My five year-old daughter has been sleeping on the floor lately. We've asked her why, but this is one of those situations where she's not very self-aware, and you have to probe to get to the bottom of it. Yesterday she used the string from her tinker kit to make a "trap" around her bed. I realize I'm probably reading too much into it, and it's probably just for fun, but it's still curious. Any ideas what might be behind this?

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    Are there any monsters, wolves or other hostile organisms in the area? (in her imagination). Tinkering kit looks great BTW!
    – A E
    Nov 14, 2014 at 16:00
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    I used to do that, too... up through around 19yo. Just found it more comfortable that the thing I was sleeping on was solid and didn't change shape. Amazing how the perception of comfort changes over time! Nov 16, 2014 at 9:28
  • I too did this as a child. My abusive father criticized and shamed me for it. Thanks pops! Sep 26, 2016 at 1:16
  • My daughter insisted on this several years ago (probably six or seven years ago). To this day she refuses to sleep in her bed. Very frustrating and confusing. I suspect it is OCD related to some extent. Anyway, if you can stop it please try. Otherwise, wind up several years later wondering what you should have done differently. Nov 6, 2016 at 7:21
  • I used to do this as a kid. It felt cosy because I could wrap the blankets and sheets around me. Dec 19, 2019 at 9:34

1 Answer 1

  • Something's scary up there. While typically the imaginary monster is under the bed, sometimes you can trick it by sleeping somewhere else. (If I were a scary monster and couldn't find the kid I was planning to eat, I'd look on the floor next to the bed... luckily, monsters are stupid and rarely read Parenting.SE.)

    Generally I'd expect/hope that she'd describe this imaginary scary thing when asked, although her building a trap makes me slightly more suspicious. Perhaps asking "what are you going to catch with that?" would lead to a clue. It's also entirely possible she just felt like it, though. (Pillow forts, e.g., aren't built to plan for warfare, they're built because they're fun.)

  • Change of pace. Sometimes the bed is boring and it's more fun to sleep on the floor. Alternatively, kids may shift pillows, toys, or blankets around. (I went through a phase as a child where I truly believed switching ends was the only thing that would really help me relax. I still try it occasionally when I can't sleep, despite knowing that bed-polarity is irrelevant.)

  • Discomfort. Sometimes my middle child likes ALL THE THINGS (extra pillow, stuffed toys, books) to be around him in bed, sometimes he flings off everything (pillow, blanket, stuffed toys) and is found in the morning curled up in the middle with a thin sheet wrapped tightly around him.

  • Nice answer. I used to love sleeping in other places and other positions: upside down on the bed, under the table, .... Nov 14, 2014 at 16:08

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