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How To

How to climb out of your baby's crib without waking the baby. By Beth Fish.

Step One: Assume the Position: After extensive research, I can state with authority that the most important part of exiting a crib is the position you select when you enter the crib. You can't just sprawl in there all willy-nilly and then expect to make a graceful exit. The ideal solution is to keep your legs carefully folded underneath you in a sort of upright fetal position. This allows for the smoothest eventual exit. However, you must carefully monitor your lower extremities as after an hour or two your legs are likely to fall asleep rendering you unable to move and stuck in the crib all night.

Step Two: Get the Baby to Sleep: Hey, don't look at me, you are on your own here. I do strongly recommend that you try to avoid telling your baby that he is a goddamned fucking pain in your goddamned fucking ass, because he will eventually sleep peacefully or do something cute or vomit all over himself and then you will regret all that swearing.

Step Three: Break Contact: Next, you must disentangle all of your bits from your baby. As handy as it would be, it is not advisable to leave an arm behind in the crib as it may pose a choking hazard. Ditto a breast. Based on how soundly your baby is sleeping and how many teeth are currently assaulting his gums, this may take anywhere from a few minutes to until you reach your dotage.

Step Four: Make your Escape: Now is the time to seize your courage and exit as quickly and smoothly as you can. Lingering only shakes the mattress and angers the sleeping beast upon it. Provided your legs are still functioning, rise carefully onto your knees, throw your outside leg over the crib rail, and use your hands to boost yourself out of the crib and onto the floor. Attempt not to tip the crib over as you do this, and be ready at all times to drop immediately back to the mattress and assume an attitude of total innocence and an intention to spend the rest of your born days in that crib.

Now, would someone please tell me that I am not the only person who has been desperate and stupid enough to spend the better part of more evenings than I care to count huddled in a crib with my kid? And if I am the only one, would you at least tell me the craziest thing you have done trying to get your kid to sleep?

Comments (25)

I totally would be spending the better part of my nights in my daughter's crib if I had bothered to get her one. We started off co-sleeping and I have no hope of getting her to transition to a crib now. I am looking forward to her being old enough to sleep alone in her own big girl bed. Your way is smart because once you make your escape you get to sleep comfortably (I assume) without a baby pressed up against you forcing you to stay on your side all night. Can you tell I'm craving some space while I sleep?

by the time #3 came along, I realized what I should have done in the beginning- listen to my mother. I put a twin bed in the nursery so I could either lay there while they scream, or nurse them- on demand! ;) actually crawl in the crib? I considered doing that for the past two nights but wasn't sure if it would support the weight of an adult. Hmmm...might have to give it a try now. I usually opt for the 'lean over the crib until my legs, back and arms are numb and wonder if I'll ever be able to stand upright again' method. I JUST told my husband this weekend that I needed to invent something that would let me open up part of the crib railing so I can lay (or maybe levitate) next to the baby and nurse him while he's in the crib. Then when he's asleep I could sneak away leaving him comfy in his own bed and I can get some comfy sleep in my bed. As it usually turns out he comes to our bed and I'm stuck on my side all night with my arm above my head so he has easy access to the boob.

I'm pretty certain that I don't fit in the crib. And if I do...getting out gracefully would not be an option.
That said, I have broken my poor back many a night by leaning over and cuddling a standing infant. It seems to work ok though. As soon as he gets too tired to stand, he sits down, gets mad, stand up for more hugs, sits down again, eventually he gives up and just falls over and goes to sleep. Repeat twice a night (at least during teething periods).

I had no idea a crib could hold an adult. In fact, I'm almost positive mine wouldn't. I have thought about getting in once or twice, but I think training the baby to sleep through the return move would be easier. I'm pretty dure I would break my neck!

Believe me, I have thought about getting into the crib but I didn't trust myself not to fit or break the thing. I applaud your acrobatic skillz!

Aw, I think you are just bragging that you are thin enough for the crib to support you! :) Seriously, I didnt know adults could fit/be supported in there. Kudos. Although, I really think we are going to need a picture of this!

