Having a Montessori floor bed for your toddler is great to develop their sense of independence and allow them to explore. It’s easy to get caught up in the design of the floor bed frame but one of the most important aspects of the floor bed is the quality of mattress you are using.
What is a Montessori Floor Bed?
The concept of a floor bed was created by Italian physician and educator, Maria Montessori. The Montessori method centers on a child’s innate ability to initiate her own learning within a prepared environment. A Montessori bed is simply a bed frame and mattress that is close to the floor without any restrictive railings allowing for the child to easily and safely move in and out of the bed by himself. Parents choose a floor bed for their child because it allows the child independence and ownership over their environment.
What are the benefits of having a Montessori Bed?
A Montessori floor bed enables your child’s freedom of movement. Unlike a crib where a parent or caregiver decides on the child’s sleeping and waking patterns, a child who sleeps in a floor bed can go to bed when he’s tired and get up safely when necessary. A floor bed also allows for a parent to lay with their child to cuddle and read during their bedtime routine or to help the child fall back to sleep in the middle of the night. This type of bed encourages independence and confidence in toddlers and children, and facilitates easy access to the rest of the bedroom and its various elements.
What type of mattress is best for a Montessori bed?
Choosing the best mattress for your Montessori bed is just like choosing a mattress for a typical bed. The important things to consider are the size, firmness, thickness and the materials the bed is made out of.
Depending on the size of your child and how much room you have in their bedroom you can really use any size of mattress from crib to king. Considering the average size of a child’s bedroom, a crib mattress, twin mattress or full mattress would be ideal. Consider the thickness of the mattress as well. A low profile mattress measuring no more than eight inches works well to keep your child comfortable and safely close to the floor.
The mattress you purchase for your child’s Montessori bed should be firm enough to support the child’s growing body. A hybrid innerspring mattress or an all latex mattress are both perfect choices for a Montessori bed. Keep in mind if you are using a Montessori bed for a baby that is younger than 12 months, then using a standard crib mattress would be ideal as it is firmer than a standard mattress.
Probably the most important element when purchasing a mattress for your child’s Montessori bed is quality construction materials. Choosing a mattress that is organic, non-toxic and eco- friendly is essential to your child's health and sleep.
“When sharing about our floor bed, one question I always get asked is what mattress we have, since it can be challenging to find one that’s the right height. I knew we wanted something organic and safe, so we chose the My Green Mattress Kiwi Bunk Bed Mattress, and it’s been the perfect fit for both sides of our floor bed!”
Learn more about Erica on her Instagram account @happylittlechildhoodIs a Montessori bed safe? Like all beds for children, when used correctly a Montessori floor bed is safe. Ensuring that the mattress you choose also fits the Montessori bed frame you have purchased is important to prevent injury. It is also important to create a safe and familiar environment for the child in his bedroom. Do I need a bed frame for a Montessori bed? You do not necessarily need to have a frame with a Montessori bed, however having a bed frame that keeps the mattress off the floor will allow proper air flow, and breathability and mattresses placed directly on the floor can often lead to allergies to dust, mites and dirt found on the floor. When should my child be moved to a Montessori bed? This is a highly personal choice for parents. Some parents transition their child from a crib to a floor bed when the child is just 5 months old, while others wait until around 18 months when the child is mobile and able to communicate verbally. Why would I purchase a full size mattress rather than a twin size? When purchasing a mattress for your Montessori bed you can choose any size that suits your family. Families may choose a full size mattress for toddlers so as they can then grow, they do not need to purchase another mattress when they’ve outgrown of their twin size bed.