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The Crib

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Sleep > The Crib


Note about Drop-Side Cribs
    In 2010, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission banned cribs with drop-down sides because they have been blamed for the deaths of at least 32 infants since 2001. Drop-side cribs were under scrutiny for many years; more than 11 million were recalled 2007-2010. For more info, including recalled brands and checking your older crib for safety, see www.cpsc.gov/cribs/

    BPN doesn't accept postings for used drop-down cribs. See What to do with Drop-Side Crib for suggestions.

Buying a Crib
Crib Problems & Concerns Related Pages

Crib w/ Drop Down Side: Safety Issue or Paranoia?

March 2009

Many generous friends have offered us their recently used cribs, all with drop down sides.

Consumer Reports (11/08) says that ''We recommend that you look first for a crib with stationary sides until more stringent and comprehensive safety standards are developed. CR's tests do not address the durability issues associated with recent recalls that could impact safety.'' Yet, these cribs are still sold everywhere.

My friends say that the drop down sides ARE helpful for putting the baby to bed when he's fallen asleep in your arms. They make some great points that intuitively make sense.

Any advice? I am trying to be as ''green'' as possible by accepting used items for our firstborn. I don't want to trapped by paranoia and fear. Is this analagous to the drinking during preganancy debate (no doctor would tell you its okay, but in moderation its fine)? THANKS in advance BPN. Trying to Be a Rational First Time Mom


How many babies have been raised with cribs w/ drop down sides? Probably including you!! My kids were CLIMBING OVER the railings and getting out LOOOONG before they would ever have been able to figure out how to drop the side. It is much easier, especially on your back, to have the side down to put a sleeping baby down. Our crib was a hand me down and thinking back, I doubt my kids would have been strong enough to manage to lower it. I think you have no worries....there are enough REAL baby dangers to be concerned about. Relax. mom of older boys
We had one of those hand me down cribs. While the baby was young it was fine leaving it down but then he started sitting up and pulling himself up on the crib sides and we were (specifically me) under constant paranoia whether we forgot to lift the side. Sure enough I forgot frequently (your brain is not the same after giving birth and especially the first 6 months) and once my son fell from the crib. I cannot tell you what went through my mind then. Good thing we have carpeted floors. He is 3 now and doing more than well but I can imagine there was quite some risk of an injury. The problem with those cribs is that, for unbeknown reason to me, they are built too high, hence the need for the drop down side to pick up and put down baby. A crib where the mattress sits close to the floor does not need that and is much safer and when we moved this is what we got. I guess if you want to use one of those hand me downs you can cut the legs and keep the side up at all times forgetting you can lower it. z
I used my own old crib for my son, which is not only a drop-down but is also 40 years old and a little wiggly. He was fine, we never had a problem. But the bottom line is that if you are going to be fearful using a similar crib, you shouldn't. There are so many things to worry about with a newborn (rationally or not, we just can't help it sometimes!), give yourself a break and find something else if your concerns linger. LR
Hi, Yes, there is definitely a real safety issue involved, so you'll want to check whether the particular model you are considering has been recalled.

For information on this issue and many other questions regarding product safety, I highly recommend the organization ''Kids in Danger''. Their website is at http://www.kidsindanger.org/. They are also very helpful on the phone and have helped me find information on items from manufacturers who had gone out of business, for example.

The organization was started by a colleague of my husband's who lost his one-year old son in an unsafe crib that had been recalled years earlier. One thing I like about the organization is that they also advocate for product safety rules that would kick in *before* products are ever manufactured, not just after a child has been hurt. Also Trying to be Rational


You got it - half glass of wine and a drop down crib, and you will be a happier mama. ;-) anon
I personally do not know of anyone who does not or did not use a crib with drop down sides. I also have never heard of any safety problems with them. Of course, check to make sure the side are secure when up. But yes, they come in very handy and I'm sure there will be much greater safety concerns that will come up in the future. Mom of 2 post-cribbers
We used an old crib (but new enough for the slats to be ok) with drop down sides. Once the baby was turning over we never lowered the sides unless someone couldn't reach for them. Evenutally, the sides were never lowered and everything was fine. Don't go buy a new crib. They are expensive and you don't use them very long. I'd be more forceful about NOT putting all that fru-fru bedding in the crib like the pads that go around. This is more dangerous. anonamom
I wouldn't even think about buying a crib without a drop-down side because I'm too short to put my child down otherwise. Our 16-month-old often gets into his crib awake, but other times falls asleep nursing or in the car. If he's asleep and the side is up, I have to drop him the last six inches. No way am I doing that. Sleep is too precious (I suppose the kid is too).

