Mini-crib update


Mini-crib setup

I was surprised (and flattered!) to learn that our little fella’s crib nook was featured on Apartment Therapy Family yesterday! We often get questions about how it’s working out to have Hudson–a tall, nearly-nine-month-old–in what once was Aron’s closet, and specifically how it’s working out with the Alma Mini Crib .

So here’s the original post about the crib (written when Hudson was near three-months-old for Baby Mine), and–following that–an update. Also, good news: there’s now a less expensive (similar) mini crib at Target!



Hudson is now occasionally sleeping in his crib, so I thought it might be a good time to share some photos of Aron’s closet-space-turned-nursery. There are really two doors inside our apartment: one to the bathroom, and one beside the bed leading to the walk-through closet that leads to the bathroom (you can see it behind Hudson in the monthly photos.). The rest of our apartment is an open studio. So we moved Aron out of his side of the closet (which was really just a nook with a dresser and a bar we installed) and into our front closet–after renting a storage space to make room for the shift.

With great anticipation, we wallpapered the little space with the Animal Farm pattern, hung a bright mobile, and set up the Alma mini crib (which fits perfectly)! I enjoy showing him the wallpaper and pointing out the animals. Most of them have sounds I can make (notable exceptions being the squirrel and rabbit), and he loves the high-contrast. And his crib is so close to my side of the bed that it’s practically a co-sleeper (we thought).

The first night Hudson was home, we realized we worried about the circulation and rolled the crib out into the main room with plans to buy a fan. And then we worried about just about everything else. He’d go to sleep on his back, promptly raise his little swaddled legs in the air like a gymnast on the parallel bars and flip onto his side. We were up constantly to check on our little side-sleeper, who suddenly seemed too far away. He must have thought he seemed too far, too; he much preferred falling asleep on our chests–which would have been fine if we weren’t then terrified we’d drop him or crush him in our sleep. (Basically a dominant theme of weeks one and two was a fear of accidentally killing this little baby they let us bring home.)

Since then, Hudson has been sleeping in a little co-sleeper in our bed, right between us. And even then, I tend to pull back the covers, pull him in next to me, and snuggle up for the last night-sleep cycle. Essentially, he made his way closer and closer every night. That is, until this week, when we decided to have the first sleep cycle happen in the crib. He has been going to bed much earlier lately, so the partially-closed door allows us to actually carry on dinner and conversation with a little less fear of waking him! We sort of miss him even though he’s just a few feet away, but in the early mornings, he still comes back into bed–so it seems like the best of both worlds (at least until we go to that world where he doesn’t wake up at 4 or 5 a.m.)

Mini-crib in a closet


Baby in a mini-crib

Baby in a mini-crib

Hudson sleeps in his crib every night and for nearly all of his naps (twice a day); he still fits comfortably in the crib, and easily repositions himself throughout the night. He’s definitely close to all sides, and often sleeps with an arm through the bars, but we think he actually finds this to be a comfort. It’s pretty cute to tip-toe past and see an outstretched tiny-palm or little fingertips wrapped around a side. Actually, when we first unswaddled him he flapped his arms up and down frantically and we thought he’d never fall asleep. Then, all of the sudden, he pushed his arms through the bars of the crib such that they were confined, tossed his head from side to side, and he was out! To be honest, I think he might  choose to sleep pressed up against the sides if he were in a full-sized crib, too.

He has fallen asleep sitting up a few times, and when he finally tumbles he’s likely to crash into the side of the crib–which sounds so sad! Again I’m not sure this wouldn’t happen in a larger crib, too, but it’s more likely to happen in here.

We will be in this apartment until his first birthday, so we’re counting on his fitting until then. Even with the doors and his having a little “room” of his own, it isn’t easy sharing such a small space. We have gotten stuck in the bathroom when he has awakened unexpectedly; we keep our voices low at night (even with a white noise machine running); and there’s no sleeping for anyone if he’s not. But I can’t imagine what we’d do without the ability to close a door.

Fortunately, there’s no reason to think we’ll have to!

