The Montessori bed and baby sleep - Marcia Horbacio - Doula & Sleep Consultant

Marcia Horbacio – Doula & Sleep Consultant - Marcia Horbacio – Doula & Sleep Consultant

Marcia Horbacio – Doula & Sleep Consultant - Marcia Horbacio – Doula & Sleep Consultant


Marcia Horbacio - Doula & Sleep Consultant

The Montessori bed and baby sleep

Let’s talk Montessorian bed today. In the past, no one had any doubt that the crib was the most appropriate place for the baby to sleep, but nowadays with so many options, parents are more concerned about whether the choice of crib is really the best for their baby. So, today we are going to compare the crib with one of these options, which is the Montessorian bed, and clear up some of everyone’s doubts. To begin with, let’s explain what Montessori education is.

According to Wikipedia, the Montessori Method is “the result of scientific and empirical research carried out by the physician and pedagogue Maria Montessori. It is characterized by an emphasis on autonomy, freedom with limits, and respect for the child’s natural development of physical, social, and psychological skills.” According to its creator, the most important point of the method is, not so much its material or its practice, but the possibility created by its use, of freeing the true nature of the individual, so that it can be observed, understood, and for that education develops based on the evolution of the child.

The principles of Montessori education apply to all environments where the child is, so parents create a room that can encourage independence, placing everything within reach of the child, at a height where he can reach. This includes your bedroom furniture, your clothes, your toys, books, and play areas. The child’s bed is not left out, and it is also low on the floor. By placing the bed on the floor, parents are applying the principles of freedom of movement, promoting the child’s independence and empowerment. It is important to remember, however, that a bed on the floor means the child is free to get up whenever they want, and this can impact sleep quality, particularly if the child does not yet have the cognitive development to remember the rules of staying in bed at all times without getting up.

A study done at Philadelphia Hospital, Pennsylvania, showed that sleeping children in cribs was associated with fewer awakenings at night, a quieter bedtime, and longer sleep periods. Study author Ariel Willimson and colleagues collected information from 1,983 children aged 18-36 months living in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The research also showed that the percentage of children in cribs decreases with age: 63 percent of children aged 18-24 months, 34 percent of children aged 24-30 months, and only 13 percent of children aged 30-36 months.

“Adults see cribs as a cage, but that’s not how children see them,” says Lisa Meltzer, a child psychologist at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado. Children like small spaces where they feel safe and comfortable. If you look at a child playing, they like to play under tables or inside boxes.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers said that a child over 3 years old better understands the concept of staying in bed at night.

We know this is not a choice for some parents. Some children are able to jump out of the crib from a very early age and in this case, the safest thing is to put the child in a bed. But then, is the Montessorian bed the best option?
Here are some very important considerations before choosing a Montessori bed:

– If your child is very persistent and energetic, you should consider that he may want to get up a lot and not want to go back to bed without you having to come and put him down several times. In that case, it’s even better to wait until he’s matured enough to understand bedtime rules.

– If he already has sleep problems in the crib, you should address these before switching from the crib to the Montessori bed, so the problems don’t get worse with the freedom to come and go. Safety is a key factor. Get into crawling position and search for the room first. This should be done so that you can see the room from the child’s perspective, looking for where he could get hurt. Furniture should be the height of the child and preferably screwed to the wall. Curtain cords must not be accessible, the room must be well ventilated to avoid overheating, socket outlets must be covered, dresser drawers and cupboards must have a safety device so that it does not hurt if the child tries to open it, there must be no corners that could hurt the child, and don’t forget: If the room is Montessori but the house is not, you need to limit the child’s exit from the room so that he doesn’t get up at night and walk around the house. How to do this? A good idea is to place a gate on the bedroom door. Although placing the gate may seem contrary to the idea of ​​the method, you must not forget that he can wake up and leave the room while you sleep, so it is better not to play with luck. If you don’t like traditional gates, a very interesting option is the cloth gate. See how to make such a gate yourself at the link:

Before deciding on the type of bed, be it Montessori or a regular bed, think about whether your child is ready for the transition. According to the above research and the opinion of several sleep experts, including myself, is that if the child does not jump and cannot injure himself falling out of the crib, it is best to wait until age 3. At this age you will be able to explain where the older children sleep and the new house rules for them to sleep. You can even make a poster together with him showing the steps that must be followed at the time of the sleep routine and post it on the bedroom wall to remind him. So, the transition should be easier for everyone.

I hope this information helps you to make the best decision for your family.

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