The Montessori Bed

As promised I’ll be talking about the book Spousenomics in this post but first I want to dance around a little detour and mention montessori beds.

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I posted on Instagram yesterday that baby Rose has outgrown her bassinet. She’s a big girl and the bassinet is big but she’s begun rolling with force and pulling herself up, so I decided that laying her in there was not longer safe. Unfortunately it’s not safe for her to be on our bed during naps either. We usually co-sleep, which is fine since she sleeps cuddled in between us. We had one of our first cold nights two days ago and I got into bed while letting Rosie stay in her own. I was freezing cold and kept trying to scoot closer and closer to my husband, inwardly moaning about how I’d forgotten the miserableness of winter’s weather. I suppose I was making too much noise and woke the baby up. I scooped her up into bed with us and it was like someone had put a mini heater in with us. I almost immediately fell asleep  because I was finally toasty warm. Add this to the list of co-sleeping benefits!

BUT

I don’t lay down with the baby when she takes naps, and we’ve had a couple of close calls where she’s managed to roll over the guard pillows and teetered on the edge of the bed. I played a bit with the idea of getting a cheap crib from Ikea, but settled instead on a montessori style bed, which is just a mattress on the floor.

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The montessori approach is all about fostering independence, especially by allowing the child access to doing things themselves. You place all of their things at their level. Having a bed on the floor allows the child to decide for themselves how they will go about sleeping. Obviously, it is not good for keeping wild children contained, or letting babies “cry it out,” neither of which we do in our family. Although it makes me want to pull my hair out when I see the destruction the older two can make in their room, it is their room, and their private space. Or when it’s 11 o’clock and I can still hear them up and playing. I try to respect their privacy and foster their independence by allowing them to maintain it themselves. This falls right in line with Charlotte Mason style habit training. You remind your children of what needs to be done to create a habit, then step back and allow them to achieve it themselves.

Yes, it can be a bit of a problem having a mobile child sleeping on the floor. They can easily wake up and get into mischief. But if you have a mobile child your house should be adequately child-proofed anyway, and regardless of whether a child is sleeping in a crib or bed or floor, they should be checked on periodically. The people who seem most boggled by allowing your child independence are the ones who want to be able to put them in a container and forget about them until they cry.

We use the floor bed to allow baby to determine her own sleeping needs. She cannot be “forced” to sleep just because I think she needs a nap. We have to wait until she decides it is time to sleep and is willing to let me lay with her until she konks out. And then she is able to wake up at any time and come out and join us. She does not have to sit in baby prison until we decide to come get her. Again, we only use the floor bed for naps, so her getting up and walking around while we’re asleep is a non-issue. Some people use montessori beds in the child’s own room but we plan that she will pretty much always be sleeping in a room with someone, either an adult or brother/sister, until she’s fairly old.

Ok, this post is getting long. I’ll have to continue what I was supposed to write about in another entry haha.

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