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Posts Tagged ‘cribs’

Parent Q&A: Floor bed vs Crib

Thursday, September 1st, 2011 10:07 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Q: After reading your blog, I’m thinking of putting my 15-month old in a floor bed. Do I just let him stay in there till he falls asleep? It’ll be so different from his crib, will he be able to fall asleep? He’s already walking, is it too late to put him a floor bed? What are the benefits of a floor bed at this age?

A: First of all, it’s great that you are considering putting him in a floor bed. It is not too late! The first couple of nights will be very new and exciting for him, so stay in the room with him and help him get used to it. Being in a floor bed is very different from being in a crib. Design the room in such a way that there is an area for sleeping (where you put the floor bed) and an area for playing. Designate a toy mat or a toy area where you keep all his toys.  It should be an area he can see when he wakes up. Make sure his toys are not strewn all over the floor or all over his bed (after he plays with them, they will get everywhere, all parents know THIS, but when you tidy up, put them all on the toy mat).  Let the child know the order of the room, “Over here is where I sleep. And when I wake up, I get out of bed and come here to play with my toys.”

The most important benefit of a floor bed is the sense of freedom it gives your child. He gets to decide things for himself.  He gets to decide when he gets into and out of bed. The problem with containers like cribs, high chairs, etc, is that the child is helpless and dependent on the adult to get him in and out. The only way he can get out of these contraptions is through CRYING. Therefore, crying becomes a learned behavior – it is due to HELPLESSNESS.

When you put a baby in a floor bed or give him a small child-size table and chair for eating that he can get in and out of by himself, HE DOESN’T HAVE TO CRY TO GET ANYTHING. He can decide for himself and do it by himself. Through this freedom to decide for himself, he develops self-discipline. When everything is decided for him, the discipline comes from the outside. He doesn’t learn self-discipline till he is older and, like we all know, it is much harder to learn it when you’re older, if at all! Self-discipline is a skill that you want to teach your child from a young age, and miraculously, it comes from the freedom they get to choose for themselves….starting from something as basic as when he gets out of bed!

Simple Principle: More Freedom = less crying + a more self-disciplined child.

Baby Beds

Thursday, June 9th, 2011 12:35 am | By Stephanie Woo

In our family, we don’t believe in cribs. I’ve never seen any of my 6 nieces or nephews in one. Cribs confine babies to small spaces and hinder their movement and development. It also restricts a baby’s vision because they cannot see clearly past the wooden poles. All they have is an empty white ceiling to stare at. No wonder babies will stare at a mobile all day long, because they have nothing else to look at. Parents believe mobiles are great for developing their baby’s vision – it is, if that’s all they have to look at!

Night bed

Up to four months, our babies slept in baskets and co-sleepers at night mainly because we lived in a tiny 400 sq ft house and didn’t have much space to work with. The basket and co-sleeper were fine when they were tiny infants, but I could tell it was cramping their style. And it wasn’t until I put them on their own mattress that I saw just how cramped they were. 

As soon as we moved to our new 1200 sq ft house, we put them to sleep on a twin mattress. I saw just how much space a baby needs to move around, even in their sleep. I couldn’t imagine Mackenzie turning 360 degrees in her sleep until I witnessed it! When you don’t give them space to move, they don’t. But when they have the space to exercise, they do and it really helps their development. 

I have found that since they’ve been sleeping on the low floor mattresses, their overall movement has increased and improved. The other morning, we found Brooke (5 1/2 months) had ‘crawled’ off the mattress (we put a thick rug next to the mattress so it wouldn’t hurt if they fell). I figure she probably put one limb down and then gravity helped the rest of the way, but, in either case, she wasn’t crying, instead she was working hard making her way somewhere (we think perhaps to the candy store) but never made it there before we caught her! 

Day Bed

The first two months, the babies spent most of their time in our bed or on the living room sofa, which is where I spent most of my time. At 3 months, as they started moving more and more, we devised a day ‘bed’ (mat) on the floor for them that consisted of two thick wool blankets, some towels and a regular bed sheet on top. It was about 5’ x 3.5’. Whenever they were awake, we would put them on this mat on their tummy. As they’ve grown, their mat has grown to 8’ x 3.5’. This mat gives them ample room to move around.

At four months, Mackenzie had slithered 5 feet from one end of the mat to the other end. At five months, Brooke slithers around the perimeter of the mat in a circle. I think having room to move helped their development whereas many babies at this age are still confined to mother’s arms, cribs, swings or baby car seats and never get a chance to move much on a open, flat, hard surface, which is what they need to move properly.