Wednesday, October 9
FLOOR BED #FAIL
This is the ideal floor bed situation. A mattress, low to the floor so that babies can easily get in and out of bed to play and interact with their environment while in their rooms. Part of the idea is that you turn their whole room into the crib, instead of containing them to the size of a crib mattress. It's a montessori concept that encourages independence and sense of self. I found the best resource for understanding this whole floor bed thing is Feeding the Soil. Everything element of the floor bed room is very purposeful, but for us, the main thing was to encourage Rowan to play in his room if he wasn't quite sleepy yet. We placed a bookshelf on it's side and had lots of toys and books accessible to him. we weren't able to put up a mirror, which may have helped at some point, but oh well. We still love the concept of a floor bed, but recently, we decided to set-up Rowan's crib again.
I think I transitioned Rowan into his floor bed around 6 month mark? Oh dear I can't even remember now. He wasn't crawling yet or he was just starting to squirm around. Anyways, it worked out really well at first. He never rolled off of the bed, which is what most people worry about and it was amazing for breastfeeding. The mattress barely comes off the ground and you can pad the whole area around it with rolled soft blankets or towels in case of a roll. As they get older you can unroll the blankets and create a soft landing zone around the mattress if you have hardwood.
If I think about it, I have no idea if Rowan liked it or not. I think he must have when he was in a mischievous mood and was out of bed playing with the radiator and other things he wasn't supposed to touch. I know I liked it, because I was able to lie down beside my sleepy baby, rest my head on a pillow and drift off myself throughout those wee hours of the night. That was fabulous. I barely had to wake up and in just a few minutes or at the most 10, he was back asleep. Once he started crawling, he learned that he could crawl to his door every time he woke himself up, and especially when he was supposed to be sleeping. Then he would bang on the door, and cry and cry and cry for us until we came back into his room to put him back down (SEVERAL TIMES!) or until he tuckered himself out and eventually after falling asleep at his door, learned to crawl back towards the mattress. Every time I would check in on him each night, he'd be closer, and closer to his mattress. So it was working, in theory, but it was taking a very long time to us and we were so tired. We were tired of the fight, tired of listening to him cry and tired of having to wake up with him every time he woke himself up by tossing and turning, then crawling to the door at all hours of the night. Over time this subsided to a comfortable place where we were up maybe once a night, but not to the point where he was sleeping consistently through the night.
Then we moved. During the move we used his playpen and I noticed almost immediately that he slept either through the night or almost through. After a few weeks we went back to the floor bed. After two nights of waking up 3-4 times every hour, I had enough. We were exhausted and it was time. We asked ourselves, is this really working for our family? Is it really worth it to keep trying this floorbed thing if we're just so damn tired? It can't be good for any of us to be missing out on all this sleep.
So up went the crib. So far we're back to maybe 1 waking through the night. I had my first full night's sleep last night and it was lovely. Now if the dog can just stop waking us up instead of the baby, that would be heaven!
Lesson learned here, do what works for your family. As awesome as the idea of a floor bed is, it just didn't work for us and we are so much more comfortable and confident in our parenting having made the choice. So instead of uping our street cred in the land of hippies and hipsters, we're back to being regular, conventional parents.
Hurray for sleep!