Despite all my declarations of never putting my baby in a crib, we bought a crib this weekend. It was a purchase made out of sheer necessity. For his first sleep of the night and on the rare occasions that he would let me put him down during a nap, we had been putting him in our bed with guard rails. This worked fine as long as he was just rolling, but once he gained the ability to pull himself up and to scoot, it was only a matter of time.

On Friday night the little stinker woke up without our noticing and crawled out of our bed, over the guard rail, and onto my nightstand. Steve and I were sitting in the living room and I heard a noise come from our bedroom. Thinking it was one of the cats, I didn't think too much of it. But, when I heard it again and couldn't mentally place where it might be coming from, I decided to investigate. I opened the door to the bedroom, which we close almost all the way, expecting to see a kitty greet me, but instead saw Silas precariously perched on the nightstand, the surface area of which is about the equivalent of a sheet of paper. He broke out a huge grin and laughed as if to say, "Hey mom! I was just coming to look for you!"

Needless to say, I spent the next half hour while I was nursing him back to sleep going through our options for a safe sleep solution. Our first choice was to put the mattress on the floor. But, then we would have a lot of cleaning and putting away to do in the bedroom and we would have to deal with the dog getting in the bed to sleep with us. A crib was the next best option.

We found one on Craigslist, but went to see what was available at Target while we waited to hear back from her. Steve is an analytical fellow and when he sees a problem he wants to find a solution immediately. He wanted to buy a new crib at Target because it seemed like the easiest and quickest way to solve the problem. But I started pacing up and down the aisles and muttering. I'm pretty sure the only words he could decipher were "toxic cage" and "off-gassing formaldehyde." We were lucky to find an all cotton, chemical-free mattress at Target, but we ended up going with the used crib off of Craigslist. To my way of reckoning, it was no better or worse than the new ones, but at least it was cheaper and had had a chance to air out.

And here we are. I spent the weekend in a funk, feeling like an attachment parenting failure, but I'm coming out of it. He's really only in it for 2 or 3 hours at the beginning of the evening and then he joins us in bed after his first night waking. And even if he was sleeping in it all night long, it's not like it would be the end of the world. Like most other parenting experiences that I've had so far, it just wasn't what I expected.


  1. I know that is a hard decision. We finally put Finn in a crib when he was about 9 months (for parts of the nights, like you) for the same fears. And then we were glad we had it later, when he started to thrash in his sleep, and we eventually moved him to his crib for the entire night for our own sanity. As long as he still gets plenty of mama and papa snuggle time, where he sleeps his first few hours of the evening won't lessen his attachment to you in any way.

  2. It's so hard when the plan you have in your head doesn't match up with reality! We've had so many "but I said I'd never..." moments with G...but I think that one of the biggest parts of being a good parent is learning that you just don't always get to have your way anymore. Hope the crib works out and you guys get a better night of sleep!

  3. Is the crib in your bedroom?

  4. it's hard when you need to do something differently than how you expected you would. i think around the crawling age we have ended up with a mattress on the floor next to our bed and child proof our bed room for the little crawling climbers. i don't think there is anything wrong with a crib, but a floor mattress may be an option for you also. this way you don't have to worry about them crawling off the bed if they sleep in our if you get up early in the morn for a little solo time. i think from crawling to two and a half there is a lot of musical beds and re arranging and such. you are not a failure, just a mama using one of many many many options!

  5. Thanks for the words of encouragement, mamas! It's reassuring to hear that 9 months seems to be a common time of transition for co-sleeping. So far, things are going well. He goes down in the crib for his first sleep of the night just fine. But after that first waking...not a chance! Which is fine with me.

    @Anonymous: Yup, right at the foot of our bed. I'm not at all ready to transition him out of our room yet!