Any new or experienced parent can tell you the fun and frustrations associated with bedtime. Whether you are dealing with nighttime breastfeeding, moving your child into their own bed, or solving a fear of the dark, bedtime is challenging for both parents and young children alike. This can be extra difficult for dwarf parents and parents of dwarf children. We have successfully sleep trained our dwarf child and are currently trying to have our average height daughter sleep in her own bed (though it’s taking a little longer while mom is savoring the “baby time“). For the first couple months, a was really useful for us as dwarf parents. Most bassinets are low, don’t take up a lot of space in the parents room, and are safe.
For our first child, we were in a two-story house and carrying the baby up and down the stairs for nap time was difficult. We kept the downstairs for naptime and it also did double-duty as a changing table which was very convenient. Since our dwarf child was delayed and not really mobile, we kept the co-sleeping side rail down to make it easier to reach him in and out. If your child is an early mover, you’ll want to be safe and not keep it in the co-sleeper configuration.
Cribs and Dwarfs Don’t Work Well Together!
Now that drop-side cribs are no longer available, we believe it will be either challenging or expensive to find a crib that will work well for dwarf parents. LP arms are too short and we’re not tall enough to reach into a crib safely. Our dwarf son did not stand up until he was over 2 years old, so it would have been impossible to pick him up from the crib without a drop-side rail. Even with the drop side, we used a tall height setting for the mattress to make it easier to reach him. For our average height daughter, we had the opposite problem. She was growing so fast that we couldn’t keep her mattress on the tallest height because she could pull herself up and over the rail.
Toddler Beds are great, even for the non-walkers!
We moved our dwarf son to a toddler bed before he could walk. With the toddler bed, we could easily reach him and he became more independent. One day when shopping at a children’s bedroom furniture store, we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw how low the was. The highest point of the bed is 20″ and that’s only for the head-board. The part with the mattress that our child climbed over is only about a foot high, which was perfect for our dwarf and average height child who were not yet walking. They easily got in and out, and it’s low enough so when they fell over they didn’t get hurt. We had some trepidation at first, but our LP son gained a tremendous amount of self-confidence and independence right after he was able to get in and out of bed by himself.
For the first few nights, we did put a futon mat beside the bed in case he fell. And our son did fall out a few times, but he quickly learned not to do so. This bed has a pretty generous rail at the headboard so when we placed him at the head of the bed, it helped him stay in. The best part of this bed is that it doesn’t look baby-ish, so it should last for many years for our dwarf son (he’s had it four over 4 years now). If you need a low bed for a girl, the KidKraft Nantucket Toddler Cot and Kidkraft Tiffany Style Toddler Cot are options to consider, unfortunately they are a little higher.
The average LP is about 4 feet in height. But, many are about 3 feet or under and cannot even consider using a traditional crib. With our AH daughter, the crib was short lived. She was courageously pulling herself on the crib rail at 6 months of age. We could lower it one notch, but then we had difficulty reaching her. This became a concern of mine especially in the event of an emergency. Our solution was a simple one. We converted her crib to a toddler bed. Then, we added a and a futon on the ground in case she managed to take a spill.
Crib and Toddler Bed Mattresses
You want to ensure that your child has a firm sleeping surface since the recent medical advice indicates this may help prevent SIDS. And with a dwarf child you want to make sure that the back is always supported. We purchased high quality for both our children, but frankly, they are just not very comfortable (from an adult point of view). We recently upgraded to a latex mattress for our bedroom and our son says that his crib mattress is not soft like ours. If we had to buy a crib size mattress again, we’d probably splurge and buy a foam-core crib mattress. A mattress without springs is much more comfortable due to the even surface and lack of pressure points. Since a dwarf child will most likely use their crib or twin mattress for many years (in a crib and then a toddler bed), the extra cost is worth it.
Our son refuses to sleep with anything more than a fitted sheet on his bed. We’re not sure if it’s a sensory thing or he’s just too hot with a sheet and/or blanket, but he’s adamant about this. He also will not use a pillow, but he ends up tucking his feet under the pillow while he’s sleeping! We’ve heard from other parents that their achon children also don’t like to use bedding, so don’t be surprised if your child is similar.
We loved a few products that helped soothe our children at bed-time and throughout the night in the dark. The Cloud b Twilight Turtle and shine small stars on the ceiling in a choice of colors. They shut off after 45 minutes automatically and an older child can turn it back on with the press of a button if they need extra light to fall back asleep. Our son liked this when he was learning how to sleep independently. We would lay in bed and count the stars or trace the constellations until he got sleepy.
Our daughter loved the Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Seahorse as a bed-time soother. When you squeeze its belly, the seahorse emits a soft glow and plays 8 different tunes for 5 minutes before shutting off. Our son still sleeps next to his green Mobi Tykelight Jr but unfortunately they stopped making it. The closest item available is the which lets you cycle through blue, green, red and rainbow or can stay on a solid color. We have this for our daughter and it’s nicely constructed, but we miss the simplicity of the older model. And for your budding scientist/astronaut, the Uncle Milton Moon In My Room casts a soothing glow over the room and also lets them interact with the moon by pressing a button to change the moon phases.