today use DECT phone technology. DECT runs at 1,890 or 2,400 MHZ (1.89 Ghz or 2.4 Ghz). 2.4 Ghz is the same bandwidth used by microwave ovens. DECT wireless monitors are identifiable by the large number of claimed channels (from 20 to 120). DECT devices automatically switch between these channels during operation and emit sharp pulsing bursts of microwave EMF radiation 100 times per second. "Talk back" wireless monitors, where parents can talk back to the baby, emit continuously pulsing radiation on two channels and are even more dangerous.
Do your homework
Just like with everything else. It all comes down to doing your homework. Read as much as you can about the pros & cons of everything that goes into the nursery. If you are going to use a monitor, use one that is wired. Connect it at least 3 feet away from the crib and up high so you won't have to worry about stangulation from the cord. Keep the cords totally out of reach from baby.
Father & Mother knows best!
There is a lot to be said for listening to our parents. Let's face it, in 20 or 30 years you're going to hope your child comes to you for your advice because having raised them, all you want to do is continue to impart your wisdom to them to protect them and make their life easier. You've been protecting them since the day they were born. Your unsolicited advice is going to be something they need to hear! Just like our parents have done with us and no doubt, their parents did with them. Afterall, isn't that the real circle of life?
I might not be a doctor, but I did graduate with a Masters degree in Google Search. Information I found on crib bumpers might just shock you. A recent study from the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) stated there is no significant risk from bumpers. In fact, when used properly, traditional bumper pads can help prevent limb entrapments and head injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the greatest risk is to an infant sleeping in the prone position (face down) or in a crowded sleep environment that includes pillows, cushions and adult bedding. Unsafe Sleep Hazards Associated with the Infant Sleep Environment and Unsafe Practices by Caregivers: A CPSC Staff Perspective.â€‹
WHAT?! How is that possible? I know, quite shocking information to receive when all you have been told from everyone is to remove bumpers from the cribs immediately. JPMA, however, is absolutely correct!
A recent study on bumpers indicated no significant risk factors for infant death from using bumpers:Crib Bumpers and the Infant Sleep Environment: An Evaluation of the Scientific Evidence. This study found that a more thorough analysis of the injuries that occur to infant children within the crib demonstrates that crib bumpers could serve to mitigate the injury potential (e.g., lacerations, fractures) across a variety of the common accident modes (e.g., contact with railings, extremities caught between railings).
So, you ask... "Can't I just get a rail guard instead of the bumpers and prevent the injuries?" Changing out the bumper for a rail guard that goes over the railing is a common question we hear. The rail guard is great for when your sweet little pumpkin starts to munch on their crib due to teething. That will protect the wood or in the cases of iron cribs, it will protect the baby's teeth. They are not made to protect your baby's head from bumping against the wood or iron. Or, for that matter, keep their arms & legs from getting caught between rails and in the worst case scenario, breaking a bone.
If you're still a little worried about bumpers, we have other alternatives to our standard pillow style bumpers. We offer thin bumpers & wedge bumpers as well.
The wedge bumpers are ingenious! If the baby rolls into the bumper, they roll right back down the slope. They stand about 7" high on the outside of the crib, so they can be very decorative without getting in the way. Also, since they don't have ties, it makes changing sheets on the crib so much easier! Custom baby bedding at it's best!
Our "Thin" style bumpers are about an inch thick. They aren't as popular as the pillow style, but it offers an alternative to nervous moms & dads.
So, to bumper or not to bumper... THAT is the question. It all comes down to doing whatever you are most comfortable with. You'll get advice from everyone on everything when you have a baby. Listen to that little voice deep down inside. It knows best.
Custom baby bedding is what we do best. Let us help you design the nursery of your dreams. We're always just a phone call or email away!
The Polka ToT Designs Crew
Deb, Laura and your blogger for this week, Kayla
So, you just found out you're pregnant. Where do you start? How do you put a nursery together when there are so many overwhelming choices? If you intend on finding out the gender, I suggest waiting until you know. That will make everything come into focus quickly. .
FIRST THINGS FIRST!
Make it easy for you! Consider selecting a room in your home that's close to the
master bedroom so you won't have far to travel in the middle of the night. If space permits, have a comfortable chair that rocks or glides. You'll be rocking your baby to sleep at all hours of the day and night. Look for a high back, because during that first year, the chair is where you'll do a lot of sleeping yourself. It's going to be your best friend. Make sure it's comfy! Pay attention to the direction your nursery faces. Sunlight streaming into your child's room during most of the day or even street lights beaming into the nursery during the evening might make sleeping a bit difficult.
