Montessori Bedtime Approach
Bedtime can be stressful, especially if your baby or toddler does not want to go to bed. It would be best to implement a routine as early as possible and stick to it as best you can. The child’s nursery or bedroom should be a quiet, calm, and relaxing environment. Children go to sleep much easier when they feel relaxed and settled down. You can practice wind-down time before you put your child to bed. Avoid being silly with your child at bedtime and instead, encourage them to relax. Include your child in their choice of book or pajamas, as they will feel more in control, and they may feel more comfortable about going to bed. If you have older children, your young child may feel better about going to bed at the same time as them.
An example of Montessori bedtime routine could include the following steps:
- Pick out and put on pajamas.
- Brush teeth and use the bathroom.
- Allow your child to pick out one or two books and read.
- Say goodnight.
- Consider checking on your child after a few minutes. Let your child know you will check on them, as it will make them feel more comfortable with you leaving the room.
If your baby has a hard time being away from you, try not to give in when they don’t want you to leave. It could just make things harder in the long run, and it may take the child longer to get to sleep. Introduce a comfort toy or a heavy blanket to provide comfort for your baby. Create a calming environment in the bedroom or nursery; use relaxing essential oils like lavender. To help your child unwind, practice deep breathing exercises and meditation. Skin-to-skin contact can also help your baby to relax before bed.
All children are different, and the same schedule does not work for every child. You can adjust your child’s schedule according to their personal requirements. Below is a table of some recommended sleep estimates from Small World Montessori School (Small World, 2018).