Friday, January 23, 2009

Rockin' rocker: Nursing Rhymes

When I was pregnant I was told to purchase a glider, which is basically the love-child of a club chair and and laz-y boy. Maybe a bloated rocking chair on it's best day. Waddling around my big box baby store, I couldn't stomach it. Both too ugly, bulky, pastel-y and matronly, if furniture can read as such, both my design sense and my one-bedroom-apartment told me no. The This Old House'er in me martyr-nursed in an old rocking chair with the charm of an upstate farm house and the comfort of a pitch-fork. My husband loved to tell me how chic and rustic it looked with five pillows on it. Ugly gliders aren't good news for the design-preferenced nursing mother. Let me tell you - you log a lot of hours sitting, nursing, holding that baby and there is a real need for a comfortable, soft, roomy place for all of the above. And when you're not sitting in it you're likely looking at it - peripherally, but logging hours around it nonetheless changing diapers, folding tiny pants, etc. As my son turns 13 months old, I still find myself parking it in the rocking chair sometimes three times a day for story time and nap time. I think there simply must be a better option....You have your refusal to compromise ideals for safety, President Obama, I reject the notion that I have to surrender to something ugly to take care of my child in comfort.

Modern nursery designers have been sprouting daily it seems - across all price points and I'm thrilled. Often family-inspired entrepreneurs who are bringing really beautiful streamlined pieces to market. I am going to go out on a limb and say that the glider is not really the piece to go for clean lines. We need soft and nurturing, womb-like here. Not stark. Not stripped down to essentials, devoid of ornamentation. We need a little extra on the arms to hold that baby, a little extra in the tush. Thank goodness good design solves all. As a nonconvetional modern exception, the egg chair, although wholly unconventional is great example of clean lines, extended, to be comodious and although I haven't tried it as a nursing chair - next time I will. The real winner in my book however is the Empire Rocker from NurseryWorks. Oh my goodness. Ok, I admit it - I am a sucker for modern references to traditional furniture. But it happens to be one of the most comfortable chairs I've ever sat in. The Empire Rocker is a wink and a nod to an old tufted smoking chair, which was ironically neither intended for a woman, nor to be comfortable - but this version is - both comfortable and intended for nursing, reading, night-nuzzling and all the other delights of bedtime. And the ultimate sniff test: I'd put this in my living room -it doesn't read nursery or kids room, in rich eggplant-hued velvet - score one for nursing moms driving design!

1 comment:

Susan said...

Aww, the Empire Rocker looks like the chair in which I had my two babies & nursed them. It was my great-aunt's chair & that weird olive/avocado-y green. The only major difference was that it had the round base on the bottom that allowed the chair to spin around as well as rock. It finally gave up the ghost after many long years of service in her living room & mine. I miss that chair! It was so comfy.

Susan (from Mamaphonic)