I'm a FTM and we're in an apartment for at least another year.
I'm planning on co-sleeping & BFing (EBFing if possible) and really like the idea of the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper, as I don't see baby fitting well in our bed.
I was assuming we'd get a crib because "that's what you're supposed to do," but I'm starting to wonder if or when it'll be necessary. I'm also realizing hubby isn't as on board with the co-sleeping as I hoped he'd be, and he's anxious about "when we'll transition her to the crib &/or out of our room."
I'd love to get some input from other moms on the role of having (or not having) a crib in a co-sleeping family, and whether some moms still used a crib or transitioned their baby to one after the first year or so. (If we do get a crib, it'll be one that converts to a toddler bed). TIA!
I think so much depends on the sleep personality of your baby - it can be really hard to plan. We got a crib for the baby because that was what we were supposed to do...but more often than not it held laundry more than the baby. That being said, it was nice to have a place to put DS when I needed to use the bathroom (he absolutely loved cooing and talking to his mobile), and when he got bigger we side carred the crib to the bed to give us all some more space. He never slept in the crib. Even though we got one that converted to a toddler bed, he just wasn't the type that was cozy in it. We went straight to a mattress on the floor ( at around 8 months for naps), and now he sleeps in a regular bed (with rails). He just turned two.
But my son had a ton of sleep "issues", and would only sleep on my chest for the first several months of his life. Even now he has nights where he needs to be nursing or touching me at all times. But if your DH is worried about having alone time with you, and your baby is okay in the crib, you can start off the baby in the crib for the night and then bring him or her into your bed at the first wake up. You can start that from the beginning, or whenever else it works for you. Also, it might be good to have a place to put the baby for naps. I wouldn't necessarily run out and get one now, but it may be something that you consider getting at some point.
For your DH, I would show him some stuff that supports co sleeping, and let him know that you are taking his needs into consideration too. And keep in mind that nothing is set in stone. Some things are going to work at some stages, and and other things at other stages, so it's okay to experiment and see what works for you. I know it can be hard because we really want to plan and make sure that everything is "set"...but babies will ALWAYS throw you through a loop somehow or other ;)
I'm not sure if the link works, but this is the post I had my DH read, and it made a lot of sense to him. (If you go to the "soapbox" section, click in the "Is your child sleeping through the night?" post).
Mommy to DS born 11-10-10 And DD born 6-3-13
I actually had all the usual things one has to put babies in (Moses basket, bassinette, crib) because people insisted on giving them to me, but my babe decided he would not sleep anywhere except on mama or next to mama, so we did the co-sleeping thing for the first year (and transitioned to a mattress on the floor after that).
We lived in a small house, and frankly all those other things (other than the Moses basket) just took up way too much space and served no useful purpose whatsoever, so I got rid of them when it became apparent they weren't something we were going to ever need. DS would take naps in his Moses basket from about 1 mo-3 mos during the day (then he got too big for it). Otherwise, he didn't want to be anywhere except on/near mama to go to sleep, so he just slept in bed with us, and that was fine for the first 12 months. Around age 1, he seemed more interested in sleeping alone, so we transitioned to a mattress on the floor (so I didn't have to worry about him climbing/falling out of bed). Nearly 2 years later, that's still working beautifully.
i agree that it really depends on the baby.. and your DH may change his mind/view etc when he sees how things are actually going.. (I know mine did)
we got a crib and never used it with our first, used it for naps with #2, never used it with #3 - i did use a pack n play/bassinet some with all of them, but only #3 was ever willing to sleep in it much at night (next to the bed) and that didn't last forever.. with time, we got comfortable with baby in our bed. .. it was a gradual process .. that we could have gone through with a bassinet, pack n play, or co-sleeper and not a crib ;) really if i had to do it all again, i would just have bought an arms reach co-sleeper - but since i started out with no intention to co-sleep, i couldn't have known ;)
Babysmurf has a very good point--there's no telling what the baby is going to be like. My son is now 3 years+2 months, and he's only been sleeping reliably in his bed all night for about 3 months . . . he was a very parent-centered sleeper (Mommy was best, but if I wasn't there he'd settle for Daddy). We did get a convertible crib for him, and he's actually used it a fair amount, though often for only part of the night. When he was tiny, he was either next to me, or, if I was able to put him down, in a family cradle right next to my side of the bed. Once he got a bit bigger, we started transitioning him into his crib, but he'd always end up in bed with us at some point.
