I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen.
Every book I've read on Montessori for 0-3 year olds proclaims the floor bed is an aid to the child's developing independence and promotes freedom of movement. Well, yes, I believe all that but how do you actually get them to sleep?? In our case, since Finlay was able to slither out of bed by himself (at about 6 months), he has been unable to go to sleep without breast-feeding. Why would you go to sleep when you could get out of bed and look at books, practice standing up, open and close the wardrobe, pull all of the clothes out of the wardrobe etc.? Though I questioned myself endlessly, I continued to feed him to sleep because I couldn't stand to listen to him crying when he had tired himself to exhaustion.
A few times Brent came out of Fin's room sighing, 'We're getting a cot.' Other days I considered trying a dummy. Neither of those items entered the house, purely because of my sheer determination (craziness?) to follow Montessori principles to the letter, but we definitely thought about it. Where had my faith gone?
As a Montessori teacher, I'm used to having faith in the 'child who is not yet there'. Even the most destructive child has the potential for goodness. The most timid child has the potential for bravery. But would my own little boy ever learn to go to sleep on his own, or was I destined to feed him to sleep forever?
Then yesterday, after I had left him in bed not-quite-asleep, something strange happened. I heard him moving around as usual, pulling things off his shelves, rattling his door, babbling to himself, complaining a little, then.... silence. After a little while I peeped in and he was asleep on his bed! The same thing happened this evening. We've turned the corner.
I don't expect this to be the last time he ever needs my assistance to get to sleep but at least now we know this new reality is possible. My faith is back.
Meanwhile, my days are still being spent arranging and re-arranging the furniture to come up with the best layout for our 0-3 environment. I think I'll be doing this for the next few weeks!
Happily, we now have enough space for Brent and I to practice our morning yoga, much to Fin's delight: