To crib or not to crib, small house problems. — The Bump
June 2017 Moms

To crib or not to crib, small house problems.

FTM here, so I obviously have no idea what I'm doing, but would love to hear what you all think about skipping the crib stage entirely and going straight from co-sleeping (though not bed sharing) to a floor bed/toddler bed.

I've searched the internet, and it seems popular among the montessori crowd, but I wonder about logistics. I assume it will be a pain (literally) to get my child up from the floor. It seems like it will save the $ of buying a crib, though some of that will most likely get put toward a bassinet.

I'm most interested in hearing from any 2nd time plus mom's who've tried it and how it went.

I'm not adamantly opposed to a crib, but it seems an expensive piece of furniture with serious limits on utility. Maybe  I'm missing something?

I feel I should mention, our master is upstairs, but the nursery and guest room are on the first floor. I'm contemplating co-sleeping with the bassinet in the guest room for the first 3 months. There is also unfortunately not enough space in the nursery or the guest room for both a crib and a twin bed. We plan to stay in this house for the next 7+ years and are planning on 1 or 2 more additional children after this Junebug.
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Re: To crib or not to crib, small house problems.

  • We have happily coslept in a king bed for four years. I originally bought a crib, so now that's her bed, which she chooses about 10% of the time. I have deeply enjoyed cosleeping and will 100% do it again in June. 
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    sejicabornmommyAllybiery
  • I have also happily co-slept with each of my children and will transition the one I'm currently co-sleeping (or rather bed sharing) with to a twin bed with a side rail shortly.  

    I purchased the Arms Reach co-sleeper last time and I also purchased a By Your Side sleeper, both of which I'll be buying again. 

    sejicasemicolon
  • I'm a crazy sleeper and awful without sleep so I never tried co-sleeping, but here are some considerations from my perspective.

    My daughter is 16 months and definitely not developmentally ready for a twin bed/floor bed so I guess it depends how long you want to be co-sleeping, and when you plan on having your second and third child. 

    Also, if you're planning 3 kids, a crib seems like an okay investment. You could also get one that converts into a toddler bed and even a twin bed, so it can be useful long term.

    Have you considered where your baby will nap? My daughter lasted 3/4 months in the bassinet so after that she napped in her crib.
     
    Could you fit a pack and play in your master bedroom? Some people use those instead of a bassinet b/c they go from newborn all the way to toddler.

    Good luck!
    sejicakfitz1900
  • I bedshared until DD was almost 7 months old at which point I had to transition her to a crib because it just wasn't working for anyone anymore. I can't imagine she would have actually gone to sleep in a floor bed as she would just crawl out of the bed and get into stuff. Even now at 13 months old I think she isn't ready. We bought a crib that converts into a toddler bed from IKEA for $100. I love it. 
    sejica
  • I bought a crib for just a little over $100 at Target that converts into a toddler bed so it wasn't a huge investment. In my first apartment, I only had one bedroom, so I put the crib at the foot of the bed and it worked well for dd. My ds is a total cosleeper. I raised them the same, but they needed very different things. It's hard to predict what you'll really use! 
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  • I think you'll be fine. 

    Life with DD1 would have been so much easier had we been prepared to room and or bedshare full time. 

    We're not getting a crib for this LO. We're going to set up the co sleeper in our room and see where she takes us. 
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  • I'm in a 1 bedroom apartment so I'm skipping a crib and will just use a pack-n-play until baby can climb out then we'll see where we are! 
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  • We have a crib and it has very rarely been used. Weve tried many combinations including cosleeper basket, pack n play in a room, crib until first nursing then bed sharing, and full bed sharing. We are currently bed sharing. Our son climbs out of the crib and we need to switch him to a toddler bed. Co-sleeping works for us and at 20 months a crib isnt a safe option anymore. If I didnt already have one I wouldnt buy one.
    sejicasemicolon
  • halfthetree halfthetree
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    edited December 2016
    We had a crib for our first, it held clothes that I didn't fold  ;)
    We bedshare with our kiddos, so they get a twin bed at 2-3 years and we start putting them to bed in there. They migrate to our bed by midnight, which is nice for us!
    sejica
  • Have you looked into mini cribs? That is our plan for now.
    sejica
  • delujm0delujm0
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    edited December 2016
    DD (18 months) started to hate her bassinet around 3 months...she really likes to move around at night.  She loves her crib.  I have serious questions about if we could even get her to nap if she had the ability to get out of a toddler bed herself.  We're skipping the toddler bed entirely and going from crib to twin bed with side rails probably in May to free the crib up for #2.  DD sleeps in a cot at daycare and stays in it no problem, but I don't kniw that she'd do that at home.  Daycare has a group think thing going on that we can't offer here ;-)

    DD has refused to sleep in a bed with us every time I've attempted it so cosleeping wasn't an option for us.

