Why We Skipped the Crib

Before Eli was born I had a very clear idea of what my child’s sleeping habits would be like. When he was first born, he would sleep in the basinet beside our bed. He would stay there until 6 months, when we would effortlessly transition him to the crib in his room. I can laugh at this now because truly, I had no idea what I was in for. First we had to switch from a bassinet to an inclined sleeper due to reflux, then we finally got him into the crib at 6 months and then a series of 3 ear infections, a sinus infection and a brain injury pulled him out over and over again.

Every time we tried to re-crib train Eli, he screamed in a way that was very unlike him. I don’t like doing cry it out (there’s nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t jive with my parenting style), but we tried it again and again because we felt he needed to sleep in the crib. Even on the nights where he did go to sleep without much crying, he was always awake a few hours later screaming again. I can handle some crying at bedtime, but I can’t do it all night long. My baby is not really much of a crier and it just got to be too much.

And so we decided to try a floor bed. We heavily baby proofed his room (another post coming soon), put his mattress on the floor and gave it a whirl. It’s been a week and he has been sleeping better than ever. And though our initial goal was just to get Eli to sleep not in his Rock n Play, I’ve found several other reasons why I’m really happy we skipped the crib, and very well may skip it all together with our next baby.

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    Click through for 6 great reasons to try a floor bed!
  • Safety 2 of 7
    My first concern with the floor bed was safety, but I see now how in some ways, it's could end up safer than the crib. When I was a baby, even with the mattress at the lowest setting, I climbed out of my crib virtually every night until my parents transitioned me to a bed at 16 months. Twice I got injured in the process. And with Eli's recent injury, the idea of him being any higher off the ground than necessary was pretty anxiety inducing to me. And while getting a leg stuck in a crib is rarely an issue, with the floor bed I never have to worry about that either. We were able to keep Eli from falling out by simply sticking a small pool noodle under the sheet at the edge. Though this wasn't our primary motivation, it's a nice layer of peace of mind I didn't have with the crib.
  • Fostering Independence with Sleep 3 of 7
    One of the cool things about the floor bed is that it gives Eli some independence with his sleep. This freedom will obviously become a bit of a pain later, but for now, I like that if we put him down before he's exhausted, he can entertain himself for a while. I think this allows him to have some personal control over his sleep in so much as he learns what it's like to feel sleepy, not just tired, and how to know when to stop playing and lay down.
  • Relaxed Wake Ups 4 of 7
    In the crib, the instant Eli woke up, he started whining or crying. He didn't like to be in the crib for an instant longer than he had to be. But in the floor bed, Eli has more freedom and he seems to really like it. When I went in to get him this morning, I found a small pile of pacifiers a foot in front of the door and he was halfway out of his bed with another in hand (we keep a bunch by his bed). He hadn't made a single peep because he was content in his room, instead of feeling trapped in it. We leave him only a few items to play with, so there's not much damage he can do, but it's enough that he seems to enjoy being in there. (This is not his bed- he has no loose blankets in his room except for his very small security blanket!)
  • Room for Parental Comfort 5 of 7
    I had thought this transition would be a lot more difficult than it was and I was really pleased at the idea that I could sleep beside him on the floor if I needed to. And while that isn't how things worked out, I like that if he gets sick or is teething and needs more support, I can safely be there for him. When he was in the crib, he wanted to be with me, but being beside the crib wasn't enough. This way I can be close enough, but in a way that is safe for both of us.
  • Ease of Transition Later 6 of 7
    I've read some things about the crib to bed transition that made me scared well in advance, so having that transition out of the equation is nice. We've had more than our share of sleep location issues already, so I'm pretty thrilled that all we have to do when Eli gets older is put box springs and a frame under him.
  • Allows us to Incorporate to his Preferences 7 of 7
    When we planned for Eli's sleep, it was always in terms of what we were supposed to do or what someone said was best, never in terms of how he preferred to sleep. I love that we've found a way to get Eli to sleep that is safe and meets his personal needs and preferences. I think all too often we overlook what our kids are telling us in favor of what the norm is. In this case, he was literally screaming at us that he didn't feel comfortable in a crib and when we finally listened, we all got more sleep. (The awesome bedhead is just an added bonus.)


Article Posted 5 years Ago

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