Montessori floor bed: 0 – 8 months
When I was pregnant with Roo I was never very into cots. I bought a second hand one cheaply on ebay ($20 I think) and put it in the garage and didn’t look at it again. Then I saw Finnian’s bedroom on Apartment Therapy, and fell in love with the Montessori philosophy of ‘follow the child’ and ‘help me to help myself’. I had never heard of Montessori before and it was an eye opener. When Nigel also liked what he saw and said he was willing to have a floor bed, the decision was made. No cot!
Here is Roo’s room in his first house:
While we were in this house we had no problems with the floor bed – Roo was sleeping mainly in a moses basket, and when he was on his bed, he didn’t move enough to roll off.
Roo’s room in his second house is below.
Not pictured here is a small playspace (a mirror with a sheepskin in front of it) that is on another wall.
In this room we have had only one problem with the floor bed. Roo would wriggle diagonally in his sleep until he ended up off the end of the bed, woke up, and cried for us. To solve this problem we moved his bed against a wall first, then later after re-arranging again we put a small cabinet at the bottom of the bed, and then later again there is a playpen fence in that spot (it surrounds a heater). Now when he wriggles he runs into either the wall or the playpen fence and doesn’t wake up/doesn’t wake us up.
Amongst the many minor rearrangements we have since removed the tall shelves as they didn’t fit so well with the goal of creating a space catered for a small child. We also moved the bed away from the window as the cold winter and lack of curtains in our rental house made that spot very cold, and we have added an oil heater that is surrounded by a playpen.
Roo is crawling now, and gets himself out of bed in the mornings. He can be found anywhere in the room, so babyproofing the room has been important. We keep the door closed to keep the heat in (he has a heater in his room) which has the added benefit of keeping him in a babyproof space until we get up in the morning.
The only times that we have had a problem with Roo getting out of bed when we don’t want him to has been nights he has been teething and/or sick with bronchialitis. I don’t attribute this to the floor bed at all, as he would have been distressed in a cot as well – finding him next to his bed was correlation, not causation. I imagine our greatest challenge is yet to come, if he starts getting out of bed and playing at bedtime. Right now he stays in bed at bedtime with no problems.
Here is a cameraphone pic of one of the arrangements:
For more Montessori goodness, here are two posts from Sew Liberated that I have spent a lot of time reading and re-reading while thinking about Roo’s place in our house: A toddler friendly house and Finnian and Lachlan’s studio.