"If you open doors for them to freely explore they will find their right answers."
- Joyce Fetterol
WHERE BABY SLEEPS
The time has come. Baby has outgrown their bassinet or are too wiggly for cosleeping anymore. They are sleeping longer through the night and you miss your husband. It's time to transition them to their own room. Let all the big feelings out. You will have them and you're absolutely allowed. This is a huge milestone for you and baby! All the feels.
When Damien and I were looking at cribs, before babies were born, he was struggling with what to get. He kept calling them "prisons". So he hit the "books" (aka Google) and stumbled upon Montessori and floor beds. I thought he was NUTS. As all things I'm always open to new ideas, knowing that worst case, we find it doesn't work and go buy a crib.
CRIB PROS AND CONS
I'm not going to lie. In the early days of the twins being babies a crib would have been nice. We did use a travel playpen with the bassinet top, but I found them to be restless when the slept in it opposed to when they slept with us on our nice comfy mattress. After only a few weeks we transitioned them to their own mattress on the floor.
Crib Pros: Having the height to easily pick them up and put them down especially after they fell asleep in your arms and you need to set them down gently. They can wiggle as much as they want and they won't fall out. Once they can sit up on their own, the crib gives them nice leverage to pull themselves up. Once they're on the move there isn't anywhere for them to go. If they're early risers, you can just leave them until you're ready to get them. Lots of times babies will just play with their feet and babble while they wait.
Crib Cons: Scaling and falling. Once they're tired of waiting for you, they'll use their monkey skills to scale the crib which can be dangerous. Also just means they're ready for a big kid bed. Which also means you need to now train them on not getting out of bed until you say so. The older they get, the harder it is to set rules and stick to them.
FLOOR MATTRESS PROS AND CONS
The beginning days of putting the babies on a mattress were hard. Feedings in the middle of the night of trying to find them in the dark felt some nights impossible. But the best nights we had were the days their mattresses were on the floor. They were just learning to walk. They'd run around and belly flop on their beds. Then we'd do bath, pjs, and they'd go put themselves in bed, ready for their milk.
Floor Mattress Pros: This was the easiest way to transition baby from our bed to their own because we could easily lay with them until they were asleep. Once they were walking they'd get out of tubby, get PJs on and put themselves to bed. Instead of screaming for us in the middle of the night, they'd just come get us. Less adrenaline made for an easier wake up and going back to bed for all of us. Final pro is that it's less expensive - all you need is mattress and sleep sac. No pillow or blankets.
Floor Mattress Cons: They fell out a lot in the beginning. Little wigglers that went in search of each other. I had to trial error different ways to keep them in. The best way was using a pool noodle under the sheet. My daughter abused the privilege of being able to get out of bed in the early days of sleep training and I had to physically hold the door shut to which point she'd pass out right behind it, but that was only a night or two. Then she cried from her bed. Then the crying stopped all together. To this day they both put themselves to bed.
THE HAPPY MEDIUM
In retrospect, though potentially the more expensive route, the happy medium for me would have been a crib until they were in separate beds which was around 6 months. Which would have aligned perfectly with having weened them from nursing and having them on solids. Less picking them up and down to nurse or feed a bottle to and much easier to find in a dark room. When we put them on their own mattress on the floor they couldn't find each other and snuggle like they did in their bassinet. And lost finding each other comforting - until a few months ago, I would have used the floor mattress as a transition from crib to big kid bed. They still would have learned to explore and boundaries and we still would have gotten our early evening bed belly flops before bath time.
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