First off, to new parents, here is a news flash: You don’t need a crib. At least, you don’t need a fancy crib. That’s the advice I have for you as I toss a $700 crib into a dumpster this morning. I set the $200 mattress next to it. Goodwill will take neither of these things because, unlike me, they learn life lessons.
Here is how the crib thing played out in my life. We were about to have our first child and my super preggo wife dragged me to the mall. We were deep in the “must buy all the things” phase of pregnancy. There it was, a Corsa Red convertible drop side. (That works as a description for both a crib and a sports car!) Little cartoon hearts were popping over Dr Wife’s head and I just knew the thing was going to be our perfect little baby’s jail.
Fast forward a couple of months and there we were, holding our tiny newborn son and getting ready for bed. Baby…check, crib…check, mobile…check, handmade baby blanket from 88 year old great grandma nearby but not actually in the crib because everything kills babies…check. I gingerly laid my heir down, properly swaddled in a non-hip-dysplasia causing form, onto the proper non baby-killing mattress, in the very safe and expensive non baby killing crib. That lasted about ten minutes.
We lay there in bed, my wife and I, trying to pretend we had not just put the most precious thing in our lives besides the new big screen into a cage. It seriously lasted ten minutes. He made a noise and we both got up and looked at this pathetic creature wrapped like a burrito in a baby cage. He slept in our bed until he was three.
When MiLK came to visit, toting her then one-year old ball of just-walking angst, I told her she could use the crib for the weekend. Someone might as well and she was attempting a little cry-it-out tough love. We pretended to ignore the wails. Then it got quiet. Damn, I thought, she has this parenting thing down. We snuck in to check. The Madness was *quietly* trying to chew her way out of the crib. It seemed to be working. She’d certainly managed to chew off most of the “Corsa Red” on the dropside.
“So much for ‘Crib to College,'” I said.
MiLK looked mildly chagrined. “I did tell you not to buy an expensive one,” she said.
Honestly I know our lives could be better if we were stern, sea-captain parents, but we both work our asses off and, for my wife, just giving the baby a boob if she wakes up is way more convenient than getting up and making it a whole thing. Of course, it’s amazing how much of a queen mattress a baby commands, especially when she has a cat helping her. We’re on our third kid and I still wake up shoved literally against a cold slab of drywall with my wife spooned up against me (not a bad thing) and the baby and the cat owning the other three feet of bed. It’s not always comfortable, I’ll give you that.
But, back to the point of this, I’ve talked with lots of other modern parents and everyone says “don’t buy a goddamned crib” and every new parent buys a crib. An expensive crib. Just get a pack n play if you need to corral your kid or a co sleeper bassinet and save yourself a few hundred clams.
Here’s the best part; a month after we bought and setup the crib, which took up half our bedroom, we got a letter saying that the crib was now a recognized murder machine and we needed to go back and pickup some new hardware that would prevent infanticide.
So many true statements here. Everyone tells them, don’t get a crib, but they all go out and buy one. Newborns take up a lot of space, and 3 year olds too. I’ve been there. If only there was a way that people like yourselves could write down the lessons you’ve learned and broadcast it worldwide… Oh, well.
There must be some way to stop the insanity