Recently traffic on this blog skyrocketed, thanks to a link on Baby Cheapskate. The content of their article was regarding a Montessori approach of using a floor bed rather than a crib. This is the post they linked to. It is about an infant environment and not truly about a floor bed. Here are a couple of beautiful examples of families doing just this: Tall Tara and Sew Liberated. I have never posted on this method because it isn't one we were successful with.
Enter background story:
Our first daughter never slept in a crib and she did sleep on a mattress on the floor-but it was as a co-sleeping family.
We co-slept with Ruth, for 4 years. I nursed her on demand until she was 2.5 years old. We were Dr. Sear's dream family.
Here's the tricky part- I was miserable.
I believed it was the right way to parent and was determined to accomplish attachment parenting regardless of our families best interests. We were completely sleep deprived. Ruth slept on top of me and remained latched on all night, for over two years.
My lactation consultant had me log her nursing for one week. One day it was right at 18 hours! In the beginning I also had to pump between feedings to try to get my milk supply up. I never succeeded and she had a failure to thrive resulting in formula supplements, which basically became her meals, while I was the snack and constant pacifier.
At age three she had to be hospitalized in order to have 5 teeth crowned. Yes, breast milk contains sugar and sleeping with it in your mouth, night ofter night, is very similar to sleeping with a bottle.
I am not going to go into detail of my medical history/medications/conditions that caused the nursing problems. You will have to trust me when I tell you I did all that -whatever your suggestion is, or what worked for your friend, and did I talk to Le Leche- and more. (sorry, I am bit over people telling me what I should have tried.)
The real problem was I lacked the confidence to trust myself more than a book and other people's opinions. In my world NOT breast feeding, cloth diapering and co-sleeping is taboo. In a perfect world that would be the path I stayed on. The truth is children are not one size fits all. Sometimes the shoe simply does not fit-not matter how we try to squeeze into it.
Would I do it all over again? Hell no!
Okay, actually I have to believe we did what was best for Ruth. We may have had a rocky first few years, but by age three she was a dream and we haven't ever had 'discipline' problems. (This is amazing because she will be 15 years old on Sunday.) I attribute this, in part, to those first years which means it was worth it.
I can tell you though, we did things differently with our next three children! We still co-slept with the second for a few months, less with the third and our fourth maybe a month. They simply slept better and more regularly in a crib. I also nursed each one less than the one before. I am not advocating for any particular method. I am advocating for parents to be willing to put parenting methods aside for their babies' best interest. Only you know what is the best way to mama your baby and sometimes that means flexibility. I am very proud that I learned to stand up for what is best for our family.
Back to the original point of this post.
If you are considering a floor bed or co-sleeping, (both wonderful choices) and aren't sure it is best for you, I think this makes a great choice.
We use a pack and play because of our limited space. Had I known about the Baby Bay we would have used it instead.