Baby in a mini-crib

P.S. Our 500-square-foot apartment tour.

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Three Months
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Let’s Discuss

  1. oh how sweet! that wallpaper is perfection. my best friend is having a boy and is looking for boy-ish, but not overly masculine pieces for his room. love this. (and congrats on being featured in AT!)

  2. Hudson is adorable and so happy. I always think small spaces are more fun to work with, and you guys made a really smart transformation of that space for him. Also, all I can think about is why they don’t make sleepsacks for adults. Those things look so comfortable!

  3. Maria

    My husband and I live in a small apartment in Atlanta and as much as I would love to just add on another bedroom off the patio for a wee one I don’t think our HOA would approve. So seeing your post on Hudson’s room makeover I thought “well if she can live with a baby in a smaller apartment than we have we can surely do it!”. Not everyone can have a separate babies room for their little one right? I know starting out they will sleep in your bed and as you mentioned and start to also nap and part time sleep in their crib. If you all weren’t moving, how much longer do you think he/you could stand him to be in that room/crib? I would prefer to move before a baby were to enter into the picture but I know of several people who have done it post baby, including you, and I think we could too! When I mention to friends and family that we may stay in our apartment for the first year or so after baby the looks of horror I get…oh and “advice”… is enough to make one want to run away and hide. Not to mention making room for all the “stuff” it seems you need for them. Anyway…I have been wanting to write you for a while so this update was just the kick I needed! Thanks for your lovely blog!

    • Ashley

      We could probably make this work longer (as long as he fits in that crib, really), but I’m dreading the moment he starts walking in here. It’s getting tough not having a safe space where he can just do more or less as he pleases without my having to hover or say no too often. I would love to have a space without all of our wires, etc. And less hard edges. That said, it really has been very doable from a space standpoint. They don’t really need anything the first six months (though it’s too bad you can’t buy ahead too far). And as you say, they even tend to sleep with you! Actually, the tougher thing is being so close when they cry or stir. I wonder if he would have been a better sleeper if there were a hallway that kept us from getting him so quickly. Maybe he would have resettled himself on his own some of those times.

      So those are the downsides. But a year in a studio is doable for us, so If you have a bedroom you should be fine! It’s actually kind of nice to have to limit all the junk!

      Congrats and best of luck!

  4. This is beyond adorable. Love the update on the crib and yes, hard to keep those babies in a crib…they do tend to love sleeping close to mom and dad…

  5. Sar

    The mobile is the perfect shade of happy yellow! May I please ask whether you find the white noise machine useful?

    • Ashley

      Most definitely! We even take it on vacation with us despite its bulk. You can get white noise apps on your phone and there are bears, etc. with white noise, but we like this one because it plugs in and stays on all night. I think it gives us more confidence that uneven noises coming from us won’t disturb him. Who knows–he may have been just fine without–but we are hooked.

  6. SO cute! I’m pregnant with our first baby (also a little boy!) and I’m wondering about the sleep sack. you have Hudson in. Is that because he sleeps better bundled up or for the cold, or what? Thanks for this post!

    • Ashley

      Hi, Kiana–
      It’s the Baby Dee Dee Sleep sack and we love it. I’m not entirely sure he needs it for warmth, but it would be hard for me to imagine sleeping without a blanket, so this is a safe way to have that comfort. He slept swaddled until around 4 or 5 months in the miracle blanket. When we unswaddled, we liked having the same feeling of bundle around his legs and just taking his arms out. It seems like a nice transition. We have also made getting into the sleep sack part of the bedtime routine (like putting on jammies after bath) and it’s nice to have a step in between nursing and sleep to be sure he goes to bed drowsy but not asleep. Congratulations and good luck!

  7. My wife and I do not have children, by choice……..But if we did I hope we could be as open and fun as you are with Hudson……..What a wonderful wide eyed child…….Some how I think he is looking for adventure/knowledge NOW…..nice……I think you have put in very good early bottons…….

