The Montessori Method gives wonderful guidance on helping children sleep well based on research of natural sleep patterns. Good sleep is essential to good health yet many parents find themselves sleep deprived as they help a new baby adjust to the world around them. Setting up Montessori bedroom that is dedicated to helping the child be more independent in their sleep is the basis to every good day for the parent and the child.
(I want to add an important site on co-sleeping and bedding safety. Please be sure to know your child and be SURE their sleep area is a safe environment.)
“To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.”
We love our sleep around here! Our children share a room where they sleep well together. Samuel (boy) is almost 4 and Avalyn (girl) is 2. They have shared a room since they have been 25 months and 3 month respectively. We spent a good amount of time together with them in their room when they started sharing a room to demonstrate proper activities while in their room. For example, there is no rough housing near a baby.
We choose to keep “quiet” toys in the children’s room. For us that means there are no toys that will make any sounds if a button is pressed or by themselves if left turned on. That way if one child is up before the other and begins to entertain themselves there is no toys that may interrupt sleep.
A couple of our favorite “quite”toys are:
Another aspect of our day that lends well to sleeping well for all family members is our evening routine. It starts at dinner time. We sit down together for dinner, then the children help my husband clean up any areas in the house that need attention and move to bath. Bath is a calming. We talk about our day, what might be going on the next day, and help the children with practical life activities in the bathroom.
After getting dressed for bed, books are the only entertainment for the night. We work hard to stay away from TV shows or engaging in stimulating games. This is our time move toward sleep. This whole process from dinner to sleep is about 2 hours. It is a huge reason we are successful in our home with sleeping well.
One aspect I would like to bring up is attachment parenting and Montessori. I feel like we have used these two methods of parenting in our home and have great success through following the lead of our children in both philosophies. Here is a wonderful post from A Secure Base that describes much how our evening sleep routine goes. We want to comfort as much as we want to grow independence. It is a tricky line that is easily followed when you listen to your child.
You may also like a view of how our classroom is arranged.
Or a post on Siblings Without Rivalry to help children share a room.