Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Okay Mom I Don't Think We Are Getting a Crib . . . (cringe)


We never registered for or got a crib. I knew I wanted to cosleep, and many of my friends who did ended up never using their cribs. I really didn't want to spend 500-600 dollars on something we wouldn't use . . . so I figured I would wait and get one when I wanted one.

So maybe about a month ago, watching james start to fill up his cradle that I somehow seriously thought he would physically fit in until he was 2 (it's 31 inches long), I started feeling some pressure to make a decision about his sleeping situation and thinking maybe we should get a crib for him to use for naps, especially because at this point I was having some success to rocking james to sleep and putting him in his cradle . . .

. . . however, in the month since then, as I alluded to before, something has sparked to life in james which cannot be controlled or even guided much of the time. He loves life. He doesn't want to sleep (or even get a good meal in, sometimes!). He wants to look and play and wiggle and chew on things. He has discovered that the world contains all this interesting information and objects which are a joy to behold and interact with.

This is quite adorable but it means that our sleep situation has changed. It is nearly impossible now to rock him to sleep without a LOT of time and effort invested. Right now there are two easy ways to get him to sleep. One: Nurse him and then rock him, and then stick him in his swing and leave him there to "fuss it out" until he falls asleep, anywhere from 2-15 mins. OR, lay in the bed with him and nurse him for 5-10 mins until he is completely asleep. Nursing is much easier and even pleasant and relaxing (for both of us). AND it's sustainable on the long term. Which putting him in his swing isn't.

So my basic conclusion, here, is that the easiest thing for us on the long-term is for me to nurse james to sleep. A crib, therefore, is not going to work for us. Attempting to transfer him to a crib will mean that he notices he is alive and begins to smile and look around again. Cute, but not restful.

So I believe our immediate action on his sleeping situation is going to be to get toddler rails for one or both sides of our bed. And then before he starts crawling (in the next month or two), we'll get a twin mattress and throw it on the floor in our bedroom and I will nurse him to sleep and then he can nap there and potentially spend part of the night. If he wakes up he can crawl out safely--we can put the mattress on blankets or a rug or something so it's soft for him.

At this point we'll also get a baby gate that we can set up in our bedroom door.

And then when his room is done (and has out-gassed for several months), we can transition him to sleeping in his own room on the twin mattress on the floor (and at that point, put the baby gate across the hallway so that he can access both of our rooms but that is all). And then he'll have plenty of time to get used to his own room before we night-wean him (out of our bed and from nursing at night). I would hope to do that around 18 months or so.

So that's the plan. Mom, if I feel like I want a crib in the future I will still get one! But we're going to try this first and see how it goes.


Marilyn said...

putting a regular mattress on the floor makes so much sense! I feel like cribs are the biggest waste of money ever! But I guess I kind of understand it once the baby starts to crawl and walk a lot and you want them contained lol!

Anonymous said...

Good idea with putting the mattress on the floor.My family put the foam mattress toppers on the floor around the mattress to cushion a fall. just put a sheet over the for easy clean up.

Anonymous said...

My SIL nursed/fed her first baby to sleep and she swore she wouldn't do it with her second. It took her forever to wean her daughter from needing that crutch to go to sleep. Having babies associate food with sleeping, and not being able to put themselves to sleep might not be the best idea.
Also, we bought a convertible crib for about 400$ for both our sons. Ryan is now six, and it's now a queen size bed, and in wonderful shape. That 400$ purchase is most likely going to last him 18 years. Even if you don't use it for a few years,it makes a great toddler bed, then "big boy" bed, and bed for a grade schooler and teenager.
Just an alternate opinion. :)

Anonymous said...

Not sure about the amount of space you have, but you could also try a mattress topper. Look for one that is thick, soft, comfy. Fold in half and place on your floor. He will be closer to the floor, & will have a nice comfy space to sleep without taking up all the room. Plus, it can be used when he gets older on a big boy bed, for travel or when friends visit :)

EricaG said...

I've nursed my boys to sleep well into toddlerhood, and it has worked beautifully. Wouldn't do it any other way! Our toddler (2 1/2) is still nursing to sleep, but his big brother (now 5 1/2) has transitioned easily to independent sleep. I love that both of my boys have really positive associations with bedtime, and they actually ask to go to bed at night! I never imagined that! I'm glad you are finding a path that works for you and your little one.

Liz said...

Peter gets nursed to sleep every night, and for all naps when I'm home. Since I did buy a crib (from a friend who wasn't using it either), I'm considering setting the mattress to the same height as our bed and making it a cosleeper once Peter doesn't have to touch me for sleeping. Regardless, he's staying in bed with me for awhile. We're in a full bed now, so we're shopping for a bigger one since he's gotten big. :)

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