Is a Montessori Floor Bed Right for My Child?
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Montessori babies sleep on low bed frames so that they can freely explore their environment and so that they can bring themselves to rest when they feel tired. Montessori floor beds are not raised off the floor so that the baby can get in and out once she starts crawling, and so that she won’t hurt herself if she rolls out. The bed is designed to keep her safe without caging her in like a crib would.
How to Know if a Montessori Floor Bed Is Right for Your Baby
Montessori floor beds are not for all families, and it’s very possible to raise your children in the Montessori style while using a different kind of sleeping arrangement. But for some families, the floor bed is the ideal choice.
The Montessori method is based largely on the concepts of independence, choice, and freedom of movement. Using a floor bed mattress has many benefits. First of all, it allows a pre-crawling infant to observe his environment visually. At this tiny age, babies take in their world through what they can see, and crib slats can block a lot of that out.
Older babies may wake up after napping and begin to scoot or crawl throughout the nursery to occupy themselves and satisfy their curiosity. They might even do this in the middle of the night, especially when first 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 to 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 in their own room on a floor mattress. Some parents find that a floor bed helps their little ones’ sleep, while others find the opposite to be true.
Our Top Picks for Montessori Floor Beds
- Best All-Around Montessori Floor Bed: WALCUT Children Bed Frame Twin Size Toddler Wood Kid's House Floor Tent Bedroom Furniture
- Trendiest Montessori Floor Bed: South Shore Sweedi Toddler Bed, Natural Pine
- A Good Option for Minimalist Parents: KD Frames Twin Trundle, Natural Wood
- A Budget Friendly Option: Trolls World Tour Plastic Sleep and Play Toddler Bed with Attached Guardrails by Delta Children
What to Consider When Purchasing a Montessori Floor Bed
- Can your baby get in and out of the bed easily and safely? The point of the floor bed is to give them freedom of movement, so it’s important that they don’t get hurt in the process, or get injured if they roll off. Make sure the bed is truly low enough and remember to think about whether they can climb into it as well.
- Does the bed provide enough airflow? Since Montessori beds are so low, it’s important that there is enough space for air to flow through. This is especially true is you live in a humid climate because you need to prevent mold from growing on the mattress.
- Is it simple? Montessori materials are meant to be used for their intended purpose only. A bed is no different. A bed is meant for sleep, quiet rest, and cuddles. It should not be flashy or decked out to look like a playhouse etc. A simple frame will do.
How We Chose Our Favorites
I am passionate about using the Montessori philosophy at home from birth. I have some Montessori training and I write about Montessori in collaboration with Montessori early childhood education centers. Through all of this, I have learned a lot about how to prepare the home for a baby according to this philosophy. I built upon my own knowledge by consulting with Montessori early childhood experts and found out what real parents had to say about the floor beds on the market to come up with our list of the very best Montessori floor beds out there.
Keeping Your Child In Bed
Some parents worry that following the Montessori approach to sleep might cause issues, especially since the child is free to get up in the middle of the night. In many cases, this can happen but luckily it can be solved with a solid bedtime routine. The idea of a floor bed is to give kids freedom within limits, which a key tenant of the Montessori approach. In other words, a Montessori nursery does not mean that you have to be a permissive parent.
A solid nap and bedtime routine is the first step. Keep it under 20 minutes and keep it simple. For example: pajamas on, nurse or bottle, song, story, and into bed. When using a floor bed, you don't need to insist that your child stays in the bed, but you can insist that they stay in the room. Provide only a few quiet soft toys so even if your little one is not ready to sleep, they can get some restful time.
In a Montessori nursery, you also want to set the stage for sleep by keeping the room dark and using white noise.
Our Favorite Products to Promote Montessori Style Sleep
- Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise
- My First Library : Boxset of 10 Board Books for Kids
- Blackout Window Cover - Blocks Light - Reduces Window Noise - Best Sleep Ever Guaranteed
- HALO Sleepsack 100% Cotton Wearable Blanket
A note about safe sleep: Babies under one year of age need to sleep on a crib mattress only. Crib mattresses are much firmer than any other type of mattress and only they are approved for protection against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The bed should be free of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or anything else other than a fitted sheet. For older toddlers or young children, any firm mattress, whether a twin size mattress or full size one is fine. If you are bedsharing, you should also wait until after the infant phase has passed.
A note about room safety: When using a Montessori floor bed, it is vital to child-proof the entire bedroom. This means no reachable cords, covered outlets, and furniture bolted to the walls, among other things. Cribs were designed to keep the baby in a safe enclosure, and without crib rails, you need to make sure the child's room is entirely hazard-free.