How A Crib Tent Helped Our Family Sleep Again

How A Crib Tent Helped Our Family Sleep Again

( *Post updated 3/9/2020.  There are affiliate links in this post. You can see my disclosure page here.)  

Who knew that a crib tent would give our family the gift of sleep (and sanity)?  I purchased our crib tent 16 months ago, and it has since become my #1 most important toddler purchase, ever.

Just to give a little background:  our daughter was never a good sleeper (sweet as pie, but hated going to sleep).  As a result, delirium due to a lack of sleep became a “normal” part of our family’s daily routine.

So, when our daughter was ten months old, I hired a sleep trainer.  Her methods were a success, and we all finally started sleeping again!

But then, after nearly six consecutive months of almost uninterrupted slumber, the unimaginable happened.   Our toddler, Zoe, learned how to climb out of her crib!

Our toddler’s “crib jumping” was a problem.

Once again, we were all losing sleep.  My toddlers daredevil escapes seriously concerned me because:

  1. It was unsafe.  Our tiny toddler could seriously injure herself by falling several feet or getting stuck between the slats.
  2. I did not want her wandering alone through the house at night.  Again, a significant safety issue.
  3. My husband and I were not going to get a good night’s sleep until we found a solution we were comfortable with.  We were all sleep-deprived but also experiencing daily stress from this new problem.

Sleep is important.

Sleep is so crucial for both physical and mental health.

According to The National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep is linked to hypertension, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and several other chronic diseases.

The National Sleep Foundation also states that sleep is especially crucial for children because it is when blood supply to the muscles is increased, energy is restored, tissue growth and repair occur, and important hormones are released for growth and development.

We looked at several alternatives.

After getting over the shock of my daughter’s uncanny ability to scale the crib, we tried several things to deter her.

  1. We took out the bottom of the crib, so the mattress was on the floor to make her escape more difficult.  That stopped her from climbing out for exactly one night, and then she was back at it again.
  2. We took everything out of her crib so she couldn’t use it as a prop to climb out.  This method didn’t stop her either.

We watched our toddler climb out of her crib on a monitor so we could see exactly how she was doing it.  She made it look so easy!  She held on to the top bar and put her feet in between the crib slates, hoisting herself to the top, then she teetered on the top bar and balanced until she could get both feet over the sides and jump to the floor.  Usually, with a big SPLAT.

A toddler bed was not yet an option.

I scored the internet for more suggestions and solutions.  A toddler bed was out of the question because our toddler would not stay in her bed (or room for that matter) for more than 1 minute.

Inevitably, we would end up having a little visitor in bed with us every night for the foreseeable future (or worse, roaming the house!).

crib tent was our last resort.

My priority for our daughter was safety.  I didn’t want her to get hurt while climbing out of her crib, but I also didn’t want her wandering around the house in the middle of the night either.  And frankly, we ALL needed to get some sleep!

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Safety is the #1  concern.

I read a ton of reviews on this crib tent, and it sounded like people were having a lot of success without having any safety issues.  From my personal experience, these are the reasons this crib tent has been a gift from the sleep Gods.

  1. Our toddler could no longer get stuck between the rails (which previously happened several times!).
  2. Our toddler was unable to grip the sides of the railing, which prevented her from scaling the crib walls.
  3. The material is made from BPA-free mesh netting and is hypoallergenic.
  4. The crib tent fits snugly over the crib, and our toddler couldn’t get stuck in the crib netting.  The bottom of the crib tent sits under the mattress.
  5. It was super easy and fast to set up.  No extra tools were required.
  6. We ALL finally got the sleep we needed and finally felt refreshed again during the day.

Our toddler likes her crib tent.

I think it makes her feel safer.  We have a bedtime routine, and our toddler won’t even let us leave her room without zipping up her crib tent canopy.

It has been one year since we started using the crib tent, and it still works like a charm.  Soon we will be transitioning our daughter to a toddler bed, but until then, we are leaving it up.

