I hadn’t intended to become a slave to Scandinavian baby brands.
In fact, when I first fell pregnant, I envisaged a frugal, second-hand sort of pregnancy. I’d read our friend – Monica’s – guide to everything you need for a first baby and was determined to channel her sensible, thrifty approach to newborn life.
There would be no chunky knitwear derailing me, no muted tones or autumnal hues to tempt me. My baby didn’t need wholesome, maplewood rattles or French linen swaddles. He was, after all, going to be born in Milton Keynes – a place where Scandinavian design came courtesy of the giant IKEA down the road.
I was determined to be realistic and practical – frugally British.
However, and as they say with all addictions, all I needed was just one hit to spiral. Mine came about one Sunday afternoon, as I innocently browsed baby toys; stumbling across the website – Scandibørn.
Scrolling through images of delicately knitted rattles – each themed around cold, Nordic winters – and browsing Danish, hand-carved toy cars, I felt my resolve weaken.
Surely one little gift wouldn’t hurt?
Now, seven months down the line and that practical, second-hand pregnancy is but a distant dream. Walk into my nursery and an embarrassing alternative reality awaits; one in which I’ve evidently moved to Copenhagen and married a man called Johannes.
Apparently, my baby needs a bracing dose of Nordic practicality; playing only with toys hand-carved in workshops set deep in Alpine forests. His pallet, like every newborn, is evidently based around just a few, muted tones. At just a few weeks old he will, of course, be an advocate of slow living – wishing only to wear Scandinavian baby brands that channel his own dedication to sustainability and outdoor living.
With the baby’s nursery now complete – the room filled with Nordic trinkets and toys – I’ve come to consider myself something of an aficionado when it comes to Scandinavian baby brands. In fact, I’m not sure there’s a brand I’ve not uncovered during my seven month binge.
To help anyone else with a similar weakness for the Scandi aesthetic, I thought I’d put this newly acquired addiction to good use; compiling a list of my favourite Scandinavian baby brands. From Danish to Norwegian, hand-knitted to hand-carved, these companies are producing some of the most stylish, irresistible and (even better) sustainable baby products out there.
Apologies (to your purse strings) in advance.
My Favourite Scandinavian Baby Brands
First off, I want to start with Scandibørn.
Whilst not necessarily a brand in themselves, Scandibørn are instead an online one-stop-shop for the most beautiful Scandinavian baby brands out there. Naturally, their site is not only a treasure trove of items, but an ongoing threat to my bank balance.
Reassuringly, the store was launched by a couple based near Sheffield, who, like me, harboured a deep-seated admiration for all things Scandi. Unable to find a style or design that reflected their own tastes when it came to baby wear, they took the leap and set up Scandibørn; sourcing and stocking only the finest Scandinavian baby brands.
Alongside channelling a decidedly Nordic aesthetic, the website is also driven by a genuine desire to represent independent and ethical brands; advocating sustainability over fast fashion or plastic waste.
Furthermore, and thanks to the fact that they are UK based, buying from here will not only save you a small fortune on postage and packaging, but will ensure a super fast delivery.
I’ve already indulged in several ‘hauls’ from this site: including buying the lovely DockATot (I preferred this over the Sleepyhead), the Charlie Crane Levo Baby Rocker and an endless amount of beautiful, soft baby toys and teddies.
Cam Cam Copenhagen
In terms of Scandinavian baby brands, Cam Cam Copenhagen is perhaps one of the most popular.
The vision of two Danish architects, Sara Giese Camre and Robert Warren Paulsen, this stylish brand encapsulates everything that I love about Scandi style. Subtle rather than garish, sustainably made rather than plastic fantastic (they ensure they use 100% organic cotton in all their textile products), Cam Cam Copenhagen is the master of humble luxury.
What I really love are their delicate swaddles and muslins; always decorated in subtle and ethereal prints. Their baby sleeping bags are also gorgeous and (speaking from experience) are of an incredibly high quality: super soft, thick and durable feeling. Trying to instil into my child a love of travel from an early age, I opted for this beautiful ‘Holiday’ print sleeping bag, to keep him snug and warm (tog 2.5).
Liewood now effectively have an exhibition space in my nursery, I’ve become that addicted to this Scandinavian baby brand.
Advocates of slow living and based – once again – in Copenhagen, this thoughtful brand bottles up all that is Nordic Living and (to use that overused term) a healthy dose of ‘hygge’, to create irresistibly simple and heartwarming designs.
As its founder, Anne Marie Lie Nielsen has said, Liewood is all about sustainability, fine lines, functionality and simple details.
I’ve already bought an embarrassing amount from this Scandinavian baby brand, including their very sweet hooded towels, animal-inspired washcloths, a dinosaur ‘cuddle cloth’ and a little ‘dino’ nightlight.
I’ll admit, I’m yet to fully master the correct (or even vaguely similar) pronunciation of this Scandinavian baby brand.
However, that hasn’t stopped me plundering its website many a’time – particularly their clothing line.
