I can’t stop reading and vacuuming information in about Montessori. I feel like there is so much going on inside my little head that it is getting all jumbled together and I need to start writing it down. Also, writing things down and being able to explain/teach something only shows you that you fully understand something. So today, we’re talking Montessori rooms.
The major difference between a regular nursery or toddler bedroom and a Montessori bedroom is who the room is more geared towards. A nursery has a crib, rocking chair, shelves and nice photos up high on the walls for mom to enjoy. We generally spend our last months pregnant fixing up this room. I loved my sanctuary I made for Gregory.
A Montessori bedroom has a floor bed, low shelves, toys and things at low levels for a child to enjoy. All furniture, if any, is miniature and as long as it is safe, everything is easy access. This room is geared towards a child. A nursery is geared towards an adult. Now, whose room is this again? While technically Gregory’s room is our room, as we room share, but it should be your child’s room. Not yours.
The floor bed is merely a mattress on the floor, and can be used from 6 weeks on. While many parents are worried over the fact that the baby or slightly older child may roll off and hurt themselves. We’ll rest assured, they will roll off. The mattress is low enough it shouldn’t hurt, and you can put protective pillows, blankets or even use a pool noodle inside the bed sheet as a bumper.
When a child becomes mobile, the next worry is, will they always get out of bed to play, and will they ever go to sleep? This is where patience comes into practice. Yes, your child will most likely get out,of bed and want to play. You should let them. Children need to understand that they have complete control over their bodies, because they do. Ultimately it is them who decides when they sleep. We can only facilitate it.
The goal is to down without hold. Read books on the bed quietly, play with some toys, sing songs, gives massage, and go to sleep. This should be a smooth and peaceful transition with little to no tears. By allowing your child to explore and exert the last amounts of energy they have, they will have an easier time going to sleep. Also, by letting them explore their environment, the curiosity of the room is diminished. The novelty of toys within reach will wear off with time.
The bed is accessible to the hold, without help from an adult, so that they can go to and from it when they need to. The ability to be able to recognize ‘I am tired’ will happen at some point, and a young child can learn to go lay down for a snooze if needed. This is really a mark of independence. Generally they learn to wake up and decide what they’d like to do next on their own first, but the end goal is both.
Independence, that is what the floor bed allows. The ability to go to and from the bed when they please. Facilitating a comfortable place of rest for the day a child becomes more self aware and recognizes sleepiness. By starting the floor bed as early as possible, you normalize it and create less of a struggle during transition. Click here to read about how a floor bed can teach your child an accurate sense of body scheme. Quote from paragraph.
A bedroom wouldn’t be a bedroom without toys. Even when the floor bed doesn’t cage in and prevent the mini humans from playing all night if they really wanted. (They won’t). It is key to select the toys in a Montessori bedroom carefully. And place them on shelves at child height so that they can play with them when they please.
Child height toys promote independent play. A child able to entertain themselves without structure from an adult will be able to wake up from a nap without crying, and start to play on their own if they wanted. Gone are the days where you wake up to a screaming baby. Unless they had a bad dream, or have a dirty diaper, or… Ah never mind.
Toy selection should be a thoughtful process. Select toys that are quiet and not over stimulating. Nothing with lights or sounds. Books and soft stuffed toys are ideal. Blocks and other small toys are a great option as well. These toys can and most likely will be take to bed at some point, if you find one there it means they probably quietly. Played themselves to sleep. How cute, right? Again, the novelty will wear off. Continue to associate the bed with a place of sleep.
It is important to have any all furniture miniature. Normalizing and allowing the hold to play and access things independently allows for amazing personal growth. At such a young age, I can only see this as an advantage in learning important life skills. Although you don’t need much, a bed, maybe a shelf or two. Most toys may be places directly on the floor.
Don’t forget to decorate the bedroom, and decorate at low levels still. By allowing your hold to enjoy things like paintings or pictures, your are allowing them to be visually stimulated. You don’t need to over full the room either, less is more sometimes. Allow your child the ability to use their imagination without being distracted. Distractions often limit discovery, and we don’t want any limits!
Clothing setup is another thing to be aware of. Allow apyour child to have access to a dresser or closet area to help pick out their outfit. A laundry basket or hamper in a specific area can allow you to teach them to clean up too.
Carpeting textures is a nice accent to add to your Montessori bedroom. Sensory play is great at any age and any stage. Curtains to block out lights are important, and a baby gate is preferred over closing the door to lock a child into the bedroom if you must leave the room.
Even though we room-share, the only struggle we had transition was decluttering. I took the opportunity to prevent my hoarding to get worse, there was no loss for me there. My husband and my bed was on a bed frame, but we now have a floor bed well so that Gregory can have access to ours and us. Our bedroom is so cozy and I love how intimate it is. Gregory can come snuggle us when he pleases, and we can go snuggle him.
That is the basics of creating a Montessori bedroom. It doesn’t cost much of anything, aside from patience at nap time. Which, if you think back to when you were a kid, didn’t you just want to spend some extra time with mom and dad? or be involved in this amazing world we live in for just a few minutes longer?
A floor bed allows me to enjoy some extra precious moments with my son that I will cherish forever. How any extra soft giggles and snuggles have we had, all while creating a calm relationship with bedtime and sleep. I love my Montessori bedroom and floor bed experience, and would recommend anyone to try it. In fact I already have, and she isn’t turning back either!