baby proof: crib.

September 30, 2014

a crib in a tiny apartment | reading my tea leaves In parenting and tiny apartments, there’s no magic formula.

What works in our wee space might not translate to yours, but here’s a little run-down of the latest in the saga we’re calling two parents and a baby sleeping in a tiny apartment, just in case it’s helpful.

We’ve just passed the four month mark in our life with Faye. It’s all kind of shocking. Both that she’s still so tiny and that she’s grown so much. File that one away under boring things that new parents say and let’s move on to the real subject at hand, which is sleep. Specifically, who sleeps where.

a crib in a tiny apartment | reading my tea leaves It might not bear repeating, but the little bug slumbers like an absolute champ. It’s likely nothing we’ve done. Or it’s everything we’ve done. Or it’s some combination of circumstance and chemistry and who knows how long it will all last anyway. After a weekend away when she slept in a borrowed crib, we discovered that the little bug could scoot and roll when given the freedom so we decided it was time to move the four-month-old bundle of spunk into a crib.

There was a lot to consider: mini-crib, full-sized crib, pop-up crib, hippie-dippie Montessori mattress on the floor? For us (and for most new parents) there were also personal finances, habits, square-footage, funky corners, radiators, sleep patterns, and the mercy of Craigslist and Thrift Store Gods to factor in. There was weighing what was in stock, and shipping costs, and access to a borrowed car, and whether something or other was made of materials that we felt comfortable with bringing into our home. Which brings us to what we settled on after not too much hemming and hawing:
a crib in a tiny apartment | reading my tea leaves

The Ikea Sniglar crib. It’s one of the most affordable cribs on the market and if you ask me, it’s one of the nicer looking. Its simple design complements our vintage furniture without competing with it. And I especially like the fact that it’s made of solid wood and doesn’t have anything in the way of paint or varnish. That being said, I’m not making claims that it’s the picture of FSC-certified sustainability, but it does comply with safety standards and all that jazz. After being carefully assembled by both parents (without so much as a squabble—go us!), we’re pretty satisfied that it’s a safe spot for Faye. And happily, the crib converts to a toddler bed, because let’s face it, Faye isn’t getting any smaller and this apartment isn’t getting any bigger, so we’re going to figure that all out at some stage.
a crib in a tiny apartment | reading my tea leaves For a mattress, we tapped into the New York City sharing economy to find a good organic mattress at a price point that we could afford. We ended up finding a used Naturepedic mattress (this one) on Craigslist. It’s in pretty good condition, even though it’s made from cotton batting and polyethylene foam instead of cotton batting and coils like the model we’d hoped for (this one). We decided to take the plunge anyway and keep our eyes peeled for the mattress we really wanted. For the record, yes: we’re less skeeved out by our baby sleeping on a gently used mattress than her sleeping on polyurethene foam. We topped it off with a simple jersey crib sheet on recommendation from my sister who suffered through pilling and pulling from a few brands before landing on these ones that did the trick. (The jersey sheets we used with Faye are have been discontinued. We recently upgraded to these organic cotton sheets and this merino wool one*!)

a crib in a tiny apartment | reading my tea leaves We’ve been swaddling Faye’s wriggly legs in her Fog Linen baby blanket at night to keep her settled, but now that she’s a full-on finger sucker, we’re letting her arms fly free.

crib in a tiny apartment | reading my tea leaves As you can see, the whole little package is tucked into the corner of our bedroom. Said another way, the crib takes up nearly every last inch of space in our bedroom, but, hey! we’re used to close quarters and having her sleep in our bedroom is working out pretty darn well for the time being.

 More Baby Proof, right HERE. More about our Life In a Tiny Apartment, HERE.

PS. The links in this post were updated after the birth of Erin’s second child (January 2017).

*Our merino wool crib sheet was a gift from Chasing Windmills.

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  • Reply nyclilsmartass September 30, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    This looks like the perfect setup for a crib in your bedroom even if it takes up the last of your bedroom space. I think its great that you take a lot of thought and care into what Faye sleeps on. I took a quick glance over the difference in material in mattresses and now its making me want to change the mattress I sleep on.
    I hope Faye lets you keep sleeping well while you share a bedroom with her.

    • Reply Erin September 30, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Oh, I know it! We're saving up for that ourselves!

  • Reply catherine sprunt September 30, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Perfect fit though, that nook was clearly made for a crib!

    • Reply Erin September 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Thanks! We were pretty grateful that there's still enough room to squeeze around the bed!

  • Reply Anonymous September 30, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    My friend was just telling me last night how she was overwhelmed by all the choices out there for all her baby's needs (crib, car seat, stroller, etc.). So this post came at the perfect time! I just emailed it to her :).

    • Reply Erin September 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Oh, awesome! There's certainly an endless number of options out there. Hope this helps!

  • Reply Alexa October 1, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Thanks you for opening my eyes to making thoughtful purchases. Before I found this blog a few years ago, I honestly didn't think in depth about materials beyond bags, bottles, and other obvious packaging. I'm learning so much from you!

    • Reply Erin October 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Thanks so much for your note Alexa! xo.

  • Reply Anonymous October 1, 2014 at 8:41 am

    We got this cot for my son when he was tiny, and he has only just grown too big for it [he was 3 in August]. Definitely a good investment!

    • Reply Erin October 3, 2014 at 11:44 am

      Oh, so great to hear!

