A Montessori infant home is a beautiful environment full of simple prepared spaces for your baby to thrive! Here are 6 easy steps to setting up a Montessori home environment for your infant that you both will enjoy.
1. Baby Proof Your Home
Baby proofing your home is the key to a safe Montessori home environment. Be sure all of your wall outlets are covered with appropriate safety covers. Use baby gates when needed to ensure safe exploration. Focus on items like bookshelves or heavy activities that your baby may pull down on top of themselves. We like to anchor items to the wall if we suspect our children may use them for balance while standing.
2. Add Mirrors
Day old infants can see there reflection in a mirror a couple feet away. Babies prefer the human face as their main source of entertainment, so why not let them inspect their own! This type of entertainment helps your baby learn how to focus and explore the movement of their own face. She will love to see you in the mirror or talk with her siblings too. Eventually she will learn the beautiful face she is seeing is her own.
Safety glass is recommended, but I have always used standard mirrors in my home. The picture above is a beveled edged dressing mirror on its side anchored at 6 places with mirror anchors. My children have bumped them, banded on them with spoons and, of course, plenty of kisses without any issues or worry of breakage. Choose a mirror that works well for your budget and comfort. It can be as easy as a hand held makeup mirror propped up against the wall.
3. Floor Bed
This is a tough subject for new-to-Montessori parents. No crib. No fluff. Just a mattress on the floor or in a simple Montessori floor frame.
Why a Montessori floor bed? The Montessori method is about enabling the child to explore independently. A floor bed allows the child freedom of movement and the ability to view his surroundings without the interference of the crib walls. This freedom of movement is why we start with baby proofing the Montessori infant home.
Montessori parents usually keep their babies in a bassinet during the newborn stage them transition to a floor bed in their own room around 2 to 3 months old.
4. Low Shelves and Baskets
When creating a Montessori infant home work area, low shelves are preferred to toy boxes. Babies love to choose from a shelf with prepared, inviting toys. Montessori Mischief has a great example of a baby’s first shelf.
5. Toys and Activities
The toys in your Montessori infant home are free from plastics and have purpose. Babies who can sit up are interested in real work of the family, but also enjoy engaging toys that help them on their developmental skills. Here is an example of infant toys.
Simple mobiles are perfect for infants that are not yet able to sit up.
Often budget limits the ability to purchase Montessori specific toys. When this happens, you can create your own Montessori inspired materials with items around your home. The easiest one is a wooden spoon a pot! Babies love these two items together for many reasons. Try it today and see what happens!
6. How YOU Think
Thinking like a Montessori parent can be tough sometimes. It means throwing out the idea that you baby needs all the latest big, bright plastic toys to entertain themselves and embracing the idea that less is more. It means not over praising or helping to much. Learning for babies is trial and error. They cannot find the correct way to do it themselves when the problem is fixed for them. It means often watching your baby struggle, but well worth the wait when you see the amazing spark in their eye when they have completed a task on their own. The pride of a Montessori parent is high as you watch your infant happily move around a prepared, baby proofed Montessori home.
Have fun setting up your Montessori infant home and know we are always available to guide you at Christian Montessori Network Facebook Group. Hope to see you there!