What is a floor bed?
The Montessori floor bed is a child's bed designed to be at the floor level so that is it accessible to the baby or toddler. The idea behind bringing the bed down to floor level is that the baby or toddler does not need to depend on the adult to put them into bed or get them out of bed – they can listen to the cues of their body and crawl/walk into bed when they are sleepy and get out of the bed when they are awake.
Is a floor bed safe?
The Montessori floor bed is designed to give children the freedom of movement and independence but also keep them safe. Since the bed is at the floor level, the Montessori floor bed eliminates risks from falling if they roll off or injuries when they climb in. Do remember that you will have to childproof the room that the floor bed is in.
How is a floor bed beneficial?
- Pre-crawling infants find it easier to visually observe their environment from the Montessori floor bed, unlike cribs and bassinets.
- Older babies can crawl or walk out after napping, explore their rooms and engage in activities without having to be helped or monitored.
- Montessori floor beds help children feel respected as they don’t have to depend on the adult to get in and out of bed and this increases their self-esteem.
- The floor bed encourages children to explore their environment and make discoveries.
- Floor beds empower children by giving them control over their rest and waking up schedules.
- When you provide an environment with a floor bed, your child feels trusted and this, in turn, increases their trust in the world and themselves.
- Floor beds help with toileting as your child can get up from bed and go to the toilet on their own when they feel the urge as opposed to the crib where they may have an incident by the time you come to their rescue.
- The floor bed gives your child the choice to get out of bed and choose an activity thereby encouraging decision making and problem-solving at a young age.
- Floor beds help your child develop a healthy body scheme – the awareness of their body and its relationship with the outside world – they figure out where the edge is, how much they can roll and how to control their own body so they stay on the bed.
- A floor bed also makes it easy for the parent to lie next to their child to feed or just for a cuddle – something that they can’t do in a crib.
- While cribs can only be used for a short while, floor beds can be used for many years and there is no hassle of transitioning from a crib to a bed.
What is wrong with a crib?
- Cribs make a child feel like they are imprisoned and dependent on the adult to put them in and take them out.
- When children look at the environment around them through the bars in a crib, it may impair their visual development as they are only seeing the world in bits and pieces, never getting the entire picture.
- When your child gets old enough to climb out of a crib, they become safety hazards.
- Since children are dependent on adults to get into the crib, they may get very cranky when they are sleep and not be able to communicate that they want to sleep.
- Once they wake up from their nap, children are forced to lie in the crib till the adult noticed and gets them out, this time in the crib when they are awake with nothing to do may make children feel unmotivated and bored.
How do I transition my child into a floor bed?
- If your child is used to sleeping with you or in a crib, first introduce the floor bed for nap times and slowly offer it during night time.
- Offer it as a choice and don’t force your child to sleep in it – remember that we want them to create a positive association with it.
- Spend some time with your child in the floor bed if required
- Change takes time so don’t expect the switch to happen overnight – stay consistent with your expectations and your children will discover the joy of a floor bed.