I believe there are many advantages of using a floor bed for your child. I am a father of two and with both kids we are following the Montessori method – both at school and at home. A floor bed is just one of many aspects of Montessori we like and here are a few reasons – as per my experience and opinion.
First, let’s consider the ‘typical’ advantages of using a crib – you know that your child is safe there, will not wonder off, that gives you more time to attend to other things in your life and this makes life a bit easier.
However, let’s consider another view. A floor bed enables freedom of movement (Montessori idea) – a child, after waking up, does not have to start crying to get attention from parents (if she has no other option!), but rather can crawl out of the floor bed and can make a decision to start playing with the toys or look for the parents instead – it supports a choice! Provided the environment is properly (and safely) set up, using a floor bed seems to be the better option.
Let’s look at the other possible impacts of using a floor bed on the child’s development, both physiological and mental – in a very simplified way, just to illustrate the point, I believe that:
- Your child will be encouraged to move, roll or crawl more by having a free access in and out of the floor bed
- This movement is likely to strengthen your child’s muscles and also improve their coordination from the youngest age
- Stronger muscles and improved coordination is likely to result in your child’s ability to sit and crawl better and possibly also to start walking sooner and this gives them more confidence and independence
- Sitting better, walking sooner will free their hands earlier to start exploring the world around them
- As their hands start to be used more and more to touch, move and explore different objects, the child’s brain will be more challenged and formed with those new experiences, possibly leading to a faster development.
Looking at the human evolution, the commonly know fact is that it was the ability to free and use hands that had the major impact on the brain development. The sooner the children free their hands, the sooner their brains will be challenged and develop.
Another advantages also include the possibility for parents to actually lie down next to their kids, read a book without having the bars between them.
I’m not trying to say that buying a floor bed will automatically make your child smarter, however the above points suggest, in a very basic way, some clear cause / effect relationships. Based on my experience, this approach really works.
One of my favourite scenes from Back To The Future movie series is where Marty McFly travels back to year 1955 where he meets his ancestors, one of them being his uncle (still a toddler at that time).
The scene with Marty McFly and his uncle (toddler) in a crib: Mother: “He cries whenever we take him out, so we just leave him in there.” Marty McFly: “So, you are my uncle Joey. Better get used to those bars, kid.”
[Guest Post: R.K.O]