Free-Range Babies

At first we kept both babies in the same crib.  Heck, since they were all swaddled up, and couldn’t roll over, we thought we could save money and get away with only one crib.

Then came the roll-over-and-crawl phase.  This seemed to involve crawling over one’s sister as she sleeps, so that Mommy and Daddy have two awake babies to deal with instead of one.

At first my husband was resistant to the idea of buying another crib.  Especially since this also involved buying a chemical-free crib mattress (and no, those “organic” mattresses from Sealy don’t count, as they STILL use flame-retardant chemicals).

We bought ours from Naturepedic (and if you mention seeing them on Debra Lynn Dadd’s website, you can get free shipping:

Anyway, we then invested a LOT in a playyard gate by Summer Infant, and a boatload of foam mat tiles from One Step Ahead:

(You can get a decent discount – Sign up for ebates and mention as the person who referred you (you’ll get $5 cash), do a search for and click on their link to the store site and you’ll get 6% cashback.  Then in another window, do a search on for the store, and you can usually find a good coupon code, sometimes even 10 or 15% off.)

We made the second bedroom (which was supposed to be their room – except we can’t use it as such – Our building’s garbage disposal chute and repository is just outside it and it makes such a loud banging noise everytime someone throws away their trash, and every morning when the garbage truck collects the trash.) into a baby playroom.  At night we all sleep in our room – one queen size bed, two cribs, a diaper changing station, and a little room to breathe.

This past week, I’ve managed to duct-tape up all the exposed cabling and prongs left in the walls from the previous tenants, and now the babies have a 6 foot chunk of the hallway, too.

They’re about to get free-run of our bedroom, as soon as I get my latest order of babyproofing supplies from

After that, they have plans for apartment-domination (world domination on a baby scale 🙂 ) and we’ll have to invest in another pricey gate to divide the living room into babyland on one side and our computer and kitchen on the other.

Update: (this post was originally written a few months ago)  The girls are happy having free run of the apartment.  And now that they have access to (washable) crayons, they’re decorating every inch of wallspace with toddler murals.

We’ve also had to do away with our airmattress, as Zanna has learned how to climb up and now likes to jump on it.   A disaster waiting to happen.  So off we went to IKEA, land of abuseable furniture, and got a latex mattress.  They still have toxic chemicals as flame retardants, no matter how much they protest their mattresses conform to government safety standards, so we wrapped ours.

Huh? (you might be asking yourself) What’s wrapping a mattress?

Well, we heard from Brian the Diaper Guy (not his real name New Zealand has achieved 0% SIDS deaths, that’s right ZERO PERCENT, on wrapped mattresses.

You can google about Dr. Sprott and the mattress-wrapping campaign.

So we bought our polyethylene sheeting at Home Depot, wrapped our mattress, cut some airholes in the bottom, and then put the bedding on.

Many problems solved.  Halle sleeps better, (she’s the twin who still insists on co-sleeping), Zanna can jump and not be launched into the air like in a bounce house (but with a much harder landing surface – our apartment is wall-to-wall tile), and it’s better for Halle’s developing back not to be sleeping on a bumpy airmattress.

Also, when we move around on it, it’s a LOT quieter than that creaking airmattress (ya know, I’m just going to call it an “A/M” because I’m tired of typing “airmattress” all the time.), and Halle is less likely to roll into a crevasse created by my much heavier body.  (No, not THAT heavy, I’m hardly the Goodyear Blimp!).

Sept. 2009:  We’ve installed a bedrail on one side of our mattress, have the head against the wall, and on the other side, have Halle’s crib, minus one side leaving it open and she’s free to roll into or out of our bed.  As long as we stop up the gap at the foot of the bed with stuffed animals, she stays on the bed.  She’s happy, and mostly sleeps at night.  Except when she doesn’t.

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