Sometimes The Answer Is No
You may already know that you’re going to co-sleep with your baby, but even if you don’t plan on it, you don’t have to buy a crib before she arrives.
If you’re planning to co-sleep with your little one, you likely won’t even be shopping for a crib -- at all. But there are other alternatives to a crib, even if you’re not planning to share a sleep space with your baby.
Bassinets are very useful to a new parent. Many come with a wheeled base so they can be moved around your house -- to beside your bed at night, to the living room during the day. Babies can generally occupy most bassinets for around three months, so it can put off a crib purchase for a little while, anyway. Bassinets come in all shapes and sizes -- even ones that do double duty as a play yard.
You can also use a play yard as a sleep space. These portable “beds” don’t look or act like the playpens of yesteryear -- baby is fully and safely enclosed in a small space without parts that can pinch a baby’s tiny fingers.
Skip the separate bed
Or you can skip the separate sleep space altogether. If you’re planning to co-sleep exclusively, there may not be a real need for a crib. They do come in handy, though, if you need to stash your babe in an emergency, but you can use a play yard for that as well.
As long as you're fully aware of the standard co-sleeping safety rules, you will be fine. Remember to keep all blankets and pillows away from your baby (especially her face), don't co-sleep if you've been drinking or under the influence of drugs, keep your baby between you and a wall (not in between you and your husband) and make sure your bed is firmly against the wall.
The crib that we got for my fourth baby has mostly been a diaper drying rack and used for clothes storage, and more recently a play space when I converted it into a toddler bed (that she still doesn’t sleep in).
Did you buy a crib for your baby, or did you plan to co-sleep? Did your crib go unused, or was your baby a full-time crib sleeper?