Blow-outs? Spit-ups? Has your child just learned how to climb out of the crib? Or has she discovered how fun it is to take off her diaper and get mom to come running in? Read on, mama. I got you.
My mom gets a kick out of telling people what a nightmare baby I was when it came to naptime. As a baby (heck, even now as an adult!), I really, really didn’t want to go to bed. Envision the following scenario, if you will:
My move: Climb out of crib.
Mom’s move: Put the mattress down to the lowest crib setting.
My move: Climb out of the crib again.
Mom’s move: Drop the mattress to the floor.
My move: Climb out of the crib again.
Mom’s move: Line the inside of the crib with cardboard.
My move: Scream in fury. If I can’t get out, I’ll throw everything else out! Out goes my blanket, lovey, sheets and all. As a matter of fact, out go my pajamas and diaper too! Take that!
Mom’s move: Put everything back together and safety pin me in to my sleeper.
My move: Rip up the sheets again and throw all the bedding out. Stretch the sleeper neckline down around my shoulders, wiggle out, and throw it out along with my diaper.
Mom’s move: Dress me again. Remake the bed. Lay on the floor out of sight and throw everything back in as I throw it out. Repeat… Repeat…. Repeat…
That is the scene that was playing through my head when I was pregnant with my first baby. My poor mom. No way on earth I was going to deal with that kind of shenanigans. She was a young mommy. I am an old one. And a lazy one. No thank you! Here’s what I did to set up the perfect crib that is fullproof against all the things!!
1. Zippered Sheets – Keep That Mattress Covered – Get them here.
Yep, they are expensive, but have been worth every penny.
Your toddler cannot rip the sheet up and expose that mattress.
When there is a poop or vomit explosion (and there have been many in this household), it’s a simple matter of unzipping the top off, laying down a clean mattress protector and zipping a new top on.
Peace of mind during the newborn stage that the sheet will never pop up and suffocate the baby.
GET THE WHITE ONES! I know they offer other cute patterns, but being able to bleach the crap out of those things is a Godsend!
I recommend getting two bases so that you’re not in the situation of trying to get the laundry done in between naptimes. And I recommend these waterproof mattress protectors. (I know QuickZip makes some, but they’re not big enough. Facepalm…)
2. Crib tents – Keep Your Little One Safely IN the Crib – Get one here.
I didn’t discover these ingenious inventions until I had twins. If I had a to-do over, I would have definitely got one for my oldest.
Your little one CAN NOT climb out of their crib!! Huge win!!
Your little one can’t throw toys out of their crib and then cry until you come in to put the toy back in… only for them to throw it out again… I played this oh-so-delightful game with my oldest for a long time.
No spiders. Sometimes when my son cried out in the night, I was freaked out a spider might be biting him. So I’d spend a good amount of time examining him and his sheets after picking him up and calming him down. With this thing, spiders won’t be getting in.
Note that there are two different sizes, one for a crib and one for a pack ‘n play. Make sure you get the right size.
There is a downside. A crib tent makes it hard to see your baby in the monitor. I ended up cutting a teeny tiny hole in the top of mine so I could string the camera cord through. I attached the camera to the inside top of the crib tent using magnets and rubberbands. Admittedly, not the cleanest solution. There is a unicorn crib tent out there that has a plastic window at the top for the monitor that I hear works well, but it seems like it’s always out of stock. Maybe crib tent makers will start getting a clue and producing more of those suckers. If you’re reading this and smiling thinking that you have a better solution, please do share in the comments!
3. Inescapable Pajamas – Keep Poop and Pee IN the Diaper
My twins are currently in that stage where they have figured out pants and zippers and find it fun to strip down into the nude. Not ok for little squirts who are not potty-trained!!
Here are the tactics I have taken for this delightful stage:
The backwards pajama method: Zip up a footless sleeper backwards. This usually works well. None of my children have tried stretching out the neckline and forcing their shoulders through, but be aware that might happen… The two big negatives for me are that it makes diaper changes hard and I don’t want to have to change my kids in to pajamas for their day naps.
Onesies: My girls have yet to figure out the snaps on a onesie BUT if they poop, they can most definitely stick their hands through the leg holes and make a horrible mess. You can put pants on UNDERNEATH the onesie to avoid this.
Rompers: Rompers are great when the weather is warm. My girls cannot get them off and they cannot get their hands in their diapers.
**** Sleep Sack With Legs****: This one is my personal favorite because I don’t have to change my girls’ clothes to something specific. I can use it for both their quiet time during the day as well as bed time.
Get this sleep sack and put it on backwards. It has 3 zippers. Leave all the zippers on your child’s back. When you need to do diaper changes, just open the lowest zipper. Brilliant! Make sure it’s 100% cotton if you keep your house at a comfortable temperature (it looks like all the sleeveless options are 100% cotton).
There’s also this more expensive sleep sack that is made from bamboo cotton. It’s so soft. My girls love this one. But you have to modify it with a loooong separating zipper that wraps around the booty to make sure your little one can’t escape. If you can sew on zippers, kudos to you! I have a talented mom that helped me out.