56 Warren St at West Broadway (646-290-5508, babesta.com).
Babesta, you're a playah. "You decide if his genetic marker for cool came from the X or the Y (probably both!)," says the edgy Tribeca boutique's website. We're not sure the pressure to prevail needs to start before the kid's eyes can even focus, but we do like the shop's cool offerings, such as ultracandescent, Brooklyn-made bunny and deer nightlights ($150) from Acme World Zoo Kutelight, Jonathan Adler Junior's red, apple-shaped lacquer mirror ($295) and P'Kolino's pop-colored, space-saving Klick desks ($199).
20 Harrison St between Greenwich and Staple Sts (212-219-4030, capucinemaman.com).
If you and your youngster go for goods from faraway lands, seek out Capucine Kids. The Tribeca boutique sources a long list of imported lines, including Sweden's Svan (ergo bouncers), Norway's Stokke (the beloved Tripp Trapp chair and more), New Zealand's Hushamok (sleep-summoning hammocks) and Australia's Bowron (buttery sheepskin beanbags). Oh, you want domestically produced eco-goods? They've got those, too, from QCollection, Bloom and Spot on Square.
The Conran Shop
888 Broadway at 19th St, lower level (866-755-9079, conranusa.com).
Sir Terrence surprised New Yorkers when he vacated his 59th Street store in 2010 and shacked up with ABC Carpet & Home. For us, it's a boon: The new 8,500-square-foot store is easy to get to, and brimming with clean, green, mostly well-priced design objects that make moms and dads as happy as they do kids. A whimsical Bullseye Memo Board ($39) with colored magnets brings order to all of those nanny notes, and a Station Clock ($29) with kiwi-green digits and bold minute markers makes time-telling a snap.
Cristina Dos Santos
39 North Moore St between Hudson and Varick Sts (212-219-8780, cristinadossantos.com).
You painted the walls yourself and forewent the changing table--flatscreen TV combo. This new Tribeca boutique is the place to go for that special—albeit pricey—touch. You'll find reading chairs like the Yolk ($650, a mini Arne Jacobsen Egg) and Play Ball ($695, Eero Aarnio's Ball), plus Little Bert ($85), a scaled-down Bertoia seat perfect to set around the Cygnet table ($325, another Jacobsen nod), all from Australia's replica-happy Little Nest. Aarnio's Puppy ($350), pictured, a 45-inch polyethylene doggie that begs to be ridden, awaits adoption too.
Vintage lovelies. Crafty goods. A website that lets you sort for locally made wares. That's why we love the creative collective Etsy. Sprouted in Brooklyn six years ago, it directly connects artists and craftspeople with those who wish to buy their products. We can't begin to list the one-of-a-kind finds here (start by browsing the well-edited, quarterly EtsyKids shopping guide): Search Etsy sellers HyphenStudio for affordable, original wall art, Qinqindecal for inspired wall stickers, and VanessaBoer for nurseryworthy vintage flashcard sets.
Glass Tile Store
142 44th St between First and Second Aves, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (866-620-8453, glasstilestore.com). By appointment only.
Whether you have the enviable extra bathroom or want to make the all-family loo more friendly for the kids, consider adding something even Scrubbing Bubbles will love: happy tile. Brooklyn-based Glass Tile Store has lots, from the whimsically spotted glass Jelly Bean Blend ($13 per square foot) and polished-glass, 3" x 6" subway tile in raspberry blue or cherry red ($15 per square foot) to a Swedish Fish--hued geometrical mix called Sushi ($15 per square foot).
Half Pint Citizens
41 Washington St at Water St, Dumbo, Brooklyn (877-543-7186, halfpintcitizens.com).
Kids without storage bins are like moms without chocolate: a mess. We never stop sniffing around for stylish, hold-everything receptacles. Our current faves are at this Dumbo shop: eco-cute organic-cotton canvas bins ($40 each) and caddies ($24) from 3 Sprouts, emblazoned with a lovable owl, elephant, beaver, monkey or clever masked raccoon. A super new arrival is Dwell Studio's awaited nursery furniture, including the Century crib ($980) and changing station ($250).
1 Beard St at Otsego St, Red Hook, Brooklyn (718-246-4532, ikea.com).
We don't need to tell you why moms and dads love Ikea. The Swedish purveyor of pleasingly cheap, unprecious style has the assemble-it-yourself set wrapped up. What we will say is: Head in for a look at the latest. The fresh Stuva storage system, a modular array of bookcases, drawer units, tallboys and toy boxes ($85 and up), features five door colors (including a springy celadon). We're also keen on the recently released Blames high chair ($60)—an insta-classic in black with a bright-white tray.
191 E 3rd St between Aves A and B (212-677-0380, janesexchangenyc.com).
You never know what you'll find at Jane's. A well-built wood cradle, a tiny bookcase, a chest like the one Mom stenciled for you years ago. This beloved consignor of maternity and kid clothing doesn't have a ton of space for furniture, but the 100 or so items arriving daily often include the quickly outgrown, like bassinets, changing tables, high chairs and toddler beds. The store keeps a "haves" and a "needs" list, matching those who wish to unload with those wanting the castoffs.
Manhattan Mall, 901 Sixth Ave at 33rd St (212-295-6120, jcpenney.com).
