Montessori children’s room – let your child sleep peacefully
Child psychologists observed the movement of a nine-month-old sleeping baby during one study. She was set up to sleep in a wide enough fenced bed so that she could not reach the fence even if she made several turns in one direction.
It’s interesting what happened. The baby has not changed positionon the bed relative to the fence a lot, but during the sleep she made a whole circle around her own axis (belly), the whole 360 degrees. This and many other studies inspired the creation of “Montessori Children’s Room”.
It happens that Montessori principles are not always accepted simply because they are not common in the families of closest friends, however, the success of the method is indicated by the fact that it has been applied in the kindergartens and homes of Montessori parents for more than a century. For all that time the guiding principle, which puts the child’s freedom at the forefront, remains unchanged.
Children feel like they are being caged and have no control over their destiny. In the crib, they are unable to do anything but cry and hope that the adults will come to “free” them. Montessori recommendation for very young babies (up to four months of age) is to sleep in so-called „You can basket”. The basket should be in the same room in which the child will sleep later in order to “relate” to the atmosphere.
From the fourth month, the baby should be placed in a Montessori bed. It is actually a mattress on the floor, which is surrounded by soft pillows on the side. The room must be warm and safe. This kind of children’s room should be considered from practical and then psychological aspects.
This is about safety first. It is necessary that the radiators and pipes be protected by a wooden fence, all plugs and cables also, and all drawers fitted with levers that prevent them from being easily opened by children. Bookshelves and other less stable furniture should be fixed to the wall.
It is important that the mattress on which the child will sleep satisfies by its size, above all, capacity of the children’s room.But it is even more important to be surrounded by soft pillows, as well as to have the wall or walls it relies on is specially treated with a soft cloth that can be removed and can easily be replaced by another. If you have the options, attach a plastic mirror to the wall, the children will “interact” with it. Cover the children depending on the temperature in the room (the temperature on the floor is often a few degrees below room temperature), so – as needed.
The room was created with the idea of making children’s freedom a primary factor. To be soft and comfortable, without any obstacles to child development, to allow the toddler to move freely. When they wake up in a room like this, children rarely cry. If they have a need to continue their sleep, they simply sleep on their own. If they don’t, they start playing right away or come looking for you.
It is very important that everything is always in the same place – a small shelf with Montessori materials a bookshelf … that everything is safe and at your fingertips. The child will only approach the shelf and pick up the toys as soon as he begins to crawl.
Your sleep routine should be unchanged: dinner, bathing, reading a book and sleeping (or any other option you choose). What will surprise you is how early babies start sleeping all night without unnecessary waking up, and how moody and cheerful they are in the morning when they wake up.
SOMETHING MORE …
If it happens that the child wakes up at night, nothing easier for parents – just lie down next to your toddler. That is the easiest and fastest way to continue the interrupted sleep. Because every time you lift him out of the crib at night to make him fall asleep again, you keep him awake, so that makes it difficult to continue to sleep.
If the child is feeling better in the illuminated area, especially at night, quite dim light can be in the hallway in front of the children’s room.
You will change the size of the mattress as the toddler grows, but it is recommended that the mattress remain on the floor until his third year.
EXPERIENCED MOMS STORIES…
Sue Briggs is a Montessori mom and professor at the Montessori International Center in London. She is a mom of three boys, two years apart. What were her experiences with Montessori children’s roomscreating?
All the boys slept on the mattresses, in the same room. There was never any problem with going to bed, because the same routine was performed every night, which meant enough time to read the story. Would I do the same thing again? For sure. True Montessori parents will do everything for their child to develop in “complete freedom”, building confidence,
which will also be ensuredby the right space.
Ela Smith is a Montessori educator at Blossom Montessori Kindergarten in London, also a Montessori mom. Her experience is somewhat different. – I completely agree with the principles and the idea of Montessori children’s room. However, you need adequate space to make the child feel safe and comfortable. I have modified the principle somewhat by making the so-called sofa in my apartment, a quiet corner for my kids. In one corner of the largest room in the apartment, we designed a corner with a mattress and pillows, a plastic mirror and a bookshelf. My kids enjoyed reading books and playing in that corner.