Trust me, I’ve heard it all.
I love your nursery, but where’s the crib? Well, there isn’t crib and let me tell you why. Without crib bars, the baby sees an unobstructed view of their room and starts to visually map their surroundings. A mirror runs along one side of the bed so that they can see themselves and connect their movements with their reflection. Also, by eliminating the crib, you’re knocking out one of the most expensive pieces of nursery furniture. That’s a win in my book.
Wait…your baby sleeps where?!? The baby sleeps on a mattress on the ground. Sounds crazy, right? Maybe the idea of a floor bed doesn’t seem so off the wall to me because I slept on one thirty years ago. I opted for a crib-sized mattress for my daughter, but in retrospect, wish I had gone with a twin or full sized instead. That way, she could have used the same mattress for a longer period of time.
Aren’t you afraid she’ll roll out of bed? Yes. As a new mom I was petrified that my daughter would roll out of bed. Guess what? It happened to both my children and they’re fine. Precautions should be made so that serious injury doesn’t occur. Buy a very thin mattress and place it on carpet and/or a rug to provide adequate cushion in the event of a fall. Children quickly learn about edges and will even back away while they sleep, but barriers (like pool noodles, socks with rice or rolled up towels) can be used until the baby gains better control of their body.
How do you get her to stay in there? This is the question I am asked most often. This type of set up is designed to promote movement so expect them to get out of bed. Expect them to explore their room and expect to need patience with the process. Their room should be completely childproofed. I crawled around on the ground to make sure I didn’t see any potential hazards. Dressers, shelves and other furniture should all be bolted to the walls. Remember, they’re going to be roaming around in there without you! I follow the same routine with both my children: dim the lights, read a story, rock and sing to them until they’re drowsy. I lay them in bed awake, but sleepy. For the first few minutes, I watched my daughter on the monitor. If she got out of bed, I’d go in, put her back on the mattress and tell her it was time to sleep. Eventually, she got it and I rarely had to intervene. When she woke up, she’d crawl out of bed, play with her toys or look at books for at least 10-15 minutes. This exploration and entertainment was possible because the floor bed allowed her the independence to get in and out of bed on her own.
You could easily write a book about this topic. My post is just a snapshot about our decision to have our babies sleep on the floor. If you’re on the fence about a floor bed, or have other questions, I would love to chat!