This is where Javi sleeps for his naps and every night. It’s just a twin mattress laid directly on the floor. Javi is free to move around his room as he pleases, to play as much as he wants while in his room, and to go to bed when he pleases.
Apparently, this is a Montessori approved method of raising your children. We’re not “Montessori” parents, by any stretch of the imagination, but I agree with a lot of the principles that Montessori teaches -independence, freedom within limits, kid-friendly with responsibility, etc.
Honestly, one of the biggest reasons we decided to do this was because cribs feel like “baby jail” to me. I’m not judging anyone who puts their kid in a crib. There is just something about it that was off-putting to me. So while I was still pregnant, I started researching other options, and came across the floor bed idea.
Javi started out life sleeping in a swing in our room, then moved to a cradle in his own room around 6 weeks. He stayed in the cradle until he could roll and move quite a bit, which was around 5 months old. At that point we tried a PeaPod (which has apparently now been recalled!) on the floor of his room. The PeaPod is just a kid sized tent that packs up into a tiny bag for easy travel. The idea was that Javi would always have the same bed no matter where we were. Great in theory, but he hated the thing. So after a couple of months of failing to get him to sleep in the PeaPod, we let him sleep in a pack n’ play. He slept in the Pack n’ Play over the summer, while he learned to crawl. I figured transitioning him to the floor bed wouldn’t work until he could navigate the 3 or 4 inches it would take to get in and out of bed himself.
Once he was a champion crawler, we set up the twin mattress in his room. We started testing the floor bed out at night, when he was very tired and already used to the bedtime routine. During the day we spent time in his room letting him explore and figuring out what areas needed to be childproofed. At this point he still napped every day in his jumper- hands down his favorite place to sleep. But he took to sleeping in his bed like a champ at night, with hardly any trouble.
Naps were much more difficult, and it took longer for him to realize that if he was tired when it was light out he could just go and nap! I’d say it took about a month for him to consistently take really good naps on his own.
One of the biggest things that contributed to the success of the floor bed, in my opinion, was the webcam we set up in his room. As soon as we started the floor bed thing, we could watch and see what he was up to and if he was sleeping. We joke that it’s JaviTV and we’ll just sit there and watch him play sometimes.
I was worried about him rolling over and falling out of the bed but he only did that two or three times before he figured it out. We obviously shut and latch his bedroom door so he’s always safe within his room. And he always has a few toys and books in there to keep him entertained – we’ve learned through trial and error which toys are too exciting for sleep time. :-) It’s also fantastic for marathon nursing sessions or bad bouts of teething, I can just snuggle up with him and we both go right to sleep.
I love that Javi can just wake up and start playing. Many times we go in to get him and he’s hidden behind a curtain, checking out the world outside his window. He’s typically asleep within half an hour of us putting him to bed, both for naps and at night. Javi has never needed a lot of sleep, so this is a solution that works great for him and us. He’s free to get up and play, and we’re free to catch just a few more ZZZs in the morning.
So far, it’s working out great both for Javi and us. What do you think? Would you let your kid have the run of their room, and sleep “on the floor?”
And yes, in case you were wondering, Javi’s room always looks this clean and pristine. :D