When pregnant with E and planning her nursery, the idea of a floor bed was one we were back and forth on. After doing our research, we decided to go ahead with it because we loved that it would provide her freedom of movement in her space and foster independence from a young age.
I hadn’t initially thought about how convenient it would make nursing through the night, laying beside her and slipping away as she stayed sound asleep.
A bonus is that we won’t have to transition her out of a crib down the road. To see how K’s transition from the crib to floor bed went, check out our blog post – “Transitioning From Crib To Floor Bed.”
Although we set up the floor bed before E was born, she didn’t start sleeping in it until around the 5-month mark (starting with naps).
Here’s how our floor bed journey has gone:
When E was a newborn, she slept in a bassinet next to our bed. Once she started rolling, we transitioned her into a pack n’ play (still next to our bed) to give her more space.
Around 4 months, she started to take some naps on her floor bed to get used to sleeping in her space. Before that, E napped either on me in her baby wrap, sleeping on us in the rocking chair, and sometimes (but rarely) on her own in the bassinet or pack n’ play.
I was so anxious about her rolling off the bed, so we started with the mattress directly on the floor.
By 5 and a half months, she began to sleep on her bed at night as well.
Then and even now, she does roll-off from time to time. Most of the time she doesn’t become upset, but she is easily soothed when we come in to comfort her if she does.
We added a 2” pool noodle to the edge of her bed, which has helped prevent a lot of rolling off since she tends to move a lot in her sleep. It is small enough that she has no trouble crawling on or off her bed (which she sometimes does while half asleep and spends a little time sleeping on the floor).
A note about safety: When using a Montessori floor bed, it is vital to child-proof the entire bedroom. I will touch on this more near the bottom of the post.
Floor Bed Bedtime Routine
We were sure to keep her bedtime routine the same each night to help with the transition. A consistent bedtime routine creates predictability, a sense of calm and cues your baby that sleep time is coming.
To prepare for E’s bedtime routine, K helps set up everything in her room and bathroom. Having everything prepared ahead of time helps things go smoothly.
Her routine starts with a bath and then moves into her room, where we get her set in pj’s and her sleep sack. We turn on her Hatch sound machine and turn out the lights (we use this blackout blind, curtains and blackout drapes for better quality sleep).
Then we grab her lovey (which she holds onto for the rest of the routine and sleeps with), and she has her night feeding in the rocking chair. The chair used to be in her room but is now outside of her room in our hallway, where we have a large open space.
After this, she is usually very sleepy, and we go back into her room and sing with her in our arms. By this point, she is generally ready for sleep or has fallen asleep, and we lay her down on her bed. Some nights, she needs a little extra time before she is ready to sleep independently.
Note: her nap routine is very similar to her bedtime routine again to cue her that it is time to sleep.
When we put E down for a nap or at bedtime, she typically stays asleep. If she wakes up crying at any time, we observe and follow the child by responding to her needs as necessary.
In the mornings, we go into her room when she wakes, but when she wakes from a nap she sometimes does so happily and will play for a little bit before we go in to get her.
Since her room is dark for sleep, we turn the sound machine down and the light on (via the app) to encourage exploration if she wishes.
Her room has been prepared with her safety and needs in mind, and we always have her baby monitor app running to keep an eye on her.
Are We Happy With The Floor Bed From Birth?
Yes, we are happy with our decision on going with the floor bed from birth and skipping the crib.
We know that as she gets older new challenges may arise, but it has gone really well to this point.
My favorite part about the floor bed is entering her room in the morning to find her sitting up with a big bright smile and getting right down to her level to say good morning!
I will wrap this portion of the blog post and say that you do not have to have a floor bed to have a Montessori inspired baby room. Do what works best for your family!
Our Montessori Floor Bed of Choice
E’s floor bed is the Sprout Floor Bed (crib size).
We went with the crib size so that we could use a firm baby safe crib mattress. Having the floor bed frame (rather than just putting the mattress on the floor) allows for airflow.
As soon as it’s safe to transition to a regular mattress, we will be purchasing a twin or full-size floor bed from Sprout to give E more room to move around in her sleep.
We are a partner of Sprout and our readers can get 10% off your first purchase by using the coupon code OMJ on checkout!
Your Floor Bed Questions Answered
Did we sleep train?
We attempted to do the “ABC’s of Sleep” by Taking Cara Babies with E. We did this sleep training program with K and she adjusted well after the first night and was a solid sleeper (up until after her second birthday). It was a different story with E, and early on decided to abandon the program and go with a settling plan that followed her needs and worked for us all as a family (described as above in her bedtime routine).
Sleep Sacks – does she wear one? Is it difficult to move? Etc.
She has been wearing a sleep sack since she started rolling – before that, she was in a swaddle. She can get in and out of bed and crawl around her room with no problem with it on. K wore a sleep sack until after her second birthday as I was too worried about blankets in her bed. Our two favourites are Halo and Kyte Baby.
Do we move her back into bed or leave her on the floor if she rolls off while sleeping?
She typically ends up on the floor when she crawls off during a nap and sometimes falls back asleep. In this case, we leave her to sleep on the floor to avoid waking her. The odd time she rolls off her bed in the night and stays asleep, but we do go in and put her back on the bed – I guess just for my peace of mind.
How did you baby-proof the room?
We removed the glider, ottoman, side table, and lamp. We took down the picture frames when we shifted the furniture and didn’t have a new spot for them. All outlet covers in her room are self-closing. The wires to her sound machine and Nanit baby monitor are secured to the back of her Sprout toddler wardrobe, and the wardrobe is attached to the wall with hardware that comes with it. I will also mention that her doors shut while she sleeps.
Does she get hurt by hitting her head, climbing, or falling off her bed?
She has never gotten hurt while in her room or on her floor bed. She does end up sleeping up against the one end of the bed and sometimes stirs in her sleep because of it, but this would be no different if she was in a crib. The only area of her room that she would possibly be able to climb is on her shelf, which would be difficult since it is up against the wall.
What are you doing about going potty in the night and having a potty in her room?
E will be in diapers for sleep as long as she needs to be. We will follow her lead on this, and once she is consistently dry for naps and night sleep, we will start to think about going without a diaper. We have a potty in our upstairs bathroom that she can use during the night when she is ready.
Other Helpful Montessori Floor Bed Resources
Monti Kids: How a Floor Bed Supports Learning
The Kavanaugh Report: Archive of Floor Bed Posts
How We Montessori: Why We Use a Montessori Floor Bed
Montessori In Real Life: Sleep and Floor Bed Tips With Sleep Consultant Megan Kumpf and Why Our Baby Sleeps on the Floor
Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below! 🙂