Welcome to our Montessori nursery home tour! We started Montessori at home with our identical twin boys from birth. I have been trained in the Montessori method and was eager to create a beautiful space for my babies. I will share with you the four dedicated spaces in our Montessori nursery and home. As well as ways to create a safe environment for your baby.
What is a Montessori Nursery?
A Montessori nursery is a prepared environment for sleeping, dressing, feeding, and movement. Naturally, a Montessori baby room has more of a minimalist design becuase it has just the essentials. The entire room is prepared with the needs of the child in mind.
I was drawn to creating a Montessori nursery in our home because I have come to love and be transformed by the Montessori approach to infancy and childhood at large. A Montessori nursery is prepared to meet the baby’s basic needs. These needs entail sleep, feeding, movement, and physical care (diaper changes, getting dressed, etc.). In this Montessori home nursery tour, I will share how we prepared our Montessori nursery for our twins.
A Montessori nursery allows for freedom of movement. By using a floor bed you can accomplish this. Having a floor bed is simple, just put a mattress on the floor. In our Montessori nursery, we have made a few adjustments to the floor bed situation but have landed on using one firm twin-sized mattress on the floor for both babies. Earlier on we had one twin-size mattress and a crib-sized mattress.
If I were to have twins again, I would either have two twin-sized mattresses available or a larger mattress, such as a queen. When we made the transition to having the twins sleep on their floor beds in their bedroom for night sleep I was still nursing at night. It was really convenient to go in and be able to sideline nurse in their bed. This allowed them to get their food and then drift right back to sleep. I could slip away without disturbing their sleep by needing to transfer them in and out of their bed.
Using a Montessori floor bed allowed me to easily comfort my babies during the night without reaching down into a crib to pat their bottom. It was beneficial for the needs of the baby but also for my own needs and desires. In essence, instead of a crib as the boundary for sleep, the entire baby’s nursery has become that boundary. A Montessori nursery is very different from a traditional nursery in this way.
Around 8 months we did some light sleep training and gently weened them from the nighttime feedings. Then they consistently slept through the night in the same bed together, and we found we didn’t need the 2nd mattress in their bedroom.
Our Floor Bed Experience with Twins
Often times the babies would move off of their bed once they were mobile and go find something to play with. They would fall asleep when they were tired. Once they could crawl back onto their bed, they would actually go get back into bed to fall asleep. I keep a small basket of toys in the room for them to find if they aren’t yet ready to fall asleep.
In our sleeping area, we have always used a sound machine. I used the hatch sound machine, which was great because it had a built-in night light. This made nursing during the night easy without needing to turn on extra lights. We would use the red light setting, which doesn’t interfere with the body’s production of melatonin.
Just a note about floor beds. You can get floor bed frames for the mattress to go on. This can be really nice if you live in a more humid climate because it will allow the mattress to breathe better.
I have a rocking chair in our Montessori bedroom which is a comfortable place to rock the babies at any time. During the early days, we had two rocking chairs in the room so both my husband and I could rock the babies to sleep for naps and bedtime. Even once the boys are weaned completely, not sure when that will be, I will still plan to keep the rocking chair in their bedroom becuase it is nice to have a comfortable place to sit and read books or just snuggle together.
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A Montessori movement area is a simple place where the baby can have freedom of movement. This area is used during the first 6-8 months until they are more mobile. A movement area consists of a mat or rug, a mirror, mobiles, and a low shelf with some toys. We set up our movement area before the arrival of our babies. You can set up a movement area in the Montessori nursery or somewhere else in the home. We set up our movement area in our living room because this is where we spend most of our time and it is on the main level of our home. I loved the idea of having the movement area in their bedroom, but practically speaking we wouldn’t have gotten as much use out of it if it was upstairs.
Montessori baby mobiles are used to support the developmental needs of a baby. During the first three months, visual mobiles are used. There is a series of 4 traditional Montessori baby mobiles. However, there are more that can be purchased. The mobiles are intended to be used in a separate area from the sleeping area.
Around 3 months of age, the baby will begin grasping, and moving, and can work with tactile mobiles. Tactile mobiles are things such as a bell on a ribbon and when the baby moves their arm they bat at the bell and it makes this lovely sound. We can even have a simple ring on a ribbon for the baby to grasp.
Having a mirror in the movement area supports and encourages tummy time. Near the mirror, we would lay out a soft blanket. Alternatively, you could get a mat of some sort. The mirror that we have gets so much use and will continue to because it can be set up horizontally for the first year of life. Then, when the child is starting to dress more independently we can turn it to be vertical to allow them to see themselves and their movements.
Low shelves have a few purposes in a Montessori home. It allows easy access once the baby starts to move and slither. Open shelving allows the baby to visually see what is available in their environment. I am very aware of keeping the shelves free from clutter and beautifully set up with engaging materials.
In the early days, I had some wooden toys like a simple wooden ring for grasping. Having toys made of different natural materials will offer a diverse sensorial experience for the baby (or in my case, babies!)
We made a DIY pull-up bar in our loft area. Alternatively, we could have put it into the Montessori nursery, however, it was something I wanted in this area of our home. There is a small mounted book rack in the nursery which is at the same height as the pull-up bar and the boys will use this to pull up on and look out the window.
Changing and Dressing Area
Maybe my all-time favorite area of our Montessori nursery tour is the changing and dressing area. The changing area is a place for diaper changes and getting dressed. If I am being completely honest, we set up a changing area in 2 different parts of our home and neither was in the nursery. We had one changing area in our master bedroom, which was essential for those early days when we were changing so many diapers in the middle of the night. I have also set up a changing area on our main level in the living room.
Ideally, you would have one area for this in your home becuase then it will help create that point of reference. Since we have a 2-level home, I decided that I didn’t want to have to go to a different level of the house to change a diaper. Especially with twins, it would have been more challenging. So we decided to set up two areas.
I have now just set up a more formal changing area in the Montessori nursery. Around 10 months, we have been doing more standing diaper changes and getting dressed. This has helped the boys to enjoy this process more. When they are lying down on the changing pad they definitely wiggle and roll all over the place. I find by letting them stand and hold onto something they are much more happy to participate in the process.
We made this Montessori wardrobe from some Ikea furniture. Check out this blog post on how to make a Montessori wardrobe. You can also purchase these wardrobes, such as the sprout wardrobe, which is a beautiful piece of Montessori furniture for the nursery. Having a wardrobe that is child-sized allows them to see their own clothes, and as our boys get older I look forward to them being able to pick out their clothes and get dressed more independently in their area.
Why We Chose to Use a Floor Bed
As new parents, and with twins, I’m sure we could be looked at as crazy to use a floor bed! However, I was motivated to try to implement as many Montessori principles as I could. With my background and understanding of Montessori philosophy and child development, I was convicted that having a safe and dedicated space for the babies would help them to develop healthy sleep habits, meet their needs for movement and exploration as well and accommodate my needs of being able to be close to and comfort my babies during times of need.
The floor bed has the added bonus of saving money. We were able to transform our guest room into the Montessori nursery by spending very little money. We didn’t need to purchase cribs or some of the more traditional items you find in a baby’s nursery.
I have a blog post diving more into using floor beds and even how to use them with twins. In that post, I also share about how we transitioned our twins from their bassinet in our bedroom to their Montessori floor bed.
I hope you enjoyed this Montessori Nursery tour. Consider joining this Montessori community where you will get more Montessori-inspired motherhood content directly to your email. Or check out my YouTube channel to see Montessori motherhood and homemaking with twins in action!