Crib-sleeping & Conflicted feelings

This is the only crib picture I have of Potamus...

This is the only crib picture I have of Potamus…

I took this picture to capture the moment I first saw my son taking a nap in a crib and the conflicting emotions that it brought up inside.

From the beginning we have practiced an attachment-style parenting philosophy with Potamus, which has meant co-sleeping in our bed the first 11 months and then making the transition to the montessori-floor bed for the past few months. Nap-times have been a combination of in our arms, in the baby carrier, in the car-seat on road-trips, his bed on the floor of his room and his mat at daycare.

I have no problem with other parents using cribs, but for some reason I get this squicky feeling in my belly when I think of putting Potamus in a crib (with exception of the side-carred crib we used for co-sleeping), to sleep independently. There’s something so sweet about seeing him sleeping in his big-boy bed, and something so gut wrenching about walking into the daycare and seeing him sleeping in a crib.

I don’t know why or where this sadness and gut feeling came about the crib issue. I almost started crying seeing him lying there with the little receiving blanket up over his head to block the light. It felt institutional and like a visual reminder that 2 days a week I ‘abandon’ my sweet baby to the care of others. And on the other hand, I marveled at how sweetly he was sleeping, how easily he naps for his teachers, and how I sometimes think that they would do a better job raising him than I do (as noted by the 3 hour crying jag this morning where he was tired but wouldn’t nap and only after a long struggle did he finally go down, right when I was at my wits end).

I wanted to tell his teachers to not let him nap in a crib, but that seems cruel when he’s tired and needs a place to nap. There’s nothing inherently evil about cribs, but it just makes me feel so sad. But he was so happy and sweet and snuggly when I woke him up to go home.

post-crib nap smiles

post-crib nap smiles

What are your thoughts? Did your kids sleep in a crib? How do you make nap or sleeping decisions?