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Now I understand why cardboard was invented | dooce® dooce® » I'm Heather B. Armstrong. This is my website. » Now I understand why cardboard was invented
  • http://philadelphiamoms.typepad.com Philly Mama

    I didn’t read through all your comments, so someone likely already mentioned this. But my son had the same issue (although thankfully, he waited until a reasonable 7 months old before he really started sticking his limbs out). I didn’t want to do the bumper because of the SIDS possibility. So I resorted to a breathable bumper: http://www.breathablebaby.com/

    It’s definitely not as cute as the bumpers that come with bedding sets, but I knew that if his face was pressed up against it, he could still breathe. So, it worked for us. Good luck.

  • Jane Kathryn

    Just a note about ‘regular’ crib bumpers vs. mesh bumpers… the reason they help reduce the risk of SIDS is not because “there isn’t air in the crib,” as some have commented here– SIDS risk reduction focuses on getting as much airflow as possible.

    For a healthy child/adult, if we fall asleep in a position or environment that is too stuffy (i.e. we pull a sheet over our head), our brain tells us: “too much CO2, you need to move,” and we roll over in our sleep to solve the problem. SIDS, on the other hand, occurs when a baby isn’t getting enough oxygen, and an immaturity/flaw in the baby’s developing brain simply doesn’t send an alarm to the baby that says “you need to move, your brain needs more oxygen!”

    Risk reduction focuses on removing puffy blankets, stuffed animals, and stuffed bumpers from the baby’s sleep environment and putting babies to sleep on their backs to allow the maximum amount of fresh air in and CO2 OUT, and to keep the baby’s face unobstructed from mattresses, etc. The theory is that you just want to lean on the side of more airflow to be safe, so keeping thick fabrics out, maybe adding a little fan when reasonable, adding a humidifier to the room, and making sure the baby doesn’t get overheated are the major risk reductions. Personally, I think it seems well-worth airing (no pun intended!) on the side of caution when small changes can be life-saving.

    Having studied SIDS for several years, I just wanted to add that note for anyone who’s deliberating between the two types of bumpers in case that helps explain the reasoning behind the mesh fabric. I know how confusing this topic can be!
    I hope everyone with rolling kiddos out there gets a good sleep tonight :)

  • Kim

    I have a picture of my 14 yr old when she was two years old, asleep curled up in a box.

  • Hope

    I think a box is a grand idea. Maybe that’s why people used to have their baby sleep in a dresser drawer?

    I remember my little brother always having a leg stuck in the bars. He’d get jammed in up to his thigh and it would be so tight we’d wonder if we’d have to butter him up to get him out.

    Good luck with that one :)

  • Kathy

    OK…I think you’re almost there with the answer, Heather. A box, no. But cardboard? Perfect. Cut up a box and flatten it out inside the crib, against the bars and duck tape that baby (the cardboard, not the, um, baby) so it doesn’t fall over on the, uh, yeah, the baby. It doesn’t have to be high up, because she’ll only get her limbs caught when she’s asleep and not paying attention.

    Because, seriously, my brother broke his arm that way. And there is little more pitiful than a baby who can barely sit up on his own hauling around a heavy cast on one of those limbs that he’s finally gotten the hang of using.

    Jon…do it. More sleep, less anxiety, not really a box.

  • Ashley

    We have a 3 year old and a 3 month old. Hubby got snipped. Took the sample in and had it confirmed that there are not any stay ‘boys’ swimming around. LIFE IS GOOD. Baby is finally sleeping at night and no worries about making another one that will keep up awake for hours and hours. BEST. THING. EVER.

  • http://www.xanga.com/Bratfink Brat

    Maybe it’s because I’m in my 50s and all grown up and way past the having babies stage, but Jon is all wrong here. A box sounds perfectly fine to me; in fact, it sounds like a wonderful [temporary] solution to a problem.

    Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

    [Think of a box as sort of a temporary cradle.]

    Or maybe, if he doesn’t like the idea of cardboard, how about a dresser drawer? Don’t leave it in the dresser though.

  • KatieB

    Velcro pajamas. Whatever position you put them down in, is the same position you’ll find them in the morning.

  • http://jackandjillputupablog.com/ Jill Put Up A Blog

    Box it up! How ’bout a dresser drawer – stronger sides. Makes perfect sense, yet society would probably have you arrested. Why the bars really? I may even research on this.

  • http://www.gleegarden.com Moriah

    Box is the answer! You really should, you know? Even if you don’t tell us in order to avoid backlash from the crazies.

  • Cat

    Isn’t a crib basically a big box anyway? So what is the harm in putting the baby in a smaller box lovingly placed inside the larger box just so they can rest and not get themselves stuck? Sounds like perfect reasoning to me.