    Ikea makes smaller cribs for cheap.  They have great stuff for small spaces at affordable prices if you're interested.

    ETA: our Master is on the first floor and other bedrooms are upstairs.  We turned the sun room in our master suite into the nursery for now and don't regret it.  Even now DD will get up at night occassionally, like when she's teething, and I'd hate to have to go all the way upstairs to deal with it.  If you can find a way to keep the baby on the same floor as you for at least the first year it would be worth it.  Like if you have an office or something that can become a nursery short-term...do it.
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  • BellaO21BellaO21
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    edited December 2016
    I am also a FTM... We do not plan on cosleeping. We are going to purchase a 4-in-one crib that will go from a crib, to a toddler bed, then finally to a full size bed once she's old enough. It's a bit pricier up front, but IMO it's cheaper in the long run. 
    I am a major crab ass if I don't get a decent night sleep, and judging from my experience when my nephew and niece would stay the night- there is no way I would ever sleep if she stayed in our bed, or room with us. Then again- her nursery will just be down the hall. 

    Edited- because I like to add random letters to words.

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  • My DD never slept in her crib. Not one single time. That's not to say you won't be successful getting your baby to sleep in his or her crib. I am kind of in the camp that you don't need one though. She went from the rock n play, to my bed, to a regular twin bed. 
    semicolonsejica
  • DS slept in a arms reach co-sleeper for a while and sometimes in the rock n play. This was the first few months. 
    As he got older we did a mix of bed sharing and sleeping in the crib. By 8-9 months he was going to sleep in his crib and ending up in our bed by 3-4am. 

    ....he's 20 months and this is still the case. He naps just fine in his crib. So I'd say it gets about 75% of its use. 

    If you're undecided, get a pack n play or bedside co-sleeper for the start and go from there. I like other suggestions of looking into cheaper mini cribs in the future if you feel it necessary. 

    DS will be transitioning to a full size bed on the floor in his room this spring. I don't think he will be ready for that until 24 months or so. Fingers crossed it's successful before this baby arrives! 
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  • It's hard to say what will best for you because everyone has different comfort levels with where and how their baby sleeps. We bough a Storkcraft crib for a little over $200 and have gotten tons of use out of it. DS slept in a pack and play in our room for 3 months. (Never felt comfortable bed sharing). We then transitioned him to his crib which helped all of us get a better night's sleep because we weren't waking each other up. I slept better knowing he was in a bed he couldn't get out of (like a floor bed or twin). We turned it into a toddler bed just before he turned 3 and now we are turning it back into crib for baby 2.  For us, it was a great investment.

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  • This is definitely a personal decision.  I think you can definitely get away without a crib but then I would definitely suggest a pack n play. When they outgrow the bassinet you don't want them to nap on your bed alone where they can roll off and they might not stay on a floor bed.

    if you plan on having multiple kids a crib isn't a bad investment.  My kids slept in a rock in play or bassinet in our room until 5 months then the crib until 2 ish years.  I moved my DD to a twin bed and gave my DS the crib even though our crib converts to a toddler bed and full size bed.  I will do the same when This babe comes.  So our crib has got a lot of use out of it .  But it's something you can always decide to buy later.  
    sejica
  • I am more of a silent bistander here on the bump but for some reason felt compelled to respond to your post :) I saw someone else mention to just start with what feels comfortable and go from there, and I couldn't agree more. When you're a FTM it's hard to not have everything perfectly planned out and ready to go, but I think flexibility is key in the beginning months and you'll adapt. You learn pretty quickly what works best for you/your baby/family/lifestyle etc.

    With that being said, here is how we tackled sleeping arrangements with our first and plans for this time around...We were living with family when our DS was born and all slept in the same room. Us in a bed and him in a pack-n-play on the basinet level, which I thought was nice for breast feeding. When we moved into our home he transitioned to his own room and crib pretty easily at 5 months (crib is a family heirloom). My plan this time is to use the same pack-n-play/bassinet set-up in our room for however long feels right, then transition baby into the same crib and hope our DS transitions to a toddler bed (also a family heirloom). 

