**Hot Topic Alert!! Keep an open mind if reading, and kindly refrain from unleashing unnecessary judgement. Thank you!! #EndTheMomWars**
When our twins started climbing out of their cribs at 19 months, we were terrified. Terrified they would fall while climbing out half asleep, terrified that they would get into trouble in their room or elsewhere in the house in the middle of the night, and terrified that none of us would be sleeping ever again. We immediately converted their beds to toddler beds, and bye bye went their beautiful naps and stress-free bed time. Bye bye went sleeping through the night. Bye bye went having my bed for just me and my husband. The next 2 months were tough, to say the least. We quite often ended up co-sleeping with the twins and our older son (who shares a room with the twins). In that situation I can't sleep well because someone is always kicking me, and I'm scared one of the kids will fall out of bed, not to mention the girls don't sleep well together - one will wake and be pissed the other is next to mommy and bite her and then they're both up screaming! Sigh.
I'd been venting on Facebook and one of my friends recommended a crib tent by Aussie Cot Net Co that saved her sanity - it had been recommended to her by a sleep consultant who basically told her that children this young just don't have the will-power to stay in bed.
I mean, it makes sense. There's a reason they make seat belts for high chairs and strollers. Do you really expect a 1 or 2 year old to stay in one spot when the world is calling to them to come and explore, or all they want is to cuddle up with mommy? Nope. And as far as laying down the law with rules and rewards and consequences, yeah, not so much working with my wee ones just yet. I watched many Super Nanny clips to no avail. I was in their room for 90 minutes each night putting them back in their beds, as soon as one was in, the other would jump out. If I left the room to end the "game", they would climb up to the windowsill and started jumping around and banging on the glass, or they would bang on the doors and scream, or start opening and slamming shut the kitchen door (and our downstairs neighbor would break out her broomstick and start banging on her ceiling). It wasn't safe and I was seriously at a breaking point (as were our neighbors, yay city living...)
Suffice it to say I reached out to get two of those crib tents for review ASAP! Our "Baby Crib Safety Nets" (also called Crib Popup Safety Net) came the next day, I reinstalled the 4th crib rail on both cribs, and installed the crib tents (the latter of which took all of 5 minutes for both cribs - it's SO EASY!) - just watch my demo below to see me unbox the tents and give a demo of how they work!!
The zippers are stiff so they're not easy for little kids to work, plus they can be pulled to either the inside or outside and completely shut, so their little fingers can't reach the zipper or poke a finger through to pull it down. The tent is made from a tight-woven mesh that is breathable and see through, and the wire frame literally pop right back up if you pull them down, so there really doesn't seem a way for them to come down on the child to entrap them. The carry-case gives instructions on how to twist the tent back into a flat circle for easy storage and travel (they also make a version specifically for mini cribs and pack 'n plays if you prefer traveling with that).
There are two ties for each corner of the crib, made of thick mesh fabric. The crib tent fits snugly down under the corners and sides of the mattress (the material is satin down by the mattress), but does not go all the way across the bottom, so if you needed to you could untie the corners and yank it up and off from above without removing the mattress from the crib. More likely you would be utilizing one of the two windows to get your child in and out, and pulling out the mattress for changing sheets. Though, if you don't already know about QuickZip, these sheets are amazing and even more helpful if you are using a crib tent or bunk beds - you just zip off the top of the sheet and don't have to take the mattress out to change the fitted sheet!! (See my QuickZip review here!).
The Baby Crib Safety Net meets all US Consumer Product Safety Commission baby product requirements, however I would recommend carefully checking your crib tent daily for any tears in the mesh, because a child could possibly get caught in a hole if they managed to make one. There have been several other kinds of crib tents that have been recalled due to injury or death of children, so, be reminded it's not advised to put anything in the crib, even a bumper, pillow, or crib tent, and choosing to do so should not to be taken lightly. Also, it should be noted many of the other "hacks" parents try to keep their toddlers in the crib longer have risks as well, for example, when wearing a sleep sack or pajamas that have been altered to make climbing harder, a child is more likely to fall head first if they manage to get over the rail. Yikes!
