Image source: Belle + Beau
I've written a lot about the Montessori floor bed and I get asked this question via email, so perhaps it's time to discuss and get your ideas! Where does a Montessori newborn sleep?
Caspar (my first child) slept in a crib until he was around six months old then he transitioned to a floor bed. When he was born I didn't know anything about Montessori, and sadly I knew very little about children. When Otis was born I tried him in a crib (with one side open against our bed) which he slept in for about a minute and the rest of the time we coslept until he transitioned into a floor bed. We only coslept at night and he was in his floor bed pretty much from the start for all day-time naps. Otis also had many naps on his lambswool which he would play on during the day (we would move it around the house to keep him close) and often he would drift off to sleep.
If we have another child, for the first couple of months I would try a bassinet or Moses basket (perhaps the Bednest), transitioning to a floor bed when we feel comfortable. The concept of using a bassinet or Moses basket is to allow the child to feel safe and secure while adjusting to the external world.
Meg covers the use of a bassinet or Moses basket at At Home with Montessori.
"A bassinet or moses basket for sleeping in during the first six weeks after birth. This is to simulate a womb-like environment whilst allowing baby to be free from swaddling cloths and still feel secure. You can plan to transition to a floor bed when the baby starts to adapt his sleeping patterns from night-time waking and feeding, to a solar pattern in which he has longer stretches of night-time sleep. This happens when the baby’s biological rhythms are respected. Choose a basket for its sloping base and low sides which still allow the baby to see most of his environment. A key aspect of this period is an environment of low sensory stimulation to ease the transition from the womb."
Junnifa at Nduoma also writes about her experiences at The Symbiotic period - Supporting the child and Applying Montessori Principles from Birth: Month 1.
"An area for Sleeping: this can be a moses basket or bassinet kept close to the mother’s side of the bed. This should be kept on a stand or a table. I believe there are arm’s reach co-sleepers that also serve this purpose but we used a bassinet on a table. Having it on a high surface means the mother does not need to bend to pick up the baby. This is important especially if the mother had a c-section or is recovering from a complicated birth."
I love this post at Montessori Moms, where Christie writes about her experience, her twins slept in bassinets until they transitioned into their floor beds at three months.
"For the first few months we have the child sleep in a bassinet, and then transition him/her to sleep on the low bed. In our case, we kept the two bassinets in our room until the boys started sleeping longer stretches at night (which was the best thing in the world at that time). This happened around 3 months, which was pretty much when they started hitting the sides of their bassinets so I knew it was time to make the transition. I had them sleep for one week in their bassinets on top of their low beds in order to create a point of reference for them in their bedroom. Then, it was time to make the switch! I was so nervous that first night and barely slept. I have a video monitor set up so I spent a good deal of night checking it."
Also if you are expecting don't forget the Topponcino, which I would recommend to all parents (Montessori or not). It's a thin oval mattress/cushion for a newborn to be held in or lie on for security and comfort.
When transitioning to a floor bed a baby monitor is a fantastic idea and it may give peace of mind! SIDS is a consideration, I suggest reading the Safe Sleeping recommendations. I also suggest doing your own research and putting your newborn to sleep where you are most comfortable, you need a good night sleep too!
You might also like these related posts.
- To Crib or Not to Crib at MariaMontessori.com
- Montessori-Inspired Newborn Essentials at Midwest Montessori.
- Oh, You Haven't Got Your Crib Yet at Montessori Moms. This is Carrie's experience and she also mentions the Montessori Cestina. This Cestina is also shown here.
- The basics of a floor bed at Montessori on the Double.