  8. Chasm

    I just wanted to let you know that my baby (nearly 10 months old) is in a full size crib but also sleeps pressed up against the bars and often has his hands/fingers wrapped around the bars too. So I think you’re right in thinking that Hudson would sleep the same way in a larger crib. I love how you’ve managed to utilize the space in your apartment.

  9. Oh. His little room is very cute. How did you get Hudson to sleep alone in his crib? My son Jude has just turned one and he still sleeps with me and my husband. I really don’t like the idea of letting a baby “cry it out”. Do you have any advice on how to lovingly teach your baby to sleep alone?

  10. Oh. His little room is very cute. How did you get Hudson to sleep alone in his crib? My son Jude has just turned one and he still sleeps with me and my husband. I really don’t like the idea of letting a baby “cry it out”. Do you have any advice on how to lovingly teach your baby to sleep alone?

    • Ashley

      Thank you! I wish I had an answer you’d like about the sleeping. We did checks at short intervals a la Ferber (3, 5, 7 min) to reassure him and it took two nights of maybe 45 min then 30 min then 2 min of crying and he’s gone down by himself ever since (except during some teething/colds when we did whatever he wanted to soothe him). It was so painful even though he probably was crying longer while we bounced and soothed him to sleep some nights–so I understand completely if you need to find another way. I can’t say that I’ve heard of any successful method that doesn’t involve some crying, but maybe there is one? The other element that seems across the board recommended is a consistent routine and schedule. And I can imagine that with enough of that, you could get to the same end? We start a wind-down routine at the same time every night and do exactly the same pattern for a 30 minute routine and then put him down. He’s usually ready by the end. Good luck! I wish I could be more help!

  11. Lonica

    My daughter slept in a crib this size until she was two and moved to a toddler bed. She fit fine and is not a small little girl, but average. We loved having a small crib and it worked great for us.

  12. I also have a small crib for our 8 month old babe. She does great in it and its a nice space saver. Your son looks so happy and sweet! I am wondering where you purchased your sleep sack? I have one that a friend knitted for us but our baby climbs out of it now and it doesn’t stay on her!

    • Ashley

      Hi Kate–Thanks! This is the baby dee dee sleep sack. We got the one he’s wearing for a baby shower gift and loved it so much that we ordered the next size up in a summer weight cotton. We had a Summer Infant swaddle sleepsack after the Miracle blanket (our favorite when he was swaddled) and someone also gave us the Aden + Anais one, but I love how the Baby Dee Dee has a zipper and shoulder snaps. It keeps me from having to get his arms through holes when he’s drowsy.

      • Thanks, Ashley, I appreciate your reply. I plan on ordering one for myself and for shower gifts…..these things are what make life so much easier as a mama. :)

  13. Nicole

    Thank you so much for sharing!! My husband and I are actually moving into a studio with our now 7 month old and seeing you make it work makes me breathe a bit easier :) I am considering purchasing the same crib (we currently have a regular sized crib) but I’m a bit unsure if it would be worth it seeing as though he’s already 20 pounds. In your opinion (although your moving and won’t have to worry about size issues soon!!) could you actually see your son fitting into this crib up to 2 years if need be? Any advice would be so appreciated. Thank you!!

    • Ashley

      I have to say: not our son. My friend’s 20-month-old is still using it, but he’s the same size as Hudson (who is tall). I think he would curl up and make himself comfy for another 3 months max. But sometimes he stretches out and 3/4 of his limbs are through bars. It’s definitely at the max point. I’m not sure I’d recommend it for a 7mo old unless you find a great deal. It’s a great crib, but only for a year to year-and-a-half. Hope that helps! Good luck!!

  14. When we had our second child, our first was not yet out of his crib and yet to transition into a toddler bed. So in our small apartment we went for a mini-crib. We weren’t sure about is, because our first born was born big and stayed big. But the space issue won out and we got a mini-crib. Luckily our daughter was smaller and stayed in it for about a year, which was long enough to transition her from our bedroom to the closet in her brother’s bedroom (which he called her room), and then into their space, the bedroom proper. By then they both loved living in the same room and my son was ready for a big boy bed and my daughter for a standard crib.