The Montessori floor bed is exactly what it sounds like: a bed on the floor! The bed should be within the child’s reach and at their level, whether it be a fancy bed or a mattress on the floor. The unique feature of a Montessori bed is not the bed itself, but the concept surrounding it. You can empower your child with a floor bed by allowing them to make decisions on their own and trusting them to grow from their own experiences.
Babies in Montessori environments sleep on low bed frames in order to explore their surroundings freely and to rest when they are tired. The Montessori floor bed is not raised off the floor so that the baby can crawl in and out of it when she starts crawling, and so that she won’t hurt herself if she rolls out of it. The bed is designed to keep her safe without caging her in as a crib would.
A Montessori bed allows the child to explore an inviting world full of wonders and adventures instead of being confined to a crib where their movement and vision are restricted. When it is time to sleep, the child is placed in their floor bed and invited to sleep, not forced to. The parent leaves and the child is left to decide whether to move around a little or fall asleep.
Your child might sleep on the carpet at first during one of their night excursions, but it’s all part of the learning process! Especially if they are not used to this kind of freedom, children can naturally be overexcited about the prospect of exploring every corner of their little world.
Soon enough, however, they learn to identify the bed as their sleeping space and start to regulate their behavior around it, taking themselves to the bed whenever they feel the need to relax or sleep.
Why Use a Montessori Floor Bed?
If you want to raise your child Montessori style, a floor bed is an important part of the process. Maria Montessori believed that a child’s environment should be fully prepared and furnished for their important and grand tasks. The floor bed is an essential part of this kind of environment.
Take a look at the world through the eyes of a child in a crib. With their special minds, they find it impossible to experience the world through bars, despite their desire to do so.
The child in a floor bed simply and naturally begins acting on their impulses and then learns from them. The child takes ownership of both themselves and their environment by doing this.
A bed becomes their ‘base’, and the room becomes a wide, open wilderness. In their eyes, the world becomes exciting, filled with possibilities, and their role in it becomes more important. The feeling of empowerment and confidence allows them to take action, and soon enough they have the courage to alter their environment. By doing so, they learn to recognize their own sleep cues and boundaries as well as to develop self-control and decision-making skills.
Montessori floor beds will not only allow children to explore freely and fearlessly and to depend on themselves to make important decisions (to sleep or to play–and when?! ), they will also teach children that the world is a safe place to explore and make discoveries. The child learns the attitudes and skills of a life-long learner early on, when they are deeply absorbed and never forgotten.
When is a Montessori Floor Bed Right for Your Baby?
Floor beds are not for every family, and you can raise your children Montessori style while using a different kind of sleeping arrangement. But for some families, the floor bed is the ideal choice.
Montessori emphasizes the concepts of independence, choice, and freedom of movement. There are many benefits to using a floor bed mattress. The infant can observe his surroundings visually since it allows him to observe his environment before he crawls. During this age, babies take in their world through what they are able to see, and crib slats can block out much of that.
When older babies wake up from naps, they may move around the nursery scooting and crawling to occupy themselves and satisfy their curiosity. It is possible that they may do this in the middle of the night, especially when learning to walk. Montessori thought supports this kind of freedom because the baby can choose to explore what captures his interests, whether that is working on learning to crawl or beginning to sort and stack a set of blocks.
There is no right or wrong answer but rather each family must decide if a Montessori style floor mattress is a good fit. Many parents like to start off with the traditional bassinet or crib and move a baby to their own bed when they are a little bit older. A three-month-old might do best in a bedside bassinet, while a nine-month-old may sleep better on a floor mattress in his own room. Many parents find that a floor bed helps their children sleep while others find the opposite to be true.
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Montessori For Today. 2022. Montessori Floor Beds: Why, When, and How to Use Them – Montessori For Today. [online] Available at: <https://montessorifortoday.com/montessori-floor-beds/> [Accessed 14 January 2022].
Toddlers, B., Night, S. and Child?, I., 2022. Is a Montessori Floor Bed Right for My Child?. [online] FamilyEducation. Available at: <https://www.familyeducation.com/sleeping-through-night/is-a-montessori-floor-bed-right-for-my-child> [Accessed 14 January 2022].
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