Before we bought a crib I did a little research on ones that had been adapted for people with disabilities. I found one where the front rails were hinged so you could swing open the front thus easier access to the mattress, but it was like $800 and there was no way I was going to spend that much money on a crib that she was only going to use for less than 2 years. I also looked into bassinets and co-sleepers, thinking one of those might be easier to get her in and out of, but she was only going to outgrow those anyway and would still need a crib. So we just bought a regular crib with a drop-side. Someone else was just always going to have to get her in and out. (Although, from 1-3 months she slept in a swing every night because she liked the rocking motion and would sleep better..)
Once Kiana falls asleep on my lap my husband has to move her to the crib, but from the time she started standing I’ve been able to lift her out. I place a chair next to the crib, drop the side down, and lift her up over the side and onto my lap. From there I can get down off the chair and onto my knees to carry her, although now that she is walking I just put her down on the floor. Sitting in the chair helps for balance and so I can be level with the crib.
Getting Kiana in and out of the Pack n Play was a little easier. The Pack n Play was in the living room and I used it for when I needed to do some chores or take a shower. I would put a chair next to it, sit on the chair, ask Kiana to “help mama”, pick her up onto my lap, and then lift her over into the Pack n Play. To get her out I would sit on the chair, she would stand up, lift up her arms, and I would lift her up into my lap and then onto the floor.
During nap time, when I am home alone with her, she sleeps on pillows or a cushion on the floor. I have to keep a close eye on her because she tends to wake up very quietly and start walking around the room not quite awake yet.