Tuesday, December 13

floor bed for baby

just an ordinary mommy

i won't claim to be a montessori expert. i wouldn't call myself a montessori mama. instead, i've adopted some of the basic principles and integrated them into my child's development plan.

the one i tell all moms about is the floor bed (also called a low bed) . i wanted to share my experience with you, because i couldn't much information when i needed it.

implementing the floor bed is basically same concept as the montessori based play area.  you want the baby room to be appropriate to the child's size and needs, help develop independence and confidence, promote harmony, order, and cleanliness, facilitate movement and self-directed activity, and have materials to support development. in addition, you want the room to help develop healthy sleeping habits.

some skip the crib and put their babies in a floor bed when they are transitioning from co-sleeping/bassinet. some put their babies in a floor bed once they are ready to crawl which is more montessori leaning.

the floor bed will allow your mobile baby to choose when he wants to go bed or when he wants get up and crawl around. having the freedom to explore and play with toys placed on low shelves will keep him busy while promoting independence. i can't promise you quiet, but it will give you peace to sleep.

if you're interested, here's a little sleeping background...

LO slept in a cradle swing for the first two months. it was the only way he and i could get any rest. then, we put him in the traditional crib sans the bumper and cute accessories (cause they can be dangerous for baby). the crib we chose had close-set slats and no drop-down side, so less risk for choking and falling out. hence, why some parents choose to skip the crib all together.

the first couple of weeks in the crib were not fun. each time i laid LO down to sleep, he hollered something awful. but i had read "On Becoming Baby Wise", and LT and i decided we would try to let LO cry it out. if he had been fed, changed, and was comfortably dressed, i knew he was okay. plus, we had the video monitor, so we could keep a close eye. listening to him cry was so hard. it either made my blood boil and brought me to tears. but, he never cried for more than 20 minutes. and, after a few days, it was never more than 15 minutes. as the days went by, he began to learn how to settle himself down and fall asleep. if he wasn't able to settle down and cried for more than 20 minutes, i'd pick him up, check his diaper, and feed him again. at this age, if all else fails, feed the baby. 

he slept peacefully in the crib for the next 5 months. once he began to crawl and stand, he would scream and cry out of boredom. i knew it was time for the floor bed. i had learned about the floor bed in a mommy and baby montessori class at the local motherhood center. i loved the concept and couldn't wait to try it. i wanted to give LO an environment that was made for him. one that was tailored for his perspective and would encourage his personal development.

at 7 1/2 months, we did it!

we removed all the furniture...crib, changing table, and gigantic nursing chair. we bought 'TROFAST' frames, shelves, and storage boxes from IKEA (what we used in the play area). this was an affordable way to go. providing low shelves gives baby access to toys and books. it's also a great way to teach tidiness. before we leave the room, we pick up the toys and put them back on the shelves. these perfect for babies and toddlers, cause they don't have any sharp corners and are tall enough to avoid causing black eyes. we didn't buy a new mattress. throwing the crib mattress on the floor was perfect. some people use little wood bed frames that sit on the floor. although very cute, i didn't want any hard surfaces to bruise up those precious knees or impede movement on and off the bed.

8 months old...video monitor

the transition from crib to floor bed was a lot like when we put him in the crib to begin with. anything new takes a little getting use to. within a week, he loved being in his room and slept peacefully.

now, a year old, LO wakes up in the morning a plays. he bangs on the door when he's ready for breakfast. sometimes i can't help myself and i go get him. he can play for an hour or so in the morning! when nap time rolls around, i usually rock him for a like, literally, 2 minutes (for my own selfish reasons), then he's ready to be put down. once i shut the door, it's up to him if he wants to sleep or play a bit. bedtime is just as easy, except, he's usually out in 45 seconds flat.

lately, he's been stirring a bit...something i've expected. once they hit the year mark, they like to shake things up (food, sleep, moods, etc). i don't fret...he falls back asleep within minutes. based on his cry, i can tell if it's something like a dirty diaper in which case i'll change him and put him back to bed.

things to consider when thinking about a floor bed
  • baby proofing: doorstops and door holders to protect fingers, cover electrical outlets, hide electrical cords, cut window-blinds cord, secure furniture to walls, remove furniture that stands at child's height (when newly standing or walking), etc... here's a great list!
  • you can use a crib or twin size mattress
  • put several blankets and pillows in the room just in case baby migrates.  don't use large blankets in the room...suffocation risk
  • personalize the room with pictures, posters, mobiles, and color. just be sure there is no glass.
  • never use the baby's room as a place of time-out. 

1 comment:

  1. Great blog. Your blog is interesting and so informative. Wait for your next blog post. Thanks for sharing with us.


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