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 best mini 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.

As usual, I’d love to hear your thoughts! When did you move your baby to a child’s bed or mattress? Do you think I’m totally nuts?

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

This time last year: still got nothing!

Written by Julie
I’m Julie, 30-year old mum to a baby boy, translator, writer and wife. After nearly 5 years in Brazil, our little family has just moved back to Europe.