Ethically and sustainably made, the clothes by Konges Slojd are of a brilliant quality – particularly their ‘outdoor wear’, which also happens to be their speciality. Indeed, it’s important to wrap your babies up well against those cold Danish winters – and to help with this, the brand have excelled in producing thick, soft snuggly pram suits and full length snow suits (partially made from recycled plastic bottles).
Alongside Danish winterwear, Konges Slojd also produce beautiful nursery items, including bunting, soft muslin cloths and delicately made felt mobiles. In the end, I decided to buy this beautiful cloud-inspired mobile – and can confirm it’s even lovelier in real life.
One thing that Scandinavian baby brands do best is to produce highly sustainable, ethical and non-toxic products; something that’s particularly true of Danish brand, HEVEA.
I first came across this brand when browsing (the fantastic) online boutique Dawn and Day. Looking through their ‘bath time’ section, I noticed a little selection of rubber duckies; each made from natural rubber (therefore BPA and plastic free).
Squishy and devoid of any nasties, I decided to take the plunge and buy one – swiftly also purchasing a pack of their plastic free and natural rubber pacifiers. Decorated with stars and moons, it’s not only a miniature work of art, but is reassuringly safe for little mouths.
Even better, HEVEA have also created a menstrual cup (something to think about post birth), which – like the rest of their products – is created from materials from the rubber tree (or Hevea Brasiliensis).
When it comes to Scandinavian baby brands, Little Dutch has been my favourite when it comes to buying beautifully designed, sustainable and functional toys.
The vision of former arts and crafts teacher, Rinke, Little Dutch came about as she sourced items (and lampshades) for her own baby. Unable to find any she liked, she set about creating her own lampshades in her attic, before branching out into bedding and, eventually, toys.
Today, Little Dutch is a thriving company that creates sublimely made and textured toys; including wooden toys and play mats.
We decided to get their lovingly made ocean-themed play gym and this incredibly soft and warm ocean blue playpen mat. Both are decorated with little details and contrasting textures, designed to keep a baby entertained whilst also stimulating them mentally.
I now just need to save the pennies to invest in one of their beautiful looking bassinet blankets.
Out of all the Scandinavian baby brands, OY OY is perhaps most aesthetically distinctive; not least for its deliberately playful, provocative and nostalgic designs.
The brainchild of Danish designer Lotte Fynboe, OY OY is based on memories of (a no doubt idyllic) Danish childhood, strong Danish design traditions and a determination to not take life too seriously.
Not only creating beautiful children’s wear and furniture, OY OY extends its flair for design to the entire house; from the living room to the bathroom, the bedroom to your office space.
It’s fun, quirky and wholly Scandi; something I find difficult to resist.
Thankfully, being the discerning bunch they are, OY OY understand that a nursery doesn’t have to be filled with pastel colours and images of rabbits. Instead, even the smallest of people are worthy of stylish surroundings and tongue-in-cheek design.
The OY OY Mini range centres around illustrated characters, including Roly Poly and Polar Bear Knut – all of whom are colourful, sweet and bold. With OY OY even including a newborn range, design-lovers can also buy furniture, rugs and bedding for their little ones.
I’ve shown great restraint so far and bought just one thing from OY OY – the beautiful Tiger Wall Hanging. It looks lovely on the wall of the nursery and is perhaps one of my favourite features of the room.
Now for a Scandinavian baby brand that isn’t Danish, but Norwegian.
Whilst the majority of our brands so far have been related to aesthetic design and style, this brand focuses entirely on the physical and practical elements of their products; aimed at helping women both during and after pregnancy.
Working closely alongside womens’ health physiotherapists, the Bbhugme team have designed a now award-winning (and celebrity like) pregnancy pillow. Intended to be used as an extension of the designer’s own clinic-based work, the Bbhugme pregnancy pillow is a necessity for any woman intending to protect her back, pelvis, knees and ankles during pregnancy.
It is incredibly effective, absurdly comfortable and – most reassuringly – designed with with the genuine wellbeing of women in mind.
Although not quite a Scandinavian baby brand, Bbhugme is still an essential part of any prenatal or postnatal journey – and absolutely a brand worth exploring.
You’ll have to forgive me when it comes to our final Scandinavian baby brand. You see, it would be factually incorrect (possibly even treasonous) to call this fantastic company Scandi – when they are in fact, Parisian.
Run by husband and wife duo, Dana and Patrick Muskat, BigStuffed came about following Dana’s own journey when making a stuffed white octopus for her niece (and her sweet determination to celebrate neglected, albino animals that are often left to fend for themselves).
Following the success of the octopus – and a flurry of additional orders from friends and family – BigStuffed was born; creating only the highest quality stuffed animals that celebrate the importance of being different.
With sad, soulful eyes and boasting beautiful needlework, these stuffed animals are truly beautiful – providing a key focal point for any nursery. Coming in small, large and extra large (think, huge), we ordered (via Scandibørn) the BigStuffed Original Whale and manatee.
They have now taken centre stage in the nursery and have provided us with a (nautical) theme for the room.
I now just need to stop myself from buying them yet more friends from BigStuffed.