Q: I'm currently pregnant with my first and have been considering trying a montessori-style floor bed for the baby. I'll probably keep the baby in our room in a co-sleeper for the first several months, and instead of transitioning to a crib, would move the baby to the floor bed. I have a few nagging questions, though:I really want to use a non-toxic, safe mattress, but I also would prefer a thinner mattress in case of roll-offs. We have room for a twin, and I'd prefer that for longevity. I do have access to the thinner Ikea mattresses, but I don't know how safe the contents really are. More importantly, I don't know that it's possible to get a safe, tight fit with the sheets and mattress cover on a thinner mattress. I wouldn't think there'd be sheets out there for a mattress only 3" thick. I also found an organic futon online, but it looks relatively soft and quilted, and I worry about SIDS with a softer, pillowy surface. Frankly, figuring out all these logistics is making me lean more towards a crib, because it's just easier to make it all add up, and of course, safety is the most important thing. Loose, baggy sheets aren't an option. I'm wondering how any other people have solved this conundrum.
My other question is about a baby's comfort in an exposed sleeping environment. I'm sure that many cultures - traditional Japanese and Native American cultures come to mind - may not use a crib or cradle, but in those cases the baby probably sleeps close to its mother. Might there be an instinctual fear of being left so exposed and vulnerable? Intuitively, that feels likely to me. Has anyone noticed a baby's discomfort with the floor bed because of this? I'd hate to invest in an expensive organic twin mattress or futon only to discover that it's just not going to work out.
There are many things I really like about the idea of a floor bed - the baby's freedom to explore a safe environment, the ability to lie next to the child to lull it to sleep/comfort it, the reduction of a possibly unnecessary piece of furniture - but these logistical issues currently have me stymied. I'd love to hear from others' experiences.
Sent by Miranda
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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.
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