There is a part of my parenting that, until recently, I felt terrible about: my children never slept in cribs. I’m sure some of you, possibly most of you, are horrified by this. I honestly don’t even know how it happened. They are great sleepers now, and my younger son has generally been a great sleeper since he was brand new, but cribs just…never happened somehow. Let me explain.
With both my sons, I nursed exclusively and never pumped. This was partly due to laziness; I hated pumping with a passion, and since I was in graduate school and primarily at home, I didn’t see the reason to suffer though it. A side effect of this was that I was always on-call as the food source, 24/7. My pump-hatred unfortunately meant my husband could never feed our infants. My first son was a difficult, colicky baby who wanted to nurse constantly. It wasn’t long before I gave up on the bassinet in my room and co-slept to make the nighttime feedings easier and allow everyone some sleep. When he reached 10 months or so, co-sleeping was no longer working out. He was moving more, and I was waking up constantly when he would re-settle himself. We tried the crib. And tried. And tried. I tried every trick I’d read about: letting him self-settle (which happened exactly zero times and gave me endless hours of anxiety), patting him to sleep, cry-it-out extinction method, white noise…you name it, I probably tried it. I was desperate for sleep. Finally, we figured out what worked for us: a floor bed.