It seems like paranoia to me! My crib (bought on craiglist) seems fine to me. Shorty


We also inherited a crib with a drop-down side, and we loved it, but for a bit of a different reason: We took the drop-down side ENTIRELY OFF the crib, and then lashed the whole crib to our bed. Boom, instant co-sleeper! Totally protected on three sides, and the fourth side open for mom and the midnight nursing. We'll do the same for kid #2, if our rocket-speed toddler ever slows down enough for us to try for another one! Be well, have a great birth, Happy Co-Sleepers
This was a no brainer for me, at 5'3'' I needed a drop side crib or climb on a stool to get my kid in the crib and that would risk my back. I can still remember the day my older brother and I learned we could kick the bar under my baby sister's drop side crib and have her fall on us so we could take her to play.

Today's drop sides are much safer. The Pali crib we bought for our daughter has to be pushed in with the leg then raised up before it drops. It takes a bit to get use to but works nicely.

The safety click kept waking my daughter but if you use your leg to push it back into place while you pull it up it will close quietly and securely. The mechanism is also quite sturdy. My now 2 year old has been hanging and climbing on it trying to get a glimpse of her new sister in the crib. The mechanism is still holding up great. It is exposed when the side is dropped so I can keep an eye on it as well for any deterioration. I would say safety has come leaps and bounds over the original kick rails of the drop side crib. My two cents, buy quality for peace of mind and keep your eye on moving parts. Short Momma


How tall are you? I'm 5'5'', and putting an older child in when the sides are up is slightly painful and hard for me. I say older child because you have to lower the mattress level when they get taller, so they cannot reach their feet over the top and climb/fall out.

But really, some kids are sensitive to noise and would wake if you lifted the railing after putting them in.

I say it doesn't really matter. Don't be so afraid, but DO make sure you can adjust the mattress height as your child grows.


Crib for an active 9 month old?

March 2008

My son outgrew his bassinet a couple months ago and I would like to get him out of my bed. I'm not sure what kind of crib I should get him cause he's standing now and bouncing around. All the cribs I've looked at looks like he could jump right out of them. Any recommendations? Frustrated mom


You are probably looking at cribs with the mattress set at the highest setting. They usually have three settings so that you can get that mattress lower. I am not saying that your child can't get out of the crib at the lowest setting (everything is possible), but I would doubt it. -anon
Maybe the cribs you are looking at have the mattress in the upper position? There is a lower mattress position as well--I doubt any 9-month-old could climb out with the mattress at the lower position. Chelsea
I think most any new crib will be fine. If you are looking at them in stores, they usually have the mattress set at the highest level (for newborns), but all crib mattresses can be set at several heights. At the lowest level, it would be hard to just ''jump out''. Of course, at some point, he will figure out how to climb out, but that's a ways off. R.K.
Take a look at a Babee Tenda crib. I've taught my daughter at an early age to use the door on the side to enter and exit the crib rather than climb. And it's heavy enough that I don't think you can bounce it across the room. http://www.babeetenda.com/crib.htm crystal

Toddler's leg getting caught in crib rail

Jan 2008

My sweet, chunky 18 month old son loves to play in his crib after he wakes up. The problem lately is that his sweet little chunky thigh keeps getting stuck in the crib rail. I feel awful for him, this morning he got a nasty bruise and I can't figure out a way to solve this. I thought about pinning a blanket around the rail (it's the side that can go up and down) but that seems potentially dangerous, and I'd like him to still be able to see out. Anyone have any suggestions? He doesn't seem ready to move out of his crib yet. Thanks for your imput It really does take a village!!