So, yes, cribs can be useful, and if you end up with a sleeps-on-her-own-from-the-beginning baby like my second niece, the little one might use it all the time. To be safe, though, get a convertible, since the length of use will last a bit longer. If you get an Arm's Reach as well, read the height ranges carefully--we have a futon frame and pretty much can't get an Arm's Reach low enough for our bed.
Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!
Check out our User Agreement.
We have a co-sleeper (mini), a crib, and mostly bed-share. I'd suggest being flexible and being willing to change if your needs change. A regular co-sleeper will usually get you a full year, a mini co-sleeper maybe four months, a side-carred crib as long as you want. Bed-sharing longer than you want.
With any bed, it is worth it to buy the best quality natural matress you can afford. No chemicals. The arm's reach has a REALLY HARD "mattress" so I do rec getting an insert.
The Arm's Reach co-sleepers are mostly recommended for use up to only 5 months, so you will need to come up with something else after that. If you can't fit the baby in bed with you, there are lots of options for having the baby sleep near you safely. Many folks above have mentioned some great ones.
Because of the short life-span of the Arm's Reach, we just side-carred our crib. We never used it with the fourth side, we went from that to a toddler bed next to ours before age 2 and then around age 3 we moved the bed to his room. He's always been a good sleeper and would either sleep next to me in his crib area or with me in bed.
Mine wasn't much of a mover when he slept and since I worked we only had to worry about naps on weekends, so he slept in his crib for naps as well, even when he was rolling and crawling. However, a pack n play would have been nice to have if he was more mobile for those times I wasn't with him. Oh, and once he started crawling, we moved our box spring/mattress to floor level and taught him how to crawl/slide backwards off the bed. I was shocked at how easily he took to it. Your mileage may vary. :)
WOHM to Leo (4/08) and enjoying the journey with DH
Announcing the arrival of Clara in August 2013!
I'm thinking of getting the Arms Reach mini, because I wasn't sure how in the heck I would be able to get in and out of bed with anything bigger next to me. Has anyone else had a challenge with this?
Newly single, chronically sleep deprived mama to my little wild thang , born 11/17/12
My second is due in about 1 week, and we made a sidecar out of my daughter's old crib and a new mattress, which was easy. I have a feeling baby will be in bed with me, and our bed feels very safe to me...I think the sidecar is more of a way of assuring myself she won't fall of the bed in the first weeks. Thought of putting our mattress on the floor, but we live in an apt and don't have anywhere to store our bed. I looked for mesh rails for our platform bed but the only one I found took space off the bed, and we have a queen so I didn't want to give up any space. I also wanted a spot where baby could be right next to me but have a little space, since I'm not sure what kind of sleeping spot she'll like best. Also good for if I happen to be overly exhausted and want a slightly separate place to lay her down and not worry about her, and I can still be right beside her with no barriers, especially for nursing and snuggling.
We did not use a crib with DD, but we were given one for this coming baby, and I'm glad. Our bed is smaller now, so co-sleeping just won't be as comfy. Plus I don't want #2 sleeping and night nursing until s/he's two, like DD did. We'll transition baby out of our room into a crib after a few months. Until then, we may just go the laundry basket route because our bedroom is really, REALLY, REALLY tiny. I mean, itty bitty. We can barely fit a bed in there. We let DD have the master bedroom in the house we're currently renting, because I didn't want to store her toys in my family room, and she needed a space to play. So we've got the little secondary room.
