Call me crazy.
Don’t worry, my mother already has. And my mother-in-law is too polite to say it to my face, but when she heard our plans, she probably thought it.
From the beginning, Adam and I never liked the idea of a crib. We called it a “baby prison”. There are stories of Adam crawling out of his crib, while I used to slam mine against the wall to get the attention of my parents. Yikes. Could you imagine what our offspring would do to a crib?
We discovered an alternative while reading a book about Montessori and early childhood development. Montessori believed that a baby should sleep on a small bed on the floor in a room that’s been made safe for him. This way, a child can foster his sense of exploration by having the ability to get out of bed and crawl around his room. He can also engage in solo play time, which is as important for baby as it is for Mom.
The floor bed was hard to find. We ended up doing some online research and ordered it through a company in Kentucky that makes Montessori-based furniture. It was a little smaller than we imagined it would be but I think it’s going to work for another few years.
Eli was in a Pack n Play in our bedroom for the first three months, so I guess you could say he’s already been in a crib. But when he was three months old, we transitioned him into his own bedroom on the floor bed. It took him a while to get used to it and to be honest, it was a crapshoot each time he woke up.
Would he be on the bed?
And if he wasn’t on the bed, exactly how far away would he be?
Maybe he’ll sorta kinda be on the bed…?
It’s been five months now and the experiment is still in progress. He’s definitely learned how to stay on the bed and 95% of the time, he’s on the bed in the morning, after 10+ hours of sleep. (I’m lucky, I know.)
Naps are a whole different ballgame and it’sbeen no holds barred now that he’s army crawling around. (Oh yeah, he’s army crawling. HOLY SHIT!) He’ll wake up from his nap and crawl over to the bookcase and start playing with the books, which I think is sort of awesome. He has his space, he can travel around it safely and play with whatever he wants. He’s not locked up in a crib, crying for us to let him out so that he can play. He’s not attempting to crawl out of a crib or falling while in the process.
I tell myself that we’re teaching him how to sleep. Which is something I didn’t expect to have to teach a baby. I thought they just knew how to sleep. But more importantly in my mind, we’re teaching him how to sleep ANYWHERE. Because you never know where you’re going to end up in life. The ability to curl up on the airport floor or a friend’s couch can be a lifesaving skill.
So that’s why we’re not using a crib.
Please call me crazy. It’s what I get for talking about parenting philosophies anyway.
We also have friends that call the floor bed a baby litter box. So you’re probably not going to offend me.
And also? Do you know how much sneaking around I had to do in order to take these pictures while he was napping?