When we moved back in November, we transitioned Alex into a Montessori style room. It’s not 100% Montessori, but we’ve incorporated a lot of the ideas and concepts into how his room is set up. The room is safe for him to be in without supervision and he has free access to his bed, books, and some toys. One of the aspects of Alex’s room that gets the most raised eyebrows is his floor bed. Alex’s bed is just a plain crib mattress on the floor in his room. He has a pillow and two blankets (he recently has decided he needs two) and can get in and out on his own.
|Alex’s bed when he got up one day last week.|
As this picture shows, yes, he does get out of bed and play on his own; but that’s not a problem, in fact, it’s amazing! If Alex isn’t tired when he goes to bed, we can hear him playing in his room for a little while (never more than an hour). When he wakes up in the morning, he will play by himself for about 30 minutes and then knock on his door when he’s ready for us to come get him. (And yes, he really does knock. It’s so freaking adorable!) Some mornings I’ve gone in to see Alex reclining on his bed reading a book. Now that’s the way to start your day!
- You don’t have to buy a toddler bed. Put plain and simple, it’s just cheaper. We took the mattress Alex had used in his crib and just plopped it on the floor.
- Allows for the child to be independent at bed time and awaking. We have our bedtime routine, then Alex gets put on his mattress. Currently, he lets out a little fake cry while you leave the room, calms down within 15 seconds, and then plays until he goes to sleep.
- Encourages the child to self-soothe to sleep at night and during mid-night wakings. Alex does still wake up occasionally at night, but I’ve only had to go in his room once in the past month or so. He will put himself back to sleep just fine.
- Gives parent and child more peace in the morning. I often get Locke dressed while Alex is waking up on his own. This gives me a little more time to take care of some morning tasks, and Alex gets to wake up slowly and gently on his own.
- Makes Rest Time easier on parent and child. We don’t have “naptime” any more, just “rest time”. Alex often protests for the first little bit, then plays for a while and generally falls asleep, but we no longer require a nap.
- Gives the child their own space in a world that is adult-centered. Our whole world is built on an adult scale. Children cannot access a lot of their environment simply because they are not yet tall enough. A floor bed (and Montessori room in general) is suited to their smaller statures and fosters a sense of belonging and awareness of their bodies.