Time to Set Up the Co-sleeper Again


Wyeth Day Klein born May 20th 9:51 a.m.

It’s a good thing I was home from Handworks because three hours after the show started on Friday, Julia’s water broke. I left work right then and met her and the midwives at our house. She labored through the evening until the next morning when our third little man entered the world in a tub in our bedroom. The birth of a child is an awesome experience. Mama and baby are doing great. I’m on paternity leave taking care of the older boys and attempting to keep up on laundry, dishes, and homestead chores. I’ll go back to work half-time next week.

So, it was time to set up the co-sleeper again. A couple years ago when our second child, Asher, was born, I built a co-sleeper attachment for our rope bed. There were a lot of designs online but nothing I found was inspiring. Most of them had boring prison-bar slats or were screwed together plywood boxes. I wanted to make something reminiscent of period cradles that used real joinery. Most period cradles were freestanding units with four sides but a friend of ours sent us pictures of three-walled co-sleepers attached to the beds in Monticello. I guess nothing is new under the sun.

The sides of our co-sleeper are joined with compound through dovetails and are decorated with curves adapted from a Fisher piece. The rails are drawbored tenoned into the 2 legs. After painting it with the same milk paint I used on our bed, it looked like an intentional set. We used this cradle all throughout Asher’s infancy and loved it. Having him sleep next to our bed was handy for midnight nursing.

With our new little one just born last weekend, I pulled it out of storage and set it up again. It is attached over the bed rail with a piece of angle iron which is screwed to the inside. The end rails are notched to bring the height of this bed such that the baby mattress sits flush with our mattress. It is a simple but sturdy connection.

Asher’s enthusiasm to help install it the other day was sweet. He had his own screwdriver and drove invisible screws next to mine. After everything was installed, he had to try it out to make sure it was sturdy. My, how they grow up fast.




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