Our elder daughter, headstrong Number 1, has been displaying a certain interesting behaviour pattern the past couple of months, which, after a bit of web wandering on my part, appears not to be that unusual. Rather than stay snuggled in her comfortable bed, she has taken to sleeping on the floor. On the floor at the top of the stairs, cozied up to the stair gate!
As I say, this started a couple of months ago. At first we'd pick her up, asleep or not, and put her back into her then cot. However without fail, whatever the time and however apparently deep her state of sleep, she would return to her former spot. We then tried the "OK, we'll help you make up your floor bed" approach in the hope that our cooperation would bring about rebellion on her part and she'd start sleeping back in her bed. It didn't work. We then tried removing of all bed coverings from her floor spot, but she'd just go back into her room and get them or something else. So in the end we just left her. It is a little frustrating, carefully stepping over this sleeping bundle in the dark whilst carrying armfuls of laundry, a glass of water and a mobile phone (my usual packing I seem to take to bed with me every night) plus trying to undo the stair gate with one hand, or more usually, one finger. But apart from that, I suppose it doesn't do any harm.
Interestingly various forums on the net suggest that many parents experience this kind of performance from little ones. Some seem to embrace it, making elaborate "floor beds" and cradles of cosiness for them, whilst others stress and worry and take them to medical professionals. I'm somewhere in the middle. I've spent weeks trying to suss out what it is that drives her to do this. Is there something in her room that frightens her? I don't think so, she LOVES her bedroom and shows it to anyone willing to indulge her. Is she frightened of the dark? With the Ikea flower wall light casting it's pink glow across her room, this can't be the case. Is she trying to get closer to us? No, the other night when my husband was away for work, I sleepily took her into my bed when she was crying at 2am, only to be rejected in favour of the floor ten minutes later!
I think at the end of the day, she does it because she can. Because she has control over it, and control over her own destiny has been her number one priority since she was three weeks old. And if this is the case, she is more than capable of taking control of the situation when she feels it's time, and returning to her brand new, warm, wide comfortable bed.