I’ve gotten a few emails in the past month asking how the floor bed is working for Eli, especially now that he’s a bit older and walking, so it seemed like a good time to do an update.
I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say that the floor bed is the best thing we’ve ever done for Eli. I was really hopeful when we tried it that it might be something that would help us transition him out of the Rock n Play, but I really never thought it would work as well for him as it does. From the very first night, he’s been happy and excited to go to sleep, to take naps, every single day. He sleeps really, really well- 10-12 hour stretches at night, 2.5-4 hours of naps a day (typically 2 naps), and we’ve never had any crying (with the sole exception of the time he bonked his head on the glider).
My biggest concerns when we decided to go with the floor bed were what sleep regressions were going to look like and how we would manage traveling away from home with a baby who hated being contained. And so far, neither situation has been any tougher to manage with the floor bed than it would’ve been if he’d slept in a crib.
Eli is definitely in a bit of a sleep regression right now, I’m guessing because he started walking 2 weeks ago and he seems to feel compelled to practice. It’s really only impacting his afternoon nap right now and that has always been the tougher one for him to settle into, so it’s not a huge change. But here’s the thing, there’s no crying. Like, ever. If he doesn’t want to nap and wants to practice walking, he just does it. He plays with books, he walks on his mattress (which yea, not my favorite), he rocks the glider (which will likely be relocated soon, before he realizes he can use it to climb onto his dresser), he hugs his stuffed animals and is completely content to play until he’s ready to go to sleep. Somedays the nap doesn’t happen, but he gets that down time to decompress and relax and it’s good for all of us.
In the mornings when he wakes up, he doesn’t cry, hell, he doesn’t even make a peep most days. There have been times where I haven’t woken up until 8:30 and he’s been awake with a party of stuffed animals in his bed, just as happy as he could be. There was an awful morning last month where I went in to get him up and found that he had puked in his bed during the night and yet he was happy and bubbly when I came in despite having vomit everywhere. He just loves his room and compared to how he felt about it when we were trying to force him into the crib, it’s just amazing. For a long time I thought he’d never ben happy in his room.
The travel situation is better than I imagined, by quite a lot. He sleeps in a Pack n Play (play pen, basically) when we travel and has had no issues napping or sleeping overnight in one. Our back up plan was to get an inflatable toddler bed so he could sleep on the floor, but he didn’t need that and I’m pretty grateful, because as easy as it is to contain him at home, it would be nearly impossible in some places we’ve stayed.
The only thing I didn’t expect was how frequently he’d sleep out of his bed. Almost all his naps lately take place on the changing pad beside his mattress that is mostly there to help cushion the middle of the night falls. There have been a few naps in the middle of the room and several on the quilt at the foot of his mattress. At night he’s almost always in his bed (of his own doing), though I’ve definitely had to relocate him a few times, either because he chose to sleep somewhere else (and probably would’ve been fine, but yea) or because he slithered out of the bed in his sleep. Even if I wake him up relocating him, he just snuggles back in and goes to sleep. Seriously, this bed has been magic for us.
I’ve had a couple people ask if we’ll do the floor bed with future kids and the answer is, I don’t know. It’ll depend upon whether kids have to share rooms and most importantly, it’ll depend upon the kid. I’m not a hardcore Montessori parent, honestly, I’m not really hardcore about anything except fulfilling my kid’s needs. If any of our future kids seem like they’d thrive on a mattress on a floor, then that’s what we’ll do, but we won’t make the decision until we cross that far off bridge.
Hope this helps answer some of the questions. We absolutely adore our floor bed set up and couldn’t be happier with our decision.