SELECT YOUR COLORS!
Remember, the baby doesn't care what the room looks like. This nursery is for you. Choose a basic decorating color scheme and build on it over the years. By basic, I mean it has no particular theme or look to it. Pick a piece of fabric with the colors you love and build from there using color,texture and pattern. Add accessories to baby's room to create a theme. Pictures & throw rugs are a great inexpensive way to create themes that are easily changed.
Pastels are sweet, but research shows that infants thrive around primary and bright colors.
Don't be afraid to use bright pops of color. Use your bright color sparingly. Maybe a fun whimsical print on the chair, pillows, etc. Keep those bright colors away from the wall. You'll tire of it quickly.
Kid proof washable paints on the walls. No flat paint! You want at least an eggshell finish, it's easier to clean. Painted stripes and chevron patterns are always fun. You can now find wallpaper that is self adhesive. Chalk board paint below the chair rail is great for that budding little artist that toddles. You can also use vinyl applications to the wall that will easily come off without harming the paint finish. A cute monogram over the crib or a forest theme with woodland animals is very easy to apply and remove. Choose your paint color after the bedding, upholstery and furniture has been chosen. It's easy to take a fabric swatch to the paint store to have your color matched.
If light streaming into the room is an issue, consider inexpensive light blocking
roller shades or blinds with a cute top treatment. Or, go with a roman shade with a light
block lining to coordinate with the baby bedding. Full length curtains with light block lining will also help with light control as well as insulation.
Consider furniture that will grow with your child. A crib that will turn into a toddler bed, day bed, then to a full size bed. Furniture that will take them from crib to college.
Look for an armoire or chest of drawers that will store little pieces of clothing, but will transition later in life. Furniture that is well made will last a lifetime. You can start your family with heirloom pieces that can be handed down for generations to come. Your baby spends most of the time in the crib. Make sure the mattress is a firm good quality mattress. Make sure the furniture is Greenguard certified. You want it to have low VOCs and free of other harmful chemicals. Healthy air = healthy nursery. Little ones like to climb and you want to prevent the dresser or chest tipping over. Look for anti-tip devices like leather straps on the back of your dresser or armoire. This is a voluntary safety standard for clothing units over 30" high. Be sure to ask your dealer if the furniture you select has this. We offer Natart, Nest & Juvenile furniture in our store at Polka ToT Designs in Mobile, AL. We also have a showroom in Hendersonville, TN.
Photo Credit: www.natartjuvenile.com
Remember...they don't stay babies for long. Have some fun and be creative.
It's only COLOR! Speaking of color, there is one design rule of thumb I will leave with you. If nothing else, please remember this one thingâ€¦ Yellow walls make babies cry. It's true! Avoid painting the walls yellow and sleep easier through the night!
Have questions? We're always just a phone call away! 251-639-5265 Call us at Polka ToT Designs and ask to speak with a designer. We'll be happy to help you design the nursery of your dreams!
-Deb & the crew
It's the year of the Nursery colors! Pink & Blue is at the top of the list. Rose Quartz & Serenity to be exact!
2016's interior design future is all baby, all the time and Polka ToT Designs has got you covered! The colors of 2016 have nursery written all over them! Are you trending in your nursery? So many color combinations to choose from!
Everything old is new again. Ask your mom. You probably had pink & blue baby bedding with yellow or green walls. Yep, all 4 of those colors are in the 2016 Pantone color trend! I will give you one piece of advice while we're at it. Don't, I repeat.... DON'T paint your nursery walls yellow. It's been proven that painting walls yellow makes babies cry! You can use buttercup yellow in the baby bedding. Evidently, that doesn't bother junior at all.
While bright coral has been a very popular color in the past few years for custom baby bedding, the new Peach Echo trend gives the coral a softer under tone. Not quite a a pastel, but not as harsh and "orange" as the coral used in the past. A softer hue leaning toward Peach but still bright.
While you are scouring Pinterest for design inspiration for your nursery, take notice of wall treatments as well as the baby bedding and window treatments. Don't be afraid of color mixing. You always want your room to look put together, not decorated. Be brave! I've always loved a room that looks like it was thrown together on the fly but somehow, everything seems to work.
