Our oldest, now three and a half, has slept in a crib up to this point. We count ourselves lucky to have made it this far without giving her the freedom of her room and the house. However, this weekend she cried herself to sleep for a couple of nights because she thought her crib was too small and she wanted a big bed. She wanted a toddler bed.
I asked friends and family for advice on toddler beds. One and all, they advised against them. Their arguments were compelling, but we felt stuck. Our daughter was hysterical at the idea of moving into something so large as a twin bed. We were going to have to buy a toddler bed. You pick your battles. I’ll put up with hysterical screaming to make her brush her teeth every night, but a bed was something on which we could compromise.
If you know anything of our frugal ways though, you can imagine we were not thrilled at the idea of shelling out for a new bed that might not be in use for all that many years. Add in the concern that, once purchased, this fickle child might reject our choice of bed. We needed an alternative.
Our answer is the Craigslist Rental. When you bring home a new bed (or anything else), its value immediately plummets. You can try to sell it on Craigslist or such when you’re done with it, but you’re probably losing half of what you put in. In our world though, things don’t have to be new. Used beds, strollers, pack&plays, etc. will resell for about what you paid for them.
We found a toddler bed listed for $65. We offered $50. The seller countered with $60, but she would include sheets, mattress, and delivery. Good enough. The seller was roughly 24 miles away round trip. That’s gas and wear and tear on the car we were saving.
Our intention is to transition the girls to bunk beds in about a year. At that time, the toddler bed goes back on Craigslist. Maybe we only get $50 for it. Net loss, $10. When the kids weren’t yet sleeping through the night, I would have paid 100x that much for a solution. I’ll pay $10 if it that’s what it takes to get a good night sleep this week.
Most of our durable furniture enters and exits the house this way. The kids’ hiking double stroller was a $45 Craigslist Rental. Our kitchen table, a $30 Craigslist Rental. What have YOU rented from Craigslist?