Toddlers: 24 Months+

Sleeping on the floor

We transitioned DS to a toddler bed about 2 months ago when he started climbing out. He slept in his bed a few times, but mostly grabbed his pillow and blanket and slept by the door. Now he will only sleep on the floor by the door. Is this normal? Is there a way to get him to sleep on his bed? He has a night light in his room, so it's not just him trying to get closer to the light. Ugh! I don't know what to do! He is still needing to CIO almost every night and nap. When he was sleeping in the crib he'd go down without a fuss. I am so frustrated! I almost just want to put the front back on the crib, although I know it would be pointless and he'd climb out in 5 seconds. Help!

Re: Sleeping on the floor

  • I think sleeping on the floor is pretty normal, though my kid has never tried it.  If it really bothers you though, maybe put him back in the crib with some kind of crib tent.
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  • My DD does that sometimes also. We usually wait until she is sleeping and one of us will go in her room and put her in the bed.
  • image Stellar1:
    My DD does that sometimes also. We usually wait until she is sleeping and one of us will go in her room and put her in the bed.


    Diito this.  DS went through about a 2-3 week phases of this and then it passed.


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  • If he WANTS to sleep on the floor and he's getting a good nights sleep, then the problem is completely lost on me.  He knows where his bed is, clearly he is able to get in and out as he chooses. What's the big deal?

    What I DO think might be a problem is that it doesn't sound to me like he is choosing to sleep on the floor.  It sounds to me like he is screaming at the door every night until he falls asleep where he is from sheer exhaustion. If, after 2 months or more, he is STILL"needing" to CIO, this clearly is not a child a child for whom CIO works.  That coupled with the separation anxiety that is normal for a 2 year old, it seems to me you've created a kind of cruel bedtime environment that works for no one.  It's probably time to try a new strategy.

    The bed is a transition, it comes with new freedoms for him and new found freedom can also be scary.  He needs the reassurances and comfort that come from boundaries.  With our son, the transition was about a week and a half of us going in, putting him back in bed, tucking him in, rubbing his back for a few minutes, reminding him it was bedtime and assuring him that we would check back in.  Yes, it's more work for you than is required to shut a door and ignore your child while they scream however, it was only a lot of work for a week and a half.  After the initial investment of time, we now have a child who is blissfully happy in his own bed once again.

    Two is a tough age.  Your child is spending every minute of every day figuring out where you end and he begins.  He's testing limits to see what he can do but still needs to know there are limits. He wants to be independent but still really needs you. It's also the beginning of magical thinking.  He's probably not 100% sure that when that door closes that you still exist.  At night, after he's spent an entire day trying to figure out the world and his place in it, presenting him with a new transition to get used to and then forcing him to go it alone while he's over tired is just not likely to yield positive results.  After 2 months of this NOT WORKING, it's time to try a developmentally supportive tactic and help him through the transition.  Just because he's ready to be out of his crib (and clearly he is) does not mean he is ready to magically make it work all on his own. 


  • DD has been sleeping in a toddler bed for about 2 or 3 months now.  Some days she sleeps in all night...some nights is on the floor or on her rocking chair.  She starts off sleeping in the bed until about 2ish and then gets up.  I refuse to go in there every night so i just let her figure out where she wants to sleep.  Although I dont like the idea of her on the floor or chair but if she is comfortable there then so be it!
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  • I HOPE it's normal b/c DS did it right after we transitioned him as well.  It about a 2 week phase...we couldn't understand it.  We ended up just basically feeling like our child shouldn't sleep on the floor regardless of whether he wanted to or one night, he started to get out of bed (he never took a pillow or blanket either) DH went in there and basically laid down the law.  He told him in a very stern voice that he was not to get out of bed EVER unless we told him he could and that if he slept on the floor again, he would be in time out.  (Maybe not your preferred method?) BUT it worked.  He cried hysterically for about 20 minutes...fell asleep...and that was the end of it.  We never heard another word about it and he hasn't even attempted to do it since.  He's been sleeping in the big boy bed now for about 6 months with no issues.  Hope this helps :)
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