DIY: Montessori bed. Because Oskar is a ‘wild’ sleeper and constantly wakes himself up by bumping into the bars of his bed, I went looking for a new bed in which he has more room to turn. This is how I ended up at Montessori beds after a search on the internet.
Now you can of course buy a Montessori bed, but Tom and I thought it would be fun to design and make the bed ourselves. By carefully studying the beds on the internet, I made a drawing of a bed that was exactly matched to the IKEA slatted base.
The result is impressive (see below)! We’re very proud of our first DIY project. I notice that making something, like this bed, yourself is so much more satisfying than buying it, so we intend to make several more DIY projects.
What or who is Montessori?
To properly explain what a Montessori bed is it might be better to explain what, or rather who, Montessori is. When one speaks of Montessori or the Montessori method, one speaks of the method set up by Maria Montessori. An Italian educator and doctor who founded the well-known Montessori school.
What is the Montessori method?
The Montessori method focuses on a child’s natural drive for self-development. In the environment of the child, within the upbringing and education, it must therefore be made possible that it can develop itself.
How can a bed fit within this method? A Montessori bed is designed in such a way that the child can go to bed independently. It is a low bed, with or without, a frame made of bars.
The bed that Tom and I made has partly a conversion but also an open piece so that Oskar can go into the bed independently. At the moment we are putting a pillow heap for this to prevent him from rolling out of bed at night. The Montessori bed consists of a slatted base, a mattress and a wooden casing.
- Wooden beams (6.9 x 4.4 x 300 cm)
- Wood saw
How do you make the bed?
Before you cut the wooden beams, measure how big you want the bed to be (depending on the slatted base). We have used the following sizes:
- A slatted base (IKEA) of 90 x 200 cm
- The conversion 98.8 x 113.8 x 56 cm (external dimensions)
- We left about 9 cm space between the slats
We had the slats cut to size at the hardware store, but you can of course also do this yourself. We actually intended to cut the slats ourselves in order to save costs, but since I had not checked in advance whether the slats would fit in the car (silly me..), we were happy that the hardware store could do this for us free of charge!
At home we sanded the slats so Oskar wouldn’t get splinters. You can always paint the slats in a nice color. When all the slats were sanded, we first assembled the bottom. Then we screwed the slats into the bottom and attached the slats from the top.
See below for some drawings for clarification.
How do we (and Oskar) like this Montessori bed?
We are currently using the bed for several months. Oskar is sleeping through the night these days! In the beginning, the switch from sleeping comfortably between mom and dad to a private room plus a large bed was perhaps a bit too much at once. Fortunately, he slept through the night immediately but had some trouble falling asleep (this is still a thing so far, so if anyone has a tip or a trick, I’d love to hear it!). Fortunately, the Montessori bed is so big that I could lie in bed with Oskar and breastfeed him for a while until he fell asleep peacefully. After a few days Tom was also allowed to put Oskar into to bed (using a reading book or singing a few songs).
Do you have or are you planning to make this bed? Let me know below, I’m curious how you like the bed!