Don’t get a crib

Having read this article on the connection between business and the mommy wars, I’ve been thinking about how so many posts on parent blogs are geared towards getting people to BUY stuff. I’m therefore starting a little series called “Don’t get…” offering a light-hearted look at some of the things new parents perhaps don’t need quite so badly.

So you’re pregnant. Hormones come, hormones go and one morning you wake up and decided you simply have to have a pink, frilly crib with matching pink frilly covers and pillow cases. And you are expecting a boy. And the style of your apartment is cool jazz.

Don’t worry, it happens to us all. I was all uber-minimalist and “I don’t need a baby bath!” when I was pregnant, and then I succumbed. I bought a super-duper expensive crib (which basically looked like a standard white one from IKEA -thanks Brazil) and was completely emotional when the delivery guys brought the wrong coloured wheels.

Yeah, pregnancy hormones are hilarious…

I turned it into a kind of “arm’s reach” co-sleeper for our ridiculously high bed by jamming it against the wall and removing one of the grids. At least I didn’t get pink frilly covers. The first night home, I gently lay my sleeping baby down in the centre of the crib… and an hour later he was curled up right by my side, tucked in between boobs and belly. For the next few months the crib served mainly as an armrest when I lay on my side at night. Once we moved out of Brazil, sanity returned and I got us a massive futon and we all now sleep happily on the floor.

I get that most people will be averse to throwing out their comfy double bed and sleeping on the floor like a hippy (and with their baby to boot!) but bear with me. You don’t need to go all Woodstock just yet. How about just throwing out the crib and putting the baby on a mattress instead? This is in fact how our baby sleeps at nap times so I’m not just making this stuff up.

Here are the pros:
1) Baby cannot fall out of bed or learn to climb out of it. Apparently this happens earlier than expected and then you have a baby that is used to being hemmed in suddenly enjoying the freedom of a proper bed and knocking on your door throughout the night.

2) YOU can lie down to nurse, calm or soothe your baby back to sleep. I have a lovely friend whose daughter abhors sleep. One day she came to our weekly coffee with a bounce in her step. “We’ve moved our daughter to a kids bed on the floor”, she beamed at me. “I can finally LIE DOWN while she goes to sleep. Hell, I can even fall sleep next to her!” (Actually, my friend is well-spoken and from Georgia, so she did not say hell, but you get the point)

3) You will have to babyproof the room one day anyway. Yes, I know that little infant looks so sweet and helpless but it will only take months for him to be transformed into a roving rhinocerous who destroys everything in his wake. Babyproof the baby room while you’re still happily pregnant and have the time.

4) You need not spend money on a frilly crib! If you’re nesting instinct is in overdrive, just create a Pinterest board instead. Or buy frilly sheets for the mattress, you’ll need a few to soak up the pee anyway further down the line.

Seriously, I can’t see any cons, except that furniture stores do not make money from cheap single mattresses.

Ok, hit me! What’s the one reason you can give me for NOT throwing away your crib?

More of the same: The stroller-free baby, The five essential baby items you don’t need

This time last year: still got nothing!


  1. Yeah, I do realise the mattress brings some added challenges! I can completely understand how a crib is a good option for many parents.

  2. I did some co-sleeping at first I had too or I never would have slept, but I’m not sure about a mattress on the floor I think my now 15 month old daughter could get into all kinds of trouble and even when she was younger she rolled pretty early so I’m not sure it would have worked, but I agree with you, you do buy some crazy stuff when you’re pregnant that you never end up using.

  3. That is such an awesome market niche: cribs that fit mummy as well! Mine was also super convertible but we ended up moving before any of it became useful…

  4. moderatemum

    I love this! I tried to keep things super simple with Roscoe but still ended up buying about 50% more than needed. In the end we got a crib as a bed and it was a monster one that converts into a toddler bed so he can have it for five years. It’s so big that I have climbed in with him at desperate times!

  5. That’s very true! Our little boy doesn’t like sleeping with us at all and went into his own cot alot earlier than i planned or really wanted but it worked for him, I think I’ll just play it by ear again like you say and see what this little ones preferences are before making any purchases or decisions. Thank you! 🙂

  6. Lovely to hear from someone with more kids and experience. It’s funny how we’re convinced we NEED all these items, isn’t it?!

  7. Haha, YES! It did mean my arm was veeeeery comfy 😉

  8. Whooops! I personally think simple is always better because you never know your baby’s personality and you can always buy more stuff later if need be. I’d love to hear what you end up doing! Where did No.1 sleep? Also, congratulations!

  9. They ARE lovely. I’m obviously exaggerating a bit in the post – if cosleeping isn’t for you, a bedside crib is an awesome option (and not everyone can just throw their bed out willynilly!)

  10. Good advice, I just borrowed a Moses basket from my sister in law, but have since seen the cribs that attach to the side of your bed and thought they looked lovely. But sleeping on the floor is much more practical! Becky x#fromtheheart

  11. This is so interesting and something that has never crossed my mind – I’m expecting #2 in 9 weeks and have been going round in circles about what to get, crib/cot/Bednest etc etc…I’m not sure whether to thank you or not for adding another consideration to the list!! Haha 🙂 #fromtheheart

  12. Our Chicco Next2Me bedside crib has been nothing but an arm rest for me for months while Little B nestles in the middle of our bed. Can totally relate to this! #fromtheheart

  13. aislingozdemir

    HI… great advice. I had a moses basket and crib for my 1st who ended up co-sleeping so a big waste. My 2nd baby loved his cot until he learnt to get out of it at 10mths and my 3rd (can never remember his milestones, poor little guy) used it for about a year. In hindsight a mattress or cotbed a better investment #fromtheheart

  14. I’m thinking a really thin mattress so rolling off doesn’t really matter. Also I sill think cosleeping rocks and would definitely do it with baby No. 2 if and when that happens

  15. Anastasia Harris (Pink and Tattoo Ink)

    We co-slept with our first and it was fine until he was about 2 and would sprawl in the center of the bed with his feet in daddy’s face. Now I’m pregnant again and have been thinking about how are we gonna do it this time. This mattress idea seems pretty interesting, but won’t the baby roll off of it in their sleep? Or you mean it should be a really thin mattress, almost like a blanket?

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