March 22, 2014

Hello Toddler Bed!

#$%! Cribs and their #$%! non-standard parts.

Last night, at around 2:45 am, Nicki discovered she was capable of scaling Mt. Crib. We thought this day might be coming. This month has been a whole different ball game at the park, she’s been much more independent and adventurous. Yesterday she tried to climb the cat tree, managing to get a foot securely planted in the platform above her head before mommy interviewed. At nearly 3 in the morning we weren’t going gamble whether her escape was a freak accident, or a new found ability. Nicki spent the rest of the night with us on the toddler cot we use for naptime.

In the morning I put Nicki in the crib with some toys to see what she’d do. She had no hesitation when she was done with her toys and ready for out. Rather than throw up the arms and ask for “up!”, she grappled onto the railing, swung her leg over, hooked her foot, and pulled herself up onto the rail. Before I had much of a chance to react, she was straddling the railing, and mighty pleased with herself about it too. I am not sure what her strategy would have been to get down. Probably gravity.

escape attempt
I snapped a couple photos with my cell phone until it became clear she was going to succeed in her endeavor. As cute as a pooky riding the railing photo would have been, skull fractures would not have been.

Looks like we’ve out grown the crib.

Our crib came with an extra front panel that could be used to convert it to a toddler bed. I had kept the panel, but apparently not the hardware. This was a major problem. As we learned last time, baby furniture typically uses custom hardware. I printed out the instructions online, including their description of the missing four screws: “1-3/4″ Allen Head Bolt”. Domingo came back from the hardware store with every 1-3/4ths screw they had. No Dice. They all had different groove sizes. #$% &$@#!

We felt like we needed some kind of fourth panel. Nicki doesn’t roll around that much anymore, but she does roll around some. I didn’t want her to roll out of bed any more than I wanted her to climb out. I ended up “borrowing” two screws used for the decorative top rail since they were at least the same size (different heads). After all, we don’t actually need a top rail, it’s just to for her to hold onto when she was a baby and unsure of her footing.

We needed at least three fixed points to keep the panel from rotating. For the third screw, I used one of the 2-1/2” Round Head Bolt that was originally used to keep the now defunct crib front panel in place. It sticks out about 3/8th an inch, but it’s between the slats, and lower than the mattress, so I doubt it’ll cause much of a problem.

My initial plan was to reuse this crib with any future children. This is the second time we’ve had to kludge together a working solution without the original manufacture’s hardware. I think it’s fine for now, but with another move on our horizon, I just don’t think it’s holding up well enough to survive another child. It’s a bummer, but paying for a second crib also beats skull fractures.

At least Nicki loves her new bed. She spent most of the day climbing in and out of it, jumping around on the matress, and throwing toys overboard. Domingo and I were convinced we were in for a long night of chasing her down and carting her back to bed. I’m stunned to report she fell asleep in the toddler bed tonight without a fuss, and didn’t climb out once.

asleep in the toddler bed
Happy sleeping toddler.

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