The other morning I walked into Juniper’s room to find this:
A true Montessori moment. If you google for images of floor beds, you come across a lot of pictures like this, so I was expecting it, but it was a little weird. Juniper has been rolling over in her sleep a lot lately. Usually she cries, and I go in to find her playing superman on her belly, unable to turn back over to go to sleep. I guess since she’s always slept on her back, and played on her tummy, she doesn’t realize that sleep can happen on her belly too. Until two days ago.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve found her in a strange place, but it was the first time that she’d still been asleep. My first instinct was to go in and turn her back over (or at the very least re-position her so that all of her body was on the mattress), and probably if had been the middle of the night I would have. But since it was 6am, and I knew she’d be up for the day in the next hour, I left her. About a half hour later she started squirming around so I moved her back onto the bed on her back and she slept for a little longer that way.
It probably seems a little weird to leave a baby in an awkward position, but I do think that is all part of using a floor bed. You’re letting the child figure out how to move around, and also letting them feel that they have power over their own body. She was sleeping peacefully in her awkward position, so why move her? Once she wasn’t happy anymore, and she wasn’t able to get to a comfortable position on her own, I stepped in and helped her out. As with all the Montessori works, it’s all about finding that fine balance between letting the child work independently (and possibly struggle) without letting her get too frustrated. If frustration (as opposed to a little struggle to accomplish something) sets in, then learning stops.
So, I guess you could say that the floor bed is working out for us. Juniper seems to prefer it to her crib, and I prefer it to her crib (I can still lay down to nurse her in the night and pretend that I am still asleep). Granted, she isn’t crawling yet, so that may throw a wrench in things, but we’ll see. I’m actually looking forward to her being able to crawl to her sleep space when she is tired (this is the floor bed in practice ideal, but I realize that it may not happen). We haven’t gotten rid the crib yet, it’s just in the basement in case we decide we need it in a few months, but for now I’m sold.