A friend recently e-mailed me about my experience with a crib tent for my daughter. She remembered hearing stories from me about my daughter climbing out of her crib at 17 months. She is now in the same desperate place I was in when trying to decide what to do with a young toddler that refused to stay in her crib for naps or bedtime. My daughter had learned early how to escape her crib by climbing the rail, throwing herself to the ground and then wandering around the house at all hours.
A friend told me about the crib tent and still I figured I could get my daughter to stay in her crib, no problem. Wrong! We had 5 long days and nights of no sleep because she decided getting out of her crib meant she would no longer have to sleep. I would sleep on her floor and literally put her back in the crib about 25 times each night. She would be out of her crib so fast that she would be behind me before I even got out the bedroom door. When I thought I could handle the situation, I was wrong. Since I’m sure that my friend and I are not the only ones that have had this situation, I thought I would share my response to how much I like the crib tent.
I feel your pain. There is no option other than the crib tent when a naughty toddler learns to escape their crib. I’m not kidding. At least for us. We tried. 5 long days of trying. Okay, maybe there are other options…better parenting skills…etc…but none of which I had or knew about. At first, we thought we could outlast Savannah and just keep putting her back in her crib. Well, as the days went on…everyone was getting less and less sleep…and it was getting uglier and uglier. We spent nights sleeping on the floor at her crib and just kept pushing her back in the crib. It was crazy. Plus, it was dangerous because she would scale the side of the crib and throw herself over. I figured it would just take one time to get a leg or piece of clothing caught and we would have a very serious injury. I still thought that I could triumph over an 17 month old and “teach” her to stay in the crib. Yeah…that doesn’t happen 🙂 So, I looked for every option available. I was ready to sew her clothes to the crib mattress with her in them 🙂 Okay, maybe not that extreme. So, I found the crib tent and when I saw that it was an outrageous $75…I thought…no way! I can do without it. Well, after 4 days and losing my mind…I changed my mind.
So, I ordered the crib tent online (it was a bit cheaper). Well, it was going to take like 5-7 days to arrive…and I already went 4 days by this time with hardly any sleep. I couldn’t wait! I literally went out to Babies R Us the next day and was willing to pay whatever the cost. Yeah, it was like $75 but at this point I didn’t care. I cancelled the online order and took the crib tent home from the store. Like a kid on Christmas (I’m not kidding here) I ran upstairs with my new “gift” immediately and giggled in a delusional-tired state the entire time I was assembling it on her crib. My husband felt a little bad about it but I was desperate and yet excited at the idea that I just might get some sleep and keep Savannah from harm’s way.
So, that night we tried out the crib tent for the first time. At first Savannah was intrigued but that changed to horror when she saw us “zipping her in”. This part did break my heart because she screamed and put her face against the tent and said “uppie” like she was in a torture chamber. I knew this was the best thing for us all. So, she did cry for a bit that night — maybe 10 minutes or so. But then went to sleep. That was the best night of sleep I had gotten in over a week. Yes, she woke up a couple times and whimpered but then went back to sleep. By the second and third night, we were back on track. We had our bedtime and naptimes on a schedule again and she was safe from hurting herself from either throwing herself out of the crib or wandering the house at 3am. God bless the crib tent! She quickly adapted to the routine of zipping her in and most of the time didn’t protest. After a few months, she actually asked us to zip her in. By then, she liked it and treated it like a fort.
Now, I still disagree with the price of the crib tent. The price is way too high because it will start to fall apart…seams will start to rip and little finger might pull enough to make a few holes in it. But the truth of the matter is I would have spent $1000 that day for a solution to our problem. Knowing what I know now, the crib tent is worth more than 3x its price. We even bought an additional tent that is made exclusively for play yards for our out of town trips (grandma’s, vacations…etc). We paid another $70 for that tent as well. But we wouldn’t change a thing. We used the crib tent for a good 8 months and then put it away knowing that we would need it again for our son when the time comes. Hope this story helps! Good Luck!
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