Baby’s Own B&B

I consider myself a pretty punctual person.  Actually, I really hate being late and, until I had kids and time just slips away into the abyss when you’re getting them and yourself ready, I rarely ever was.  But, like I said, kids can throw a wrench into that agenda.  This doesn’t just go for getting from place to place but it goes for the blog as well.  We’re going to dig back a year for this little post.  Remember this Jenny Lind changing table we bought at a thrift store for $14?
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Well we turned it into a co-sleeper in the week before Sebastian was born...Anthony’s dad was here and literally put in the last few screws the day before we came home with our first little guy.  It became his very own Bed & Breakfast – bed since, obviously, and breakfast because his food source, me, was right there next to him and at his beck and call.
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We originally wanted to just buy a co-sleeper like this Arm’s Reach one (we borrowed a friend’s when we had the girls) but we didn’t want to spend the money to do so at the time and I couldn’t find a good used one anywhere.  It’s okay though because I love this one 10384 times more than the manufactured ones.

Unfortunately, since it was a last minute project and I was 40 weeks pregnant at the time we were building/refashioning it, I did a horrible job at documenting the process!  So sorry!  I’ll try to explain things as best I can in case you want to take on a Jenny Lind switcheroo yourself!  If you have any questions about the process that I don’t answer in the post, always feel free to email me (beaninlove@gmail.com)!  :)

The changing table itself was in pretty good condition.  It had been painted the periwinkle color and some of that paint was coming off in spots but it wasn’t a big deal since we were going to repaint it anyway.  The first thing we had to do though was get what would be the bed part level with the top of our mattress.  We figured out that if we just cut off the bottom legs completely, it’d be the exact height we needed it to be.  That meant that the bottom shelf would sit directly on the floor which made the whole contraption very stable.  The next thing we did was rebuild the top part of the table.  We removed the rails and spindles there and filled in all the holes left with wood filler.  Then Anthony built a three-sided frame with some narrow pieces of wood on the three sides that wouldn’t be up against our bed.  After all that was finished, he took it outside, sanded it down lightly, wiped it down, and gave it a coat of spray primer followed by a coat of white spray paint.  We let it sit outside in the unusually mild December weather to gas off for a couple of days.
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We wanted to add a mesh layer around the top frame for extra security and so Sebastian could still use the co-sleeper when he learned to roll over.  I had a hard time finding mesh like the mesh they use on the top of actual co-sleepers so I just bought some strong white tulle from Walmart and Anthony stapled it around the top frame.  cosleeper (5)
Except when he was finished it looked really shoddy and was really rippled and so we ended up removing it.  It was tough to staple it on and make sure everything was straight and tight so we’ll figure out another way to either add some extra rails or mesh for the next kid.  For the time being, we used this co-sleeper up until the first sign of rolling over and then to the crib, Sebastian went.

To the two shelves below the sleeper, I added a gray and white geometric fabric I found at Hobby Lobby (here is the same fabric at fabric.com).  I made a simple template by taping together several sheets of computer paper I laid next to each other atop one shelf and used that large piece to trace and cut out the fabric shelf liner.  I attached the fabric with glue; several small dots of fabric glue placed every six or so inches around the shelf perimeter did the trick.
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I also used the shelf template I made to cut out a mattress, made from some three-inch foam we bought at JoAnn Fabrics.

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Last, I whipped up a little fitted sheet I made out of a queen-sized sheet I found at Dirt Cheap for $3 that matched my shelf liner fabric (tutorial here).  I laid a waterproof mattress cover (from Babies ‘R Us”) over the foam mattress and put the sheet over that so that if our spitter spit up on his bed, it wouldn’t soak down into the difficult-to-clean foam.

Here’s the co-sleeper in action (minus the now one-year-old baby):
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When I posted the after picture at the beginning of this post on Instagram, there was a little confusion about how it worked and I even received some emails questioning how safe it was.  Yeah.  My bad for posting it away from the bed when in reality, that’s where it belongs.  Hopefully this clears up all that confusion and those who were concerned about Sebastian’s safety can rest in peace knowing we don’t intentionally endanger our kids.  :)

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We actually moved my nightstand over and slid the co-sleeper all the way up to the wall when we used it.  That way, I was face-to-face with him and didn’t have to sit up and bend over to see what he was or wasn’t up to.  Also, everything that Sebastian owned was stowed in baskets underneath on the co-sleeper shelves which was awesome.  Since he didn’t yet have a room to call his own, it was great that he at least had one space where we could store all his stuff.
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Since it was the dead of winter when he was born and I needed blankets, I also tucked the comforter and sheets that were in the way between the mattress and the co-sleeper so that they wouldn’t somehow end up over Sebastian.
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I think for our next kid we’re going to do a little reworking with the top frame since the netting didn’t work out.  I’m not sure how that’ll all go down yet but we’ll add a few more rails in there probably.  I know it looks like there’s a good amount of space in between the two top horizontal rails but you’d be hard pressed to fit a newborn through that space and, like I mentioned above, we only used the co-sleeper until the first signs of rolling over happened, then it was to the crib he went.

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Update:  When our fourth kid, Gianna, came along, I whipped up some fabric straps that I tied along the top of the co-sleeper frame. 


But back to the original post…

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I borrowed a model for effect:
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I hauled this thing from Sebastian’s room, where it’s been sitting for the past year, into our room for pictures and then hauled it back into his room and now it sits in his closet and serves as extra shelving which works perfectly!  In use even when it’s not being used for its intended purpose!  I like those kinds of things.  :)

One last before and after:
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I’ve been seeing lots of Jenny Lind changing tables like this one all over second-hand sites so if you’re looking for a great co-sleeping option, you should take a stab at this one!  If and when we rework the top of our sleeper, I promise to write up a full tutorial!
Happy Monday!

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