I fell in love with the Montessori way of learning many years ago when I worked in a Montessori classroom. The children had vastly different personalities, as can be expected, but they all carried a sense of independence about them. At lunch time, they wiped off their lunch mats with a sponge, took small brushes and brushed off crumbs and offered to help the teachers with sweeping the floor. Many montessori schools have students 2-5 help make snack and feed their classmates. I grew up in a home where much was done for me- laundry, dishes, household cleaning. Perhaps because of that, I am terrible at cleaning up after myself. I was terrible in college and it has taken a decade for me to get anywhere close to tidy. ( I still am guilty of leaving shoes, cups and o around…)
Maria Montessori felt children needed respect above all else and the floor bed is the beginning of that respect. Give a baby a floor on the bed and their entire room becomes their crib. As they grow, they can wake up and explore their surroundings and await the coming of their parent happily and independently.
For us, it served a much more practical purpose. Josephine started having a negative association with her pack-and-play and we were desperate to try something new, so we pulled out the crib mattress, I sat on one side and laid her next to me. She fell asleep in minutes. When she woke later that night, I nursed her lying on the mattress and the environment was much closer to our bed than the pack-and-play ever was. The floor bed hasn’t solved our sleep troubles, but putting her down has become much easier for me. And as she gets older, she will have her room to explore more completely.
Another unknown benefit is play time. Charlotte and I play with Josephine on her bed throughout the day. It is a soft, safe and pliable place for her and Charlotte can fit right next to her (with supervision) to give kisses or toys.
Right now, it’s perfect for us. We will see as things progress.