Here is the Idea behind Montessori floor beds:
"In the Montessori tradition, we avoid using devices that limit the child's independence and natural movement. For example, instead of using a crib to safely confine the baby, we turn the whole room into a "crib" (by completely child-proofing the room and closing off the entrance to the rest of the house)"The wall mirror provides the child:
- the opportunity to see and study their own reflection, study their own movements and connect their movements with that of the reflection, this also helps the child (over time) to control their own movements
- another way of seeing the room
- encouragement to lift their head especially during tummy time, "controlling the head is the beginning of his mastering of the environment."
more about setting up a Montessori environment for infants here
We have had the mirror up for a while, and Hazel has used that corner as her play space. She has always loved to watch herself in the mirror, and it has been fun to see her little mind working as she played in front of it. The whole idea behind a Montessori bedroom is for the child to be able to play independently, without distraction, because that is when they learn and focus on a task. Ideally I would set Hazel up in her own bedroom for this, but that isn't really an option in our home. The loft which will be her bedroom in the future is inherently dangerous, and is really the only other space available in the house currently. Instead I am trying to make our own bedroom suitable. I am even considering removing our own bed frame and box spring to accommodate a baby-proof bedroom where I do not have to worry about Hazel's safety.
|H sleeping on her floor bed|
While I am working on getting Hazel to nap on her floor bed, she still spends nights with us in our bed and it would work better if she could climb off on her own in the mornings if she wakes up while I am still sleeping. When she wakes she is ready to play, but if I set her on the ground she is suddenly aware that I am not playing with her. I think if she could crawl off on her own she would not be distracted by my presence and would continue her independent play in the mornings (meaning more rest for me, yay!)
In my reading about this method many of the parents who do it mention that they reach a point where their child no longer cries for them in the middle of the night, so the parent wakes up in the morning to check on the child and can tell that sometime during the night the child has gotten up and played with some toys and then either crawled back to bed, or just fallen asleep on the floor. Can you imagine that? How amazing would it be to know that your child could wake up and safely play in a good environment, and then put themselves back to sleep. it sounds like the healthiest sleep situation I have heard of for young children (yeah I'm no expert on the subject). The more I have read about it, the more I realize why a child would cry when they wake up in a crib. By waking up in a room where they can move freely they can explore and play until they need you and at some point they will probably cry.
Anyways, I have now made the room safe enough that I am confident about running upstairs for a few moments to do whatever it is I need to, or put her down for a nap and not worry about what happens when she wakes up. That meant quite a bit of decluttering, and with how nice and open it is beginning to feel in our room I can't wait to tackle the rest of the house. There are so many things we need to just let go and get rid of that have been clogging up this small space. Slowly but surely, I'll get there.