S is now 13 months old and the low bed has been working so well for us. She crawls out of her bed in the morning and comes to my room. We have a little cuddle and I nurse her and she then crawls back to her room and plays with her toys while I take my time to get up (sometimes takes me an hour). nap time also works great, she sleeps for almost two hours in the morning and I know she is up when I can hear her playing with the toys off her low shelf. Sometimes she gets behind the door and starts knocking until I open the door for her. At the moment I prefer to close her bedroom door so I can do housework without distrupting her sleep but ideally the bedroom door should be left open (in my opinion) so she can independently go about exploring the environment when she wakes up.
I am still in love with this concept. It makes sense to me and is just so lovely to be able to put a child to bed and be confident that when she wakes up she has the ability to move about in the environment without any obstacle. I sometimes find her talking to herself in the mirror making faces, giggling to herself and it just makes my day.
Low bed has it’s own challenges though. For the past few days S fights sleep at night. She wants to get out of her bed and come to us. I sometimes allow that if I can tell that she is not tired and not ready to sleep because I believe nothing should be really forced upon a child and we should truly “follow the child” as Montessori said. but if I can see that she is tired I stay with her, sing some lullabies, rub her back, and help her to go to sleep. This could take up to an hour sometimes but mostly she sleeps within 15 minutes. I must admit that for the first 12 months we had absolutely no issue. this is just a new thing and I think it must be because S has mastered crawling and she probably wants to practice it even more and is so eager to discover her surrounding. I found that if I take more time to slowly get her ready for bedtime (a few stories before bed, a soothing song played with low volume in the background, etc), she tends to fight sleep alot less. I guess if we had a cot instead, I either would have stayed in her room until she went to sleep which could take same effort if not more (as you can’t lay down next to your child to soothe them) or I would have walked out the room, meaning let her cry to sleep, so having a cot probably only would have been a plus if I wanted to do Cry it Out or a kind of sleep training method which I don’t really feel comfortable with.
Here is S’s bedroom.
left photo: low shelf, a chair for reading with some books in a basket for S to read on her own, at the moment S uses this chair ti pull herself up, more books on the top of the shelf to read together, drawing of some native birds of New Zealand, in choosing books I look for ones with real pictures or drawing that gives real information about real world.