If you’re just starting out with a baby-friendly nursery, here is a short list of frequently asked questions.
A baby-friendly nursery is a safe environment that is designed with a focus on how the baby will use the space, rather than how a parent or adult might.
Notably missing in a baby-friendly room is the crib. In its place, a floor bed tucked in a corner is used so the baby can crawl into it when it’s time to sleep and crawl out of it when she’s had enough sleep.
Picture frames are hung low on the walls at their eye level to allow the baby to see them better. Low, sturdy shelves are also used so the baby can access toys and books easily.
The baby-friendly nursery should be baby-proofed by covering electrical sockets, securing and hiding all electrical, lamp and curtain cords and using stable shelving and furniture that can’t be tipped over. The door to the room should also have a safety gate installed.
Read related article: Baby-proof vs Baby-friendly
A floor bed is a mattress placed either directly on the floor or on top of a floor covering such as a rug. Sometimes, a low, slatted base or bed frame is used. Typically, the mattress is firm and only a few inches (or several centimeters) thick.
The floor bed is central to a baby-friendly nursery where everything accessible to the child is something they explore and enjoy safely.
In addition to everything mentioned in the video, a floor bed offers these advantages:
Use a firm, not soft, mattress that is approximately 4 inches (or 10 centimeters) for safety. A fall or roll from this height probably won’t hurt your baby, especially if you have some protective covering like a rug or playmat on the floor around the floor bed.
Read related article: How to Choose a Floor Bed Mattress
Since the mattress is only a few inches or several centimeters high, falls or rolls aren’t really dangerous, and so bed guards aren’t necessary. After some time sleeping on a floor bed, babies become aware of the boundaries of the bed and stop themselves from rolling off.
There are, however, commercially available foam guards that slip under the bedsheet to create a soft wall on one side for babies used to the confinement of a crib or active sleepers. A free alternative is to roll up a towel and fit that under the sheet on one side of the bed.
Associate the floor bed as the place where your baby sleeps. Whenever your baby shows signs of sleepiness or it’s naptime/bedtime, put her down on the floor bed so she starts to develop a habit of sleeping there.
If you keep at it, your baby will eventually sleep in her floor bed when she’s tired and will get up and play with her toys or books when she has had enough rest.
Be sure to install a safety gate at the door!