If you are color trending in your home, let us know! Send a picture and let us know what colors you are decorating with. Who knows, you might be ahead of the curve and setting a trend of the future!
If you need help with your custom baby bedding, let us know! We're always just a phone call away!
-Deb & the Crew
What do you get the baby that already has everything?
Spoil your newest Polka Tot Kid with these 5 customized gifts that can be passed down!
1. Baby Blanket
The pinky fabric is so soft, baby skin will love to snuggle up in a blanket made just for him!
2. Toddler Bed Coverlet
Baby is growing up! She is now in her big girl (shhh, we wont tell her that it's toddler sized!) bed and she gets her own big girl bedding. Choose the fabric that works with her nursery but reflects her more mature tastes!
3. Diaper Stacker
This is for the baby that already has the most precious crib set. Add on this diaper stacker for the orgazined baby!
4. Toy Bag
Who doesn't want their plushie dolls within reach? These sweet toy bags attach easily to the crib and can be used for her precious trinkets as she grows up!
5. Carseat Lovey and Canopy
Trick out his carseat with the softest lovey and a canopy made for a prince! He'll never be said to go on a ride!
Need more holiday gift ideas? Give us a call!
Deb and Team
Or otherwise known here in Alabama as a Roll Tide!
Fall means football season, and by golly we love us some football in Alabama! Start the indoctrination and team loyalty early by commiting your baby's nursery theme to the best team in the SEC!
Our Alabama Crimson Tide has the lucky mascot of an elephant! Elephants are a huge trend in baby decor and we've put together a simple playbook for you to achieve a winning room!
1. Houndstooth Fabric
This classic pattern offers a foundation to your nursery decor that represents the Southern value of tradition. Just add a Bama blanket!
2. Rivers 4 piece
Calling all Bama fans! This set would be super cute in a Univ. of Alabama nursery. Lots of Houndstooth & Elephants!
4 piece set includes:
- Fitted Minky Dot Crib Sheet
- Tailored Crib skirt with banding
- 36x36 Blanket
3. Alabama Decor
Wall decals can easily be found online or at any large home retail store. Go with the classic Alabama logo or use a traditional baby elephant as inspiration for accented pieces, frames, murals, and mobiles.
4. School Swag
Did you know Polka Tot Designs carries school themed accessories? We do! Anything from car seat canopies to diaper carriers. We can hook your little football player up with all his Roll Tide needs.
5. Stuffed Animal Hammock
His elephants need a place to live. How about an adorable stuffed animal hammock that doubles as decor?
6. Ellie Fabric
How sweet is this repeating elephant design?! We adore using it for modern baby bedding! In black, red, or gray, this 100% cotton fabric comes by the yard in 54" wide swaths.
7. School Spirit Buddy & Blanket
We carry the softest, most cuddly dolls ever! We can monnagram it for you, or we have sporting teams represented!
Deb and Team
One of my favorite parts of the fall weather is camping! The chilly nights, starry skies, campfire, and small woodland creatures chirping through the night.
Bring your favorite things from nature inside to turn your baby's room into a woodland dream!
I did a little research and found some pretty inspiring nurseries, and as luck would have it, we have all the ingredients to help you create your own cozy forest home for your new little friend.
Photo credit: Project Nursery http://projectnursery.com/2014/12/woodland-nursery-ideas/
Slant the nursery feminine using a yellow and gray palette with brass accents. Don't forget a dainty chandalier!
Photo credit: Project Nursery http://projectnursery.com/2014/12/woodland-nursery-ideas/
This orange and gray woodland nursery is gender neutral. Paint (or use wall decals) to create a forest of trees for your wise little owl to watch at night.
Photo credit: Style With Wisdom http://stylewithwisdom.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-woodland-nursery-for-our-baby-boy.html
This all neutral-driven palette leans masculine, and the designer used a plaid bedskirt that shouts hunting cabin chic! (We can SO make that.)
Photo credit: Project Nursery http://projectnursery.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/collage.jpg
All the woodland creatures show up in this adorable pink and gray nursery! We think this is a real hoot. Owls, sparrows, robins, and the like harken to lullabies that will gently lull your baby to sleep.
Polka Tot Designs has everything you need to make your woodland dreams a reality! Check out this bedding for your little outdoorsman or choose your own palette and fabric for a totally unique look!
