Some of you may remember me mentioning on this blog that our baby sleeps on a Montessori style floor bed (you can see more photos of Fern’s Montessori-inspired nursery here). Some people thought I was crazy, but a lot of you were intrigued by the idea and wanted to know more and hear updates on how the floor bed situation was going.
For awhile there wasn’t a whole lot to share. Fern started sleeping in her own room on a floor bed when she was about two-months-old (before that she was in our bed) and she wasn’t rolling or crawling at that point so there wasn’t really much difference between a floor bed and a crib at that point since she couldn’t get out of either.
But, now that she’s crawling and becoming more independent and curious about her environment things have definitely changed a bit, so I thought I’d share an update.
Read more after the jump…
For awhile the pool noodle we had tucked underneath the crib mattress sheet did a pretty good job of discouraging Fern from crawling out of her bed (if you look you can see it in the main photo), but after awhile she realized she could scoot off the end of her bed. I was alright with that, since really the whole point of the floor bed is so that your child can better explore their environment, but the problem was that she wasn’t quite crawling yet and once she was off her bed she would cry because she couldn’t get herself to any other places in the room. So at that point I put a tiny throw pillow under the sheet at the end of her bed, so her bed was pushed up to a wall that blocked her in on two sides and the pillow and pool noodle under the sheet blocked her in on the other sides. Both of these small obstacles would be easy enough for her to climb over once she was ready though, so we waited.
Fern started crawling a few weeks ago and since then has taken to crawling out of her bed when she wakes up in the mornings to play with her toys. With the Montessori educational approach, all manipulative objects and learning tools are left out where the child can easily access them, so I’ve set up a little shelf with a few books, a few wooden blocks, a wooden truck and plush toys that Fern can play with. I don’t put out a ton of things at once and the items on the shelf can be rotated on a regular basis. Fern doesn’t have a ton of toys in her room – most are kept in her closet and I take out a few at a time during play times, but I’ve created her room as a quiet and restful space, because I want her to know that this is where sleep and quiet play happen and so far it’s seemed to work.
It still kind of amazes me that Fern stays in her bed at night, but I suppose it’s because the floor bed is all she’s ever known and to her it means sleep. As I mentioned before, most mornings she gets out of bed and crawls over to her shelf to choose a few books and play quietly – often for a half hour. I listen to her on the monitor, but don’t go in to disturb her, because I believe that this time for independent exploration is an important part of her development. Her room is baby proofed and there’s nothing she can access that I don’t want her accessing.
I will say that in the past few days she’s started crawling out of bed over to her door and crying when she’s ready for us to get her, which isn’t the safest, because she’ll kneel against the door and bang on it and it makes it difficult to open the door with her in front of it. Last night she cried and fussed a lot at bedtime which doesn’t usually happen, so after a half hour of trying to rock her to sleep, I laid her down in bed awake. After I left, she crawled out of bed and wailed and banged on the door until my husband came in to lay by her. Hopefully that won’t be a regular occurrence though. She will also get up to play sometimes and on rare occasion will fall back to sleep on the floor, but I don’t really mind that since we have carpet.
Overall, we are very happy with our floor bed set up and it seems like Fern is enjoying it too.
If you have any other questions about using a floor bed or need ideas on how to baby proof your space or create a Montessori environment I’d love to help, so just ask!
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.
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