  • http://www.mybabysweetness.blogspot.com My Baby Sweetness

    What? It’s not like you wouldn’t put holes in it. We’re not talking Schroedinger’s cat here, right? Wait – right? Seriously – this is important.

  • Lori

    Super funny.
    Had the same problem with my son. A breathable crib bumper did the trick. We used it until he was old enough to climb on it but by then he didn’t get stuck anymore.

  • Amy Bjorge

    Thanks for the memories, Heather.
    Your post took me back to a very chaste (mostly) engagement period in which only the fear of eternal damnation could keep me from committing “the sin next to murder”(TM)
    Oh, if this exmo apostate had a time machine, she would go back and shag her fiancee’s brains out. (Gee, I hope that was not too much info.)

    I have 2 kids too and I am done being fruitful. I <3 s me Mirena and I just have to mention that aunt Flo hasn’t visited in 8 months (again, hope not TMI.)

  • M

    My third child constantly got her limbs stuck in the crib bars. Somehow in middle of the night (always in middle of the night) she would wedge her foot between the bars and start howling. It never happened with my other 2 children.

  • Allison

    Pack n play. You just need to put her in a Pack n play. My twins slept in them until they were 2 years old.

  • Rachele

    Mesh baby bumpers. Won’t suffocate her and also wont let her limbs through.

    Or… use a pack n play instead of a crib.

    :-)

  • http://www.lifeloveandlevi.blogspot.com KJ

    I have horrified all my friends with my stories…and then I loan them your book. Its certain that we together will stop the breeding.

  • http://marriageconfessions.com Katie

    My four-month-old is a mover and a shaker in his crib. He can move around all over that thing. We had those bumper things up, but he kept getting stuck in those, too. I don’t know what the solution is, but a box sounds pretty good to me!

  • http://www.iambossy.com/ BOSSY

    Bossy used to dream she kept a baby in a drawer. Hmm. Just remembered that. Still, safer than the bars of a crib, probably.

  • Lori W.

    Snip Snip did wonders for our sex life and now at age 42 we have a 22 year old and a 20 year old and VERY thankful we are not like our friends who are almost our age with kids almost our kid’s ages but now have a ONE YEAR OLD.

    Life is too short to spend it all just raising kids…

  • Amanda Heilbron

    I am not going to give you advice – as if you need any! We have three children… the youngest who is now in the process of crib to big-girl-bed transition. You are fucking hilarious. I love your blog! You give me the the wit and humor that I need to get from today to tomorrow. Thank you!!

  • paul in kirkland

    You want a sure fire way to avoid getting pregnant?

    Go to Babies R Us and force yourself to stay there for half an hour.

    The moms walking around in a daze, the kids screaming, the moms walking around in a daze trying to find their screaming kids…

    They should sell condoms at the cash register. It would be huge business. And I’m not even remotely kidding.

  • http://tattoosnob.com Julene

    Reading your blog further cements why I’m back to an abstinence only lifestyle. I dunno if I could resist the urge to use a cardboard box for entertainment value if nothing else. I applaud you!

  • KTab

    I’m sure you’ve gotten this suggestion a million times already, and I’m far to lazy to read through all the comments, but I replaced the big puffy cute bumpers that can smother your kid with a product called Breathable Bumpers. They’re mesh bumper pads…not the cutest, but I felt better about them than the cute ones. My reasoning was to keep the binkie in rather than the kid from getting stuck, but I’m sure it would work for that problem as well. Anyway, just a thought!

  • because I care

    I was just on “Monetizing the Hate”, and had a tiny little question. Is there any way that we can all band together to shame that complete whack-job Michele Rebeiro Yoakum Mcbee to stop sending her psychotic, weird, and frankly, pathetic emails? This woman needs some serious help….Michele, step away from your delusions and leave Dooce.com for good…..pretty please, with sugar on top???

  • http://www.motherproof.com/ MotherProof

    That’s hilarious! “…next to a goat puking up a hairball.” Heh.

  • Stephanie

    The perfect solution: A snuggle nest & a swaddle blanket!

  • http://dailypiglet.wordpress.com leah

    ya know, i heard that back in tha’ day folks would put the babies in a dresser drawer. just sayin’.

    i was one of those bad mothers that realized after months of my son not sleeping on his back, i rolled him onto his stomach (after a conversation with a more experienced mom) and that kid slept just fine and didn’t even die once.

    my son had this weird noise he was making as an infant that sounded like a baby seal. i would find out later that he had the croup.

    i hope marlo gets to sleeping soon b/c seriously that is why a box sounds like a good idea when you are sleep deprived. and if anyone denies that, THEY ARE LIARS.