We have a Breathable Bumper, which is a mesh bumper designed to keep litle arms and legs inside cribs. It is breathable if they press their face against it, but not padded like a regular bumper, so it doesn't provide cushioning for their head. We've had it on our 2 1/2 year old's crib since he was a baby and are very happy with it. There are no problems moving the drop rail and we don't have to take it off to change the mattress. We got it at Babies R Us, but I'm sure you can find it other places as well. I've also seen full size ones online that cover the entire rail area, for kids who like to play around and put their legs up high. Adria
Our son did the same thing. We put up crib bumpers for a while while he was going through this stage. (We did not have them up when he was younger because of SIDS concerns.) It helped a bit. He did grow out of it eventually--no need to get rid of the crib (thank goodness!) yet.
Are you okay with crib bumpers? I know they are not recommended in the first few months because of the risk of suffocation and SIDS, and not when the child is older and can use them to climb out of the crib. With both of our kids, we used crib bumpers for a few months in between those two phases when they kept getting arms and legs stuck in the slats. It has worked well for us. anon
You might want to try a product called Crib Shield. It consists of a couple of mesh panels that you tie up against your crib rails to cover the spaces between the slats. If you are handy with a sewing machine, you might be able to make something similar yourself if you look at the product features. Megan's mom
We have a crib tent on my son's crib. It's made to protect kids from climbing out, but it might also help in your case. There is mesh net that goes around the bottom of the mattress and up the sides, then goes into a mesh canopy tent at the top of the crib. The mesh is on the inside of the crib (and is very tight fitting, so safe)--your son would be able to see out, but couldn't stick anything between the bars. If you search the internet for crib tents, you can see examples. Good luck

Ikea Crib?

Oct 2007

It's unavoidable- the baby has outgrown the hand me down port-a-crib and so we have to invest in a new regular size one. We've decided to put our $$ into an organic mattress and save on the frame. Anyone have an IKEA crib? How do you like it? All the models seem to sit right on the ground. Has this been a problem for anyone? It seems so much colder near the floor. Any experience there? And while our place doesn't get too cold, dressing warmly is more effective than our heater. I feel weird about putting her close to the floor. Recommendations? Space is an issue, so I liked the fact that the IKEA cribs had modest frames. janine


We've got an IKEA crib. Love it. Can't beat the price! Very easy to put together as well. I built ours by myself when I was 8 mo pregnant! Our crib makes into a toddler bed as well although we haven't tried that yet. The mattress level is adjustable to 2 heights - we had it up high when our son was an infant and now it is on the lower setting, which yes, is quite low. However, I haven't seen any problems with it being so low...I would imagine that a shorter person might have trouble reaching the baby in the lower setting, but my husband and I are tall so it hasn't been an issue for us. We dress my son in footed pjs and a sleepsack and he seems warm enough. We set our thermostat at 68' at night. Back in the days when he still nursed at night I would make sure he seemed warm and he always did. Everything in my house is from IKEA

Stationary rail crib or drop side?

Oct 2007

Hi there, We are trying to decide between 2 cribs: 1 is a traditional drop side rail version while the other has stationary rails. We are leaning towards the stationary rail version but I''m concerned about a) being able to bend over to the lowest mattress setting once the baby gets older and b) the baby being able to get out of the crib earlier than normal (one of the sides of the crib is slightly lower than the other). Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks jlee


We have a movable rail and never used it. In fact, we turned the crib around when my son was a little over a year because he would get up in the morning and rattle the thing like a monkey in a cage. (He still does this but at least it's not as noisy!) By the time he was big enough that lifting him was a concern, he was also big enough to sit him down (rather than lay him down all the way), then help him lie down from there. Much easier on the back. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't worry at all about having the movable bar or not.
Just to give opposite advice, I have found the drop down rail very helpful. My daughter's not able to sit up yet, so I have the bed at the highest level and so when I drop the rail down, I really can reach over and comfort her rather than pick her up (I don't do cio but I do like to try not to pick her up unless she's really upset). Also it's much easier to ease her into the crib if she falls asleep in your arms with the drop down sides. I noticed that with the stationary sides, even with the mattress at the highest level, it's obviously not as low relative to the mattress as the drop down sides.

Stokke Sleepi Convertible Crib

May 2007

Am thinking about getting this crib. How it converts from stage to stage is very appealing. Ideally would like to find one used but am not coming across them on craigslist or ebay. Bedding also seems expensive. Any comments on this crib and where people purchased would be appreciated. jean


I can't say enough good things about this crib. Our 2.5 y.o. is still in it, in its third stage of conversion -- crib size with a side down so he can get out on his own. When No. 2 arrives next month we'll eventually move him into it (back to bassinet size), once No. 1 moves into a toddler bed.

