The Philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori has a massive impact on education systems throughout the entire globe. The methodology focus nurtures children towards creativity, self-motivated growth, and everlasting desire for knowledge and progress.
The Italian physician believed that a child can reach its full potential on its own simply by having the freedom and right conditions to learn by experience via trial and error.
The profound philosophy not only influenced classroom microclimates but led to the idea of Montessori-style bedrooms so infants can grow in an environment that can encourage and navigate healthy habits as early as infancy.
The goal of Montessori education is to help you “see” the world as if through the eyes of your child. This is how you create a comfortable and practical bedroom for your little ones to grow, explore, and learn as early as 2 or 3 years old.
That’s why we put together this helpful guide at MontessoriNature.com to walk you through the important aspects of implementing Montessori in your baby bedroom!
Setting up a Montessori-style baby room can be simple and inexpensive because you don’t need the help of a professional interior designer.
Just in case, check our handy guides for extra tips and know-how on raising newborns the Montessori way:
- Doing Montessori At Home With Your Baby 4-6 months;
- Doing Montessori At Home With Your Baby 7-9 months;
- Doing Montessori At Home With Your Toddler 12 -18 months.
Read on and learn how to furnish a bedroom to encourage confidence, creativity, and curiosity, while having safety and good sleep guaranteed.
So, What is a Montessori-style Bedroom?
The Montessori teaching aims to encourage independence in children by the adoption of survival instincts, habits, and patterns through play and exploration.
The right design of a Montessori bedroom takes into account the toddler perspective thus objects in the room should be scaled-down for infants to reach.
For example, the floor bed is a fundamental attribute in the Montessori-style approach to bedroom interior design. It is accessible for toddlers, making it easy to crawl in whenever they get tired or need that as part of the play.
Also, coat racks, shelves, and dressers should be at their level so they can young ones could the least browse-through outfits to someday change on their own. This is where mirrors come in play but not without precautions. More on that below.
First, Safety First!
The Montessori approach encourages freedom of movement and exploration but also promotes safety through all stages of growing up. Baby-proofing is essential when furnishing the bedroom. Double-check everything you install and make sure nothing is prone to cause accidents!
Here are some tips on how to ensure maximum safety:
- Cover electrical outlets;
- Secure curtain or blinds cords;
- Install a baby gate;
- Remove dangerous or poisonous plants;
- Consider using an acrylic mirror;
- Secure tall and heavy furniture to the wall.
Make sure to read-through:
Think Minimalist & Take it Easy with Toys
When you design your child’s bedroom the Montessori-style, understand this—simplicity is key.
The first thing for you to do is to declutter regular toys and look into Montessori toys. The philosophy is simple—the use of natural materials allows young ones to learn on their own through exploration and open-ended play.
Also, abundance is not always great. By having a lot of toys, infants might fail to appreciate and thus quickly lose interest.
On the other hand, scarcity is the key to creativity and adaptation.
This is why it is a good idea to keep a handful of your toddler’s favourite toys or books on scaled-down shelves so young ones have easy access. This way your little one can choose what to play without being overwhelmed.
A great way to spur your toddler’s imagination is to get them wooden toys. Wooden toys are durable, eco-friendly and above all—safe!
Flexible Room Elements / Layout
The great advantage of the Montessori-style bedroom is that it is suitable for infants, toddlers and older children.
When setting up the baby bedroom:
- Pick timeless pieces of furniture that will serve you for years to come.
- Choose colours of neutral tones that will be fitting for the early age (more on that below).
- As your child grows, you’ll only need to change the bed and slightly re-scale some of the furniture.
- Another easy way to diversify the bedroom is by changing curtains or wall decoration.
“As the décor is simple and elegant, you won’t need to re-decorate or re-paint in a few years” comment Houseace Renovations. “By setting up the layout and furnishing in a way you can easily adjust and rearrange, you can bring change at any given moment.”
Elements of Montessori-style bedrooms:
- Child-proofed area that is safe for the infant to explore;
- Gate at the doorway;
- Horizontal mirror or one attached to the wall;
- Ground floor bed;
- Age-appropriate mobiles;
- Low-hung pictures/paintings;
- Child-sized furniture;
- Hanging baskets for plants
- Low-mounted shelves;
- Musical corner;
- Natural materials wherever possible.
Colours and Lighting for Montessori Baby Rooms
The Montessori bedroom is often painted in neutral, pastel colours – white or beige. Such tones create a sense of peace and serenity to allow toys, pictures, and artwork to stand out. and catch the attention of your child’.
Consider hanging blackout curtains to create a sense of comfort and thus a cozy environment for infants to grow in a world of creativity and play.
Lamps and nightlights come in various colours and shapes (from dinosaurs and superheroes to Legos and other characters) and to ensure comfort for your infant/toddler if it wakes up in the middle of the night.
Creative lighting experts from Lamp Twist recommend soft and warm. Ignite your toddler’s imagination by placing quirky and colourful character lamps.
When you furnish the baby room make sure to put forward your child’s individuality. If your little one is afraid of the dark and has trouble nodding off, consider installing nightlights.
