When my son Zach was a preschooler, he complained that we didn’t have a dedicated playroom like most of his friends did. This was pretty surprising considering just a couple of years earlier, he was quite happy playing in the 28″ x 52″ play area that was his crib.
Zach spent a LOT of time in his crib. We sleep trained him when he was 3.5 months old, and he took two 2.5 hour naps every day plus slept 13 hours at night. He clearly felt very at home in there. He’d refuse to get out of his crib after his nap or make me put him back after I changed his diaper.
He slept in his crib until he was over three years old because he never tried to climb out. We finally moved him out of the crib when it was recalled during the “Every Dropdown Crib Is a Death Trap Recall.”
He did wake up some times with his arms or his legs sticking out through the crib rails. We put in crib bumpers but had to remove them when he started pulling to standing. I remember so clearly him pulling himself up to a standing position, feeling so proud for a few seconds, then screaming in terror when he realized he didn’t know how to sit down again.
Zach would put everything in his crib: big toy fire trucks and cranes, books, all of his stuffed animals, and every blanket and pillow he could get his hands on. He would put foam alphabet tiles in his crib and make a car out of them, then take his trusty sidekick Panda for a drive.
He’d use his crib as a picnic area for birthday and tea parties with his stuffed animals. He was so sweet to them. He’d tell them, “Good job!” My friend told me that her son was always putting his stuffed animals in timeout I’ll admit, I felt smug and superior. Now I know that even really mischievous toddlers can become really sweet first graders.
He’d use the crib rail as a keyboard and play music while singing and dancing.
One day I asked my husband if I could lay all day in bed and read, and he said, “Sure, as long as you do it in Zach’s crib.” To both his and Zach’s surprise, I pulled a stool over and climbed into the crib. Zach had been looking at a book, but he couldn’t stop looking over at me and laughing.
Zach will be seven years old this summer, and I’m glad he’s comfortable out in the world at school, museums, zoos, and the beach, but I still miss reaching my fingers through the crib rails to tickle him and hearing him squeal with delight.
Did you kids love or hate their cribs?
This post is part of DropCam’s “Tales from the Playroom” series. DropCam makes a high-definition video baby monitor.