We've heard old Penney's called both a "dirty little secret" and a "diamond in the rough." We see it as a stash for breeders on a budget, as it's chock-full of well-constructed cribs, changing tables and chests, pee-proof mattresses, washable window covers, can't-ruin-it rugs, lamps, warmers, wrappers, boxes, bins and more. One of our favorite finds: multipatterned microfiber rooms-in-a-bag for girls from Little MissMatched (from $100 for sheets, shams, bedskirt, comforter, throw pillow and wall decals).
Kid's Supply Company
1343 Madison Ave at 94th St (212-426-1200, kidssupply.com).
Too old for zoo animals and a bit hip for plaid? Such children will love the big pillows, cuddly blankets and luxe sheets stocked by uptown institution Kid's Supply Company. The studio/shop's offerings include a bevy of coordinating collegiate knits: The rugby stripe--swaddled Euro squares ($275) and cozy, cotton-blend cable-knit blankets ($325 for twin-size) will make it even harder to coax your tyke out of bed. Soft Italian sheets with a zig-zag design complete the package (from $75). Time to upsize the bed? The place does quite a nice job on the big items, too.
178 North 9th St between Bedford and Driggs Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-782-2005, minijake.com).
Once the new kid in the neighborhood, Mini Jake has become an old reliable. From Argington's new grow-with-baby BAM II bassinet/crib/toddler bed ($449) to the kid-friendly Couchoid sofa from Bludot ($1,799), the spacious store has every expanding-family must, including plenty of room for the kids to run around while you take your time and shop.
*455 Broadway between Grand and Howard Sts (212-334-2002, muji.us)
*16 W 19th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-414-9024, muji.us)
*620 Eighth Ave at 40th St (212-382-2300, muji.us).
No matter how true your intentions, the term minimal mom often proves oxymoronic. Muji, the Japanese emporium of things simple and orderly, may assist your quest for less. The store is stocked with stacks of plastic boxes and bins (no-brainers for holding art supplies) and eco-friendly wood-pulp bookshelves. Shop and you'll believe: Life really can be filed neatly in a Lucite box.
Old Village Hall
170 E 2nd St between Aves A and B (212-677-7307, theoldvillagehall.com).
If your tween is suddenly unsmitten with things "babyish"—or those you so lovingly bought when you redid her room last year—hit the East Village for a five-minute growth spurt. Scott Hill, designer of the Old Village Hall's oh-so-adult screen-print furnishings (check out the Dirty Little Story Wingchair), has some adolescent candy in his collection, like big toss pillows spattered with hearts ($65) and sweet-smelling balsam pillows ($10--$20) adorned with a loud and sincere YOU ROCK.
1451 Second Ave at 76th St (212-879-2513, pbteen.com).
You might not think of Pottery Barn's Upper East Side little sib PBteen for your child's first rug, but you should. Florals, stripes, dots, textures and shags come in eye-pleasing colors, squishy piles and patterns that'll suit you both long past the preschool years. New: a supersoft "Ultra Plush" wool number (from $99) that promises to induce napping instantly. Your too-cool-for-school tween will, of course, like the loot here too—unless she or he has moved on to more sophisticated city shops like Design Within Reach.
*2307 Beverley Rd between Bedford Ave and E 22nd St, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn (718-826-5800, sears.com)
*404 E Fordham Rd at Webster Ave, Bronx (718-817-7300, sears.com).
It's conceivable that you haven't set foot inside Sears since you were eight and Dad dragged you on a Craftsman socket-wrench run. Check it out—especially if you have a Hello Kitty enthusiast at your elbow. Cute kitten-head pillows. Bow-bedecked throws. Sassy wall decals. The list goes on, at prices (from $5) that'll trigger a junior-mall-rat moment.
3511 34th Ave at 36th St, Astoria, Queens (718-626-6030, sitedesignnyc.com).
Mackenzi Farquer, owner of Astoria specialty gift store Site, says confection-themed items will again be "huge sellers" this spring. Vanilla-iced ceramic cupcake boxes ($12) are ideal for stashing paper clips or hair ties. A giant cupcake wall decal ($60) is a chalkboard, too, fun for kids to scribble on in the playroom or kitchen.
Stoopher & Boots
385 Amsterdam Ave between 78th and 79th Sts (212-877-2128, stoopherandboots.com).
Stephanie Goldstein's arty gifts emporium, which opened last spring, showcases a line of T-shirts she designed in celebration of her sister's second set of twins. Since then, she's expanded to include home goods from local artisans, like wood-mounted "inspirational" prints ($34), a slew of stuffed animals ($12--$54) and a 24-inch chair ($148) with all-washable pillows and covers that come in 300 fabrics.
Go to target.com for store locations.
Aim for the bull's-eye to score stylish beds and playroom goods for not a lot of dough. DwellStudio for Target continually delivers great looks, with cool bedding for babies (rockets and hippos in the house!) and beyond (dots for boys, tulips and birdies for girls); the line's prints also adorn storage ottomans ($63)—who doesn't need another sit-and-stash? No-longer-rug-rats will be all over the Mod Pod chairs (think Fatboy on a budget), which come in two sizes and a dozen colors (from $89).