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January 23, 2014

Montessori Infant Floor Bed

When Henry was a baby, I had no idea what Montessori was or really how it could be applied in a home. So, we set up a very traditional nursery for Henry which included a crib for Henry to sleep in. But, this time, I'm not sure I want to have a crib. 

In a Montessori infant environment a floor bed is typically used. A floor bed is essentially a small mattress or mat on the floor. The point if for the bed to be very low to the ground so that as the baby grows, he or she has freedom of movement within the environment. Obviously, a floor bed requires that the rest of the room be completely safe and well thought out so that the infant is safe while alone.

{Wonderful floor bed example from Vibrant Wanderings}

You can see some really beautiful examples of an infant floor beds on my Montessori Home Pinterest Board.

We use a floor bed in Henry's room and it has worked wonderfully for him. However, there's been one little problem...Henry complains that he is cold. Henry's room is slightly colder than the nursery, but I think a big part of it is, that his bed is on the floor. And, Henry has blankets, a heater, and fleece pjs! 

So, I'm a little worried about trying to use a floor bed with a baby who can't use more than a sleep sack to keep warm. Wiggles is due in June, so it will be warm then, but for the first couple months the baby will stay in my room in a bassinet. But, that means just as its getting cooler in the early winter we will be transitioning the baby to his/her own room.

{Another great example of a floor bed thanks to Confessions of a Montessori Mom}

I wondering how well an idea from warm, amazing Italy {Maria Montessori's homeland} actually translates to bitterly cold, snowy, windy Minnesota? Maybe it doesn't, and a crib is a better option? 

I'm really torn. Maybe we should use a crib for the first winter, then switch? Stick with a crib and have a floor mat for playing? Try out the floor bed? 

So, what do you think? Anyone have any experience with an infant floor bed in a cold environment? 

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Mrs. Kat
Mrs. Kat said…
AJ's room is cold. The fact that we also have a box fan doesn't help. And he won't keep a blanket on. We put a normal layer of PJs on then a fleecey layer. That and jacking the heat upstairs to 69/70 helps. Maybe try naps on the floor mat and see how that goes?
melissa said…
Elliot has slept okay on his little makeshift floor bed, but one night recently, his much more verbal sister tried to sleep there while he was in bed with us (a rough night around here!) and she confirmed what I had worried about since our temperatures turned very cold. "Momma, I'm cooold!" she said, when I would have expected she was long asleep. Poor kiddo. We moved her to a warmer spot, and decided it was time to get Elliot a proper bed. Knowing that we'll have three kids sharing two small bedrooms before long, we ended up getting a bunk bed for him, and the futon/day bed on the bottom is only a few inches from the floor - enough to keep him off the cold ground, but not so much that he can't very easily get out of bed by himself, or that he'd be hurt if he didn't make a graceful exit (though I do have baby safe bumper pillows on either side. Of course he's a bit older, but this feels like the right choice for us with our drafty old house. By the time our wee one is ready to transition to his or her own bed, E should be able to safely sleep in Annabelle's slightly higher bed, and Annabelle will be thrilled to move to the top bunk :) We'll see how it goes. Anyway, I don't think that a floor bed is always the most practical choice for everyone. Being warm and cozy is important, too! Annabelle was my tropical baby, and having a floor bed for her was perfect ... oh, to go back to an always warm climate!
Audrey said…
Is there some way to build or fashion a floor bed frame? So the mattress is off the floor by a few inches, allowing air to circulate - I'm in Australia so cold isn't sooo much a problem at the moment (think very hot & humid right now!) but when Teddy was 9 months we spent a while in Scotland and his porta-cot had him practically on the ground - he froze. I ended up placing pillows under the mattress to raise it a smidge, worked a treat but was only ever meant to be temporary. Check out the designs of Floorbeds for Fae on Facebook, they are an Aussie company but good inspiration for what I'm talking about :) Now Teddy is nearly 2, we have him on a normal single bed with a cot mattress beside it in case he falls out - he often goes to sleep on it instead! Good luck - I can't wait to see how it goes, I think I'm still going for a cot for the next bub but will probably go to a normal bed earlier than I did with Ted (we moved him at 18 months). Much love xox
Jen @ the mama years
You know I am huge fan off all things Montessori but this is one that never made sense to me! I'm not sure how putting a 6 mth old on a floor bed helps them feel 'free to move' when all they could do is roll off onto the hard floor/carpet yet they don't have the strength to get back up on the bed. I'm not sure they'd be too pleased and sleep isn't going to be too lovely that night! I totally get it for toddlers, but for babies it feels like stretching the Montessori concept a bit, but I am definitely not an expert. Granted my 3 yr old still sleeps in his crib b/c he loves it and calls it his "cozy bed" but I swear I'm just following his lead! ;) Whatever you do, be sure to get a firm mattress and not have any fluffy carpet on the ground to decrease risk for SIDS would be my thoughts on how to make it safest....but I'm sure others who've done it have lots of good ideas re: warmth etc. Have fun designing your newest nursery!
Unknown said…
I'm restoring an old house, and I wanted to use only furniture built with ecological criteria. It is not easy ..... I found some nice things in the Netherlands and Italy, especially this beautiful montessppri floor bed
Propose the concept of furniture made to last and age well, and I think this is the real green design!
They are: Woodly,
Anonymous said…
We're not in a super cold environment but it does get chilly in the winters. My daughter seems to be a warm sleeper. We've not used a sleep sack, just a fleece sleeper and a couple of warm blankets, tucked in snugly, although she usually wriggles out to the top of her bed. I use a wool puddle pad to protect her mattress, perhaps that helps her stay warm too? We love our floor bed!
Floor bed
Floor bed said…
With cold rooms you need extra padding between the floor and baby.
Unknown said…
my son was constantly sick while using sleeping near the floor, we put him back in his crib and his snot and cough cleared within days. maybe a coincidence, but my gut says no. i love all things montessori and work at a montessori elementary/middle school, but this is one concept that i have opted out without guilt. good luck with your decision! try it out and see if it works!