January 14, 2013

Our Sleeping Arrangement - Sidecar Crib

A month ago, I mentioned that Y, for the first time, fell from our bed. We spent that night sleeping over my parents' bedroom simply because I was traumatized. Oh diba, ako yung na-trauma eh di naman ako ang nahulog? Hehehe. But seriously, I wanted to change our sleeping arrangement ASAP because I didn't want the incident to happen again.

So Y's crib, which used to be beside our living room, had to be transported upstairs to our bedroom. Yes, that was a sweaty afternoon. Here's what my small bedroom looked like after:

Please excuse my sister's face. Teehee.
The crib was too huge; it's almost as big as my bed, but we had no choice. There's the little boy, happily playing inside his new "bed," but after a few minutes:

Uh-oh, we're going to have a problem.
Obviously, Y is not used to being on his own, not to mention inside something that looks like a cage. That's attachment parenting for you! Still, I think we could work it out. I would just let Y sleep beside me at night and wait until he's deeply asleep. Then, I will place him inside the crib. That should work.


Apparently, Y has this sixth sense, where he knows he's going to be put down inside the crib. Five times that night, he clung to me just when I was about to put him down. And boy, did he cry. So after a few hours of trying, I gave up. I placed the crib right beside the bed to serve as our fence, and let Y sleep beside me in bed.

I didn't sleep immediately, though. I browsed the internet for sleeping arrangement ideas that can work for us. I had this idea of removing one side of the crib and placing it beside the bed. When I tried to search for it, I found out that it's a real arrangement and that it even had a name: Sidecar Crib.

The next day, I did just as instructed in a lot of blogs I read the previous night. It was easy enough; all you have to do is remove the drop-down side of the crib. You know, the one that can be adjusted. Then, I placed it against the wall (it should not be on the open side of the bed), and then moved one of my shelves at the foot of the crib for stability. Tada!

Our first sidecar sleeping arrangement
It worked, but not very well. All night, I had trouble sleeping because my back hurt. Why? Because my bed was too high, and everytime Y had to breastfeed, half of my body is on the crib, which was lower than the bed.

Aside from that, I found out that the bed I used, which was spring-mattress, moved away from the crib and created gaps that became larger through the night. If you look closely at the photo above, you will see the pillows that I inserted to fill the gap. Did it work? No, because as the gap became larger, they just fell to the floor. I was too afraid to sleep, so I let Y sleep by my side once again.

The next day, I knew I had to change the bed. Luckily, we have an unused bed in my sister's bedroom 9 (albeit smaller) that is not spring and has a frame, which I can tie to the frame of the crib. It is crucial to keep the bed and the crib from separating. Sorry, I wasn't able to take photos of the tying part, but any kind of rope will do.

Among the three days I worked on this sleeping arrangement, that day was the hardest. That spring-bed is as heavy as heck! I swear I lost 5 pounds just moving it to the next bedroom. But here's what it looked like after my intense workout:

Finally, no moving gap in between the bed and the crib!
There was no gap between the bed and the crib because I was able to tie the frame of the bed and the frame of the crib together. Also, I was able to sleep with no back pain because this time, the bed was on the same height level as the crib. Yay!

I placed the comforter in between for continuity.
Right after taking this photo, I collapsed into the freshly made bed. New sheet are looove!
And what about overly-attached Y? What I do is that I let him sleep beside me first. Then, after maybe an hour, I carefully place him "inside" the crib. He doesn't cry or wake up because it's still as if he's sleeping beside me, only in a safer place. Also, he can still smell me (and my milk), unlike when I placed him in the crib away from the bed.

Proof that the sidecar sleeping arrangement works
As a supporter of co-sleeping, I believe this is the most ideal sleeping arrangement when the baby becomes mobile. Do this when your baby is already adept at crawling; in our case, rolling over or sitting down are not necessary reasons to change sleeping arrangements because I'm a light sleeper, relatively. I can only speak for myself, though. Use your better judgment and trust your instinct as to when it is best to stop full co-sleeping. :-)

Disclaimer: The sidecar crib sleeping arrangement only works with cribs that are stable even with one side taken. In our case, our huge crib (which is a hand-me-down, by the way), remained stable when I removed the drop-down side. I believe this won't work with playpens (duh?) and portable cribs. And if the crib is not made to be dismantled, by all means, do not take it apart.
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