How to transition to a Montessori Floor Bed

May 20, 2013 · 4 comments

Montessori Floor BedA few months ago I was contacted by the lovely Jeanne-Marie Paynel of Voila Montessori in San Diego.

She is a former Montessori teacher, and now a Montessori consultant, and she wanted to know if she could help me make more home more child-centered.

There was no hesitation! OF COURSE!!!

She came to our home at the best time, soon after we moved to a new house, and right about the time I was ready for my daughter to transition from her bassinet next to my bed to her own room. We had talked about a Montessori floor bed while I was still pregnant, and I did a lot of research on it then. As interesting as it sounded to me, I wasn’t comfortable starting with it.

In the early days and months, I love having my babies close to me. My daughter turned out to be a fantastic sleeper, but I still wanted her in my room. When she was about four months old we went through a few transitions that signaled it was time for us to have a little more space — mostly because my husband and I would wake her up with our movements, and she would wake us up.

(This has nothing to do with the floor bed, but I cried. Every milestone with my sweet baby girl has reduced me to tears, even though she very clearly expresses she is ready.)

I worried the transition to her own room would be difficult, but it turned out to be a breeze.

1. Have good sleep habits already established. S already had a set bedtime, a routine that worked for us, and was already sleeping for large chunks through most of the night. Because there were so many elements that remained the same (taking a bath, putting on a diaper, getting into pajamas, nursing her, and singing a lullaby), changing the location didn’t seem like that big of a deal for either of us.

2. Keep some physical elements the same. The first night in her new room, I simply put her bassinet on top of the mattress. When she had no problems with that, I took the bassinet mattress out and laid it on the bed for the second night. When that was a breeze, she slept on the floor bed by itself the third night. Her blanket has remained the same. I think the familiar smells and sensations of her old bedding made the transition easier because it didn’t seem like a completely new and exotic place. Many more things remained the same instead of changing.

3. Choose a developmentally appropriate time. My daughter was about four months old when I transitioned her to her floor bed, but I think the age is less important than where a child (and parents) are developmentally. For some families it makes sense to use one from the start, and it’s easier to do before a baby is mobile. S was just starting to roll over and scoot. It was only a few weeks in the bed when I found her across the floor in the morning, exploring her room and playing with toys, which is exactly what I hoped for. About a month later she was able to bring herself back up onto the bed. So far we haven’t had issues with her moving around at night or at naps. She knows when it’s time to sleep, and she stays in her little corner until she’s ready to wake.

So far the Montessori floor bed has worked perfectly for us. I especially like it because on the nights when she’s needed me close, I’ve been able to lay next to her easily. The only downside is her brothers sometimes track dirt on it. Of course that is a side-effect of their being able to spend time with her (and enjoy spending time with her!), so for us it’s a minor complaint.

For more information about a Montessori floor bed and how to make it work in your home, check out Voila Montessori!

Photo credit: my own.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeanne-Marie May 20, 2013

Very well explained, thank you Suchada. It is extremely important to have points of reference for them when transitioning, such as the bedding she was used to. So glad it is working out so well for the entire family.


2 Suchada @ Mama Eve May 22, 2013

Thanks, Jeanne-Marie! We were so excited to have it work out well. I’m a little nervous about returning to it after having her in a portable crib on vacation, but we’ll see how it goes. She slept better when she had the freedom to get up and explore when she was ready to wake, and I think she misses her room.


3 Mamma M December 5, 2013


We have recently transitioned my little one (13 months) from a sidecarred crib to her Montessori floor bed. She has always waked frequently in the night and needed me to help get her back to sleep. Part of us changing this was the big move into her own room. I am trying not to nurse her right to sleep, but to put her to bed drowsy but awake. She wakes up immediately, gets really upset and follows me to the baby gate where she will express her anger with me for leaving her there. OR she will play with her toys, call at the gate, then go back to playing. So far, not a lot of sleep is going on unless she is already asleep when I lay her down! I am really exhausted and I need some help. I don’t know what to do. Do I stay in the room while she plays until she tires herself out? Do I leave her crying at the gate? Do I keep nursing her in another room in the rocking chair and then putting her down asleep? I am at such a loss…


4 Jelli January 14, 2014

I don’t know much about Montessori, but this looks like a plain old floor bed to me. My daughter just started sleeping on a mattress on her floor too, and she loves the “big girl bed.” Glad to hear it’s working out for you!


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