“So where do your babies sleep?”
This is probably the most common question we get when people learn that we have 4 month old twins in a 310 square ft. home. And until recently when New Jersey, Alabama, and Ohio all passed this legislation, most people looked skeptical when we answered “in boxes.” Unless, you are one of those people whose grandparents told stories about their huge family and how the babies slept in dresser drawers. Those people also think our 310 square feet sound spacious 🙂
That’s right, our babies sleep in baby boxes, without the lid of course! They each have their own box and the boxes live next to our mattress in our loft. Although Jared and I do plan to move our mattress to the other loft in the coming months and truly make the loft with a staircase the “nursery.”
The idea of baby boxes started in Scandinavia. Finland gives boxes, stocked with all sorts of new baby essentials, to new mothers as part of a state sponsored program. And in the years since they introduced this program, their infant mortality rate has declined significantly because these boxes are designed to be a safe place for babies to sleep.
Since we don’t live in a country or state that gives them out for free, we purchased two boxes from The Baby Box Company. We opted for the ‘bed box’, the most basic option, for $70 each. They have several cute designs to choose from- we chose Happy Hedgehogs and Laughing Lions- all come with a firm mattress and tight fitting bed sheet which are the two main components for safe sleep. Pro parent tip: buy one or two extra sets of sheets for the mattress because they will get spit up on!
Like all new imports from Europe, the American verdict is still out on Baby boxes. And while I will firmly- see what I did there?!- remain a supporter, our babies experience with them was a bit up and down.
In the beginning, both our babies had reflux and sleeping flat in their boxes led to a lot of spit up and discomfort. They ended up sleeping more often in their nursing pillow, on inclined daybeds, or on our chests. We were a little worried that all this spit up and discomfort meant something was wrong with them and I wasn’t sure that they would be able to use their baby boxes at all, but Jared and I gradually learned that newborns are just uncomfortable and getting used to their bodies and a new world. Aside from some of the adjustments mentioned above, there just isn’t much you can do to change that.
But at or around 6-8 weeks, when their general fussiness got better and they spit up a bit less, we reintroduced the baby boxes. This time around had a much better outcome- now both girls sleep in their boxes at night, typically for two 3-4 hour stretches. We have even seen both babies sleep in there for an 8 hour stretch at night, of course, never at the same time (that would be too easy)! They still nap in their daybeds and in the nursing pillow but will also nap in their boxes.
I imagine they will outgrow their boxes in the next few months as they near the 6 month mark. Both girls will hit the side of their box now as they try to roll over- the sound was a bit startling at first but we have gotten used to it! So while they weren’t the best fit for the initial newborn stage, they have been a great in the last couple months and are a great option for tiny house dwellers and parents of multiples who might not want to buy multiple cribs.
What’s up next, when they outgrow the boxes? Jared and I are planning to child proof the loft so that we can try floor sleeping!
P.S. Wondering what the deal is the creepy blank baby faces!? Jared and I have decided that we want Sawyer and Landry to have the freedom to determine their own digital footprint. Yes, their names and experiences are being shared here, but should they decide one day to become international women of mystery, their faces will be protected 😉 More to come on how we arrived at this decision in a later post!