Some of our favorite crib hacks demonstrate how people have worked around various constraints to make a crib that works for their space and needs. In this tutorial, which we found on the awesome DIY resource Instructables, kelseymh shows us how to (safely) modify an Ikea Leksvik crib "to allow a parent of short stature to access the crib without lifting. The railing opens from side to side, and the mattress is positioned just above the floor."
Says kelseymh of this project:
Parents with disabilities face numerous challenges when caring for a newborn. Besides the usual lack of sleep and anxiety about such a small and dependent life, much of the equipment for infants and children present substantial barriers for parents with disabilities. Changing tables are built for standing, bathtubs can take two (or more!) hands, and cribs require parents to have substantial flexibility and lifting strength.
To complete this project, you want a crib which is solid wood [such as the Ikea Leksvik], so that it can be cut, drilled, and otherwise modified, while still retaining its strength. You also need a crib where the side railing is not an essential structural support (otherwise, cutting it in half will weaken or collapse the crib).
With this project complete we can put our beautiful baby daughter to bed, and get her up in the morning, without having to lift her up over the railing or "drop" her down to the mattress. When we open the crib, the mattress is right there, just inches off the floor. My wife and I can both get the baby into and out of the crib, day or night, with no extra effort.
Get detailed instructions, including step-by-step photos at Instructables.