First post on our blog!
Montessori floor beds in a shared nursery for 3yo brother and almost 2yo sister.
The floor bed promotes independence by allowing children to choose to go to bed or move around freely when awake. It can be as simple as a mattress placed on the floor, but as we already had these two Ikea cribs, we (meaning Andrew) removed the sides per instruction manual.
We moved Emmy into Dylan’s nursery when she was sleeping through the night ard 14mo and removed the side of her crib a few months later. Now, Montessori advocates say you can start a floor bed as young as six months old, but sleep is such a personal issue for families that I really think it is up to each family. In fact, I think that co-sleeping is best for family bonding and responsive nighttime parenting, but in the end we went with whatever gave all of us the best (and most) sleep.
My discoveries about floor beds:
1. Worried that the children will fall off the floor bed while asleep? That is remedied by placing a carpet below or choosing a not-too-thick mattress and keeping it on the ground. I also realised that even babies have an innate sense of spatial boundaries when sleeping, such that after one or two rolls, they learn to stay in their beds all night. When we went to Japan and they had to sleep on adult-sized single beds, they did not roll off.
2. Freedom of movement. A cardinal Montessori concept. In the mornings or after naps, it is not uncommon for the children to play in their room for 10min before they come out, play some more and then find me. It makes a huge difference when they can come out on their own time, instead of crying to be carried out of a crib.
3. Sibling bonding. This pertains more to room-sharing than Montessori, but it’s the best bonus IMO. The nursery is a place for sleeping, so only Duplo and books are kept inside, while other Montessori materials and play items are outside. Sometimes this backfires and when I stand outside the door, I can hear them laughing and talking to each other instead of napping. Grrr! They usually settle down and fall asleep on their own in abt 30min when that happens though. Sibling bonding takes place at night too. Once, when Andrew walked in at 2am to tend to Dylan, Emmy was already sitting on her gorgor’s bed and patting him, saying “shh shh shh”.
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