Week 39: Montessori-Style Floor Bed: An Honest Review

And so, with last week’s word vomit of sleeping woes, I’ll go ahead and give my glowing review of the Montessori-style floor bed!

“Back up,” you’re saying. “Floor bed? For an infant?”

Indeed. I know. I’m a crazypants. Moving on.

Here’s how I fell into the trap of ALL MONTESSORI EVERYTHANG for our house. My husband talked about how enjoyable his Montessori education was like, once or twice. I looked into it and wondered, “Hmm. Montessori schools begin at three years old*. How could I set things up Montessori-style from the start?” And thus began the obsession.

Actually, I really love Montessori’s philosophy. An abridgment: follow the child, help me to do it myself. It gels with my personal style of no battery-operated light-up toys and baby detritus all over the house. Yes. We are snobs. Again, moving on.

The floor bed is another Montessori thing. The idea of it is to not confine the child to a space he or she can’t get out of — to allow freedom of movement and promote independence. (How We Montessori has a good post that gets more into the why of it.) I like it because it seems like a good solution to a lot of common crib problems: pulling up and being unable to sleep, yelling to get out, wanting to just lie down and nurse in the middle of the night.

Normally, hardcore Montessorians transition to the floor bed straight from the bassinet, but our floor bed experience began at around 6 months, when we moved to Alabama. Prior to that, our apartment just wasn’t great for a floor bed (the open floor plan made it impossible to babyproof, and also wasn’t dark enough for sleep).

And I’ll be honest: it was rough going, at first. We’d perfected sleep in the Dockatot, with the Zipadee-Zip on, but I decided to go cold turkey on both of those items because of the freedom of movement aspect, and because cold turkey is what seems to work best for Ambrose. (Or maybe for me — just rip the Band Aid off already.)

These days, sleep with the floor bed still isn’t perfect. Ambrose usually rolls out in the middle of the night and ends up sleeping on the carpet. And it’s so much easier for him to resist napping by just rolling off and playing in the dark…but, after all, that’s the point.

That said, I actually do love the floor bed. It avoids the struggle many parents go through in the transition from crib to toddler bed, and it’s so nice to be able to lay next to Ambrose on the floor when he’s having a rough night. One of my favorite things is how handy it is for mornings: he’ll get out and play around until I come in at 7 a.m., or, if he’s feeling feisty (and he has been feeling more and more feisty each morning), he’ll crawl over to the door and pound on it until I come and feed him.

Any parents out there ever tried something as crazy as this? Let me know how it worked for you in the comments — why you loved it or hated it.

*Don’t worry guys, I have done my research. I know you can put them in an infant room very young these days.


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