Once, when I was babysitting Hailey, Bianca, and Brandon for Aunt Becca when she was sick, I was trying to make them lunch and Brandon was toddling around getting underfoot. To keep him safe (he was very little), I put him in the Pack N Play that Aunt Becca kept in the kitchen by the sliding glass door. I figured he'd be safe and I could get lunch ready.
Instead, screaming, the likes of which I had never heard, began to come from his mouth. It was so bad that poor Aunt Becca dragged herself out of bed to see if I was doing something awful (like hang him by his toes from the ceiling). The first words out of her mouth were, "Oh, Brandon! What did you do to be put in baby jail?"
I was so embarrassed! Here I thought I was using the Pack N Play to be helpful and instead I had put Brandon in baby jail! I felt awful and from that day, I vowed never to use the Pack N Play as a device for storing/caging/containing or otherwise holding any child ever.
The problem is that when you have twins, cribs are horribly expensive. Daddy and I decided not to buy cribs, but to instead have Gracie and Luke sleep with us until they were ready for toddler beds. When this did not work out, we used the 2 Pack N Plays for their beds. They were nice because we could sleep on our own and Gracie and Luke had their own beds with no one rolling over them. When the fire happened, we had to throw them away because of the smoke damage. I only bought one to replace the original 2 because I figured that they were getting closer to the toddler bed stage.
Flash forward to Daddy being in the hospital:
Gracie and Luke haven't slept in the Pack N Play since we moved to our new apartment. They've slept on the day bed or on our bed (while we've been on the day bed). The Pack N Play has been relegated to a corner. They've done well on the bed and I'm fine on the day bed. They have slept so well, that I usually have to wake them up when it is time to go in the morning.
Then, one morning, about 4:30 am, I heard the sound of a little bird crying (not really, it was Gracie). When I went in to investigate, there was the Little Who, sitting there, hair everywhere, her binky askew in her mouth and WIDE awake. I know from experience that Gracie is not going back to sleep once she sits up. My heart dropped. I still had 30 minutes to sleep until my alarm went off! The next thing I knew, Lukie sat up, too. I decided to try to get them back to sleep, but it was to no avail. At 5 am, I started to panic about my shower. Then, I saw it: the Pack N Play sitting in the corner. I had a brief surge of remorse about locking them in baby jail, but then I realized that I needed them to be safe. So, I set up the Pack N Play, put a snuggly blanket in the bottom, handed each of them a sippy cup of milk and a graham cracker. I put them in the Pack N Play in the bathroom and stepped in the shower.
At first, Lukie started crying because he couldn't see me, but then, after awhile, he was too busy eating his graham cracker and playing with Gracie to notice that I was frantically taking a shower. The lasted through my shower and were still happy while I brushed my hair and got dressed! It was amazing. Not like jail at all!
Clearly, the Pack N Play is not meant to be used willy-nilly. Rather, used in moderation, it can function as a safe location to leave Twinsies who are not nice enough to sleep when they are supposed to. Yay for the Pack N Play!
It's a good thing I kept that Pack N Play. Otherwise, when Gracie woke up at 4:30 am today and would not go back to sleep, there would have been one very unhappy Mommy!