No, you're not the only one. I seem to remember some pictures or stories of Chris Cactus in a crib at some point? Other than that, never heard of anyone getting IN the crib before. :)

The craziest thing I've ever done is let them cry! Neither of mine has ever loved the cuddling, won't fall asleep nursing, hate to be in our bed, etc., so it's not been an option for us to get in the crib. Plus I would be afraid of breaking it.

i once left a dinner party i was hosting to drive around with my infant son so we would shut up and go to sleep. he was a really good baby and decided to have a very cranky night when company was over... and the driving trick always worked, but just not that time. so i was like gone for 45 minutes and he never did go to sleep.

I mean this with only affection, but woman, you are out of your ever loving mind.

I spent many a nights in a crib. I would lie on my side with Jake, and when he finally went to sleep I would hook my top leg and arm awkwardly and backwardsly over the rail and pull myself up and around over the edge. It took great strength and I know I don't have those muscles any more.

I'm just impressed you were actually IN the crib! I have enough trouble scooting to the end of the twin bed to get out (the safety rail thing prevents me from exiting the normal way). We went through a period of laying on the floor next to the crib and each night moving a little further away until i was finally in the hall reading a magazine, but close enough to say "i'm right here" when my son frantically called for me.

it has honestly never even occurred to me to get in the crib, too. but i do remember the days of trying to set the sleeping baby down for the night without waking her. trying not to breath or make any noise at all. removing each arm out from under her as slowly and smoothly as possible. and then snuggling her to sleep all over again when it didn't work... :)

I learned early on that the crib mattress CANNOT be lowered or else it is impossible to lean over the rail and nurse a half sleeping baby. Before I succumbed to co-sleeping in a twin bed (which is much more comfy than crib sleeping), I used to nurse baby, then lean over the crib to put him in it and THEN unlatch from the breast....after about ten minutes or so. Nothing like leaning over the crib watching your nipples stretch to about 10" night after night to make you want to wean, co-sleep or cry in a fetal position in the corner with ice packs on your breasts. I am happy to report that, at 2 1/2, he now sleeps in his own twin bed alone for at least half the night but is not yet, nor may he ever be, fully weaned. sigh.

Haha! I've never thought about getting into the crib. Craziest thing I've ever done to get them to sleep? I think it was just waking up my husband and telling him to deal with his spawn because I was about to run away to Montana and start a new life as an Applebee's waitress. (Instead I just went downstairs and slept on the couch).

There was also the time that I totally split the binding on my copy of the "No-Cry Sleep Solution" by flinging it across the room in a fit of rage at 3 am. Normal, right?

Wow... I cannot say that I have ever spent the night in a crib, with the exception of the first 15 months of my life. Wow.. lol

I guess the craziest thing I've ever done to get them to sleep, was with my first when he was colicy. I spent the greater part of a month sleeping upright in a rocker/recliner with an infant perched on my shoulder. It was the only solution to getting any of us some sleep! Beyond that or other "sick nights", we tried to let them soothe themselves back to sleep.

I too have been in the crib. When we went from co-sleeping to putting her in her own room, she wouldn't even get in the crib unless I was in there. I swear I had to use my Spiderman, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, Gumby skills to get out without waking her. With #2, we put her down for naps in the crib so she's used to it. School of hard knocks student here.

Haha, when I shamefully admitted to climbing in my daughter's crib many months ago, I had never heard of anyone else doing it. But I feel so much better now! Funny steps to doing it properly!

If I tried that, the metal part holding the mattress would simply snap in the middle. There's no way!

I can totally relate to the need to get your kid to sleep. I too did some co-sleeping in the beginning of my son's life, until I see myself sleeping with a 10 year old and I put an end to that pretty quickly. I did it more out of need to get some sleep myself. He was flat on my chest, I was laying, head slightly propped up by pillows. This gets old. Quickly.

Now our boy (18 months) won't sleep anywhere but his crib. And I can't believe I'm writing this, but that drives me crazy because I want to snuggle with him like I used to! But it's all for the better. He's a really good sleeper now.

Good luck!

Ha! I too have 'slept' in the crib with BOTH boys, usually when they were sick or teething.

Not only is the position you choose important, but it is also important to remember to put the side down on the crib before climbing in. Makes it much easier to get OUT later.

I'm just sayin'.

Well now I know! Thank you :D.

IN the actual crib?
You need a break.


I thought I was the only one who did this. :) Sometimes putting the baby down after he's asleep in your arms just doesn't work. After trying to put him down 5 times and having to start over, one is willing to try anything.

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So the Fish Said...

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