Because of the Stokke's price, we ended up buying a less expensive cradle for No. 2 and regret it a little. The Stokke is so incredibly sturdy that we could drag it back and forth throughout our carpeted apartment while No. 1 was sleeping without disturbing him. The new cradle we have (Da Vinci/MillionDollar Baby ''Futura'') jiggles when I pull it across carpet and, while fine, doesn't seem as sturdy. I'm going to have to get a piece of dowel to replace the pin that slides in to convert from the swinging to fixed position.

The Stokke mattress cover cleans easily and has done well in the wash. We had no particular trouble getting spit-up stain/smell out of the foam, either.

Only drawback: the Stokke brand sheets are overpriced and rough and thin. I ended up buying some king-sized sheets from The Company Store and cutting them up and sewing them into sheets for the bassinet. If you know the basics of sewing, it's not that hard. When you convert the Stokke to crib size you can just use a bigger sheet (or soft towel) and tuck it under the mattress. No need for the rough Stokke sheets.

We got the Stokke bumper once No. 1 was a year old and it has been great. Not sure about the dimensions of other, standard bumpers and if they would fit the circumference of the Stokke.

We bought it online from AlbeeBaby.com in NY and it arrived in great shape. Love this crib


Small crib for fullsized baby!

August 2006

Our two month old baby is on the larger size and will soon outgrow his cosleeper. His two year old big brother is in no rush to give up his crib and that's fine by us. We need a smaller crib that will fit in our bedroom and accommodate our younger son until he's a least a year old. Any recommendations out there? It seems that IKEA makes a smaller crib but I don't know if they are tall enough for an older baby who can pull himself up on the rails. I have the same question about Stokke's crib. Any advice is appreciated - thanks! anon


Our 26'' baby is still sleeping through the night in her Delta Enterprise Corp. Portable Crib. It looks just like a standard crib, but it's smaller and a little shorter. We bought it for $100 at BabiesRUs. When she hit 3 months old, she began objecting to the thin mattress that came with the crib, so we replaced it with a thicker mattress, $20 at BabiesRUs --mom in a small apartment

Crib safety for a 12 month old

June 2006

Our son is a vibrant 12 month old. he was in bed with us until he was 9 months old, when we moved him into his crib. I understand that the standard SIDs prevention idea is no blankets, no stuffed animals. This seems very stark to us, and strange (especially after he was sleeping with us under a down blanket). He often has a light blanket or two in the crib with him, and there are a couple of stuffed animals. Also, sometimes we do a modified swaddle to help him sleep. Are we breaking every rule in the book? Is this dangerous? We would be interested in your experience, what your pediatrician has said, adn written sources. Thanks! Anon


All those SIDs rules are for newborns, not big babies! SIDS is a risk from 0-6 months, when sleep position matters (they can't roll themselves) and heavy blankets matter (they can't remove them on their own if it covers their face), and they still spit up and could choke/breath on it. Your 12 month old ought to be way past this stuff :) christine
Our 13-month-old son started sleeping with a ''lovey'' at about 4 months, and now it is a very important part of his self-soothing routine. I think it's safe to have blankets & soft things in the crib as long as the child is old enough to roll over, pull the blanket away, etc. When our son started using the lovey (it's a small blanket with a hippo-head on one corner), he would actually pull it over his face for maximum comfort! But we could tell that he could breathe just fine through it, so we weren't worried. Incidentally, we're still using those ''sleep-sacks,'' which we've really liked because we know that he'll be warm even if he wriggles out of his blankets (which he always does) Rebecca
The website of the National SIDS/Infant Death Resource Center is www.sidscenter.org. They have a special section titled Safe Sleep Environment. It has lots of information that I think you'll find useful. Also, I encourage you to speak to your pediatrician. Take care, anon
Instead of blankets, we use(d) cotton sleep sacks by Halo for my two boys. Also available in fleece fabric for the colder months. Get them at BabysRUs or at http://store.babycenter.com/brand/halo;jsessionid=TLUYHTWZBLJ2WCUAQMMSJBQ?intcmp=Store_ProductPg_Brand

Instead of stuffed toys, which we were a bit nervous about, we gave both our boys Dakin lovies when they were about 4 or 5 months old. They're basically small blankets with a cute animal's head and paws stitched on and silky ribbon edging that both kids like to hold between their fingers as they fall asleep. http:// www.mymiraclebaby.com/baby-gifts/dakin-lovies.shtml (Get 2 so you can rotate one in active service and one for the washing machine!) We've given them as presents and in every case, it has become the favoured lovie/blankie/crib friend/ transitional object for the baby.