    I realize we've been fortunate to receive these pieces of furniture, all of which were my husband's when he was a baby. And we're definitely planning to stretch them out for however many kids we have. Ultimately, you'll find a system that works for you and doesn't break the budget! 
    sejica
  • Another possibility might be a mini-crib?  They're much smaller than a traditional crib, and then many of them convert into a twin bed frame.  So you get the benefit of height-adjustment and containment when you want it, and then a twin after?

    We have the full size version of this one, and it's held up really well over the last 5 years (with continuous use).  When I was pregnant with DD, I came very close to buying the mini since we'd have 2 in cribs at the same time and not a ton of space. 
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  • BellaO21 said:
    I am also a FTM... We do not plan on cosleeping. We are going to purchase a 4-in-one crib that will go from a crib, to a toddler bed, then finally to a full size bed once she's old enough. It's a bit pricier up front, but IMO it's cheaper in the long run. 

    @BellaO21, every friend I have who spent the money on one of those cribs would 100% disagree with you. They either had a kid who wouldn't sleep in a crib or opted for a different bed post toddler bed. 

    For those wondering where bedsharing kiddos nap. DD1 napped in our bed. We had bedrails to prevent her from falling. Because she slept with us so regularly we worked on safely climbing out of bed with her from an incredibly young age and by 9 months she could do so independently. 

    DD2, during her first year of life, was a child more content sleeping in her own space. Having already had one we were more prepared to be flexible. 
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  • BellaO21 said:
    I am also a FTM... We do not plan on cosleeping. We are going to purchase a 4-in-one crib that will go from a crib, to a toddler bed, then finally to a full size bed once she's old enough. It's a bit pricier up front, but IMO it's cheaper in the long run. 

    @BellaO21, every friend I have who spent the money on one of those cribs would 100% disagree with you. They either had a kid who wouldn't sleep in a crib or opted for a different bed post toddler bed. 

    For those wondering where bedsharing kiddos nap. DD1 napped in our bed. We had bedrails to prevent her from falling. Because she slept with us so regularly we worked on safely climbing out of bed with her from an incredibly young age and by 9 months she could do so independently. 

    DD2, during her first year of life, was a child more content sleeping in her own space. Having already had one we were more prepared to be flexible. 
    I actually have the opposite, more friends (and including myself) who had great use out of the convertible crib.  I have a few friends that co-sleep, but majority were crib to their own bed. 
    sejica
  • We bought cribs with intentions of using them but after our twins were born we had them sleep in their RNPs (like @Wino0920 ) for the first 4 - 6 weeks, then we shifted them to their cribs while we slept in the room with them for the next few weeks... we were first time parents and worried about SIDS and breathing, probably irrationally worried to be honest.

    To each their own when it comes to bed sharing/co-sleeping but for those of us that went the crib route, the day your child becomes a master of their crib (i.e., can climb out or close enough to it) stinks as having a wandering toddler at night is TERRIBLE!  So when you asked about having them sleep on the floor... I just have flashes of all those fears that I have around what all they would/could get into... we aren't messy people but I can't guarantee that I never leave out something that I'd hope they wouldn't get into whether it be messy or even potentially dangerous.  Some people have to either flip the door handle so the lock is on the outside or add a locking mechanism on the door because they childproof the child's room but are worried about the rest of the house.  I have nightmares about my boys going outside in the middle of the night as they know how to unlock our exterior doors for safety reasons (e.g., fire) but gosh...
    sejica
  • BellaO21 said:
    I am also a FTM... We do not plan on cosleeping. We are going to purchase a 4-in-one crib that will go from a crib, to a toddler bed, then finally to a full size bed once she's old enough. It's a bit pricier up front, but IMO it's cheaper in the long run. 

    @BellaO21, every friend I have who spent the money on one of those cribs would 100% disagree with you. They either had a kid who wouldn't sleep in a crib or opted for a different bed post toddler bed. 

    For those wondering where bedsharing kiddos nap. DD1 napped in our bed. We had bedrails to prevent her from falling. Because she slept with us so regularly we worked on safely climbing out of bed with her from an incredibly young age and by 9 months she could do so independently. 

    DD2, during her first year of life, was a child more content sleeping in her own space. Having already had one we were more prepared to be flexible. 


    I'd agree here...every person I know has had their kids gnaw on the sides of their crib.  DD has only done this a little bit, but there are still teeth marks all over it.  Technically the crib we got is convertible (it was on clearance at a warehouse sale), but we didn't buy the accessories to turn it into a toddler bed or full bed...figured it would get destroyed and we wouldn't want to use it long term anyway.  It's not super high quality wood or anything, which we were fine with as it is a short term item.  We figure we will just donate it or unload it on Craigslist when we're done having kids, and get them better quality beds once they're not going to be chewing on them for funzies.

