1. We dismantled the crib.
2. We put the new bed in her room.
3. She slept in it.
That was it. It was one of those parenting moments where you feel like a rock star who has it all under control because your child just did the thing you wanted them to do. I didn't yet know that this had absolutely nothing to do with me and my supposed awesomeness. They just did it, so I thought it was easy. "Why do people need crib tents?" I wondered.
And then we had this boy.
Well, when he became able to crawl out of his crib at will and with ease (a part of me must have known not to switch him preemptively), I took the front off his convertible crib and bought him big boy sheets. "This is his new bed, and he will sleep in it," I thought.
No. That did not happen. He did love the sheets. But we did not sleep.
WE DID NOT SLEEP.
For nine days, pregnant, cranky me toiled through short, broken or missing naps and fragmented nights, sometimes sleeping only an hour or two at a time. Sometimes sleeping on the floor. ON THE FLOOR. Did I mention that I am pregnant? No pregnant woman should even sleep on the floor. Ever. If I start a charity, it will be Beds for the Pregnant.
It was bad. On the tenth morning, my overtired toddler threw a huge, colossal, mammoth tantrum. It was huge, and it was outside. (My poor neighbors...) And then I had a Pregnant Woman Meltdown. Once we calmed ourselves down with lollipops, bourbon (kidding!) and Bob the Builder, I set out to find a crib tent on the internet. On the black market if I had to. I knew when I was beat, and this was it. He had to go back to the crib.
After scouring baby stores, amazon and about a million blogs, I came across a reply that someone left to a comment on a random blog that I hoped would work just as well as a crib tent. It was like finding the needle in the haystack. I couldn't find it again if I tried. Here is the gist of what it said:
Lower the mattress inside the crib to the floor so the crib walls are too high to climb.
Now, I'm not the kind of person who jerry-rigs a crib for a toddler, but I was just desperate enough to try it. You can see from the picture that I zip-tied the wooden piece that is meant to hold the mattress off the floor to the legs of the crib, which added about an inch to the floor mattress. The effect looks a lot like baby jail.
|With the essentially-just-a-ladder chair removed from next to the bed and the rest of the bedtime accoutrements, he is playing happily. The crib wrap isn't even straight, but, in my defense, I was tired!|
Disclaimer: As you can see from the picture, our crib walls sit very close to the floor already so no gap is left between the mattress and the crib for any body part to become caught. If your crib has a gap, then this would be a very bad idea. I know anyone reading this is too smart to trust that their baby would be safe in a jerry-rigged crib recommended by some random lady on the internet. Use your judgement. If you suspect it might not be safe, then don't do it!
His response to a return to his crib, was to take a three hour nap and then sleep all night long. He was calm. His peace was returned to him. When I was putting the finishing touches on the crib, I said to him, "Aren't you glad that ordeal is over?" He looked right in my face and said, "Yeah!" I had stressed the poor little guy out, and now he was safe again inside the walls.
I guess some kids can be physically able to do stuff that they aren't emotionally ready for. And when that happens, we moms can turn to blogs of the harried moms who went before us and maybe pick up a few jewels of parenting knowledge. If you have found that here today, then I'm glad. May you have many quiet, peaceful night of toddler sleep ahead of you!