We also put bumpers on the crib as soon as the baby was able to turn himself over Mother of 2 beautiful boys


Cribs - which one?

May 2005

Hi - 1st timer here, trying to figure out what crib to buy. I'm comfortable buying used, but don't know what kind, nor can I find any recommendations or comparisons. I'm interested in the adjustable heights, and arm that lowers. Please, can you share your experiences with me? Thanks very much!


I don't have a crib recommendation, but a book recommendation: Baby Bargains. I didn't have the first clue about baby products until I got that book. Tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about baby gear. They have a website too, but the book is much less overwhelming. a reader
We got a used cheap crib off of this network for free. It has worked great for us, so I reccommend checking this option out. I don't think fancy cribs are that different from the cheaper ones, and many babies don't even end up using them. Ours has a lowering side-rail, so that can obviously be gotten with a cheap crib. Mom whose son loves his crappy crib
We got the Delta Luv Jenny Lind crib because it was rated #2 by Consumer Reports last year. It is about $100 at Toys R Us (the #1 crib was over $400). It has several different heights, was easy to assemble, and both sides lower when you pull the child-resistant latches.

The downsides were that the paint gave off nasty smelling fumes for several MONTHS, so I stored the crib outside for a while before assembling it and then kept the windows open regularly. If you are not superstitious, buy it as soon as possible and take it out of the box to off-gas outside.

I also replaced the MDF board on the bottom with certified formaldehyde-free MDF (called Medex MDX) from the lumberyard for about $30, but I'm kind of picky about toxic chemicals. I also think the design is less than attractive, but it's just a crib, not a fashion statement. David


Where to buy a crib

Dec 2004

Wondering where parents reccomend purchasing a crib - Ikea? Rockridge Kids? Pottery Barn? Baby Style (down in Burlingame)? Sears? We've done a bit of looking and need to get a changing table as well. We are flexible on price if we like the item. Would like to get it at one place and actually see the item rather than purchase on-line. thanks


Gosh, don't waste your money at Pottery Barn Kids(even if you have a lot--I used to work in buying offices and the mark ups are insane), and go to Babies R Us. They have plenty of beautiful cribs which are all set up. They all have changing tables that go with, which are also displayed. We got a very simple crib there, non cheesy bedding and, of course, lots of other baby things. If you want really designer stuff, Babies R Us is not your place, but otherwise... anon
We got ours -- a nice Pali with hidden hardware and a storage drawer under the mattress, a mid-price type -- at Baby World. The Montclair location has a really nice selection of floor model cribs, as well as dressers and changing tables.

Babies R Us (in Dublin) has a huge array of mostly lower priced models, and Darla's in El Cerrito also has a pretty good selection at excellent prices, and they sell used ones as well. Holly


Best crib for short mother

Dec 2004

I would like to buy a good-quality crib for our babysitter, who is pregnant with her first child. However, she is quite short (maybe 5 feet tall), and I'd like to find one where she can reach over the railing with reasonable ease. (Yes, I know most railings can be lowered, but in my experience I always chose to reach over the railing rather than risk waking my sleeping baby with noisy adjustments.) Obviously what we're talking about is short crib LEGS, not dangerously short RAILINGS . . . Any ideas? Thanks! Anonymous


Can you saw the legs down a few inches? R.K.

Place to buy a crib besides Babies R Us

June 2003

I am looking for a place to buy a nice baby crib (anywhere in the bay area, besides Babies R Us/Toys R Us). Thanks! YYY


Cartan's at 2085 San Ramon Valley Blvd (in San Ramon) has a good selection. Mostly higher end, but I think they had at least a couple of affordable models. Karen
We got our crib at Leonard's Tot Shop in Pleasant Hill, although we live in Oakland. I can't remember how I heard about the place, but it had a large selection of mid to high end cribs, which I liked, and the prices for the mid-tier ones weren't bad. We bought two cribs and they gave us a 10% discount on the second (we had twins.) http://www.babyexpressstores.com/leonards/

The other place that seemed to have a decent selection/price combination was Lullaby Lane in San Bruno. I think it's http://www.lullabylane.com/