5 Piece Hayes
5 Piece Bumper Free Jaxon
If you'd rather customize your order, think about what color palette you want and then choose from some of our more woodsy fabrics! We have everything from deer to owls, wood grain to trees!
I'll leave you with one more adorably enchanting nursery that will cradle your baby's dreams of nature!
Photo credit: Luxury Baby Nursery http://www.luxurybabynursery.com/images/watermarked/detailed/1/Woodlands_Deer_Baby_Bedding.jpg
Visit our website's products and/or fabrics at www.polkatotdesigns.com/products! Now, go toast some marshmallows!
Deb and Team
1. Choose Your Fabric or one of our Pre-Designed Nautically Themed Bedding!
We have so many fabrics to choose from! Seahorses, Anchors, Nautical Maps, and more. We also have pre-designed called Jayden, Sailor, Kinley, St. Croix, and Barbados to name just a few.
2. Customize Your Bedding with Aquatic-Inspired Pillows, Bumpers or Plushies!
After fabric has been chosen, find a customizable pillow, blanket or bumper that can coordiate with the bedding.
3. Choose a matching fabric for a Stagecoach Valance!
Polka ToT Designs loves to create window treatments that finish-off the basics of decorating! We recommend the stagecoach valance with the nautically themed bedroom!
4. Embellish with Wall Decor, Frames, or Rugs!
Finding your sailor a sailboat frame, an anchor to hang on the wall, or a mermaid to swim the sweet seas of sleep is as easy as it gets! Your friends will enjoy showering your baby with gifts that coordinate!
Deb and Team!
We are truly maniacs over monogramming! What better way to welcome a baby into the world than put her name on it? Here's a few of our favorite ways for your baby to make his mark in the world:
1. Wall Letters
Spell out his whole name or just use his intials. Remember to put the biggest letter (last name) in the middle!
2. Personalize Her Plushie!
We adore these plushie dolls. Your baby will love them even more with their her name stamped across the front!
3. Stamp it with His Stats!
Want a sweet way to memorialize his birth? Custom stitch all his personal stats on his cuddly buddy!
4. Name that Nap!
She is so big and brave. She's taking her naps on the road. This princess mustn't get her mat confused with all the other royal toddlers'! Give her security in knowing which mat is her very own!
Deb and Team
When we see, touch, and sometimes smell our fabrics we can't help but think of fabulous DIY projects that we are dying to create. While touching some Minky dimple dot fabric the other day, I immediately began thinking about all the Halloween customs that can be crafted for all the soft, supple baby skin out there! Your little candy corn kernels are dying for the cutest costume out there!
Here's our internet round-up of all things baby Halloween costumes! We are (obvi!) DIY or Custom (double obvi!) all the way!
1. Sashimi Roll!
How adorable is this little sashimi roll?! The blog Do Try This At Home has created this ridiculously edible treat! You may want to get ahold of some giant chopsticks to pick up this lil' dumplin'!
2. Sushi Roll!
We couldn't get enough of the finger foods, so we found this tasty little shrimp roll! How adorable is this little pea-pod?!
3. Burrito Baby!
How do you make a baby burrito? Well, we take a little white Minky fabric blanket, add a splash of tomato red fabric, sew on a square or two of orange and green, and your little babicito is rolled up into the best burrito ever!
4. Bovine Baby!
We thought this cow costume was utterly adorbs! Mooo-ve over Bessie. This baby is milk-tacular! White onsie + cap + cut out black spots (felt?) + pink belly + 4 bottle nipples = Total Calf Cuteness.
5. Pinky Piglet!
This little piglet is cozy in her Minky pink plush costume. Her nose is made from a painted milk carton cap. The ears are pink flannel afixed to a pink head band. Do we have that fabric? You betcha!
Sew this yoda costume in a jiffy, you can! The force will be with you when you try this Star Wars inspired idea! Ditch the plastic face mask...your baby is too cute to cover up!
7. Bambi Bambino
Deer antlers are all the rage in decorating, so might as well give your most precious fawn a 3 point rack of his own! This furry fellow can be made easily from fabric scraps and one yellow/tan full-legged onsie!
8. Polka Tots and Candy Dots!
This costume is one sweet treat after another! Candy dots are little and sugary - just like your baby! Wrap her up in a white fabric and sew (or let's be honest: glue) on some colorful squishy balls that you've cut in half! Accessorize with bubble gum necklace as needed!
