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April 23, 2012

Montessori style floor bed

I've gotten a few questions about T's floor bed, so I thought I'd show pictures to show how easy it is to build.

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We moved T to a big boy bed when he was 8 months old. We were (well I was) super frustrated that I couldn't do the transfer without waking him. I would nurse him to sleep in our bed then try to move him to his crib. He would always wake up when we moved him.

We didn't want to have him sleep the whole night in our bed so we needed a solution.

I had read about Montessori rooms that used twin beds or even crib mattresses on the floor. We had a cotton organic futon in the house, so we started by using that. It was amazing. I would nurse him to sleep, he would fall asleep, then I could sneak away for grown-up time and not worry about him crawling off our high bed.

We baby-proofed his entire room so it would be totally safe if he were left alone in there or woke up while we were sleeping. In the beginning we put a baby gate up in the doorway when we left and we just left the door open.

A few months into this set up we all got bad allergies and I remembered that I had read that floor beds could grow mold. They say that if they aren't raised up, the air doesn't circulate and the moisture that our bodies naturally produce while we sleep (plus the daily fog moisture) can create mold under the bed. I didn't pay too much attention to it since I had done it for a year in an apartment while I was single and it wasn't a problem.

We lifted the mattress to check and the bottom was covered in mold.

Talk about feeling like bad parents.

We headed out the same day to buy him a fancy pants organic hippy mattress. We went with Organic Rubber Latex with a wool cover.

The store we went to "A Happy Planet" was great working with us and not trying to sell us the same insanely expensive mattress we bought for ourselves like 6 months before. Since we always end up spending at least half the night with him we decided to go with a queen for our comfort. Plus, the mattress has a 30 year warranty, so someday it could be our guest bed as well. He also told us that they could build us the "frame" for the floor bed and they do it all the time.

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It is essentially three 2x4's that are cut to the length of the bed (in our case, the same length as our queen bed).

Then you roll the pre-made slats over them and screw the corners in (so they don't move around). You can get the slats from ikea (or craigslist). Ours were provided by our mattress store.

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We wanted ours raised bit more, so he put little pieces of wood under the 2x4s (one in the middle - see how it raises up a bit?, and one on each corner).

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We live in a funky house with sloping floors, so we had to add another piece of wood under one corner to even it out (so it didn't make noise when we snuck off after he fell asleep).
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For full disclosure, there are a few things that aren't great about this frame.
It is a little squeaky when we (meaning big people) get on and off.
We should have put felt under the boards because when we have to move it, I'm always afraid it is going to scratch the floors.
It isn't really good looking. I know this shouldn't be too important, but you just can't make T's bed and have it look great since the bed is all scrunched up against the wall.

But, we have total piece of mind.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have other floor bed frames that work for you!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, simple yet there is elegance to have it as your perfect bed. It really a cool way to have a bed for your family.

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