When you are having your first child, you certainly get overwhelmed with how much preparation you need. Especially when it comes to the list of things to buy. No one was more clueless than I was. I didn’t get a car set. Big mistake! It is the most important thing you need. First, because there is no other way of going anywhere in a car with your baby. Second, because it can definitely help getting some quiet time when things are rough (baby screams for no apparent reason, and suddenly dozes off happily when you put her in the magic car seat – they are all magic). Ok, the second reason is not really important.
I accepted a used car seat somebody gave me. Worst mistake of all! You can not tell if a car seat is safe when it is pre-owned. I only got my own purchased car seat when my daughter was a couple of weeks old, and I regret not having learned more about the importance of it. The second-hand car seat was not even comfortable for her tiny being. It was big, and she was supposed to have a small one and a seat pillow to hold her wobbly head in place.
Now… What my baby didn’t need, not for safety nor to get some sleep? A crib. I wish I could get back the time and energy I wasted trying to fit a crib in the small one bedroom apartment I was living in with my husband and a cat on Burbank, California, right in front of the NBC Universal studios. [Guess what? The tiniest shoe boxes you can rent in L.A. when you are an actor can be pricy, but it is worth being close to the biz. You save in gas, time, and have the benefit of a resident parking permit. Just saying, in case you are thinking of getting in the biz.]
Towards the end of my last trimester, I was so anxious that I called my mother in Brazil, and asked, full of guilt, “What am I going to do? We won’t be moving to the bigger place until she is a month old!” Calmly, she said, “You didn’t sleep in your crib until you were three months old. I put you in a Moses Basket right next to my bed.”
Say what? Moses? That guy from the Bible? Oh, yes. His mother put him in a straw basket and released him in the river. I remember that lesson from Catholic school. Now, be honest and raise your hand if half the things your mother advises you to do are laughable at first. I thought she was crazy. I thought she was not remembering it right (or plain lying to me, to make me calm down). A basket? Like the ones where you stuff a bunch of muffins and send to your agent when he books you a paying acting job? No way.
“Yes”, she insisted. Why worry about a crib now? It is going to be huge anyways! She will want to be in your arms all day, and when she is falls asleep, you gently place her there and hit the pillow yourself. You can even move her to the kitchen with you. “Yeah, and bake some muffins”, I though.
Whether I wanted to drink out of her Wisdom Tea Cup or not wasn’t an option. I simply had no room for a crib. So I decided to give it a try. But, where the heck am I going to find a strong and reliable straw basket in L.A.? I went to the fancy baby gear stores, and people didn’t seem to understand what I was looking for. They were actually giving me the look, like I was crazy (just like I would have done to my mom of she saw my face when we talked about it).
I drove back home and took it to dear Google. I found dozens of Moses Baskets online! From the cutest mommy blogs to Target, with prices in the 30 dollar range up to 500! The one I ordered, called “Pique Moses Basket”, was perfect. In fact, my baby was too tiny for it the first days, which made me laugh of the idea of all the space I would need to fit a crib that would probably have become a storage unit for linens and toys.
Long story short, my daughter only got her crib when she was indeed three months old. Because she rolled out of the Moses Basket. However, the crib was barely used for another year. She slept in my bed most of the time, so I could get some rest too (who wants to get up every 2 to 3 hours to lift the baby and nurse?) Provided that you practice safe co-sleeping, it’s easier to stay in bed with her.
My advice is; unless you are having twins, don’t worry about a crib. If you are having twins, you can get one crib (not two), for they will sleep soundly together and probably hate to be placed separately in two humungus cold wood gated beds.
Moses Baskets were invented in the Bible Exodus time, and are still worth it. Write in on your Baby Registry!
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