Tips For Using A Floor Bed
As long as your baby’s bedroom or nursery is entirely babyproofed, it is possible to start your baby on a floor bed when they are a newborn. However, as noted before, it is much easier for most parents to have their baby in their bedroom with them, especially when breastfeeding. It is recommended that you keep your baby in a bassinet with you in your bedroom until they are around 3 or 4 months old. It may be a good time to transition your baby at this age as they are more alert and aware of their environment.
The mattress should not be soft, no pillow top or memory foam—you want it to be as firm as possible. It should not be deep. Find a mattress that is about six inches deep or less so your baby is as close to the floor as possible. You can use a low bed frame if you do not feel comfortable with a mattress directly on the floor. Whichever option you choose, ensure that the baby is as close to the floor as possible. Don’t forget to regularly lift and clean under the mattress to prevent mold from growing.
For children under 12 months, do not use blankets or pillows in their beds. If you feel your baby may be cold, you can put your baby in a sleep sack at bedtime. If you are worried about your baby rolling out of bed, you can get a bumper pillow and put it at the edge of the mattress to stop them from falling. If the bed is low enough, the floor is carpeted, and the space is clear, there are minimal risks of your baby hurting themselves from rolling oﬀ the bed. You could also use a toddler rail, but make sure they still have access to get out of bed.
Once your baby is mobile, they will be able to leave their bed and move around their room—babyproofing is essential! If your child is constantly getting out of bed to play, they will likely go back to bed by themselves or fall asleep where they are playing. This should not be an issue as long as your child is getting enough sleep. Make sure to close the door after putting your baby to bed, as they may get up and try to leave the room. Your child may even learn to open the door, so a gate across the door is a good idea for extra security.
If your baby is unsettled, you may want to go in and comfort them. Do whatever works for you! An alternative would be to allow your baby to self-soothe. You want to encourage your child to fall asleep on their own. Once you have put your child to bed, leave the room casually. Do not rush out of the room or linger to say goodbye—don’t make the process any longer than it has to be. Calmly leave the room, and shut the door behind you. Your child might get out of bed and then fall asleep on the floor. In this case, it would be best not to wake your child if they seem comfortable. Otherwise, you will risk waking them up, and you will have to get them back to sleep all over again. If your child fusses or cries when you leave the room, leave them alone for 5-10 minutes. This should give your child time to settle down and come to terms with the fact that it is time for sleep. If they are crying or fussing, don’t go straight into them as this can lead to bad sleeping habits and separation anxiety at night. Give them a chance to get to sleep by themselves. Most babies will fall asleep after a few minutes. If your baby keeps crying, there may be an issue, so be sure to go in and check on them. Check their diapers and make sure that they are OK. If you go back into the room, repeat the same process (waiting another 5-10 minutes before going back in). If your child continues to cry after this point, it may mean that they are not tired. Consider going in, opening the curtains, and getting them back up for a while. After around 45 minutes, try again and put them back to bed. At this point, they should be much sleepier and ready for bed.
Transition your baby to a floor montessori bed at the earliest age you can. The sooner they get used to it, the better. Create and use a strict schedule for nap time and bedtime so your child can become accustomed to their routine. Eventually, your child will become mentally and physically prepared for sleep. Stick to your baby’s sleep schedule as best you can.