A floor bed, popular in the Montessori world, is basically a crib mattress on the floor instead of in a crib. The idea is that it gives the child more freedom to view and explore surroundings. (Montessori is all about independence and exploration.)
Sounds very visually appealing, right? While I was pregnant, nesting, and longingly perusing the beautiful nursery furniture displays at baby stores, I struggled with the idea of this and how it would look in Jake’s room. But now? I don’t really think twice about its unusualness until I’m asked about it. And then it’s like, oh yeah, I kind of forgot how weird this seems to other people.
The theory of a floor bed is all well and good, but how practical is it in use?
Some advantages so far:
• Like most babies, Jake fights sleep at bedtime. Sometimes it’s nice to lie down next to his bed and cuddle up to him or stroke his hair to soothe him to sleep.
• He moves around a lot in his sleep. There are times a leg or an arm will be hanging off the edge of the mattress (“he’s just exploring the edge of the bed,” according to one of the Montessori guides) and I have to wonder if we’d have stuck limbs between bars if we used a traditional crib. It doesn’t seem to bother him when this happens.
• I do love the openness of it. He’ll wake up in the morning and just happily “talk” or lie there completely chill, silently looking around the room. I think he likes the unobstructed view.
• He’s on the dog’s level. There have been a couple of instances when Sandy has walked up to Jake’s bed to give him kisses while he’s asleep, and I leap in what feels like slow motion to his bedside silently mouthing NOOOO to intercept an unwelcome sleep interruption from the poodle.
• I’m still not sure how this will work when he’s mobile. At 9 ½ months old, my little man is just now on the verge of crawling. To be completely honest, it’s kind of a relief he’s taking his time with this milestone. But once he’s zipping around everywhere, how will we keep him in his bed at bedtime? Will I constantly obsess about how well his room is baby-proofed? These are bridges we’ll have to cross when we get there.
I worried a lot about him rolling off the bed in the middle of the night, but this has rarely happened.
Overall, the floor bed has worked just fine for us so far. Any other Mamas out there use a floor bed? How do you like it?
Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Stepmom to a 12-year-old, and Mom to a 9-month-old who will be mobile any day now.