The sleeping arrangement dilemma

[So much for two full weeks of school prep! Last week I was hit with the stomach flu, and I am feeling increasingly overwhelmed about getting ready in just one week. I have decided to simply not fret and instead trust that God is going to free up some time this week for me to get that done!]

Now to the topic of this post.

For several months we've tried to make do with what we already have for Audra when it came to where she would sleep, or more specifically, WHAT she would sleep IN. She began in a Moses basket, next to our bed. Then she graduated to a bassinet, next to our bed. When she grew out of the bassinet- um, two months ago, now?- we realized we had a dilemma. Normally at that point we would move our baby into a crib.

However, we have one crib, and Adelia is in it.

So, we wondered... do we move Adelia (18 mo) from the crib to a toddler bed so that Audra (6 mo) can go into the crib? I wanted to buy more time before we went there (knowing full well that going there equals please-stay-in-your-bed bedtime battles, and I just don't want those... yet. Well, I don't ever want them, but I know we will have them, so I like the option of choosing not to have them just yet.)

We pondered the idea of having Audra sleep in the pack-and-play. We have one (borrowed) pack-and-play that is set up in our living room and which I use daily for Adelia. [Here, honey. Here's a book. Please look at that book quietly while mama puts Audra down. Things like that. Or times when she is being especially let's-get-into-EVERYTHING! and needs some boundaries.] I can't imagine not having that tool to use for Adelia. So then we'd have to borrow or buy another pack-and-play.

However, I wasn't too keen on the idea of putting my baby into the pack-and-play to sleep. It just doesn't seem comfy enough. Now, I know people do it all the time and it's a perfectly reasonable solution-- but I just don't like the fact that it's a thin mattress with little support beneath said mattress. Maybe I'm a comfort snob or something, but I'm one of those moms who- when my children have to sleep on the floor somewhere- brings extra quilts and blankets to fold up beneath them because I want it cushy for them. The pack-and-play does not scream cushy, comfy or cozy to me, so that was a hard sell.

Also, I didn't like the idea of having to throw my back out every time I leaned way in to put Audra down to sleep. [Okay, yes, I'm exaggerating. But I'm just saying: it's a negative to the pack-and-play idea for me.]

Our solution for the past two months was to move Audra into the toddler bed. It's a crib-sized mattress, she can't crawl out of it, and we already have it. It has worked out fine, but we knew at the time it wasn't a permanent solution. Now that she is getting much more mobile, it simply isn't the best solution anymore.

Back to the drawing board.

Once again Mark and I discussed the should-we-move-Adelia-out-of-the-crib-and-into-the-toddler-bed idea, and we both agreed all over again that we don't want to go there. Adelia has potentially another year of sleeping in the crib. Why should we move her out any earlier than we absolutely must? Only because Audra needs the crib. Arggh.

Once again we considered the pack-and-play, but I still don't like it as a sleep option.

One morning the solution dawned on me, and I called Mark immediately to tell him:

We need a second crib.

It may sound crazy, but the thought had never occurred to me before. It was sort of this light bulb moment for me:

We have two babies, we need two cribs.

Duh. Why hadn't I thought of it before? I guess I just figured we would keep making do until we had no other option but to move Adelia out of the crib and give it to Audra. But I am so relieved and thankful that having a second crib will mean that we won't have to rush Adelia out of her crib. ~Whew~

Second crib purchased, dilemma solved.

Tonight Audra will be moving from our room (~sob!~) for a trial run in the girls' room. You should see it. Picture a very small room crammed with two cribs and one twin-sized bed. And three of the cutest girls imaginable.

I love the puzzles that having all these children in our small house brings. It sure keeps us thinking and trying to be creative with the space we do have.

We're already working on the next puzzle:

Where will one of the girls sleep when afternoon nap time rolls around? I'm pretty sure it won't work to have them both in the same room for naptime. *grin* See? Makes life interesting!