All that said, you do what you gotta do and what you feel is best for your children and family as a whole. You feel me?
So, how has it been going for us using the crib tents? We've used them for the past 3 nights and each night has been better than the last!! The first night, our twins laid down and went to sleep in the tents without a whimper, but they were up screaming at midnight and I brought them to my bed. The second night one of the girls screamed for about 10 minutes before laying down, but she slept through the night! Her sister woke around midnight and I brought her to bed. But last night, one of the girls whined for 5 minutes at bedtime and woke crying at midnight (but I was able to sooth her and put her back down into her bed quietly) and they both slept in their beds til 6:30AM (10.5 hours)!!! Ah-may-zing!!
So, the crib tents seem to be working to help the girls realize they need to stay in their beds to sleep, and that nighttime is not the time for exploring or cuddling with mama. We talk about how everyone sleeps best in their own comfy bed, with their own pillows and stuffed animals and no one bumping into them. We talk about how they can cuddle with their baby dolls and have a sip of water if they wake up. Of course, they're not even 2 years old and talking about this alone just doesn't cut it. But together with the crib tents, we may be on to something. I really really hope these crib tents are the solution I'm counting on them being!!
There are also a couple of other reasons you may want to try out a crib tent: 1) they can keep pets out of your child's bed, 2) keep bugs out of your child's bed, and 2) protect a newborn baby from an older sibling (for example, a toddler who wants to "take care" of his little sister - you can flip the zippers to be inside the tent, and a toddler won't be able to open it from the outside).
You can find the Baby Crib Safety Net for sale on their website, and the owner warned there are some knockoffs on Amazon with paid reviews - these knockoff crib tents have not undergone the scrutiny of testing and she warns they may be using inferior materials and design, so be careful!!
Because many of you reading this review are having trouble with your child's sleep, I want to give a shoutout to my friend and AMAZING sleep consultant, Achieve with Carolina!! She has helpful (free!!) Facebook chats and seminars here in NYC, and offers fee-based consulting over the phone or in person. She doesn't believe in a "quick fix" but rather to look at the whole child and family - including the sleeping environment, sleep routine, and even the child's diet!
Have you encountered any sleep troubles with your baby or toddler? Have you used the help of a sleep consultant or any sleep aids? I'd love to hear from you - leave a comment below!!
While you're here, don't miss the chance to enter to win my $300 value Back to School Goodies Giveaway, running through July 26!!! Clickity Click Here!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
7/25/2017 03:49:27 am
i never had a crib tent but after reading article. i def can say its needed and very fun too.
7/25/2017 10:34:49 am
Will have to consider this contraption for my second! Would be helpful for keeping my older son away long enough to let the baby nap!
7/25/2017 11:53:55 am
I just watched the video on YouTube and I really think this is pretty cool! I wonder if they make them for twin size beds. My daughter is severely allergic to mosquitoes and I wonder if this would help her keep the pesky bugs away... I will have to check out their website. Thanks for the honest review. Your kids are adorable :)
Everyone look for several things while choosing a perfect toddlers tent and your discussed crib tent has all the things which are needed. I just checked the details and amused to see the great reviews in the favor of this comfortable tent for toddlers climbing which lead me to buy one.
11/5/2017 01:33:19 pm
I love these!! I love that it protects kiddos from falling out and getting limbs caught in the sides!! Plus they look cute!
11/1/2020 06:43:26 am
This is a wonderful tutorial. Why did I not think of this for my own babies. I made this for a grandson due in Oct. I prewashed my fabric and it shrunk quite a bit. I think I ended up with 42 inches. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will fit. Wish I had a mattress here to try it on. Thanks for your time posting this pattern
11/2/2020 07:32:27 am
I’ve just discovered your tutorials recently and I can safely say that you give the clearest, least-scary instructions I’ve ever seen! So thank you for giving beginners the confidence to experiment and practice their sewing
5/19/2022 03:57:09 am
Thanks for sharing this useful information! Hope that you will continue with the kind of stuff you are doing.
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I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!