Updated: Feb 16, 2021
Floor beds are always a hot topic and raise a few questions, is it safe? doesn't the child stay awake all night playing? do you have to constantly put the child back into bed?
We started to use a floor bed with our daughter at 6 months of age, floor beds always seem to come with this element of being "weird" and unsafe. I found myself in a situation where I needed to justify to my parents and my in-laws, as to why we are using a floor bed. I would spend my time explaining that I'm not crazy and it is safe. In fact, I got asked so many times, that I began explaining it to anyone who came round out of habit, it was a nightmare!
There are several reasons as to why we chose to use a floor bed over a crib. Floor beds promote independence, it gives the child freedom with limits. It enables you to lie down together, have a cuddle, and read a story before bedtime and ultimately removes the feeling of the child being "trapped".
If you have ever watched a child sleep, you will notice that they move around a lot and sleep in very unusual positions. When putting a child to sleep in a crib you are limiting the amount they can move, which can, in turn, cause them to wake up throughout the night.
Like most parents who use a crib, I am sure that you have been in a situation where your child is overtired and you have needed to rock them to sleep. Then the second you go to lower them into a crib they wake up. That's because they have a reflex that causes them to feel like they are falling. When using a floor bed it totally removes this issue.
Before considering a floor bed you must ensure that the room is 100% baby-proofed, as the child is able to get up and move around during the night if they wanted to. To ensure our daughter's room was 100% baby-proof, we got on to our hands and knees and looked at the room from a child's perspective. we checked that all plug sockets were closed, all draws and cupboards had baby locks, all units were drilled to the walls. There were no loose or small objects and the windows were locked. We added a baby gate to the door of her room, mainly to keep our dogs out, and also installed a video and audio monitor, as well as a breathing monitor.
The floor bed itself should be a firm mattress suitable for children. We decided we wanted a mattress that was also water-resistant. For children under 2 years old, the floor bed should only have a fitted sheet, without pillows, blankets, or cuddly toys.
Mattress dimensions that we are using: Height: 8cm
If you decide (like we did) that you are not going to put slats under the mattress, you must remember to air the mattress out on a regular basis.
Yes, I know your thinking that it’s not the prettiest room that you have seen, however as the saying goes “never judge a book by its cover.” Although the room isn’t the prettiest, it works and that’s the most important part.
Transitioning to a floor bed is a gradual process, whether you have a newborn, toddler, or preschooler. The transition should start with your child having set boundaries throughout the daytime. If you try to set boundaries at night when there are no boundaries during the day, your child will become confused as to why all of a sudden things are different and may have difficulty listening.
Start by helping your child to see their room as a relaxing, safe haven. Begin by having storytime and cuddles next to the floor bed for a few days, followed by daytime napping. Once nap times have been successful for a few days, you can then move onto nighttime sleeping.
The best advice I can give is to be consistent and stick with it, every new transition always takes a while to get used to and the beginning might seem like a challenge but persistence is key.
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Do you have any questions about using a floor bed? Ask in the comments box below and we will get them answered! Feel free to also share your experiences – what worked and didn’t work for you.