  • Alyssa
  • Cassie

    When I visited my grandmother who raised 9 kids, she put my newborn son in a dresser drawer that she’d pulled out and set on the floor by my bed. She swore by it, so I tried it and it worked perfectly. My son is 14 now, and very handsome. :)

  • http://www.whereisjeanchung.blogspot.com Jean

    Wait, what’s wrong with a box? I mean, she’d never know! I LOVED playing in boxes as a kid. I probably would have loved living in one as an infant. Mom just never gave me the chance. You have the chance, Heather. You have it.

  • stanz

    Bumpers are the answer.

    Also if you ever fly Aer Lingus they DO put your kid in a cardboard box. They have these folddown sleep trays for the tiny babes and they line the box with blankies — but essentialy we felt like we fedexed the baby to Ireland. Cool.

  • Maria

    Long time reader… first time commentator.

    Our daughter slept in a drawer the first week of her life b/c she was adopted at birth, and we had to stay in a hotel until the inter-state adoption cleared, and we didn’t have anywhere else to put her. We pulled it out of the dresser, put it on the ottoman, and there she slept perfectly happy. Course, she wasn’t moving around at the time.

  • Wendy

    If you are worried about her head getting stuck between the bumper and the crib, which a lot of sites warn about. Try weaving a thick towel between the bars of the crib. That is what I did with my two babies. We used two towels on each side of the crib to get the full length of the bed. Worked great! Cheap and no worries about baby suffocating. It’s a win win. :-)

  • anonymous this time

    “…the living room of God and taken a poop right there on his sofa.”

    OH MY GAWD…I am on the floor laughing so hard! I live in Idaho Falls (I prefer to call it “mini-Utah” or Utah-minor) and lemme tell you, your descriptions of eternal damnation (or the fear of it) are DEAD-EFFING-ON!

  • amy

    When my mom was a kindergarten teacher, she use to hatch baby chicks and ducks in her class and then bring them home. They were always kept in a big box.

    pack-n-play = box, but the pack-n-play has a better marketing company!

  • Anonymous

    My parents used to bring a collapsed cardboard box on camping trips with me when I was a baby. They’d duct-tape it together and make me a bed in the tent. It sounds ridiculous, but I turned out OK. Box for Marlo!

  • Alissa

    I think a box is a fine idea. Why the heck not? I probably shouldn’t tell you this because it is mean, but my best friend’s daughter got her arm caught between the crib bars and broke it and had to be in a cast for 6 weeks. The doctor told her it happens fairly frequently, this broken limbs caused by crib bars thing. It just proves that you can’t win, no matter what you do. So yeah-get a box.

  • http://www.theblueridgegal.com/ Di

    No No! Not a cardboard box!! She’ll end up like Jim Profit. LMAO…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca8B9lUxicU&feature=related

    DI

  • http://www.wildwomenuniverse.com/ Sheri

    I just stopped by after participating in Melissa’s Book Tour (Stirrup Queens). I loved the openness and candidness of your book and saw it again in your blog post today.

    Loved the quote above: “In my mind it was like I had broken into the living room of God and taken a poop right there on his sofa.” I laughed out loud!

    And I kinda like the idea of a box for a crib. No more limbs getting stuck!

    Thanks for sharing your story. Love it!

  • Amy

    I was going to suggest crib bumpers too but I’m certainly not the first to suggest it. :) However, if Marlo finds a way to get her hand under it or over it, you’re back to square one. I kinda laughed at the box idea though. Guess I know where I’m spending eternity.

  • http://northtoak.blogspot.com Lori

    Hey! How about a pack and play? That’s what we used until about a week ago, and it worked fantastic for our little mover. No nooks and crannies to get caught in!

    Good luck,
    Lori

  • Smay

    I agree with the commenters who suggested the breathable bumpers! My 8-month-old was always getting stuck in the crib slats, but i was too scared to use the padded bumpers, so the breathable mesh ones have worked great for us!

    My husband totally didn’t go for it when i wanted to put the baby in the laundry basket when we had nowhere good to set him while we ate dinner…

  • Anonymous

    When I was little I used to love playing in a cardboard box. Of course, I was much older than Marlo then. And much of the playing consisted of using the box to sled down the stairs.

    So, um, maybe that’s not such a great idea for a rapidly-ever-more-mobile infant?

    :)

  • Anonymous

    The bumber is the answer. Same problem here. 5 months old. Ikea do good reasonably priced ones.

  • Katerina

    Pack ‘n’ Plays = HIDEOUS and plastic.

    Bumper = the answer.

  • Vi

    Heather, you are my favorite! My BFF and I have definitely joked about putting babies into buckets when we just can’t change one more diaper…

  • http://riggledo.typepad.com Kevin

    You could use the sides of the cardboard box to weave through the bars of the crib to block her from sticking her various and sundry appendages through the implements of torture (for you) and doom (for her)!

  • http://www.digitalcatharsis.com the mighty jimbo

    duct tape?