We all know how Montessori education supports the learning of children through exploring their surroundings.
Maria Montessori, who founded Montessori-based education, focused on children having the freedom to explore and be hands-on in their activities to develop creativity, independence, and order in the environment.
Parents can apply Montessori principles at home too by creating opportunities for children.
A Montessori floor bed is one such means to foster child play at home.
Have you heard about Montessori floor beds lately?
Are you intrigued to know more about Montessori floor beds?
Let us explore this bed that mirrors Montessori objectives.
What are Montessori floor beds?
Just as the name suggests, Montessori floor beds are beds made on the floor for children.
These are not just usual beds but low bed frames that are within the level of your children and enable them to reach the bed safely on their own.
The Montessori floor beds implement the ideas of Montessori learning at home. The children can get in and get out of bed independently with the liberty to move, explore and be independent to make their own choice.
The crib used for infants makes them confined with restricted movement.
The floor beds offer the children an inviting and rich environment to enjoy freedom but within boundaries.
When the children feel sleepy, they can sleep on the Montessori floor beds.
They can sleep immediately or play around in the space for some time before sleeping. They need not be made to sleep against their will.
Benefits of Montessori floor beds
When children want to interact with their surroundings they do not like to be in the crib for long. When the kids are not sleepy yet but are made to stay inside the crib, they feel uncomfortable.
They have to wait for their parents to be put inside and removed from the crib.
Floor beds are a better option to induce healthy and uninterrupted sleep.
Let’s look at the benefits offered by floor beds.
1) They permit freedom of movement
When children sleep in floor beds, they understand that they can freely move around. It helps them to explore and discover their surroundings on their own.
2) They encourage in decision making
Kids learn to make decisions within the limits you set for them. The more they get to move freely, the more they become independent. When they play alone and explore things involving imaginative play, they learn to make decisions.
They develop practical skills and feel empowered to act the way they want.
3) They give a clear vision of the surrounding
With the floor beds, children can view the room, unlike the crib with bars that obstruct the view. Children perceive the world as they see it. Floor beds allow them to observe their surroundings and become curious to know about them.
4) They support gross motor skills
Children become self-aware when they sleep in floor beds. They become alert when they come near the edge of the bed and move back. Their bodies become adapted to this space.
5) They boost confidence in children
The children decide when their sleep is done. They have a positive sleeping habit of knowing when to get up.
They feel confident and develop concentration in their play as they explore on their own.
6) They give children a sense of respect
The children feel empowered when they can move out and move into the bed independently.
When you design their bed keeping in mind their needs, they feel valued and respected.
They start to trust themselves and realize that they can do things without your presence. They begin to see the world as a secure place where they can explore and play.
7) They are easy to assemble and are affordable
You can make them as simple and as comfortable as possible. By just setting some rails below the mattress you can make it simple. You can also buy a proper Montessori floor bed as per your budget.
8) They are safe
Commonly, babies fall off their cribs or beds when unattended by you. There is always a risk of injury in such cases. But in floor beds, there is no danger of falling off as the mattress is almost on the ground.
Even if your child comes off the bed he will still be asleep.
9) They help to develop a bond with your child
The floor beds are great for developing a bond between you and your children during sleeping time as you can snuggle with your baby into it.
You can breastfeed or read or spend some time with them before they sleep without moving them around disturbing their sleep.
When can the Montessori floor beds be used?
You can transition your children to floor beds when they are between 5 to 10 months of age and have started to sit up and move around.
Parents can introduce floor beds in two ways-
- Moving the children from cradles or bassinets
- From crib when they are 1-3 years of age
Usually, when children outgrow their crib by 2-3 years of age, it is ideal to consider a floor bed for them at that time.
If children are 5-10 months, you can set frames around the floor beds. It will ensure their safety till they move on their own.
It is better to transition gradually by starting with naps first and then slowly to nighttime sleep.
The children may feel awkward initially adjusting their sleep on the floor beds. Slowly they will get used to it and have normal sleeping patterns.
How can you ensure a safe floor bed?
Wherever you create space for a Montessori floor bed for your baby, you must ensure safety. Floor beds can be dangerous if not set up correctly.
You can consider these factors to ensure safety.
- Place the mattress with minimum space from the wall. It must be away from any furniture in the room.
- The room should be childproof. The electric boards must be covered and tipping hazards secured against the walls.
- The sleeping area should not have too many toys, blankets, or pillows.
- Other choking hazards should be removed from the room.
- The frame of the floor bed must be low to the ground so that the baby cannot roll or crawl underneath it. The mattress must be of the proper size that fits into the bed.
- A carpet or rug can be placed right under the bed so that your child does not get hurt if he rolls in asleep and falls off.
- Ensure safety outside the bedroom of your child by installing baby gates or child safety lock systems so that your child does not wander at night.
How to purchase the right floor bed for your child?
Few things you must keep in mind when buying your child a Montessori floor bed.
You can explore Montessori floor beds on Etsy and Amazon at the best prices.
- Ease of moving in and out – It is essential to select a floor bed in which your child can get in and get out independently without you having to worry about it.
- Style of the floor bed – The frames of the floor bed, if present, must be made from natural materials reinforcing the Montessori style rather than something fancy. It should be simple and comfortable to sleep in for your child.
- Airflow – There must be enough space for air to flow between the bed and the ground as the bed would below. It prevents mold growth on the mattress if you live in a region with a humid climate.
- Size of the floor bed – The size of the floor bed must be twin or according to the space so that it grows with your child.
- Cost – The price of a floor bed is high owing to handmade frames. You can alternatively consider a DIY plan. Or you can buy a trundle bed frame to elevate the mattress off the floor.
- Firmness – If you buy a floor bed for an infant, the mattress must be firm to ensure safe sleeping practices.
A Montessori floor bed is a great way to support Montessori learning at home.
You can incorporate floor beds with a routine so that children adapt to it and do not wake up in between sleep.
Whenever you transition your child to floor beds, you infuse freedom to explore, respect, and decision-making capacity from Montessori principles in the sleeping environment of your child.