     

    That being said, if I had gone nuts and bought like a $2500 crib at like Restoration Hardware or something, you better believe I'd be using that thing as a full bed FOREVER.  We went cheap on nursery furniture because we knew it was temporary for us.

     

    We already have a twin bed for DD because I have my bed from growing up (my mom moved into a smaller house and didn't have room for it anymore).  We kind of want bunk beds for #2...DD's bed is a daybed with a trundle under it, and we like the idea of having the extra space for when cousins visit because we live far from our families and have houseguests often.  Also, I had the daybed and my sister had 2 twins in her room growing up, and we voluntarily slept in the same room together for years just because we wanted to.  So we want our girls to have that option too if they want it.

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  • I have one DD, she is 13 months. The first 5.5 weeks she slept in the halo bassinet next to our bed. We transitioned her to the crib at 5.5 weeks. I'm glad I went this route instead of co sleeping longer because she has her own space she is used too and prefers now. She loves her room/crib. It's nice that my husband and I have our space too. It works for us. I plan on doing this with my second. As far as some comments about no use of conversion cribs - just wanted to add in that I have asked this question to 4-5 mom friends of mine who each have had much use out of the toddler conversion kits on their cribs. Everyone is different so it works well for others and some it does not. 
    sejica
  • @delujm0 this is the exact reason I didn't get a 4 in 1 convertible crib. At first I wanted to get a really nice expensive crib that would stand the test of time, but then my MIL offered me DH's old baby crib (which was meant to stand the test of time) it was covered in teeth marks and was a drop sided crib which is no longer deemed safe. We opted for a $100 IKEA crib which included a conversion kit to turn into a toddler bed. 

    I had a different experience with bed sharing than others who have shared their experience. I slept next to my baby until she was almost 7 months old. It was nice for the first few weeks, but then it became a huge problem. She wouldn't sleep alone, ever. I had to hold her for all of her naps. I had to go to bed with her around 6PM (when she was younger), and was trapped in bed for basically 14 hours. If I got up even to use the restroom she would wake up. DH and I had no alone time together unless we got a sitter and went on a date and I had no alone time period. I became unexpectedly pregnant *TW* (that pregnancy unfortunately ended in a MC) *end TW* and that was why I finally sleep trained DD and moved her to a crib. I couldn't fathom how I would make bedsharing work with 2 babies. DD crib sleeping has been an amazing thing. I know each baby is different, but no matter what this next baby is like I just cannot fathom going down the road of bedsharing again, for my own sanity. 
    delujm0sejica
  • I have a rock n play that I used with both my boys. It is small, light, portable and you can rock it (I think the new ones even have vibration). Love it!
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  • bar italiabar italia
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    edited December 2016
    we co-slept (bed shared) from birth until 6 months with our first. we knew it was time to transition because he started sleeping fitfully (he was a STTN-er since 3 days old so this was very unusual) and we realized he wanted to stretch out and have his own space. the transition to his crib was seamless. since our bed is no longer against a wall in a corner, we are going to modify our existing crib so the mattress is the same height as the bed and we'll still be co-sleeping, but have more room for everybody.

    eta: he slept in the crib until age 2.5...never tried to crawl out or anything not even once. we converted it to a toddler bed at that point which he slept in until 3.5 when we moved and he went into a lofted twin size. mostly because he's very tall and was starting to outgrow the crib mattress.
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  • As a bedsharer, my girls have never had issues napping on their own.  They either nap in the bed or on the couch.  
    sejicahalfthetree

  • I had a different experience with bed sharing than others who have shared their experience. I slept next to my baby until she was almost 7 months old. It was nice for the first few weeks, but then it became a huge problem. She wouldn't sleep alone, ever. I had to hold her for all of her naps. I had to go to bed with her around 6PM (when she was younger), and was trapped in bed for basically 14 hours. If I got up even to use the restroom she would wake up. DH and I had no alone time together unless we got a sitter and went on a date and I had no alone time period. 
    OMG this was DD1 exactly. This is exactly why she was meant to be an only child. I refused to ever relive that. 

