Monday, 30 January 2012

Hippy Mama: Floor Bed for a Toddler.

Those who know me know a few things about me and my parenting style. 

We breastfed beyond one year (beyond 18, 19, 20, 21 months, even) and it wasn't a big deal. We tried cloth nappies, they worked out for me but didn't work for B so we compromised and did them PT, kind of. We're home schooling. We follow a vegan diet.

I suppose you might consider us 'different' if this style is different to your style and way of parenting...but to me, to us, to my family it's natural, normal and comfortable. I'm all too aware that this style and way goes against the grain of most parenting styles around me and sometimes I really do wonder where I worked up the desire to be this kind of carer.

My own upbringing wasn't too different from how things will be for Roman, with a few tweaks added here and there. I try not to put the word 'hippy' into people's minds when they think about me because it brings negative associations along with it, but I often wonder what people would label me - what they do label me/what I would label myself if I could somehow see this slice of life 5-10 years ago.

I don't act or dress like a hippy, I just want that independent, strong yet care-free lifestyle for Roman. 

I've been doing some thinking and some research on different beds for Roman. The one thing I had hoped for - co-sleeping, that is Roman sharing our bed from birth until he was ready for his own bed - was to share our bed with Roman. That didn't happen. He was a part time co-sleeper and eventually navigated to his own crib and at 5 months (eek!) his own room. That was tough but I was willing to let that go; it wasn't what worked for us and it wasn't what he wanted. 

In my search for a suitable cot to bed leap for him I've been given advice on what works for some people's children and what doesn't. Surprisingly I've soaked in a lot of that info and gone on a search for the things people tell me about; toddler beds, single beds, cot beds...every bed possible. Even those car shaped beds. 

None of them seem a good 'fit.' Then I happened across a blog post on floor beds. I'd seen them around and thought they were great...but the trouble is that I'm not ready for him to single handedly wreck his room and - are they even safe? We won't be supervising him in the mornings and apparently this is kind of the point of these beds.

The child can go to bed when they want (ahem...yeah, that won't be happening) and can wake when they want, being free to play with some toys and whatnot in their room allowing the parents to sleep on/in.

My concerns firstly come from the point of view that he has a sizable bookshelf in his room, along with drawers full of clothes - I don't want to be tidying a crazy amount of toys and clothes every single day. We don't own a stair gate and we can't attach one to his door because we're in a rental property. Also, our doors are old and massive so I'm not sure they're suitable for stair gates.

But wouldn't all these concerns equally exist if he had a single bed in his room? After all, the floor and the off the ground/single beds just have height differences. There'd be no stopping him no matter what bed he had.

I also feel the happiest about beds when I think about floor beds - they seem so ideal. And perfect if we ever had guests, because he would be used to sleeping at that level and it might be easier for him to sleep in a pull-out bed. It also seems more child-like and magical to have a floor bed - and the kind of thing I would have loved as a child.

I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for examples of floor beds and would love a perspective of a parent or carer whose used a floor bed before - pros and cons?