To crib or not…

While we are done with buying most of the Aww-scho-cute  baby stuff , the chap and I are undecided on the baby’s sleeping quarters. We decided a while ago that the baby probably wouldn’t  need a nursery to itself for the first few years,decided to convert the spare room into a guest room ,went ahead and  got painted it a gelusil pink.The colour is pretty hideously barbie-land and I often wonder what we were thinking when we chose that “Mera-wala pink”. I don’t remember having a room for myself when I was growing up, but then things were different those days and a-little-spanking-never-hurt-anyone parenting technique ruled the roost. I have had my ear twisted a few times (just before the dreaded math exams or right after the report card made an appearance at home), and other than a few strange mannerisms, I think I turned out okay. Mostly. Sometimes I am glad that I don’t live in the US  where some parents live in the constant fear of their offspring dialing 911 the case of a prospective… ahem…mild roughing-up episode.
But things are not that simple, are they?What if twenty years down the line the baby ends on a couch of some shrink moaning “I am a mess because my mom didn’t give me my own room as a baby,and when she did give me one it was a  hideous pink room. And now I have identity issues.” So kind peepals and mommas who have contemplated such existential questions before please tell me this – When does a child need a room of it’s own ? Now the second existential question that is giving me insomnia is this – Are cribs really a bullshit idea or what?
For the first few months of the baby’s existence cribs don’t make sense and that a never-ending cycle of pooping-peeing-nursing frenzy will make sure I act as the resident crib. Most people I’ve spoken to tell me that co-sleeping for the first few months is ideal. Some advocate installing a “Thooli”. I don’t know what it is called in English/Hindi , but can describe the thing for you. Its a cloth that is draped like a cocoon and hung from the ceiling. As rudimentary as it sounds , there are pre-stitched thoolis available (with hi-fi spring action) that makes life easier for mommies.No more swinging thoolis till cows come home.The problem with this option is that it they can only accommodate the baby for a few months, after which I need to think of other options. 
And then there are baby bassinets and cradles.We are not keen on both because after a few months what do you do with them.. store onions and potatoes?Then there are cribs..Will toddlers still want to sleep in a crib after they learn how to crawl / roll over? And how safe are they really? The cribs I managed to find here all have some kind of a wheel attached it it and seem pretty flimsy.And they cost as much as a normal bed does , so I am wondering if it makes sense to buy one (when they will be used only for a few years). A crib ,however can be used like a play pen and be quite a life-saver ( I can get my other work done .. yay!) once the baby gets to a stage where it can amuse itself with toys. As of now , I am leaning towards the crib, but am still confused about what to do.
So much for a thesis on baby sleeping arrangements.Which leads us back to the fundamental question – “Are cribs a bullshit idea?”Mommas who have used cribs before/are using them now what do you think? 

Check out this video of one of my favourite stand-up comedienne spouting wisdom on parenting.. Somebody gonna get hit real bad!

Have a super week- Bu-bye !

15 thoughts on “To crib or not…

  1. Hey Bhargavi,

    Used a second hand crib successfully until DD turned 3. She never climbed out of it or jumped out or anything. I think that has to do with the discipline you instill. As regards baby sleeping arrangements, babies don't need separate rooms but once they turn about 6 months, they start playing during night time feedings and we tend to engage and then their schedule gets completely messed up. That's when a crib in a separate room works best.

    But every kid is different and you will have to tailor your parenting to your baby. There's no right or wrong, you just do what's best for your family 🙂


  2. get these old-fashioned cribs that are famous in gujarat:
    image here:,r:5,s:0

    see if you can rent these out. I luckily knew someone who was ready to lend it to me. I used it for around 10 months after which R used to jump out of it. So, since then it's been co-sleeping for us. Haven't thought of a separate room as yet.
    It all depends on the dynamics of your kid. You'll have to see what works for you. I suggest you do not invest a huge sum on something that may not come of any use. Hand-me-downs work best in the initial months till you get know what will work.


  3. Buy a crib which doubles as a cot after use. IT is available in most hi end furniture stores. or you can make it with local carpenter after getting specs from furniture design book.


  4. OK, my two cents. Can you find a cradle for the first few months? The thooli sounds good and may suffice. It is better to have the baby with you for night time feedings. Both my kids turned out ok. I tried to go the good Amreekan route with crib and all, the first time, but all rubbish. The second one slept with me and he hates me. But he is a teenager. So I am not sure if I should be giving you advice at all ;).
    Anyway, if crib looks flimsy to you try to shake it really hard because a screaming child will stand on the crib and shake it until you get to the baby. My brother who has a 4-year old dispensed with all that and went old school. He never bothered buying baby furniture. Now the kid has a bunk bed that can turn into a double bed when visitors come. The best advice is, don't spend too much money on the first few months of the baby's life. They prefer to be with you. Make the most of it. Human touch is very important to a baby's growth. OK then, keep us informed on how things are coming along. Best wishes, eat well and be happy.


  5. Meera… its reassuring to hear that your dd used the crib till she was 3.. I'll check if there are of equivalents of craig-list in Chennai.. Yeah, so true that each baby is different.. Maybe I'll just skip the crib now and get one at a later. Thanks !


  6. I think the second hand crib idea is great.. Will have to now see if there are people selling second hand baby stuff in Chennai. Wish there was a craig-list type thing here ! And so true that every baby is different.. I'll just have to wait and watch..Thanks for the suggestion.


  7. That is such a cute-looking thing.. Why didn't they have such stuff when i was a kid ! Jumping out .. that's scary!I guess like both you and Meera say, I'll just have to see what this kid is like and then take a decision.. If i can get a second hand crib from someone I'll get it , otherwise I'll opt for co-sleeping/ thooli type thing only..


  8. The cribs i see in the stores don't look very sturdy,Asha.All made of flimsy rubberwood. Maybe hiring a carpenter might make sense..atleast it will be sturdy. Will definitely look into this option..


  9. Its been a while since a baby was born in the family and none of my friends who've had babies recently have used cradles.. so slim luck on that.
    All teenagers hate their parents.. i hated mine when i was an adolescent myself 🙂 .. Yeah , i get the point about the screaming child shaking the crib ..and just like Uma says , it could be dangerous. Increasingly, i am thinking of going old-school. The bunk bed is super idea- ore kallula rendu maanga.. Thanks.. this has been helpful !


  10. We got a crib before Zo was born 🙂
    It isn't too sturdy, but does a decent job. Has 3 levels of mattress height to sit the baby as she grows. And yes, we use it in the night already. These days she creates a fuss if she wakes up, but we are trying to make it a habit. Lets see!
    Co-sleeping with such a tiny baby was a slightly scary option for me, was scared I would squash her 😛 Anyway, the crib is in our room now, and the guest room (and TV room) will be converted when she will be around 2! Thats the idea so far 🙂
    Oh and her toys are all in the crib with her, so its ideal to leave her there while working during the day!


  11. I've seen the one you are talking, she is already using it! My main concern about co-sleeping has been the squashing too.. both chap and I are sprawlers and we are pretty sure we'll end up squashing the baby sometime ..this has been one reason why I have been going back and forth between various options..Thanks for sharing, DI.


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