And I’m saving the crib tent for Zoe’s younger sibling, just in case we have another “crib jumper” on our hands.

Additional recommended reading:  Baby Proofing Checklist:  From A Mom, RN

Is your child able to climb out of their crib?  How did you deal with it?  Please leave any questions or comments below!

An Honest Crib Tent Review
From A Mom, RN

Get Yourself A Baby Sleep Trainer Now You Crazy Lady!

Get Yourself A Baby Sleep Trainer Now You Crazy Lady!

I hired a professional baby sleep trainer to help me get my 5 month old to sleep through the night.  (And, lets be real: to keep me from completely morphing into a full-fledged, crazy-eyed, ultra sleep-deprived, zombie mom on the verge of passing out at any moment!)

We were doing pretty good in the sleep department up until about two weeks ago. That is when my adorable five-month-old decided that getting up only one time a night to breast-feed just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

Apparently he thought “this nice lady gives me whatever I want and I really like to breast-feed so I’m going to get up 20 times a night instead!

And my already extremely sleep deprived, exhausted body has been in a downward spiral since.  Like, the awake-all-night with a baby that only stops crying when I put him on the boob until 6:30 AM kind of downward spiral.

The sleep deprivation has since induced a few daytime hallucinations and even occasionally inhibited my ability to form complete sentences.  It was kind of scary actually.

I knew I needed help, and I needed it fast.

I hired a professional baby sleep trainer.  Again.

We hired a women named Natalie Wells, the baby sleep trainer, because she was able to successfully help us with our daughters sleep issues back in 2015.  It was hands-down the BEST INVESTMENT we made in her first year of life (and there are a lot of GREAT baby investments out there: the dok-a-tot,  the ergo-baby, the diaper genie…  But seriously people, the gift of sleep should NEVER be underrated.)

I need sleep more then anything right now.   I’m willing to follow a plan to make my full night of sleep dream a reality.  I am optimistic that there will be a night of sleep somewhere out there in my future!

Thus, I spent my afternoon yesterday creating the optimal sleeping environment for our son.

I created a “room within a room” in our master bedroom.

How a baby sleep trainer and a "room within a room" are giving me my sanity back!

My “room within a room.”  When the curtains are closed around the crib it is completely blacked out inside!

Baby training is hard when your little one sleeps in the same room as you and your husband.  But we don’t have a choice.  We live in a two-bedroom townhouse and our vivacious 2 and a half year old is already occupying the second bedroom.  Eventually (like a year from now) I would love to have them peacefully sharing the room together.  But at the current moment there is too much noise and crying between the two of them and they would constantly wake one another up.

Before baby sleep training, we were to do the following:

  • Black out babies sleeping area
  • Use a white noise machine
  • Have a video monitor to see the baby at all times
  • No swaddling the baby

I  bought 6 hooks and 2 blackout curtains (the kind that go from ceiling to floor).  I put the babies crib in the far corner and screwed hooks that were slightly outside the periphery of the crib on either side.  Now when closed, there is almost no light in his crib.  I also mounted a video camera and a noise machine a few feet above his crib.

Our “room within a room” was born.  It was an engineering marvel!  I was proud.  (My husband was a little surprised to come home and find me screwing holes into our ceiling, but thought it was a good idea too).

Our baby sleep trainer created an individual plan of action.

Our sleep trainer crafted an entire plan-of-action for us. It included everything from night time check in’s, to nap schedules, to feeding times and bath times. She even discussed how baby sleep cycles work which helps to understand why her methods are effective.

My husband and Nanny are both in on the plan.  Little Oliver WILL be following his scheduled as closely as possible. For the first time in a long time, I have HOPE that sleep is somewhere in the not-so-distant future.

In two hours I will be putting our son down in his crib, kissing him good night, and allowing him the opportunity to learn to fall and stay asleep on his own (with our interventions already planned in advance when needed).  Sweet dreams!