FOOLS. Just like the purchase of the not-safe-for-babies baby blanket, I didn't quite understand what I was doing. You see, what we didn't know, or at least didn't understand, was that sweet little babies grow into wee beavers that gnaw on anything and everything. Behold a couple spots on our quality (read: not cheap) crib today.
At this point, the damage is mainly to the side rails, but I knew I needed to figure something out quickly lest our crib get reduced to fire wood. I was feeling irritated at the thought of spending $40-$60 on rail protectors, but what's a mama to do? I mentioned my baby beaver situation to my friend Susan and she gave me the best advice: make your own using the fleece tie-blanket technique. So here is my $8 (!!) crib rail protector solution.
Supplies: 2 yards fleece fabric and decent scissors. That's it. Seriously.
Step 1: Wash fleece fabric. Drape it over your baby for peek-a-boo purposes a couple of times.
Step 2: With fabric folded in half, drape the fabric over front rail (the longest length of fabric should be parallel with rail). You want to leave about 10-12" of the doubled fabric hanging down in the front; enough so that the strips will be long enough to tie.
Step 3: Using your trusty scissors, snip away the extra fabric along the front bottom. The fabric will extend too far along the top of the crib, but that's OK. It will all get figured out in time, my grasshopper.
Step 4: Starting at one end, line the fabric up with the first slat opening. Cut the fabric from the bottom up to the base of the crib rail. Take care not to cut above where you will tie it. Do the same on the back side.
Step 5 and 6: Tie the front and back flaps together TIGHTLY with a sturdy double knot. Move on to the next slat opening and repeat step number 4.
Step 7: Keep going until you reach the end of the rail.
Step 8: Snip away the strips of fabric in between the bows.
Step 9: Trim up the bow ends to make them look uniform and neat.
Alternative Step 9: Cut the bows off completely for a different look. Try to tell yourself it looks all fancy like Chinese knots or perhaps rose buds. Acknowledge to self that you should have gone with the original step 9 because it's kind of ugs like this. Sigh. Live and learn and possibly re-do the front rail in the future.
Step 10: Repeat steps 2-9 on both side rails.
Step 11: Change crib sheet as there is fleece dust everywhere.
Step 12: Test it out. Mmmm...fleecy deliciousness!
*****UPDATE*****I'm writing this nearly two years later (1/6/12) after seeing it float around Pinterest to add that the fleece held up the entire time my daughter was in a crib. In fact, it's...uh...maybe still on the side rails of her toddler bed (am lazy, yo). So for those who worry about durability - it wasn't a problem!