Montessori Floor Beds for Your Baby

Traditionally, one of the first items many new parents add to their baby registry is a fancy new crib… but if you’re practicing Montessori, that’s not really needed.

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  • Montessori Babies with Simone Davies

    Thinking about going Montessori with your baby? What exactly does that mean, how much will it cost and what resources are needed to help you and your baby achieve success?


Episode Transcript

Sunny Gault
So traditionally, one of the items that you may have put on your baby registry is some sort of crib, right? And we like to get really fancy with this. There's a million different types of cribs out there. But if you're practicing Montessori is all of that really needed. I'm Sunny with New Mommy Media. And I'm joined here with Simone Davies. She's a best-selling author, as well as a Montessori educator, Simone, thanks so much for being here with us today.

Simone Davies
Hi, Sunny. Thanks for having me.

Sunny Gault
Absolutely. Well, Simone, on one hand, many moms out there may be really happy to know that they don't have to purchase these really big fancy cribs, right? Because that can cost a lot of money. So what does Montessori teach instead?

Simone Davies
Yeah, it's a little controversial. But cribs are made for parents like not for the tiles. So it's very convenient for us to be able to put a baby in and out heights into a crib, we know where they are, they're safely locked in their middle space. But actually, Dr. Montessori found that if you put the mattress straight onto the floor, and you do this from birth, then the baby doesn't crawl out, because they used to this is my place where I know that we rest. And they also then when they wake up, they don't have to cry to get out of bed, they can actually, once they get to slithering age, they can slither out of bed and make their way over to some of the quiet activities that are left there. So it's controversial, but it makes a lot of sense. And also, it's much more comfortable to just sit down next to your baby, maybe put a hand on them if they need a little bit of help, or is to stroke their head sometimes, or maybe somebody actually didn't need my help right now. So I'm just going to sit next to them, oh, well, they're actually feeling pretty calm, I'm going to pop out, make a cup of tea and come back to check on them. So it can be really convenient. And if your baby's having a really unsettled that you could lie down next to them, which is much easier than I don't know, if you've tried to ever put a baby to sleep over those bars, but it breaks your back.

Sunny Gault
It does and then you get like the baby monitors, because who's gonna like no one's gonna lay down next to a crib, right? So then you get the baby monitor in there to know what the baby's doing. And it leads to all this other stuff you have to purchase. Right? So what are the essentials? What when we talk about a Montessori bed, what are we talking about here,

Simone Davies
like really, it's just a mattress on the floor. And then some people purchase a frame, which goes around it to just add a little lift to the top so that they don't roll straight out. But if you have a mattress, it's usually not so big. It's like 10 centimeters off. And what's really interesting is part of our Montessori training is observing babies. And I had to observe babies in the first eight weeks of life. So a lot of that's during their sleep time. And I was fascinated with how much they actually moved during their sleep, we think that they just go to sleep, they stay in one spot, and they wake up, but actually, they're moving subtle movements, you can see them getting to the edge of the mattress and wiggling their way back just like we do when we get to the edge of the bed, we don't fall out of bed every night, maybe once or twice, but you learned that you don't. So they actually can self-adjust. And you can put like a soft surface if you're worried that they might roll out of their bed. So really, that's all you need is just the mattress, a sheet on top. And these days do not allow a lot of blankets, or any of these bumpers or anything like that anyway, the seeds so it can, it saves you a lot of money as well. And that's saying could buy like already a single size bed, and then it would go straight into their bed when they're three. So it could also grow with them.

Sunny Gault
That's a really good point. Because I remember I've got four kids of my own. And I remember, I was like, well, we already have a crib mattress. And now we got to get a twin or whatever, you know, what are we going to do full or what you whatever they're, you know, the next step is going to be and I remember thinking what am I going to do this twin mattress, or not twin, but that the crib mattress because you don't really pass that stuff down. It's kind of yucky to use someone else's mattress, right. And that's like just one more thing we have to buy for our kids. So that's really interesting. So for I know that there are going to be some parents out there that are going oh my goodness, but I'm so nervous. My kids are going to get out of bed in the middle of the night. What happens because, you know, we're so concerned about their safety. And I know this has you know, we did a separate video where we talked about spaces and how to set up your Montessori space. But what advice do you have for parents that are going into this going? Yeah, but what if they get up in the middle of night? And I don't know, you know, what, if they hurt themselves or something? What do you say to those parents?

Simone Davies
Yeah, so one thing is, is that I should have mentioned in what do you need, you need a safe space, you need to make sure that they're not going to get into any trouble when they wake up and they can get themselves out of bed. But actually, some people say it's an advantage to babies that wake up in the middle of the night need to play for a little bit and then they go back to bed. They can do that. It takes a lot of trust. But sometimes I know that Montessori parents have found their babies asleep in the middle of the floor, but it doesn't happen more than once or twice, you know that they haven't quite made it back into their bed. And it can actually be an advantage. So yes, exactly. Who says that we have to stay in our bed all night and it actually gives them a lot of independence and they're like very capable um, Jennifer does a beautiful story in the book about her children actually crawling out of their room and coming to find out when they wake up and it's one of her favorite parts of parenting is beautiful faces. Like in the morning waking her up in her own bed. How lovely is that?

Sunny Gault
Oh, that is so sweet. And you're writing selling babies got a big schedule the next day. What are we so good First of all, no, you have to sleep from this time. You're right, you hit the nail on the head when you talked about this is really for the parents. You know, convenience is what it is. We're like you're in your little area and you stay in your little area until we're ready to come back and do this mommy baby thing. I know that sounds bad. A lot of people probably aren't gonna like that just said that. But I'll be honest, like my kids were in cribs. And I could not wait some nights, I'll be honest, to get to that point where it's like, I can take my mommy hat off. Now, I could put you in this crib. But that's because, you know, we weren't practicing them, you know, Montessori. And so we didn't have things set up that way. But I love the idea of kids being able to explore on their own, not feeling like you know that they have to be doing something very specific at every moment of the day, like really allowing them to use their intuition. And that's really what this is all about.

Simone Davies
Yeah. And also to say, though, that it doesn't mean that the baby can stay up all night. He's like, we still have a bedtime and we show them the routine. And we might sit next to them to show them that it's sleeping time or resting time. But I can't put my baby to sleep. And so people say how do I get my child to sleep? We're asking the wrong question. Because the only person who can put themselves to sleep is a baby to close their eyes and to actually find sleep. Right? And the same way you can't force a child to swallow anything and you can't force a child to pee on a toilet by shaking them. You know, these are things that we have to trust that they have. They're building those skills, it's just a skilled amount of sleeping is a skill to learn just like walking or anything else. We have a lot more patients when they're learning to walk and when they fall asleep.

Sunny Gault
Okay, thanks so much, Simone. Of course, Simone mentioned her book, I just want to show you guys what it looks like. So it's brand new. It's called The Montessori Baby, which she co-wrote and it's available on Amazon, or your favorite bookstore, you can head on over to our website, which is newmommymedia.com. If you want to see more great videos like this, check out our podcasts or blog posts and all that good stuff. It's where real moms talk about real life.

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