  • Reply Maja October 1, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Oh those little feet in the air. Beautiful shot!
    I can't share much on the crib front, but it sounds and looks like you got it all figured out 🙂 Something to refer back to in the future for me …maybe

    • Reply Erin October 3, 2014 at 11:44 am

      Such a little wiggle worm! Thank you!

  • Reply Rachael October 2, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Thank goodness for those Ikea cribs. I remember stalking one I saw on a blog, certain it was an out of reach designer, or worse, European. And then: Ikea. Phew!

    • Reply Erin October 3, 2014 at 11:43 am


  • Reply Miyabi_Na October 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Yes, those sheets are wonderful! I searched all over for the perfect sheets, and settled on the same exact ones. We have been totally satisfied with them as well – they've held up very well through 2 children now!

  • Reply Anonymous October 31, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Love those tiny feet in the air!

    One note on mattresses though, coil mattresses are heavy and cumbersome when changing sheets, and it get's worse as you lower the it. If anyone asks me about crib mattresses I usually say the lighter the better (and no coils, coils are heavy and large, babies are not heavy enough to need them and toddlers can use them as spring boards to hurl themselves out of the crib).

  • Reply Heather December 2, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Hi Erin,
    I just purchased this crib for our baby, and I was wondering how you removed all the sticker residue. We have two Gulliver cribs from IKEA for our twin toddlers, and I used eucalyptus oil to remove the residue. However, the Gulliver cribs are painted white. I'm afraid essential oils will leave a stain on the all natural wood of the Sniglar. Just wondering what you used. Thanks!

    • Reply Erin December 2, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Hey there: Truth be told, I don't remember the stickers very well. Little white ones on the side? If they were there, I don't remember any trouble getting them off. When in doubt, a thin razor blade?

    • Reply Anonymous December 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks. I used a hairdryer to melt the sticker glue and then got the leftover residue off with rubbing alcohol and a little elbow grease. For some reason, IKEA stickers and I don't get along. They never peel right off for me.

  • Reply Valerie December 30, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I love the natural, simple look of the crib and bedding together. Crib safety is so important, and it's better to be extra cautious when it comes to the items that you put in your baby's crib. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • Reply EHRYN April 14, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Hi! I was wondering if you could speak to the fit of the mattress in the crib. We bought the same setup and I noticed that in one corner there is a bit of a gap and on he ends, I can slide my hands down if I push the mattress a bit. If I push the mattress back to one end, I can squeeze two fingers in…I am not sure if this is a poor fit or if I'm just being paranoid! Would love to hear how your mattress fits!

  • Reply Heather April 20, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Erin. I am wondering if you guys are still using the same mattress? I have read that those mattresses tend to bow over time and I am curious if you had the same experience? Thanks!

    • Reply Erin Boyle April 21, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Still have the same one! Haven’t had any trouble!

  • Reply Karmin August 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    We are expecting our first baby in November and are beginning to try to get some things together. We’re also really interested in not accumulating a lot of stuff and making sure are things are as non-toxic as possible. We were able to find an Ikea Sniglar crib on Craigslist as well as a Naturepedic organic crib mattress, the kind with the springs. I’m second-guessing myself now though, that maybe it’s dangerous to buy a used mattress. I was reading online you should buy a new one, in case it wasn’t stored properly or something and could have grown mold inside. The mattress we got was manufactured in 2010, and the people said it was only slept on for 2.5 years. Were you at all worried about having a used mattress? I was so happy about the good deal, but am now getting incredibly worried, and thinking safety is more important than saving money and maybe I should have bought a new one….Did having a used one concern you at all? Have you regretted that decision in any way?

    • Reply Erin Boyle August 31, 2016 at 8:15 am

      A personal choice, of course, but I was never worried at all about having a used mattress. The first one we took home was visibly broken down a bit, so we ended up finding a second used one in much better shape and shuttling the first one to my mom and dad’s for the occasional sleepover!

  • Reply Karmin September 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks for your reply! I’m going to try not to worry about it. There are just so many things a person could worry about, it gets overwhelming. I’ll just try to focus on the fact that it’s a non-toxic mattress that appears to be in fine condition, and that can be good enough! I can’t read too much on various baby websites without feeling like everything is doomed.

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 1, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Ugh, I’m sorry. Really, so little is doomed. Much more likely than not that you and your baby will be just fine no matter your choices in baby gear!

  • Reply Liz October 8, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Could you update the link for the mattress you *wish* you’d gotten? Copying a lot of your things, thank you for doing the research for all of us! Also, did you ever feel the need to get a mattress pad?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE October 8, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Oh man. Full-disclosure: Nearly five years later, I can’t remember which exact model we have (or hoped for.) But I’m not convinced I’d really want that coil mattress afterall. I think the lighter weight Naturepedic mattresses have real value because they’re easier to change. (Like this one.) We did also end up getting a mattress pad fairly recently to try to cozy up the bed for an older toddler (Silas) still sleeping in it. In general, I’d go for a Naturepedic mattress—really any model probably—that you can find. We have ended up finding them used—for our house and my parents’—without trouble, if price is a concern!

  • Reply Jessica Fugate September 7, 2020 at 9:23 am

    How was the fit of the naturpedic with Ikea crib?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 7, 2020 at 4:00 pm

      i’d say it fit totally as expected!


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