Things That Go Thump in the Night

In the past few weeks Zach has become an expert roller.  Leave him alone for five minutes and he will end up halfway across the room.  It’s great fun to see him rolling around, ambitiously exploring our house.  One of my favorite moment of the day is when he wakes up from his naps and I hear him babbling happily in his room.  I’ll peek in and he’ll be on his tummy, far from his bed, having a conversation with the leg of the nursing chair.

As fun as his rolling is during the day, it is highly irritating at night.  He sleeps on a floor bed, and at night he’ll roll off the bed while asleep.  We hear a “thump“, followed by silence.  Sometimes he’ll sleep on the floor for a while, so we leave him there as long as he seems comfortable (it’s been so hot that I think he actually enjoys sleeping on the cool wood floor).

For the most part, though, after the thump comes some muttering, and then a plaintive wail for help.  He doesn’t cry, but lets out a very distinct “aaaaaaaahhhh!” that clearly means “Come put me back in my bed!”  This happens two or three times a night… It’s no fun having a baby who “sleeps through the night” if you have to wake up three times a night to plop him back on his mattress!

A resourceful friend to whom this was also occurring came up with the idea of sliding a rolled towel under the long edge of the bed that’s not up against the wall.  We tried it last night and, wouldn’t you know it, Zach slept through the night (and so did we!!).  The beauty of this solution is that he can still roll out of bed when he’s awake, which is one of the main reasons for using the floor bed.  Our son can still enjoy his independence during the day, but has just the right amount of support to prevent night rolling.

Once he’s able to crawl, we’ll remove the rolled-up towel.  Then we’ll let him roll out of the bed and encourage him to crawl back on if he wants to.

What challenges have you encountered while using the floor bed?  How have you modified the environment to support your child’s needs?

7 thoughts on “Things That Go Thump in the Night”

  1. My son is in the same rolling stage, except that we have him in a crib. You still here the thump of him rolling in bed. I think he rolls so much that I’m afraid of putting him on a floor bed.

    1. I agree, this would not be a good stage in which to transition him! For us, the little lift in the bed from the rolled towels has been awesome! I know someone who nailed bumper pads to the walls around their baby’s floor bed, and another person who had to transition her baby into a Pac N Play for a while until he stopped bumping into the walls. Whatever works, right???

  2. My son is a year old (as of 2 days ago). We transitioned him to a floor bed around 7 months. But since we moved 2 months ago and he began sleeping in his own room (we shared a room prior at my mothers) he will roll off the bed a few meters after only about 30 minutes in bed. We’ve tried the rolled towels, everything other than a side rail. Watching my video monitor I see him crawl in his sleep off his bed. I find him on the floor every single morning. It’s disheartening and I’m wondering if anyone else has had so much trouble with a child rolling off the bed so often.

    1. Hi Madison,

      When my son started crawling he began doing the same think. Our solution was a wonderful bed from IKEA (see link below). I will write a quick post about it soon… You’re not alone! 🙂

  3. My son will be a year old next month. I’ve coslept with him from day one. We introduced the floor bed around 6 months and he loved it the first few nights; fell fast asleep with OUT nursing to sleep unlike every other night. He still enjoys reading and cuddling on it. Quickly tho we found him back in our bed. It started with his early morning stir to go potty or be changed if wet (we’ve ECed since 5 months, on and off), then teething added to the “pauses”. My main issue is this severe attachment I see developing. At least i think it’s an issue? I love the security he finds in me, but i don’t want to hinder his independence. He’s never been much of a self soother. So when he gets worked up especially before sleep, we nurse. He wakes up if I move him if he falls asleep in my arms and expects to be nursed down again, and will not lie down on his own to sleep. We share a bedroom so I can’t ignore the crawling- almost walking over to our bed and shrieking up at me. I’ve been consoling him then directing him back down or allowing him to play until he cries again then try to nurse him back down again. Some nights I do this little tango for hours. Advice?

    1. You probably won’t like what I have to say, but in Montessori they recommend weaning by 9 months precisely to avoid it becoming a crutch. By 9 months, the child doesn’t need BM from a nutritional perspective and starts using nursing as a tool for soothing, instead of being given the opportunity to develop self-soothing strategies.

      And secondly, Montessorians recommend moving the child to his own room early, precisely to establish the concept of sleeping in his own bed. Now, it doesn’t mean you let him cry it out!! What I would do when Zach went through difficult stages was to go to his room, rub his back to comfort him, and remind him that this is his bed. Sometimes I had to do that several times in one night and stay with him until he fell asleep, but slowly he got past the challenging stages and now stays in his bed unless he is sick. It’s all about setting consistent expectations and being gentle but firm. But if his bed is in your room, you’re basically inviting him into your bed!!! You can’t ask him to stay in his bed if he’s in the same room as you. They don’t have the self-control yet…

      Remember that if we want our children to be independent, we have to set up the CONDITIONS that will support their independence.

      Probably not what you wanted to hear, but that’s the Montessori perspective. 🙂 Good luck!

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