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Shopping for children’s furniture can be the most joyous of experiences or the most frustrating of experiences. The first time you venture into a children’s furniture store you are likely filled with excitement and joy as you first child approaches.
The options appear endless and you probably have gift certificates from a baby shower to use. As you fast forward to your second or third child the wonder of shopping for children’s furniture has likely worn off a bit and the realistic aspects of shopping for children’s furniture begins to creep in. In either event, the ideas that you should keep in mind are fairly simple. Keeping to them as the children age may be a bit of a different thing, but the principles remain the same.
Check for safety
One would think that checking to make sure that children’s furniture is safe would go without saying. One would also imagine that manufacturers would make sure that the furniture is safe as a matter of course. Unfortunately, neither is true. Shoppers tend to be more interested in how a piece of furniture will look in their home then how safe it is. Also unfortunate is that manufacturers cater to this interest. It is up to you, the shopper, to make sure your child will be safe. With this in mind consider these safety areas; spaces where a head can get lodged between to surfaces – this is most important between the mattress and rail or wall, Sharp corners, exposed bolts, uncapped tubing, uneven chair legs, lead paint, ill-attaching shelving, to heavy pictures and spaces where hands/legs/feet or clothing can be stuck or caught.
Think longer term
Durability of children’s furniture has quite a bit to do with practicality and cost effectiveness. As you troll down the furniture isles, shop with the idea that you may be having more then one child or more to come. You may have had financial help, and a somewhat smaller selection of furniture needs when you were dealing with an infant, but now you need to think a bit longer term and how much these children are actually going to costs. This is why the word hand-me-down came into existence. Bunk beds are a prime idea to think about in this instance. If you find the right set, they can be used as singles or doubles. Desk sets are another item to consider when thinking long term. In either instance, try to stay somewhat gender neutral for longer term purchases so both sexes can be equally disappointed.
As you shop, consider the color of the pieces you are looking at. Will they go with a variety of wall colors and paper patterns? The wall color will change as the child ages and finds their own taste. Reality dictates that this will happen quite a few times during the younger middle ages. The furniture that you pick out should be able to keep pace with a variety of odd colors and patterns.
First, middle and last child
As much as you would like to buy furniture for the first child and have it last through the last child it is readily apparent that this will not happen. Furniture does break and wear out. So is the life cycle of children’s furniture. As the children age, however, your tactics and choices begin to change as well. If you are buying for the last child, you may want to consider that you are also buying for yourself, unless you buy to well and the child takes the piece with them when they leave the house. From this perspective, you have two routs to choose from when you are buying furniture for the latter children in your life: buy it with the intention of giving it away or throwing it out or buying it as a quality piece that will end up in another location for your use when the child is gone.
As much as you would like to be in total control of the children’s furniture buying process, at some point the child will speak up for their own tastes. This is a good sign in the child’s development but slightly annoying, to be sure, in the middle of a furniture store. Let the child have their say on a few “important” items that they simply “can’t live without.”Do, however, exercise you veto power if you feel you need to.
However much you would like to avoid the concept, technology furniture is a reality of life in today’s world. A good solid piece of furniture that addresses today’s technology is a good investment and will stay with the child through a good portion of their young life. There are, however, two very important considerations to think about; do you want to buy a piece that will last forever like a good old fashioned, well made couch or do you buy knowing that nobody knows where technology will lead us in the reasonably near future? A tough call to be sure. Consider, however, just a good solid table, at adult height, that could be used for finger painting, home work with paper and table top technology.