TLDR; Don't buy a crib until you decide you don't want to co-sleep anymore. You may end up skipping the crib altogether and getting a big boy/big girl bed. It will depend on how much you enjoy co-sleeping and how long you want to continue. And, like I need to even say it, just ensure your bed is safe for baby (watch out for loose bedding, suffocation hazards, etc.). :)
<--Me, IronMammaries <--Med-student DP<--DD (12/08) & <--DS 4/13
We had a crib and a basinette for our first and neither worked. Even side-carred, the crib was just in the way.
Eventually we got a twin bed, put it between our bed and the wall. And that was fabulous.
We're planning to do that this time with #2. Depending on the type of baby we get (and hoping that I haven't racked up any bad karma that would get us a real danger-baby) we might have a tricky time between the i-can-crawl-watch-me-go-headfirst-off-the-bed age and the ok-i-understand-pain-and-will-take-steps-to-avoid-it age. But DD never went through that phase so I'm proceeding as if it doesn't exist. At the very least, the 0-6 month phase should be easier because I finally had to admit, with DD, that I just really don't like snuggling ANYTHING while I sleep, even my own adorable perfect baby - but DH really does and he's very good at it. So *I* will sleep in the twin bed, and the baby will be between me & DH (with LOTS of room for safety) and I can just scootch over when the boobies are needed. I also foresee this being helpful for nightweaning later on. I have nothing but admiration for those mamas who can keep nursing all night for year but I'm not one of them.
Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).
Yeah, it can be rough. DD night nursed until she was two...and it was great for a while because I got MORE sleep when she was in an infant, since I could nurse her in my sleep basically. But then, at the ages most other babies are sleeping through the night, she's still waking to nurse and I'm getting less sleep than other moms. That's why we're going to do it differently this time. It was good for a while, because I got to be a "lazy" parent, no getting out of bed for feedings and all. But the greatness wore off and started to negatively impact my mental state the older she got.
<--Me, IronMammaries <--Med-student DP<--DD (12/08) & <--DS 4/13
I am worried about this too. Not sure on measurements yet. If the larger arms reach works, can you just start with that so it fits longer? With the mattress insert? Looking for used ones to figure out what mattresses i can put in there. It sounds like some babies just wont sleep in there though, not sure what to about that ,UH OH! I feel like my bed is too small, & i am a very unaware sleeper who moves a lot. Please let my baby like a co sleeper, or i am afraid of what will happen. I cant imagine sleeping with baby on me, even though it sounds perfect, but not when i roll over . I hope i am not making things more complicated, i seem to be unable to imagine this all going smoothly
My MIL ordered the Arms Reach mini for us, haven't unpacked it yet and set it up to see how long it runs along my queen sized bed. Probably will this week, we have to rearrange our room to make space. I'm also not comfortable with baby in my bed or on me, it sounds wonderful but I wouldn't sleep at all. I'm having another c-section and I seem to remember having to to roll over to get out of bed for a while because I couldn't sit up, so my back up plan is to turn the co-sleeper perpendicular to the head of my bed instead of parallel at first. Then once I can get out of bed sidecar it next to me. I figured if I couldn't get in and out of my bed, along with the space limitations in my bedroom, then the full sized one wouldn't be any more convenient. When baby outgrows this then our plan is to move him or her into a crib in DD's room, fingers crossed that they can both sleep that way. Otherwise it will hasten our move to a 3 bedroom, which we are already considering for next summer.
I could get out of bed pretty easy with the mini. She slept in it intermittently (otherwise tucked in my armpit), but what it was great for too was as a bed rail. Kept it up for almost a year.
With #1 if you place is baby safe by the time they are mobile, it is easy to put them on a blanket on the floor when they need to be put down. For #2 the playpen, bassinet etc come in handy to give them a barrier from loving siblings.
Mama to Monkey (Jan '09), Bee (May '11), and Cat (August, '13)