My daughter is 13 months old and has been sleeping with us since 7 months. I have noticed the last few nights that she isn't sleeping well, I think that she is crowded and not comfortable.
We initially had her sleeping in a crib for naps and in a pack n play in our room at night. Once she would wake up to nurse at 3:30 she would move to our bed. Once we had to move the mattresses down to the lowest level she was over the cribs. Last night I laid down with her and nursed her to sleep and then moved her to the crib. She woke up immediately crying, we repeated this several times until we both in tears. My husband eventually ended up sleeping on the couch and for the first time in 13 months she didn't wake up to nurse. I can't tell you how amazing it feels to have slept the whole night. So we are now thinking of putting a twin mattress in the floor of our bedroom, that way I can lay down with her until she is asleep and she will have plenty of room to stretch out.
I can put the bed in the corner and use body pillows around the the edges and a I have a bed rail. I will of course baby proof the room. Is there anything else that I need to do? I read online that just a mattress on the floor is unsafe but we will eventually move her to her own room in a toddler bed so I don't want to buy a new bed. We already own a twin mattress.
Any advice from someone who has done this is greatly appreciated!
Personally, I think a mattress on the floor is much safer than a crib. Of course, the room must be well baby-proofed for that to be true and you want a firm mattress for the baby to sleep on.
We started sleeping on mattresses on the floor when our son was just a few months old, probably around 4 months. At first, I slept on a double mattress with my son in his room. Eventually, my husband got lonely at night, so we switched so everyone was sleeping in the same room. We had a queen futon mattress next to a double mattress. I alternated between the two mattresses (my son slept on one (often the queen -- he, he) and my husband on the other). After I finally gave up on my breastfeeding efforts (we had a ton of issues related to my son's medical problems) when he started wanting to nurse every 2 hours at night, we moved him into his own room on a mattress on the floor at about 8 months old. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. Everyone slept sooo much better. My son finally started sleeping consistently through the night (with the help of a dream feed), which meant I was finally getting good sleep, too, which made me a much better mom.
At first, we did keep some pillows around his mattress to cushion his falls when he rolled out of bed. On a side note, everything I had read about Montessori floor beds said that babies will not roll out of bed, but that was not true with our son. I had also read some places that pillows were not safe because your child could suffocate in them. For us, since our son moves around a ton in his sleep, we felt better having the pillows. We did take them away after he stopped falling out.
Personally, I would not use a bed rail. I would be more worried about my child becoming entrapped or entangled by it somehow than I would be worried about him falling out.
Montessori for early childhood recommends a mattress on the floor--they call it a child bed. Our family bed is just a mattress on the floor and on the rare occasion our guy falls out, he doesn't have far to go.