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Mom post: My experience not using a crib

floor bed

Look at this cutie!! Oh, my heart sings!

Before Miss Pookie arrived, and we were figuring out the logistics of all this baby stuff, I kept asking myself, “How do I figure out what we actually need? Do I really need all this stuff??”

Going to Babies ‘R Us was enough to give me a mild panic attack. That’s probably because I’m not really a shopper to begin with.

There is so. much. crap. Seriously.

The biggest help in the beginning was Lucie’s List, which I talked about in my Top 10 things for new moms post. The second was googling “do I actually need a crib” to find out the deets.

What’s the history of cribs? When did people start using them and why? What’s the benefit to having a crib?

As you can tell, I’m a questioner. My question is usually, “But seriously, do I really have to do X?”

Then I stumbled across the “Montessori Method” of designing kids rooms and play spaces. They are big fans of floor beds for babies that are post-bassinet size. Meaning: yes, the baby just sleeps on a mattress on the floor after they are past the newborn stage.

Why?

Good question!! 🙂

The biggest reason is that it gives the child control over their own bodies as early as possible. They can crawl, and then walk, in and out of their beds on their own. I loved this idea and I was ready to try it out.

We decided to start with a Pack ‘n Play and then transition Pookie to a floor bed.

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Pookie’s setup before she arrived. We moved the Pack ‘n Play into our room at the beginning.

Honestly, I think a lot of people thought I was crazy.

Many people asked me: “How will you keep your baby in the bed? What are you going to do if she’s wandering around playing with everything and not sleeping?”

My response?

I don’t really know how this is going to work, but I’d like to try. If it’s horrible, we could always buy a crib later. No biggie.

So in the beginning, we had Pookie sleep in the napper of our Pack ‘n Play in our room. We had a style similar to this. When she outgrew that, we took out the napper and she slept in the “bassinet” part.

At around five months we moved her into her own room and she slept at the bottom on the Pack ‘n Play.

We had a mattress ready to put on the floor, but the Pack ‘n Play was working so well that we decided to stick with it until around Pookie’s 1st birthday. At that point we removed the Pack ‘n Play from her room and introduced the mattress on the floor.

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This setup has worked great for us! Maybe it’s just our little one, but she is a huge fan.

You should have seen Pookie’s face when we introduced the floor bed! She thought it was the coolest thing ever that she could get in and out of bed by herself.

We did baby-proof the room and kept it pretty bare-bones. Just a dresser, a bed with a mattress on the floor, and some toys. All outlets plugged, all curtain strings wrapped up.

We only have the bed in there because it was in our guest room, but when our roommate moved in, we moved the bed into Pookie’s room.

Pookie couldn’t climb on the bed at first, so there was no concern there. As she grew, she started to go up on the bed, but she was never really played up there. She’d just climb up and down, and at the beginning, I’d watch her like a hawk on our video monitor to make sure she wasn’t going to fall. She was very aware of the space and her body, so for her, it wasn’t an issue. That being said, if you don’t have to have a bed in there, that’s probably a better option!

So I’d like to answer a few pressing questions:

HOW DID YOU GET HER TO STAY IN BED? 

The short answer is, we really didn’t. We made it clear from the beginning that her room was a place for rest. She rarely spends time in there playing.

We had a video monitor on the dresser, so we could see if she was sleeping or playing. In complete honesty – and to our surprise – she slept about 98% of the time and only played in her room a couple times when she was testing her nap schedule.

In those moments, we would either let her play until she fully exhausted herself and laid herself down to sleep, or we’d come in and place her on the bed stating “it’s time to rest” and leave. Over and over until she got the idea and finally fell asleep.

HOW DID YOU KEEP HER IN THE ROOM?

At the beginning, she couldn’t open the door, so just having the door shut was enough. Then, when she figured out how to open it, we put a knob cover on it. That worked until she figured out how to remove the knob cover.

Kids.

We always had a gate at the top of our stairs and the bathroom door closed in case she happened to leave her room, she wouldn’t get harmed. But honestly, I always knew the second she was up because I could hear her open the door.

Now, we have a gate at her door, so when she gets up and opens the door, the gate keeps her in her room.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE DOWNSIDES OF THE FLOOR BED?

The only issue was when she started pulling all her clothes out of her dresser. This lasted about two weeks before she got bored with it and stopped. I’d have her help me put all the clothes back.

I could have put drawer locks on, but I like for her to be able to access her clothes and pick out things to wear if she wants.

When she started pulling drawers open, we removed the two bottom drawers, so she wouldn’t step in them.

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Does she ever crawl in the drawer spaces? Not yet. I think she tried a couple of times, but didn’t like feeling stuck, so she stopped that pretty quickly.

For some people, this might not be their thing, but for us, it’s totally our thing. We love it and Pookie loves it too!

Pretty soon, we’ll just put the floor mattress on the bed and call it good. I love that we don’t have a crib to worry about and it will be a pretty easy transition to a regular bed. Yay!

Let me know if you have any more questions! I’d be happy to answer them!

 

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