It’s the middle of the night, and you get out of your bed to drink some water, but as soon as you hop out of your bed, you hit something warm. You immediately look down and see your toddler sleeping on the floor. Or maybe it’s your toddler’s nap time, and you go to check in on your little one but find him out of his crib, snuggled up with his blanket on the floor. This weird behavior is confusing for many parents. But it’s okay! I’m here to explain why toddlers prefer sleeping on the floor instead of their cribs or toddler bed and what you can do to change this behavior.
The first thing you need to know if you see your toddler sleeping on the floor that it’s completely normal! There is nothing wrong with his behavior. There are many reasons for which you may find your little bunny on the floor.
Maybe your little one is more comfortable on the floor, or perhaps they want a place of their own at night. Regardless, it can be heartbreaking for parents to see their baby on a cold floor when they have a comfortable bed to sleep in.
Why’s my toddler sleeping on the floor?
According to experts, every child is different. So obviously, there could be various reasons why you found your kid on the floor.
- Most children sleep on the floor because they find it more comforting to their physical bodies. – According to Maureen Healy, author of The Emotionally Healthy Child.
- Toddlers crave independence, and to feel in charge and fulfill their desire, they pick a spot of their own to sleep at night. – According to a licensed clinical mental health counselor, Katie Lear.
- Some kids sneak off of their bed just to be rebellious. It usually happens when they are moved out or their crib too early – According to Maureen Healy, the author of The Emotionally Healthy Child
- Toddlers also sleep on the floor because they have been moved out of their crib while they are too young (i.e., before 3 years). – According to a certified pediatric sleep consultant of sweetSleepConsulting.com.
- Children who have experienced trauma seek safety spots in their environment and fear the comfort of bed because, on a bed, they will easily fall asleep and won’t hear the danger coming, so they prefer a cold floor to sleep on. – According to STARR Common Wealth.
Should I be worried about my toddler sleeping on the floor?
It’s indeed annoying to see your little one on the floor in the middle of the night, but you shouldn’t really worry about this behavior. As long as your child is safe, happy, isn’t disrupting anyone’s sleep, and most importantly, waking up fresh, then this choice of his wouldn’t cause any psychological harm to him.
But for your peace of mind, you can try a few techniques to make sure they get a good night’s sleep.
Tips to ensure your toddler is safe while sleeping on the floor
Make a bed on the floor
If you think your child is happy on the floor, then why fight him? Instead, drag out a toddler safe mattress and place it at their favorite spot.
Ask your kid to choose their favorite pillow and blanket, so they don’t refuse to sleep on the mattress. This might help you feel better about this new behavior of his and also maybe make it easier for you to transition him back to his bed after some time.
Dress them up in warm clothes
Now, if you have allowed your kid to sleep on the floor, then don’t forget to dress them appropriately according to the weather. In winter, take into consideration how cold the floor would get by midnight.
A fleecy onesie or winter pajamas with socks is an excellent option to keep them warm enough. But during summer, if your house is well insulated, then you wouldn’t need to worry so much. A thin wearable blanket would work. You know well the temperature in your home so keep it in mind.
Baby proof the room
You must also take some steps to make sure your child is safe in his bedroom when he comes out of his crib and sleeps on the floor.
- You must cover the power sockets with child proof plugs.
- There are no blocks or any other toys lying on the floor.
- Any powder or cream is not in his reach.
Important things to follow when your child is sleeping on the floor
Ask your little one why he doesn’t like his bed
If your little one is able to communicate clearly, then there’s no harm in asking him why he doesn’t sleep in his bed. You might get an answer which could be a good solution for you. But there is a chance that he won’t have any clear answer, but it’s definitely worth trying.
Support his decision
Whether or not you know the reason, remember that in most cases sleeping on the floor is entirely harmless. Trying to fight with him will only drive you crazy.
Before losing your temper, simply ask yourself, is my baby well-rested? Is he waking up fresh and happy? Does he have any other behavioral changes? And if the answer to these questions is yes, then it’s probably time that you let go of this one and just be grateful that at least they are sleeping well.
Moving him isn’t worth it
Before you decide to pick your toddler up and move him to his bed, think about the consequences. Some kids don’t easily go back to sleep once they wake up. Some get very upset when they wake up in a different place.
Most importantly, you little one can again come out of his crib and lay down on the floor, so what will you do then? Hence, stop thinking about moving them and just be glad that they are not crying.
Why sleeping on the floor is bad?
Resting in an uncomfortable position for a long time is bad in many ways. Sleeping on harder surfaces can sometime reduce blood circulation. Along with this, the extra pressure on some parts of the body such as shoulder and buttocks can be bad for your toddlers growing body and can result in pain later.
What kind of bed should my 2 year old have?
Transitioning from crib to bed is not easy, especially with a 2-year-old. According to Nicole Johnson, the lead sleep consultant of The Baby Sleep Site, parents should wait until their child is 3-4 to make this transition. Because when you move those crib bars, oftentimes children start feeling insecure which causes many problems. If your toddler is doing just fine in the crib then no need to rush.
Are floor beds good for toddlers?
Floor beds are a perfect way of promoting your child’s freedom of the moment. After transitioning your kid out of the crib, many parents fear that what if he rolls out of bed in the middle of the night and falls? But with a flood bed, you won’t have to worry about it much. You kid can easily get up and move around freely. So yes, with floor beds you can give your child independence but within limits.
What size of bed should my 3 year old have?
When you start noticing your child is climbing out of his crib then it’s probably time for a toddler bed. They are suitable for babies aged between 2-6. Toddler beds are smaller than a single bed with dimensions ranging from 144-166cm. Whereas, the height of a toddler bed is also less than a single bed. But some parents opt for floor toddler beds because they are not only secured but also encourage independence through playing and learning.
In the end, sleeping on the floor is just a phase that plenty of children go through when they are between 2-3 years. And it is nothing to be concerned about, as long as he is getting enough sleep at night.
Some toddlers even go through this phase occasionally in their teenage years, where they abruptly decide to sleep on the floor for a couple of weeks and then gradually move back to their bed.
I know it must be hard for you to watch him on the floor but remember this behavior will go as quickly as it came, and he will be back to his normal habits in no time.