The Montessori learning method lays out a plan to further your child’s mental, emotional, and physical development. This plan has guidelines on how to raise your child, right down to where they should sleep. Before you jump headfirst into the Montessori learning method, you should consider factors such as the floor bed to decide if it’s the right plan for you and your child.
Montessori floor beds are a good way to introduce a child to the world around them and to teach them independence and awareness. Parents should implement a consistent bedtime routine with a Montessori floor bed. Only use a Montessori floor bed in a child-proofed room.
Using a Montessori floor bed requires commitment to the Montessori learning method. Even if you don’t commit to the entire learning method, there are other factors to take into account. Keep reading to learn more about what a Montessori bed is and how to use one with your child.
What is a Montessori Bed?
Montessori beds are essentially just mattresses on or close to the floor. Because the bed is closer to the ground, it is a safer option for small children and infants. While a Montessori floor bed is safe, its main purpose is to teach a child independence and awareness.
While a crib focuses on the parent’s desire for the child to sleep, a Montessori floor bed invites the child to sleep. If they aren’t tired, then the child can roll out of their bed and explore. This type of sleeping arrangement teaches the child to pay attention to their own sleep needs.
As the child gets older, they’ll learn to put themselves to sleep when they feel tired. Another benefit of using a Montessori floor bed is that your child learns to explore. More so, they want to explore. Since exploring is a form of learning, Montessori floor beds get a child excited to learn from an early stage.
When you search for a Montessori floor bed online, you’ll mostly see many beds shaped like houses. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. The only requirement for a bed to be a Montessori floor bed is that the mattress is placed on or near the ground.
If you choose a floor bed with a bed frame, then ideally it should be made of natural wood. Why wood specifically? The Montessori learning method emphasizes putting your child in touch with the real world. Very few Montessori toys use unnatural materials such as plastic. Related: Why Montessori Prefers Natural Materials
Most of all, the floor bed you choose should be safe. But wait, aren’t they placed close to the ground for that reason? Well, yes. However, other factors besides the height of the bed factor into your child’s safety.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their back. Additionally, infants should sleep on a firm flat mattress. A firm, flat bed prevents the child from suffocating if they roll over, especially since newborns can’t lift their heads.
If you put your child in a Montessori floor bed in the other room, you’re not able to monitor them throughout the night. For this reason, you might wait until your child is a few months old before putting them in a Montessori floor bed.
Check out our full article for more information on when and how to use a Montessori floor bed.
Another safety concern is that as the child learns to crawl and move around the room, they could get themselves into danger. Before implementing the Montessori floor bed, you need to child-proof the room. This includes padding the child’s first fall. If your child’s Montessori floor bed doesn’t sit on carpet, consider placing a rug or blanket around the bed.
Next, ensure that all electrical outlets are covered. Anything else that could harm an exploring child should be removed from the bedroom.
Learn more about designing your own Montessori bedroom in this article: How to Organize a Montessori Bedroom.
Finally, make sure that the child can’t get out of the room. While you could just shut the door, this might make it difficult to hear if your child needs help. Consider a baby gate in the doorway instead.
How to Introduce Your Child to a Montessori Floor Bed
When and how do you introduce your child to their independence and start using a floor bed?
The Montessori method suggests implementing a Montessori floor bed from birth. However, you can always use the floor bed as the next step up from a crib.
If you want to start using a floor bed early on, there are several steps you can follow. For the first few weeks, don’t worry too much about getting your child in the floor bed. At this point, their sleep patterns tend to be fairly erratic. Additionally, the newborn baby will need to nurse several times throughout the night. If it’s easier to have the baby in a bedside bassinet, do that!
While the Montessori learning method may be strict, there’s no one supervising that you follow every guideline within the suggested time period.
When possible, set them down for a nap in their floor bed. As their sleep patterns become more stable, use the floor bed for day naps. Slowly ease your child (and yourself) into using the floor bed more often.
During the transition to a floor bed, never force your child to sleep when you’re ready for them to sleep. Instead, wait until they’re ready to sleep. Eventually, your child will grow to prefer the floor bed, and when able, they’ll take themselves there when they’re tired.
If your child struggles to sleep by themselves, wait until they have consistent sleep patterns and the confidence to sleep alone. This may mean waiting until they’re two or even four years old.
Best Montessori Beds and Bed Frames for Toddlers
A Montessori floor bed doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, you could just put a mattress on the floor for your child to sleep on. However, the floor bed should be inviting to your child. For this reason, a fun bed frame could be just what your child’s bedroom needs.
