Montessori beds, also known as floor beds, have gained popularity among parents who follow the Montessori educational philosophy. The Montessori approach to parenting emphasizes independence, freedom of movement, and respect for a child’s natural development.
While Montessori beds may work well for older toddlers and children, the American Academy of Pediatrics defines a safe sleep space for children 12 months and under, to be in a crib, travel crib or bassinet depending on age and weight.
Here are a few reasons why Montessori beds are not safe for babies:
Suffocation and entrapment:
Montessori beds typically have a mattress placed directly on the floor, without any elevated frames or structures. This can create a risk of suffocation if a baby’s face becomes buried in a softer mattress that families may use. A crib mattress is more firm which is why the AAP warns against adult and toddler mattresses being used for babies. Additionally, babies may be more likely to get trapped between the mattress and a nearby wall or furniture, which can lead to injury or asphyxiation.
Montessori beds are usually positioned directly on the floor, without any raised sides or rails. This lack of barriers can increase the risk of falls, especially when babies start rolling, crawling, or attempting to stand. Babies can accidentally roll off the bed and potentially injure themselves.
Accessibility to hazards:
With a Montessori bed, babies have unrestricted access to their environment. This means they can reach potentially hazardous items, such as cords, outlets, or small objects, which can pose choking, electrocution, or other risks.
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Follow Safe Sleep Guidelines
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides guidelines for creating a safe sleep environment for infants to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Here are some key recommendations for a safe sleep space according to the AAP. It’s important to note that the safety concerns mentioned above are not exclusive to Montessori beds. These can apply to any type of sleeping arrangement that lacks appropriate safety measures for infants. It is recommended to use cribs or bassinets specifically designed for babies. These provide the safest sleep environment with proper safety features, such as rails, slats, and adjustable mattress heights.
Your sleeping arrangement should prioritize the safety and well-being of the child.
Consider factors such as the child’s age, developmental stage, and individual needs when determining the appropriateness of a Montessori bed or any other sleeping arrangement. It’s always a good idea to consult with a pediatrician or certified child sleep consultant about safe sleep practices and any specific concerns you may have regarding your child’s sleeping environment. They can provide personalized advice based on your child’s unique circumstances and help you make informed decisions.
Does your baby sleep better in bed with you than in a crib?
Many parents think this phenomenon has something to do with the type of bed or mattress. They start to believe that their baby “hates” the crib or the crib mattress. That it isn’t comfortable and too firm. The true reason is that sleeping next to a parent provides the child with a sleep association that is next to impossible to replicate in a crib. The proximity to the parent and the energy they emit, offer a certain type of stimulation for a baby. This is a big part of what a Certified Child Sleep Consultant helps families with. We help explain why something is happening and the many ways of moving towards independent sleep in a AAP approved sleep space. If you have specific questions click here to book a free 15 minute call with one of our consultants. You’ll walk away with potentially lifesaving information.
Is your toddler ready to transition out of the crib? Find out if they’re ready with our article Moving Out of the Crib Too Early Won’t Save Your Sleep (of Sanity). If they are, then find out how to set up the room and make it a safe transition in The Crib to Bed Transition: Setting up the room for safe sleep.