I haven't blogged for a while... I've had no inspiration. I've been feeling very boring, unmotivated and frankly not very "Montessori"... Ah well... Back on the horse.
I'm writing this after listening to the boys chat to each other on the baby monitor for an hour after I put them to bed. There's a squeel here, a giggle there, A bit of a whinge every now and then. Now silence. I half enjoy their little conversations. I half feel on edge wondering if they'll actually fall asleep in there!
Sleep has never been an area of child rearing where we've followed Montessori principles. Both babies started out swaddled in a bassinet and breastfed to sleep. We've had various issues with sleep as the babies outgrew one arrangement and had to adjust to something new. At each stage we've walked the path of least resistance with the motto in mind "it's not a problem unless its a problem" when it comes to nursing to sleep, swaddles, dummies, cots etc. Fox was born a good sleeper. Bear has learned to sleep well over time.
Since Fox out grew the bassinet he has been a little gypsy baby - sleeping in a different bed each night. I assembled his cot in Bear's room hoping to have them in together but it just wasn't working. They'd wake each other up and everybody in the house had broken sleep. Unfortunately we haven't had anywhere else to put him! He's been sleeping in a port-a-cot in the guest bedroom but he's displaced very frequently by visitors. This is definitely not advocated by the Montessori books I've read! Or any baby books for that matter. Thankfully Fox is such an easy going little guy - he's let us get away with this instability at the price of an extra feed overnight
But now it's finally a success! The boys are sleeping in the same room. Not only sleeping but falling asleep at the same time in the same room with no help from mum or dad. It's a miracle! But not very Montessori - Fox sleeps in a cot.
I am still constantly debating with myself about the floor bed concept. I fluctuate between blatant scepticism and a desperate longing to make it work out for us. Should I move Fox onto a floor bed?
Bear first started to have issues with the cot at around 7 months. He was able to pull himself up to stand but couldn't get down again. He would cry when we left the room, pull himself up and then he'd get stuck. There was no way he'd be falling asleep standing against the cot rails! We'd be in and out to lie him back down over and over again until he finally gave up and fell asleep. But that stage passed and we kept him in the cot until he was 18 months old.
Fox is not mobile yet but he will be soon. Should I move him before he gets going? Should I wait until this current arrangement stops working? Gosh I don't know. Isn't it ridiculous how these tiny parenting decisions consume so much mental energy...
I am going to defer this decision for now and enjoy the silence of two sleeping boys.
If I had discovered Montessori before Bear was born I'm sure I would have started him on a floor-bed. I like the rationale behind it.
"We have mentioned the child-bed on the floor which gives the baby more to see , verses the crib high in the air with a limited view. From the lower position of the child-bed, the child builds a visual map of her room before she begins to move about in it and take in even more. It takes time for the child to build this visual map. Repeated experiences are necessary for the visual cortex to lay down impressions in her brain. These experiences allow the child to add the necessary visual information to her internal map for movement in her room. They build a framework for her understanding of how distance is experienced between points in her map and the relationship of those points to speed and time through movement. Thus from the beginning, they build a sensorial foundation for physics. A child-bed prepares the baby to move about in her room just at the time that her brain is ready for more information to be absorbed through her senses. Thus she can provide for her own needs and continue her own learning. She is happy because her opportunities for learning match her abilities."
However as things turned out we taught Bear to sleep in a cot and that's where he's slept from 3-months-old - until now. He sleeps like a champ and his gross motor skills haven't suffered so I have no regrets.
However the cot has been posing a few problems recently and it's time to move on.
So now's the time. We decided to make the change on the first night back home after holidays. Bear and I took apart his cot and packed it away (no turning back now).
I toddler-proofed the room thoroughly. Emptied all the drawers and cupboards.
We made sure he was well and truly tired at bed-time. Then followed his normal bed-time routine without any fuss. Amazingly he fell asleep on his floor bed after less than 20 minutes of complaining on night one.
It's been a week now and no floor-bed related disasters!! Amazing!! My favourite thing about the floor bed so far was when I went in to check on him during the night and found 2 soft toys in bed with him. He had been able to get them out of the cupboard himself and put himself back to bed without a peep.
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.