Perhaps this is why the many Montessori beds are shaped like a house—because it is a fun, inviting shape. If you’re looking for a unique Montessori bed for your child, you’ve come to the right place. Below you will find our favorite Montessori beds and bed frames for toddlers.
Montessori Floor Mattress
This foldable floor mattress is a great option if you’re not wanting to purchase a bed frame. It has 4.5 stars from over 600 reviews, and comes in Twin, Full, and Queen sizes.
This floor bed is also a great option for traveling, as it folds up and comes with a storage bag and strap.
Montessori House Floor Beds
The TwoGiraffes Montessori House Bed is the perfect option to use with your child from infancy through their toddler years. This house bed works for infants because it has a center railing perfect for hanging mobiles. Since the Montessori method starts using mobiles from birth, this bed gives you the perfect place to hang them from.
Your toddler will also enjoy this bed due to its larger size. When your child finishes with the Montessori mobile rotation, you can let them hang decorations of their choosing and creation.
Order the TwoGiraffes Montessori House Bed on Amazon.
Montessori Low Floor Bed
This low Montessori Floor Bed has a very simplistic feel to it. While this bed would also work for toddlers and infants alike due to its size, you’ll need to find something else to hang your mobiles from.
You can purchase this Montessori Floor Bed from Sprout Kids in either crib, twin, or full-sized. If you want your child to have more freedom, choose the option with two low sides and don’t place the bed against the wall.
The best part about this Montessori Floor Bed is the fact that it “grows” with your child. When your child is ready for a bed that sits a little higher off the ground, all you have to do is flip the frame upside down!
Does your child struggle to fall asleep alone at night? If so, this is the perfect bed. With a weight capacity of 250 pounds, you can lay with your child until they fall asleep (and yes, it’s big enough for that).
In other words, this bed could last your child for the first few years of their life. For just $400, that’s quite a deal. Even better, this bed folds down flat for easy storage. This makes it easy to store in the back of the closet until you have another kid who needs the bed.
Montessori Floor Beds with Rails
Many parents are concerned about their infants or toddlers rolling off of their floor beds. A floor bed with rails is a great option that helps prevent your child from rolling out of bed, while continuing to give them the independence to come and go from their bed as they please.
There are also floor beds with rails that include a closeable gate. But keep in mind that locking the gate would negate the purpose of a floor bed since it wouldn’t allow the child the ability to come and go from their bed when they want.
Montessori Teepee Floor Beds
If you’re hoping to save a bit of money on your child’s floor bed, you can always build it yourself. Of course, to do this, you’ll need some building plans.
This Montessori Teepee Twin Bed Plan on Etsy costs just $8. This simple design can be built even by those without much woodworking experience.
This Teepee Twin Bed, like the first bed frame mentioned, gives you a place to hang the Montessori mobiles from and later on, your toddler’s favorite decorations. It also is very cool looking, and your kids will love it once they’re old enough to appreciate it.
While this Montessori floor bed slightly resembles the classic house structure, it takes a creative spin on the design.
So what are you waiting for? Buy the Montessori Teepee Twin Bed Plan and get to building!
Play Tent Canopy Bed
If you’re just looking for a way to spice up how your child’s floor bed looks, then the Play Tent Canopy Bed is the perfect choice. This canopy makes the bed look a bit more substantial than just a mattress laying on the floor.
The Play Tent Canopy Bed fits twin-sized beds and costs less than $200.
Your kid will love this cute bed cover from infancy through their early childhood years. When your child outgrows this bed, you can move it to the side or set it up in the playroom full of pillows as a reading nook. Order a Play Tent Canopy Bed from Etsy.
KIDS Cushioned Bed Frame
This option is a little higher off the ground, and therefore only appropriate for older toddlers and not for infants.
This cushioned bed frame has only soft surfaces. It can be purchased in either a twin, twin XL, or full size. You’ll need to purchase a separate box spring. Because this bed frame comes in larger sizes, your child can use it from their toddler years well into their teens.
Get the KIDS Cushioned Bed Frame on Etsy for $400 to $450.
Montessori House Floor Bed with Fence
Floor beds with fences essentially function the same as floor beds with rails. The “fence” helps prevent your child from rolling out of bed, while the side opening allows your child to get in and out of bed whenever they want.
Trundle Frame for Mattress
Another option to consider is to simply put a mattress on a trundle bed frame. This elevates the mattress off the floor just slightly to prevent mold from the mattress lying directly on the floor.