When you bring your newborn home from the hospital, chances are you'll already have a nice sleep space set up for them. Often times, parents will set up a crib in their room or the nursery for baby to sleep in throughout the day and night. But what happens if the crib isn't working wonders for you and your baby? What if co-sleeping is stressing you out? What if you don't have space for a nursery but you desperately need a sleeping space of your own? There are safe places for your newborn to sleep that you probably haven't thought of, even if you think you've thought of every possible sleeping arrangement for your little one.
Whether you need a different space for your baby's sleeping arrangements or you're looking for something a little less conventional than a crib to lay your babe down in, there are plenty of creative options for your family to explore. After all, these days, originality is key when it comes to raising a family. No matter what options you decide on, you'll want to make sure you're adhering to safe sleep guidelines for your baby, so that you can create not only a creative space for your baby to snuggle up in, but a safe one, too.
1. In The Bathroom
Blogger Joanna Goddard found her little one slept comfortably in the bathroom. In the second, and hardly used, bathroom of her two-bedroom apartment, Goddard and her husband created a space so that her youngest could get as much sleep as he needed — something he wouldn't get if he was sharing a room with his older brother. "I think he really likes his teeny space," Goddard told readers on her blog. During the day, her two sons shared the nursery, but for naps and bedtime, the baby slept in his travel crib in the newly-purposed second bathroom. Obviously, if you're considering using your spare bathroom as a sleep space for your little one, there are plenty of safety guidelines you'll want to follow. But if you've got a bathroom that's rarely used, why not repurpose it for the time being?
2. In The Closet
Just like Goddard and her bathroom, New York blogger Natalie Holbrook found a nook in her home for her baby. Rather than an extra bathroom, Holbrook repurposed her closet into a nursery. "I could hang photos, bring in a little side table, stack his favorite books just so, it was kind of an exciting little challenge," Holbrook told DNAinfo New York. According to Holbrook, even if she'd had more space, she still would've chosen to use the closet as a sleeping space. "When they're little, they don't need a ton of space," Holbrook wrote. "Babies, all creatures really, love the comfort of a nest, a space just their size." Challenge yourself into cozying up a small space in your home for your little one, and see how great it can be.
3. In A Basket
If you're not sold on a crib, why not try out a Moses basket? Lightweight, portable, and small, the Moses basket offers flexibility where most baby sleeper options don't. What's great about this option, is if you can't find one you love at your local baby supply shop, you can DIY your own Moses basket. Get crafty, mama.
4. In A Montessori Bed
If you've never heard of the Montessori Method before, as a mother, you're certainly going to start. A method that stresses independence, freedom, and respect for your child's development, it's no surprise that the Montessori bed would stress all of these things. Montessori nurses don't contain cribs, instead, children sleep on floor beds. You can buy a floor frame, or you can simply lay a mattress directly on the floor — according to the Baby Sleep Site, both of these options work well for the Montessori bed. Starting as early as 2 months, parents who follow the Montessori Method move their newborns to the floor bed. While this might seem like the easiest option in the book, if you decide to peruse this route, it's very important that you childproof your baby's room first. Only when you've carefully surveyed the entire room (especially at baby's level) should you put your child in their floor bed.
5. In A Pack 'N Play
Created as an easily transportable and safe space for your baby to play in, your baby can also snooze in the Pack 'n Play. Whether for naps or for actual bedtime, try setting up the Pack 'n Play in a low-traffic, secluded area where your baby can get the rest they need.
6. In A Co-Sleeper
If it's the whole possibility of rolling on top of your baby in the middle of the night thing that's keeping you from sharing your bed with your little one, this secure sleeper can make for a great compromise. Thanks to the hard sides, you won't be able to steamroll over this co-sleeping device.
7. In A Cardboard Box
I know what you're thinking, I really do. But hear me out on this. According to Reader's Digest, babies in Finland don't even sleep in cribs, they sleep in cardboard boxes. Since the late '30s, parents receive a cardboard box with a small mattress and blanket before they leave the hospital. The outlet reported that some experts think that the newborn starter kit with the sleeping-box has even helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant-mortality rates. So don't knock it before you try it.