    Luckily she outgrew it, as well as most of her other incredibly other cling ways, and DD2 is nothing like DD1. 
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  • I had a different experience with bed sharing than others who have shared their experience. I slept next to my baby until she was almost 7 months old. It was nice for the first few weeks, but then it became a huge problem. She wouldn't sleep alone, ever. I had to hold her for all of her naps. I had to go to bed with her around 6PM (when she was younger), and was trapped in bed for basically 14 hours. If I got up even to use the restroom she would wake up. DH and I had no alone time together unless we got a sitter and went on a date and I had no alone time period. 
    OMG this was DD1 exactly. This is exactly why she was meant to be an only child. I refused to ever relive that. 

    Luckily she outgrew it, as well as most of her other incredibly other cling ways, and DD2 is nothing like DD1. 
    It's so nice to finally talk to someone who understands! I'm happy to hear your DD2 wasn't this way. It gives me hope lol 
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  • @michaela0704 ,we're starting to prepare our daughter's "big girl room" and we took the door off the hinges and put a baby gate (with its own door) up instead. So long as you're not concerned about noise, that might be an option. That way we just had to super baby proof that one room, and when she's potty training I figure we can stick a potty in there for emergencies, or she can call for us to bring her to the bathroom.
    sejica
  • @Wino0920 My family is massive, and that was my experience when I was asking them what they thought/ what worked with their kids ( my cousins) as well. Yes I know that every kid, and preferences  are different, and it may bite me in the ass later- but we decided to take that "risk" in hopes that it pays off down the road. 
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  • Rock n play was perfect. He loved it. Slept in it for 4 months. Then went to crib and now at 2.5 he is in twin bed, never had a toddler bed. He just recently moved out of crib. You will want the baby close to you, definitely get something for your room. 
    sejica
  • We thought we needed a crib right off the bat. This meant I slept on the recliner in the nursery because DD was a constant feeder.

    Bedsharing became the better option until she STTN around 7 months. She has been in a crib in our room since then. We have a 4-in-1 downstairs in her room. It's set as a toddler bed and she naps in it.

    Haven't pulled the trigger on moving her down there overnight because teething wakes her and she needs us. 

    Things I wish I would have known: buy a house with at least one other room on the same floor as the master.  :|



    sejica
  • We have a 4 in 1 crib for DD and I love it. She slept in out room for 3 months in a bassinet, and then in her crib. I wish she could have stayed in the crib for ever, but she started climbing out, so we converted to a toddler bed when she turned 2. I think in the next week or so we will make it into a full bed. 

    We we will probably buy another 4 in 1 crib for this baby. Never had problems with her chewing on the sides or anything. 

     

     

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  • I'd just wait it out and see how the child is.
    DD did well in our room for the first few months but we quickly realized she was waking because of us.  So we transitioned her to a crib in her room around 3/4 months and it was night and day for us.  She slept amazing.  Girl needs her space.  Even still at almost 2 she'll tell us she's done cuddling and wants her bed. 
    I actually bought a 2nd hand crib for $25 off an exchange site.  I asked the girl the specifics on it and did some research to make sure there were no recalls on it.  It was seriously in perfect condition and I'm so glad I didn't spend a ton of money on a crib because DD has chewed every inch of the darn thing.  #2 will use it once he/she is about 3-4 months. At that point we'll put DD in a twin size bed with a rail.
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  • Every baby/kid and every parent is different. You'll find what works for you :) My husband and I look back and laugh at the laundry list of things we swore we'd never do/buy as parents that ended up being what DS needed (i.e. bed shared for a year). Going with the flow of whatever this little lady shows us she needs for sleep, feeding, bathing, etc. Trust your mama instincts and don't listen to anything else (aside of maybe the doctor, but even then debatable at times)!
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  • I'm debating on a rock n play. I'll already have the pack n play with the bassinet set up in our room plus it comes with a newborn napper/bouncer and I'll have a swing. I know it's amazing and everyone loves it and the girls I babysit use it too! They have the one that rocks itself. its great. Im thinking if the baby won't sleep anywhere I'll have DH go get one!
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  • @michaela0704 ,we're starting to prepare our daughter's "big girl room" and we took the door off the hinges and put a baby gate (with its own door) up instead. So long as you're not concerned about noise, that might be an option. That way we just had to super baby proof that one room, and when she's potty training I figure we can stick a potty in there for emergencies, or she can call for us to bring her to the bathroom.
    My boys are almost 4 and baby gates have not been useful for awhile with them... at least a year now.  They can either open them or scale them (which IMO is worse).  We just left the door as is but I've had friends that had to result to locks or flipping the door handle.  Hopefully it works for you!  Some kids don't climb everything they see, mine just happen to though...
    sejica
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