In the beginning, we had a baby hammock. That lasted about a month before I got too paranoid about it. I had also discovered the wonders of breastfeeding lying down. The Bug joined us in our bed, and we became a co-sleeping family. The plan was to move her into the crib when we moved into a bigger place. It didn't happen. Then the plan changed to moving her into her crib when she reached six months old. That didn't happen either. I tried to put her down in her crib for nap time every now and again, but she just wouldn't have it. I much preferred having a calm, well-rested baby who slept in my bed than a miserable, crying, screaming baby who wouldn't sleep in a crib.
|Converted the closet|
About a month ago I came down with a really weird illness. I was suffering from a high fever for days on end and popping Tylenol like nobody's business. And that was it, nothing else, just a fever. Weird. Sleeping was impossible because a) I was sweating buckets, b) the Bug and Mr. H are both furnaces at night and c) we have a foam mattress with a foam mattress topper and neither of them allow for adequate air flow. At one point I couldn't take it any longer and moved the Bug to the guest bed for the night. She hasn't been back since (except for that one week when Mr. H was out of town). I love co-sleeping, and most of my time at night is still spent in bed with the Bug, but I figured since she was already out, it was as good of a time as any to keep her out.
|Making use of the crib|
Prior to getting sick, I had already decided that we were going to go the floor bed route instead of trying to get the Bug to sleep in her crib. I felt a little bad for the crib, but it was a hand-me-down, so I didn't feel like good money was wasted on it. The mattress was new though. Whoops. (We now use the crib as a changing station. Works wonderfully.) Mr. H really wanted the Bug in the crib so she could be "contained", but it continued to feel wrong to me*. I knew, without a doubt, that a floor bed was right for us, especially after reading this post, The Crib That Never Was or Why We Went Hippie: The Floor Bed Approach, by Motley Mama. I directed Mr. H to some readings on the Montessori method of raising kids; he really took to the approach and was sold. The Bug was getting a floor bed!
One of my concerns about switching her to a floor bed was, when do we do it? At what age? As it turns out, she made that decision for us when at ten months, on the nose, she decided to start shimmying her way around the house. I knew it was only a matter of time before she managed to fall out of a regular bed. Mr. H suggested that we go buy a mattress for her, but I knew we had a futon mattress downstairs that rarely ever got used. I liked that it was only a couple of inches off of the floor so the Bug could easily get up and down from it. After a quick trip to Ikea for bedding and some baby-proofing and rearranging of the bedroom, the Bug's floor bed is set up, and she is loving it! She's only been in it one night, but I think it's going to be one of our best decisions. When the Bug awoke this morning, she very excitedly Army crawled off of the bed to go exploring around her room. I like that I don't have to immediately run to the room when I hear she is awake, because there's no longer any danger of her falling off the bed. At nap time today she enjoyed some boob in bed, crawled away to play with some toys, returned to the bed on her own, where she enjoyed a little more boob, and than rolled over and fell asleep!
I never in a million years thought I would become such a non-traditional parent, but listening to my natural parenting instincts has brought me here, and while some of our decisions aren't popular, we're all happy and healthy, and that's all that matters!
(*It should be noted that the Bug sleeps in a crib at daycare with no problems. I'm sure with more perseverance on my part I could get her to sleep in a crib at home too, but I don't want to put either one of us through that battle when our current arrangement works just fine.)