Kate’s Montessori Nursery

Welcome to Kate’s Room! I get a lot of questions about how we designed her nursery so I thought it would be a perfect first post for my new blog.

My first step was to choose a neutral soothing color for the walls, we already had grey paint from a previous project in the living room so it made the choice pretty easy. We also covered up all of the outlets with solid plates. With our pier and beam foundation it is easy to hear everything throughout the whole house, so I didn’t need access to any outlets for a baby monitor and we haven’t needed a lamp yet.

You can see that the artwork is hung low on the wall so she can see it from the floor. When I was deciding where everything needed to go, I actually laid down in the middle of the dsc04939room so I could see what she would be looking at and placed everything we used to decorate accordingly. The needlepoint alphabet used to hang in my husband’s nursery almost 30 years ago! I have other artwork that I can cycle in and out as she grows, but this alphabet is so beautiful I think it will be a fixture for quite awhile. Her shelves are taller than necessary for an infant, but my dad made them to grow with her. I placed them next to her movement area to inspire her to crawl towards the toys on the shelf that she wants to reach for, she will also be able to examine her toy in the mirror as well as in her hands. I’m planning on putting her age appropriate toys on the lower shelves where she can reach them when she becomes mobile and it will be ready for her full use when she gets older. I keep a small basket of books by her bed, it’s a fraction of the children’s library we’re accumulating, but we will cycle them each week so they will seem new and interesting to her. Right now while she doesn’t express an opinion on her reading material, Daddy has been reading her his latest sci-fi novel and she loves hearing the sound of his voice.

img_9679This part of her room is geared for my husband and I to be able to take care of her easily, but I’ll be modifying it into a self-care area with a mirror, a small table, a hairbrush, and a clothing rack for her to choose her own outfits when she reaches toddlerhood. In the mean time, we have the artwork  where she can see it while she is being changed, though she prefers to look at our faces and talk to us while we share that time together.
Here you can see Kate’s movement area in front of the large mirror I purchased for her at Ikea, we spend a lot of time playing in front of it and Kate is very interested in that other baby in the mirror. She won’t img_9680recognize herself until she’s about 13 months old, but she still likes seeing her reflection. The mirror enhances her view of the room and lets her get the lay of the land. This wooden baby gym is  one of my favorite parts of her nursery, it is a hand me down from a friend who had triplets and she also sent me two mobiles that she made for her kids. In addition to the mobiles she sent I have made a handful of the Montessori mobiles, they are very specific and designed to draw the child in at different ages, some of them just a few weeks apart. Right now Kate is enjoying all of the mobiles that are meant for infants from 0-12 weeks old. We cycle through them pretty regularly and she can focus for 5-10 minutes at a time.
The most noticeable difference between Kate’s room and a traditional nursery is her floor bed.  A crib is the hallmark of most nurseries and Pinterest holds so many truly beautiful options, it took me some time to come to terms with the idea that we wouldn’t be using img_9681one. The floor bed provides Kate complete freedom of movement within the childproof space of her bedroom, and while at 2 1/2 months she isn’t exactly mobile yet it also gives her an uninterrupted view of her environment. With a crib she would have to rely on me to get in or out and it would obstruct her view of her bedroom. When we brought her home from the hospital we had her sleep in a Moses basket that I could carry around the house so she could be in the same room with me while she slept. Now that she is 12 pounds we have transitioned to using her floor bed exclusively and it is so nice! I love being able to lay next to her so she can nurse until she falls asleep, and it is comfortable for both of us during those early morning feedings when I am barely awake. Originally I planned to use a twin mattress we already owned, but at 8 inches high it seemed too tall when we looked at our tiny baby on there so we ordered a thinner but still comfortable futon mattress. At 3 inches, it is closer to the ground in case she rolls off. The floor bed is easily the part of her room that gets the most sideways glances dsc04940from family and friends who are not familiar with Montessori. My sweet grandmother insisted that “the baby will get drafts!” but after explaining what we were trying to do, everyone has been very supportive of our decision and interested in learning more about Maria’s methods. Right now while Kate isn’t mobile, using the floor bed is easy. That said, I am expecting several nights in the future where she will choose to stay awake reading or playing with her toys when I would prefer that she be asleep and definitely some cranky afternoons. I am hoping that as she grows she will start to notice her body’s rhythm and will choose to go to bed when she needs to rest, and within her prepared environment begin to cultivate her sense of independence.
If you’d like to find out more about Montessori-based nursery design, I recommend the book Understanding the Human Being by Silvana Q. Montanaro. I am also a fan of Otis and Casper’s room on How We Montessori. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

6 thoughts on “Kate’s Montessori Nursery

  1. Hi! That’s a beautiful calm nursery! I’m curious about the rug. I’m looking for something like this for my son’s room. Where can I find it?

    Thanks for sharing!



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