Tales from the Crib

Zach sitting in his crib

Zach sitting happily in his crib

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 taking Panda for a drive

Zach taking Panda for a drive

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.

Zach throwing a tea party for his stuffed animals

Zach throwing a tea party for his stuffed animals

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 and me in his crib

Zach and me in his crib

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.

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3 thoughts on “Tales from the Crib

  1. Mara Migraineur March 26, 2014 at 10:54 am Reply

    I think hate is definitely the appropriate word for how my kids felt about the crib. My son never slept in it until we converted it to a toddler bed at…18 months? I know it was pretty early. Our daughter used it a bit more, but not much, either and then we got rid of it when she was around 2 because she started sleeping with her big brother and we just converted her room to the guest bedroom. Basically, we could have pretty much done without a crib and I’m trying not to feel totally jealous of you and your experience with a kid who would sleep that many consecutive hours By Himself!

    • Frankie Laursen March 26, 2014 at 10:56 am Reply

      I know, when I wrote that, I could feel people probably screaming or throwing things reading that part. What can I say? He’s always been a great sleeper. I think that’s why he’s so tall.

      Kaylee is a much lighter sleeper though, so we’ve had more night wakings with her.

  2. ks March 26, 2014 at 11:34 am Reply

    She slept a lot in the pack ‘n play for the first few weeks. After that it was generally empty until she became mobile enough that I decided to put her in there to keep her out of trouble for a few minutes. She just hollered bloody murder. I tried a couple more times, but couldn’t last through the tears and gave up.

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