I personally like floor beds that allow the child to independently move around their room. A lot of the time issues arise because the child is awake in their bed (e.g. in the mornings) but call out for you because they are bored in their cot. Moving straight from co-sleeping or bassinet/moses basket to a floor bed (or even to a floor bed initially) takes away that boredom as the child is free to get out of their bed and crawl/walk around.
Some people get triggered by this thinking that the child will be up at all hours playing, but so what if they are? As adults sometimes at night we wake and can’t get back to sleep straight away, so we read a book or go do something. Eventually we get tired and go back to bed. It’s the same for children. Ensure their room is completely safe (no climb hazards, pull hazards, electrical sockets have covers, no access to creams, no cords to be pulled etc.) and put a child proof baby gate across their door so they can’t end up somewhere in the house that is unsafe. Put some board books (or as age appropriate) on a low shelf or in a low basket for them to access. Put a couple of quiet toys (not battery, light up, rattles.) that they can explore at their level too.
When your child wakes up, they have the freedom and choice to explore as they see fit. They will eventually go back to sleep when they are ready (or until you come get them in the morning). You are teaching very valuable self regulation skills by doing this.
More food for thought – Swaddles/mittens on babies.
In the womb, babies have access to suck their thumbs at will. These can often be seen on ultrasounds. Babies also touch their faces in-utero as points of reference. Once a baby is born, they are then swaddled for sleep or have mittens on. These instantly take away the baby’s ability to self soothe as they did in the womb by sucking their thumb or touching their own faces. Some people argue that the baby’s startle reflex will mean they jerk themselves awake by throwing their arms up suddenly, but why is that a bad thing? That’s just giving themselves a beautiful opportunity to learn to self soothe.
Final food for thought
What would actually be your child’s ideal bedtime? Do you pile all the mattresses together in one room and have a gigantic bed-room? Would that work? Who says everyone has to have their own bedrooms – or even sleep in beds for that matter?
One mum posted recently in a group that I am part of, that her autistic daughter has a tent inside her room with a mattress in it and she sleeps in that – key wording she SLEEPS in it! Prior to the tent she had extreme sleep issues. Remember, if it’s stupid and it works – it isn’t stupid.
Mama, please know, nothing lasts forever. They will not feed all night forever. They will not co sleep with you forever. They will not beg you to lay with them forever. I promise you this. You cannot spoil a baby by cuddling them, rocking them etc. That is nonsense. Pinky McKay is a fantastic woman to follow, and read her books if you feel you need to have some back up in this regard.
I know it can seem so tough when you are in the trenches. Being sleep deprived is beyond awful. The feeling of being barely functional is overwhelming. I hear you. I see you. I promise you it won’t be like this forever. If you do want to make changes, going slowly is the key. This is the safest, more secure and loving way you can help both you and your child adapt to the changes. You have absolutely got this, I believe in you.
This was another big and challenging module. So, no homework!
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