Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Baby J's Montessori Room

So this is Baby J's Montessori room.  I only came to the Montessori method when L was around 12 months so she had your typical adult oriented nursery (crib, change table, pretty decorations which appeal to adults!).  I was super excited this time around to be able to fully apply the Montessori approach right from the beginning.  So here is the tour...
View from the door.  The room is not very big but seems a lot bigger because it has only the necessary items in it.  I love this room so much!  It just radiates a sense of calm and order as soon as you enter it.  It is my little sanctuary from the chaos of the rest of the house and sometimes if I need a break or to de-stress I'll come into this room. 
This is how the room is now for Baby J at 3 months but it will constantly evolve and change with his ongoing development.  For instance once he starts moving I will remove the rocking chair and we will do something about the baseboard heater (any suggestions on baby proofing this?)
We use the rocking chair for just settling Baby J or spending quite time singing. I nurse him in the living room or on his floor bed at night.   I love how he is able to look out the window at the trees and sky.  On the window shelf are toys he will be able to use when he is older.

The floor bed.  This is an essential part of a true Montessori room.  The floor bed gives the child the freedom to move and explore at will.  Baby J has just started to move a bit when he sleeps so I've put a thick folded blanket at the side of his bed so there is less of a drop to the carpet.  I researched a lot of Montessori rooms on line before creating this one and was torn on whether to have the mirror and mobile by the bed or to just leave them for the work area.  In the end I decided I would like to have them beside the bed so that Baby J could entertain and engage himself when he wakes up or before he goes to sleep.  I have made a work area for him in the living room where I hang the more vibrant mobiles. 
I decided to use an acrylic mirror for safety reasons as Baby J will be in his room unsupervised at times.  This was much lighter than a real mirror and easy to put up.
The shelves.  I asked my husband to make this simple shelf for the room.  It is just the right size so that when Baby J starts pulling himself up he can hold on to the top shelf.  On the top shelf is a wooden rainbow stacker which Baby J will use much later but it is still beautiful to look at.  A canvass painting that L actually did when she was two and an ABC book of art work.  I like to prop up this book for Baby J to look at when he is on his tummy.
The bottom shelf holds items that he is using right now or will be using very soon.   Starting from the left are wooden teething beads, a crocheted rattle with bells in it, a basket with a wooden ring teether, a cloth rattle and a knitted fish rattle.  At the moment while Baby J is not moving I have put several of these items in a basket and keep them by his work area for him to use which is in the living room.  It's not practical to spend all the time in this room when L is around all the time.  Once school starts up again for her we will change things up a bit.  The items on these shelves will also change as Baby J gets older.
The changing area.  I debated on whether to get a change table or not but in the end decided that with the state my back is in it would be a good idea.  We got this change table second hand and just painted it white.  I like how it is so solid and heavy and also the storage shelves which work perfectly for all of the cloth diapers.  At the moment we are lucky enough to have six months of diaper service which is amazing.  Above the change table are two pieces of artwork.  I decided it would be nice if these could be L's contribution to Baby J's room.  We keep changing them as he develops but I always get L to participate in making them.

The closet.  At the moment we keep the doors open for convenience but once the Baby J is moving we'll keep them closed.  There are two shelves for his clothes.  I wanted them both to be low enough for L to be able to reach them to help pick out clothes and also the bottom one is low enough for Baby J to access when he starts walking and dressing himself.  The blue organiser holds socks, bibs, hats, blankets and towels.  I will also change this up once Baby J is able to get his own cloths.  I will be able to put things in the bottom two cubicles for him to access.
On the floor is the trash can for wipes, the charcoal filter nappy bin and the laundry basket.  There is also a top shelf where we store toys and clothes that he will use when he gets older.  At the moment the closet is set up for my convenience but I love how it will easily adapt to his needs when the time comes.
So there you have it.  It seems so sparse and simple, especially when I show it to other people but that is the beauty of it.  Nothing that doesn't have a purpose.  So far I absolutely love it and can't wait until Baby J is mobile and able to explore the room himself.  Then we'll see if I still love it! Ha ha. 
Please leave a comment if you have any ideas of how to baby proof the heater or if there are any other things you can see that may be a hazard once he is moving.


Megan said...

I love how it turned out!!

My son is also 12 months and we just got serious about Montessori a month ago. We are moving soon and then I will get to create him a montessori room which I am excited about!

And our next child will have a Montessori room from the start!!

Anonymous said...

It's so peaceful, I love it! :) I've seen some people put a baby gate around the heater; this is the only thing I can think of for baby-proofing that!

You did the right thing setting the diapering area to be comfortable for you! I love the changing table, looks nice and sturdy.

I'm curious, do you take items/toys from his room to the living room and then put them back? I didn't understand very well what the set-up was in the living room. For us what has worked well has been to have toys that belong only in his room, those that belong only in his activity area upstairs, and those that belong in the living room (actually, in the living room he has his basket of objects on his blanket because we don't have a shelf yet). This way, every item has one "home" and it will be easier for baby to keep order in his mind.

Does he have another mirror in the living room/activity area? When he starts sitting up, where will you put the bar that goes across the mirror?

Baby J is a lucky little boy indeed! :)

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