There is also a long list of baby stores at:

http://www.smarteryellowpages.com/hl/shl/sll/index.cfm/in.8767/cd.3365634/cn.72767148/sy.380/hd.7777777/al.T.htm

but they don't specify if they sell cribs or not. But it might give you some ideas. Lisa


Try Cotton and Company in Rockridge. Claudette has a lot of cribs - mostly from Canada (not japan or china). Go in and speak to her directly as she keeps many cribs in her warehouse and they aren't necessarily displayed on the floor. She can also order you anything you want - she has lots of catalogs. Along with cribs she has nice bedding - the kind you won't see at babies r us or other chain retailers. woodbury
Darla's in El Cerrito on San Pablo sells nice used cribs (and probably new ones, too). And they spent some time with us, giving instructions on assembly. For advice on crib brands, I thought the book ''Baby Bargains'' was very helpful. mary
We made the trek to Lullabye Lane in San Bruno, at the recommendation of a friend. They are a family owned store with several storefronts/stores along the main street. They are very friendly and helpful (without being pushy) and had a great selection of cribs. We ended up buying a great well-made one at 2/3 the list price, from their store that sold floor models and other inexpensive but still high quality cribs. It was an excursion, but a fun and successful one. Good luck, Jennifer C
Try Leonard's Tot Shop in Pleasant Hill. They have a very good selection, good service and their prices are comparible. I don't recommend Baby World (in Oakland)...they tried a ''bait and switch'' on me....tried to tell me one product/co. that I really wanted was not good and tried to get me to purchase a much more expensive crib. I then proceeded to get it from the Tot shop, and not only did they say they had no problems with the product/co., I got the crib much quicker than I thought--I think they told me it would take 10-12 weeks and it came in 7! Also, they have an outlet of sorts for discontinued items and the like. anon
Baby World in Montclair and Rockridge (two locations). Darla's in El Cerrito (new and used). Cartan's in Danville. Heller's in San Rafael. Lullaby Lane in Burlingame.

Pick up a copy of the Parent's Press tabloid and you'll find lots of ads for local non-chain places that sell baby furniture. Holly


Try Cartan's in San Ramon. They are priced competitively. And more important, the staff is VERY knowledgable and friendly...things I have rarely found at Babies R Us.
The Belini cribs are very good quality. There is a store in Walnut Creek. All the cribs convert to toddler beds. They are more expensive than what you find at toys r us but if you are planning to use it for more than one child they are very durable. My sister has used hers for three kids - three times as a crib and three times as a toddler bed. I have used mine for two kids and it's holding up great - even with my older one bouncing on it! patricia

Baby getting wedged in crib

August 2002

Hi, I have a 7 1/2 month old who starts out sleeping on her back, then rolls to the side and onto her stomach. Sometimes she's able to turn back over without a fuss, but lately she's been rolling into positions such that she gets ''stuck'' at an angle in the crib--jammed into a corner, turned perpendicular to the sides, or an arm thrust under the soft bumper through the crib rails. She wakes up and cries, so I've been going in to turn her over.

What can my husband and I do to prevent this? I don't like the idea of putting cushions in to wedge her in, yet she is getting stuck several times a night. Should we consider putting the crib mattress on the floor in the corner and putting barriers on the other two sides? Has anyone else had this problem and found a solution? Thank you in advance for any suggestions! Jean


When that started happening with my son at about the same age, I removed the soft bumpers and it was resolved. His crib looks more like a jail, but he can maneuver much better in there now. molly
Perhaps using a Graco PACK-N-PLAY instead of a regular crib would solve your problem. The sides are made of a soft and flexible mesh material. Your baby might not even wake up if she rolled into the side of it. MEG

8 month old standing in crib, exhausted

July 2002

My daughter is standing at naptime and bedtime, even when utterly exhausted. She is sometimes happily standing holding the rail, but this soon becomes screaming her head off. It's pretty clear that it's that innate urge to get to vertical which has control over her. We don't do well co-sleeping, so that is out of the question. But it'd be nice to hear from folks who have gone through this. She is a spirited physical girl who is keenly attentive to every sound and visual stimuli (i.e. it's never been too easy to get her to bed in the first place.) When she is walking around holding our hands or onto furniture, she is able to sit herself down well without falling. And last but not least, she appears to be in another spurt of teething. Help! Help! Madeleine


