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September 19, 2022

Transitioning to the Montessori Floor Bed at Night

Right off the top I want to just say that sleep and sleep environments are highly personal. I am just sharing what we have done with Penelope. I am not providing specific medical or sleep advice. Every family needs to make decisions around sleep that feel right for them and their unique child. Please do not think that I am judging you or your family if your sleep arrangements look differently than mine. 

I've talked about this before, (see floor bed posts here) but Montessori homes can look a bit differently when it comes to sleep. Instead of using a crib until the toddler years (or beyond,) Dr. Montessori suggested that babies use a floor bed for sleep. This large and low bed allows for babies to move more freely, see their entire environment in an uninterrupted way, and make steps toward independent sleep by being able to get in and out of bed on their own. We have personally used a floor bed from birth with our last three children and have loved it.

A few weeks ago now we finally moved Penelope into her floor bed at night. With Teddy and Gus, we moved both of them around three-months-old when they were sleeping more consistent stretches and seemed to be more disrupted by adult movement in the room. However with Nells, it just happened later.

One, she was a worse sleeper than the boys. Two, we had some renovation disruptions that meant we had older kids sleeping in that room. Three, we had a summer of a ridiculous series of sicknesses which meant I wanted to sleep closer to her while she was unwell. Put those things together and suddenly she is seven months old and just starting the move. 

Tips for Transitioning to a Montessori Floor Bed at Night

Here are a few things that we have done that I think have helped me and my babies move from room sharing with a bassinet to sleeping in a floor bed full time: 
  • Wait until you feel comfortable enough to make the switch. This is going to look differently for every family and child. 
  • Start with naps. Try putting your child down for naps in their floor bed for awhile before making the switch at night, 
  • Make sure the room is safe. It should be completely baby proofed. Read this post for baby proofing tips. 
  • Spend time in the room during the day, let them get comfortable in the space if you aren't in that room as much as others. 
  • Split nights if you have to, spend the first part of the night in the floor bed and bring them back to their more familiar spot later on. 

For Penelope it was about a week of more disrupted sleep until she was back to her regular night schedule of waking a couple of times. It's hard to know if that was because of the floor bed or not though because she also got her first tooth that week. 

But, overall it's been lovely having her in her floor bed. She's getting out of bed on her own and greeting us at the door in the morning. She's starting to have a few minutes of playtime in her room after her naps. Penelope is also pretty calm with night waking, and going back to sleep more easily as I can sit with her. 

Once again we just love love the floor bed and it's working really well for our Montessori baby. 

Moving to a Montessori floor bed at night can be a big step for families. Here are some tips to make a Montessori floor bed work for babies at night.

This post is week 30 and 31 of my Montessori baby series focusing on Penelope. We are playing a little catch up here! 


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Anonymous said…
Do you use a video monitor in her room to keep watch? And also is Ted sleeping through the night? If not, how do you manage having to walk through the house to their rooms with two different kids waking up in two different rooms?
Anonymous said…
Hello I truly love your blog it's really helped guide me in making more montessori friendly choices. We have a baby girl same age as Penelope whose been on a floor bed in our room for the last couple of months because she keeps diving off the side and freaking out as she is basically hanging off the side face in floor. Would you have any suggestions on how to teach her to get onto the floor safely without panic?
Anonymous said…
When she wakes at night, how do you get her to go back to sleep?