Monday, 1 July 2019

Why We Chose To Use a Montessori Floor Bed

When I got pregnant, my partner and I decided that I will sleep on a floor bed in E.’s room for the first six months (until the risk of SIDS decreases), while she will sleep in her crib. After that, I’d move her to the floor bed, and I’d sleep in the bedroom. That way, she’d get adjusted to sleeping in her own room from the start.

Of course, things you think about before the baby arrives rarely go the way that you planned. That was our case…for the first 2-3 months, she slept only on my chest or with me and we hardly got any proper sleep. Bed sharing is not recommended, I know, but a horrible case of colic and other things made it impossible to get some sleep any other way. Usually, after she fell asleep, I’d slide lower on the bed, so that if I rolled over in my sleep I wouldn’t do so too close to her face. But now she’s finally at the stage where she sleeps on the floor bed on her own. We have a spare crib, just in case the montessori floor bed will end up not being a good option after she starts crawling, but for now it is great!

Here are a few reasons why we decided to have a montessori floor bed for her in the first place:

Firstly, I like the fact that it nurtures independence, and once she will crawl, she will be able to safely explore her environment, go choose some books, play a little, and decide when to go to sleep on her own. This will hopefully instill a positive attitude towards sleep in general.

Secondly, it makes breastfeeding, reading together, and cuddling so much easier. If you nurse in a side-lying position, this is easy when you have a floor bed. However, if your baby is bottle fed, you should avoid feeding her in this position, as it might cause an ear infection. If you have a crib, you can cuddle the baby in your arms, then place her in it. But the floor mattress has the advantage of being large enough to fit both of you, or even all three.

Thirdly, E. started rolling over in her sleep when she was four months old, and at first that wasn’t a problem, because I was sleeping with her – I would just roll her back whenever she did that. But after we went through sleep training, I moved to another room, so I couldn’t go roll her onto her back every time. We just placed an IKEA folding gym mat (PLUFSIG) next to the floor mattress, in case she rolled off the bed at night. As long as a baby can roll both ways independently, you can let her sleep on her tummy if she has rolled onto it herself. You should be careful about placing pillows or other soft things on the floor next to the bed, because of the risk of suffocation – the baby might roll on them in her sleep and not be able to breathe, or even get stuck in between the pillows and the floor mattress.

Furthermore, an IKEA crib is not expensive, but a good floor mattress is even cheaper. Of course, you can buy a cute house or tent frame (which I think we will do later, when she’s old enough to appreciate it), but that’s optional. Your baby will be able to sleep in the same bed also after she grows up.

Lastly, we also play on the mattress, especially in the morning when dad is sleeping. I place some toys on her mattress, while she’s sitting on the gym mat, that’s lower. That way, she needs to kneel to grab the toys that are farther away – so this position encourages her to rise to a tall kneel (with bottom off of heels). At the moment, the fact that we also play there hasn’t affected her sleep. I know that there are a lot of people saying that it’s better to separate the play area from where a child is sleeping. If later it will affect her sleep, I will probably move the play area in the living room and leave just lovies and some books there.

One important aspect you need to consider when having a floor mattress is baby proofing, once your baby is crawling. Sure, during the day you might keep a close eye on your baby all the time, but at night you never know what she’ll do while you are sleeping. I found this article extremely useful.
I’m planning on printing some realistic photos of a fox, a bear, and a hare to hang over the toy shelf, but that’s still. work in progress.

Read more about how we use our gym mat here.

I’ll be posting some cute ideas for discovery baskets for babies and some things about our evening routine. I hope you’ll stop by Grumpy Dumpling to read more about that!

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