  1. Interesting. We have had TEN babies (often two a once) and have never even owned a full-sized crib. All ten slept in Pack-and-Plays. Also, we have never had one make it past the 14 month mark and still be in the Pack-and-Play. We have transitioned ours to a bed right around their first interesting note here is I think it is actually easier to train a younger baby to stay in a toddler bed, then an all-out toddler.


  2. I agree, I keep my babies in cribs as long as possible! O once saw stacking cribs at Goodwill. I have also set up a pack n play in my bedroom for naps so that they will happen uninterupted. Good Luck.

  3. Oh I so wish I had known and been able to give you our crib we no longer need! Koe

  4. Renee,
    Interesting is right! You must not have the same comfort-issues that I do. :)

    Yeah. I think I'll have to go with the pack-and-play for one of the girls for naptime....

    SHOOT! I tried to think of every possible person to ask to borrow a crib, but everyone I thought of still had babies in cribs! Oh well. We bought it used so it was a good deal. :)

  5. Stacy-

    I put off getting a second crib as long as I could, too, but right around the time Elisa finally decided to climb out of hers was when I broke down and found a used convertible crib/toddler bed on craigslist. So Elisa felt special because got a "new" bed and we moved Anna into the original crib. It has worked out well although Anna has slept in the pack and play a lot anyway. We keep it in the spare room for her naps and while I worried about it not being substantial enough to provide comfort, she seems to do just fine.

    I always wanted to share a room but I had 2 little brothers so they usually shared. I love the idea of my girls being together. And any future kids we may have. No, not yet :)

  6. Yay for getting another crib! What a wonderful idea!! ;-)

  7. With our #2 and #3 who were so close together, another crib saved my life. Or at least my sanity.
    P.S. let yourself off the hook about school. Ella's learning a ton already.

  8. Hi Stacy :)
    We have the blessing of getting creative with our space here, too - lol!

    So glad that you are better and praying as you plan for school next week.

    Meredith was thrilled when Jamie walked in today and handed her a letter :) She sat right down on the floor and opened it. "Oh, Mom! It's a letter from Ella! Look!" She read and giggled and enjoyed it so much.

    Love you, Q

  9. Just wanted to say that one of our little ones has rest time with me while the other little one sleeps alone. Works great! Puzzle... that's a good way to put it! So understand! It's like a game that gives you a great satisfaction when mastered.

  10. I'm so glad you were able to get another crib!

    I absolutely agree that it's easier to just keep and Adelia/Josiah aged person in a bed that contains rather than having to do night time training. We've had to do it earlier with other kids but I'll put it off if I can!

    A story about the questioned comfort of a packnplay: Once, while on a week's vacation, the packnplay was set up for Josiah in the large bathroom of our condo. About half way through the week it was discovered that the mattress in it had been set up upside down. With the hard side up.


    We made sure that he gets the softer side up now that it's his main bed in his brothers' and sister's closet!

  11. Ikea makes really cute tiny European cribs that are pretty inexpensive. Do you have an Ikea near you? They are kind of like the cribs they give you in a hotel...and very similar to the ones we had at the Hungarian orphanage.

    It might be worth the money spent, just to have more space.

    All too soon the cribs will be tucked away and the training wheels will be coming off the *baby's* bikes...enjoy these sweet days my friend.

    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

  12. Well, we seem to always have someone napping on our bed. Use what you've got! ('Cause sleep is too nice to give up!)

  13. Colleen,
    I'm glad I'm not the only one! :)
    I'm a big proponent of kids sharing rooms, too (and not just because we have to do it, space-wise, either).


    Yep. Thanks for your p.s.! :)

    Oh, if you only KNEW how Ella looks forward to Meredith's letters, too!

    Yep. It's handy for me to think of it that way (like a big puzzle!) so that I don't get grumbly! :)

    Oh, your pack-and-play story! I would have felt terrible! :)

    I'd be all over that if IKEA were closer... :) I do like their stuff!

    We do older kids on our bed but I'm terrified about babies rolling/crawling off! :)

  14. We had two in cribs at the same time twice, and my favorite was when Scott painted above the cribs that were lined up on the same wall, "It's so much friendlier with two." :) It just made me happy, even on those exhausting days.


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