9. Hanging with My Gnomies
Eek! This little buddy is just the sweetest guy we've ever seen! One white fluffy beard (no stash) + fluffy white eyebrows + red elfin hat = Gnome, Sweet Gnome!
What are some of your ideas for a costume? We'd love to hear about them! Or even better, go to our Facebook page and share a pic of your little marshmallow, angel, or pumpkin! We want to see!
Like our page to see more fun baby stuff we love!
What could make your little one more like the prince or princess they are than a great big bow? To be honest, bows are just our favorite. No matter how big the bow you want, we can make it! Top designers agree with us and are tying off their baby rooms with fabulously large bows!
This opulent, all neutral bedding is embelished with raw silk bows! This antique, iron crib from Albee Baby is the perfect place for a well-placed bow - or four! Can we make? Yes, we can!
Get this look:
Our faux silk, Shantaung, comes in several colors! To get this look, we recommend the gold or cream. The bows are placed to cover the bumper ties or, if you aren't using a bumper, to decorate the front of the crib. Choose the quanitity accordingly.
This gray and pink room designed by Elizabeth Coombs is princess-ready! Follow link for more pictures here: http://www.modernantiquitydesign.com.
Get this look:
If you want the clean, modern look of this nursery, we advise a crisp, sturdier fabric in a soft print or solid color. Order 6 bows in Large Damask Pink or our White Twill!
Former Spice Girl and current America's Got Talent's judge Mel B. wanted her baby's nursery to be calm and serene. This pretty-in-pink palette spans all delicate shades of pink from peachy to peony. We think its just bow-tiful!
Guess what?! Your pinks don't have to match! Custom order 3 large crib bows in Smooth Minky Ecru or Mayflower Pink!
More good news: Our Polka ToT Designs bows are currently discounted!
Order your custom crib bows here:
Bows and kisses!
-Deb and Team
Fall babies are particularly elegant ones, we've found. Most have refined tastes that run toward damasks, toile, ruffles and monogramming.
The elegant baby looks for traditional color palettes while also being aware of the hue changes controlled by the winds the yearly trends and identified for us by the all-knowing Pantone color genies.
We are doing the hard work of keeping your baby on trend this year by providing a Pantone color guide for choosing your custom Polka Tot Designs!
Dried Herb, Biscay Bay and Desert Sage
The natural tones are indeed great color choices for baby boys room. We've seen truly remarkable and utterly adorable rooms using dried herb and desert sage together! Our fabrics can be chosen for a variety of products including bed skirts, large bows, and draperies!
(L): Retro ride Felix (Middle): Starbust Strato (R): Dot Stripe Summer
Stormy Weather, Oak Bluff, and Biscayne Bay
This season's yellow is a tick off of golden rod. It's warmth keeps the nursery a happy, comfortable dwelling place while also setting the stage for trendy baby gifts and accessories you love! Match with grays and accent with Biscay Bay! Here's how one of our clients used the colors in her baby's nursery! We love it!
When choosing the colors for this room, Stormy Weather was the hero; Oak Bluff and Biscay Bay became the accents!
Fabrics to featured in the nursery above: Zig Zag Silver, Shantung Gold, Aurora Teal
Marsala and Biscay Bay
These jewel tones are to die for! Rich colors thrown in with a pop of pink remind every visitor that this baby is your bedazzled gem!
We pretty much love anyone who would choose an Anna Maria Horner print for their baby! It's just pure decadence!
Fabrics to choose from that feature Biscay Bay and Marsala:
(L): Panama Wave (R): Santa Maria
For the sailor in every child, there will always be a traditional navy blue option. This season's option leans toward the deep. Reflecting pond patterns say this kid is headed for the ivy league!
Fabrics to choose from that feature Reflecting Pond:
(L): Deer Silhouette (M): Dot Stripe Navy Lime (R):Ellie Navy
Pairing Reflecting Pond with lime green leans toward masculine while pairing it with coral (or Cadmium Orange) pushes it feminine! Either or, we say, anchors away!
Fabrics to choose from that feature Amethyst:
(L): Nicoleth Listing (M): Zig Zag Thistle (R): Md Violet
Lilac, Thistle, Lavendar, Berry, Orchid, or Amethyst. Your little flower bud with be adorned in a royal room of purple, whatever you call the shade.
Happy Fall, Y'all!