Recently I was asked a few questions regarding transitioning from a Montessori floor bed to a child-sized bed, so I thought I would post about what we have done so far.
Here’s what we used with my first child;
- Moses basket (first 6 weeks)
- Cot (used until 15 months of age)
- Floor mattress (15 months-3.5 years)
- Child-sized single bed mattress on a bed frame (3.5 years to current)
Here’s what we used with my second child;
- Moses basket (first 6 weeks) and Toponccino
- Floor mattress (6 weeks to 2 years).
- Child-sized single bed mattress on a bed frame (2 years to current)
A single sized low to the ground floor mattress above and a single child-sized metal bed frame in the image below. Both of my children now use a mattress on a bed frame. The image below is the bed frame that my oldest has, she chose this style of frame.
Below are a few other questions I was asked via email recently from a reader of my blog, so I will give you some idea of how I answered. Keep in mind that the questions and answers below I have just summed it up as we have had some ongoing email conversations.
Q1. Do my children have their own rooms and do I allow toys in their bedrooms?
My children now share a room. They had separate rooms until my youngest was 18 months old. Yes they both had toys in their rooms when they had separate rooms. The picture below is the shelf that was in my youngest’s room early on. These were the only toys in his room, what was put on this shelf. The only other things in his room at the time was a floor bed and a Montessori mobile hanging from the ceiling. My eldest had in her room, a bed, book shelf and some other quiet toys (dolls etc). Now that they both share a room, all that is in their shared space is their beds (we decided not to get a bunk bed), a bookshelf and just a chair for dressing and a bedside table. I thought it was best to keep toys in another space in the house. I like the ideas of bedrooms being a quiet space.
Q2. Using a floor bed from early on, has any of my children rolled off?
No, none of my children have rolled off. Maybe because they have been used to sleeping on a floor bed since early on. My youngest used to roll a lot in his sleep but that’s why I chose a single-sized mattress instead of toddler-sized which is much smaller. For the first year of his life my youngest slept on his floor mattress between the wall and my bed (only at night) so he couldn’t really roll off. He started sleeping at night in his room from approx 15 months old. During the day he slept in his room for naps and never rolled off the mattress.
Q3. When did my children start using pillows on their beds?
From around 18 months, when I felt it was safe to do so for us. They never used toddler-sized pillows, just the regular adult sized ones.
Q4. Do I close my children’s doors at night if they are young and sleeping on a floor bed, won’t they run all over the house if they are not in a cot, and what if they wake frequently and are in another room to you?
I never had any problems with them getting up at night and running around the house. We have an open door policy. I don’t close their doors and I allow them to come and get me if they need me (our rooms are all close together).
If they were going through a period where they were not sleeping well at night, I was happy to put their floor mattress next to my bed so I was close by. It’s too difficult if your child wakes up frequently to have to run to another room every time they need you, especially when they are under 1 years old, no one would get any sleep. I just did what worked for us at the time. If they really had trouble getting back to sleep, the beauty of the floor bed is you can lie next to them to help them get to sleep or back to sleep if they have woken up late at night. Floor beds are not for everyone, I understand this.
In regards to knowing when to transition to a child-sized bed? I would say, when you and your child feel ready. The age and stage varies. Most of the other Montessori parents I have spoke to said their child transitioned to a ‘big bed’ by age 3 years if that helps.