Welcome to 'A Montessori Home'.
With so many of our friends and family living in far-off lands, I hope that this blog might help our loved-ones get to know our gorgeous Finlay as he grows up. I also hope that these posts may provide inspiration, provoke thought and conversation about creating beautiful Montessori environments for infants and toddlers at home. I'm always happy to hear your comments, thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to pop in now and then to see what we're up to!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Small miracles

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:

And a final goodbye from my new favorite spot....


  1. Thanks so much for this. I'm a Montessori teacher too, and getting ready to have a baby sometime in the next 4 weeks. People think I'm crazy for the floor bed plan, (really they just don't understand the reasoning), but it's nice to know it's working for some people.

  2. Definitely keep the faith! I have much more to write about after a week of this new pattern, so I'll update soon.
    Best wishes for a beautiful birth and enjoy all those amazing firsts with your precious little one :)

  3. I am having a similar problem. Do you keep the door shut after leaving your baby for nap or sleep time?


  4. Oh Neptune, I'm so happy you commented here so I could discover your beautiful blog! What a brilliant find :)

    Now, as for the floor bed... I have been meaning to update on this topic for quite some time, but we have been through so many stages that I can't seem to keep up!

    But now you have inspired me to write my follow-up... I promise to have it up in the next few days.


  5. Cathy, ditto! It is not easy to find Montessori inspired blogs about infants and toddlers, and yours is interesting to read!

    I'll be waiting for your post then, because I feel like I am just one step behind you. And nights are still rather rocky here, I could use a little more sleep... ;)

  6. Thank you for this post, as I am struggling with my second child, who at 7 months crawls out of the floor bed and then cries from exhaustion and can't find his way back, you reminded me of the night my first son found his way back into the bed. I thought it was a miracle. The repetition of returning them to their beds will sink in and they'll know what to do.