My husband and I experienced the same thing with our daughter starting when she was about eight months old. She was nornally a great sleeper. Our situation seemed identical to yours: we do not co-sleep with her. The first thing we did was adjusted her schedule of napping, so that there was more time between naps. We found that being consistant and sticking to our routine has helped a lot. When we put her down, we go through our little routine and we lay her down in her crib and leave the room. After five minutes, if she is crying (and usually standing up) we check on her and lay her back down, rub her head a couple times, but do not say anything and do not pick her up or hold her. She would usually get back up and cry. We wait longer (7- 10 minutes) before we go in and lay her back down. We repeat the process and extend the time between going in the room. The first week was hard. It would take about an hour just to get her to sleep. We are first time parents and she is not a fussy baby, so hearing her cry just broke our hearts. It has taken about a month but now when we put her down, if she gets up and cries, we usually have to lay her back down once and she falls asleep. I hope this helps. It has really helped us a lot. Amy
Oh Boy, I remember this all too well. Let me see, where to begin? Well, my daughter who is now 12 is and was the same, spirited, intelligent, commanding and demanding! And I gave in every time. Why? Because I did not believe in the ''books'' advice that if you just ignore it the infant/toddler will stop and just go to sleep on their own after say a week.. I actually tested this out, at 3 months, at 6, 9, 1 year, 3, years, 5 years, 8 years. Perhaps you are wondering if I had incompleter boundaries or a soft heart. Yes to a soft heart, I love my child more than myself but I desperately wanted sleep. I can not begin to list all the night lights, snuggles, book reading, vampire salts, etc. we went through! None worked for us. I recomend reading ''Raisng your spirited child'' right away, it was a great help to me to know that there are lot's of children out there who have this temperant and viewed in the right way, it is a gift to the holder of the personality. My daughter and I were able to sleep by me getting a queen size bed and I slept there with her in her room for 10 years! I tried everything else, including at 5 trying to lock her in her room out of desperation to sleep with my husband who was admantly against co sleeping. She is still intense and keenly aware and always will be. This poses certain huge hurdles of growth on my part but I see her blossoming into a creative, vibrant, self sufficent young teen. Artistic and caring. I wouldn't trade her for anything!! I think you got the best of the bunch, just give in to the demands of the personality, after all this is why we are mothers, no matter how hard and believe me, there were many nights when I sat by her bed and cried myself to sleep before I got the matteress. mscwalker
What we did was practice getting from a standing to a sitting position through play. I would hold my baby's hands and pull her up saying ''baby UP'', then I'd lower her onto her little booty saying ''baby DOWN''. We started when she was about 4 months old, but I'm sure you can do it with an 8-month old. I did this specifically so that she wouldn't get stuck in a standing position in her crib at night and causing problems with her putting herself back to sleep. Fortunately, I read a ''getting your baby to sleep'' book that alerted me to the problem before it began. Christina
There have been times when my son was exhausted and resisting sleep, so I put him in the crib to fall asleep, although it upset him (and me). The nice thing about a crib is that it's designed to be safe. He fell asleep standing up, leaning on the bars, more than once, after crying for a while. When he fell down, he did not hurt himself, and it only awakened him slightly--then he went back to a deeper sleep (I watched him do this once). Other times he was practically asleep standing up (after crying for a while), and did not get up again when we lay him down. My son has gone through several different stages in his falling-asleep habits, some of them quite brief, so don't despair! He is now 18 months old, and rarely complains when put to bed, tired but awake, for a daytime nap or a night's sleep. And in our case it was certainly true that the first 2 or 3 times of crying to sleep were the most painful for all parties. After that, when we had to do it (he was frequently asleep when put into bed, I admit), he often only cried for 5 or 10 minutes (often intermittently). Since your daughter is easily disturbed by noises, you might want to try using some soothing music that will mask noises from outside her room (your footsteps, etc.), that might keep her from relaxing into sleep, at bedtime--start it before you leave, and leave it playing when you go. We have been using the same music for many months as part of the bedtime routine, and I started using it for naptime, too, more recently--it's definitely helpful. And if the teething is keeping her from sleeping, you might want to try Tylenol, in the dosage recommended by your pediatrician, on nights when it's really bothering her. I was worried (about starting a habit, I guess) the first time I did this, but found that I only ended up using it a few times. Lisa
We worked with a very intuitive baby coach ... (see Sleep Consultants for the rest of this recommendation.
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