The Montessori Bed
To Crib, or not to Crib?
This is the question.
Although cribs are still the most common choice when furnishing a baby room, they come with a set of pros and cons.
- On one hand, they are expensive, restrictive and leave babies fully dependent on a caregiver.
- On the other hand, cribs are more suitable for infants as they ensure a healthy sleeping pattern. Also, they provide safety and reduce the risk of SIDS.
However, if you want something different and decide “Not to Crib”, floor beds are the right choice. They are an essential element of the toddler Montessori bedroom.
- Place a mattress on the floor.
- Install a baby gate at the door.
- Make sure that the bed is not next to a radiator or air vent.
- Leave small toys or blankets aside to avoid the risk of SIDS.
Easy-access beds have a great impact on the natural development of any toddler. They allow “the little humans” to create their own waking and sleeping patterns and thus grow the sense of independence.
“Even so, keep in mind that adapting to a floor bed depends entirely on your child’s individuality,” comments Mattress Insider Bedding Company founder and sleep expert Jonathan Prichard. “If your toddler constantly gets out of bed and doesn’t get enough sleep, there is a risk of developing an unhealthy sleeping pattern. If this is the case, you might have to go back to a crib and leave the floor bed for a later stage in parenthood” he adds.
The Dressing & Changing Area
When setting up a bedroom, parents often choose dressers with a topper, which can be used both as storage for clothes, diapers and as a changing/dressing station. It is practical because everything you need is within your arm’s reach so your infant is never left alone.
Some parents who follow the Montessori approach have the changing area on the floor. It is safer that way because there is no risk of falling and it is believed that it eases the transition to self-dressing. If you plan to implement, keep all lotions and wipes out of reach!
- A great trick to keep the baby occupied and still is to place a melody mobile nearby or hang an unshatterable mirror on the wall.
- Another practical Montessori attribute (especially for toddlers) is a kid-friendly cubby where your child can store its possessions.
- Also, a good idea is to install a low rail in the wardrobe so that your toddler can choose clothes on its own.
- Wall hooks at a kid’s height also work well for hanging up jackets or coats. While furnishing the bedroom make sure to include a self-care area.
- Place an unbreakable mirror with a shelf at a child‘s height and leave there a hairbrush and tissues.
This is the environment to invoke a sense of self-caring and independence in any toddler.
Room for Toddlers to Crawl and Play
By giving babies the freedom to move around, they will in no time develop curiosity and confidence to explore the unknown. This is one of the primary teachings of the Montessori approach.
So, if you have enough space in the room, place a soft, comfy rug on the floor along with a child-sized shelf where toddlers can keep toys and books. For newborns, display melody mobiles, some eye-catching toys, and family photos to provide sensory stimulation.
Every week or two, rotate either the toys or artwork, to keep things interesting and exciting for your baby.
- DIY Learning Activities for Toddlers. Montessori Approach.
- Seven Key Elements of an Effective Playroom.
- Montessori inspired ideas for infant/toddler playgroup.
Furnishing Your Montessori-inspired Baby Room
When you design your Montessori-style room, imagine how surroundings will make a young one feel. The world can be pretty scary when you’re only 2 feet tall.
Here are some ideas on how to furnish a cozy Montessori-style bedroom for infants and toddlers:
- Think low and scale down furniture for your child’s bedroom. Aiming for child-sized furniture reduces anxiety and lets your little one feel free to explore and learn.
- Set up a workstation by adding one or multiple tiny tables.
- Place soft rug underneath and mini-chairs.
- Create a cozy corner for rest and emotional retreat.
- Include a scaled-down rocking chair or a little beanbag. Place near it a small cubby where your toddler can keep its toys and books.
If you have a newborn in the house, it is important for the mother to have a comfortable feeding spot. Look into ways to make it work, where a nursing chair is best.
Set Up a Music Corner
Parents use music to soothe young ones by natural instinct. There is nothing that aids the development of social skills, creativity, and IQ foundations in infants like playing musical instruments.
Of course, infants do not need a grand piano or organ. Something as simple as a baby-size toys and music can both bond generations and nourish growth.
Montessori-style Wall Décor for Babies
- Hang all of the artwork at your child’s eye level.
- Babies and toddlers are curious and often intrigued by family photographs and artwork.
- Decorate the baby room with colourful paintings, posters and glow in the dark stickers for visual stimulation.
- Nail or screw the frames of paintings/photographs directly to the wall instead of hanging to lower the risk of accidents.
The Leap from Infancy to Toddlerhood
As little ones get older, they get even more curious and hungry for knowledge. At one point, your child will want to expand its horizons beyond the bedroom. For example, he or she will start eating in the kitchen or dining room. Playing will extend to the backyard or playground, where your kid will develop social skills by communicating with other children.
Soon, the child’s bedroom will be used mainly for dressing and sleeping. Nevertheless, kids still enjoy their room as it is a place of solitude. They especially appreciate it when they grow up and become teenagers.
About the Author
Started as a jack of all trades back in early 2012, Dmitri Kara is currently a recognised expert in a wide range of domestic and commercial trades. Dmitri has appeared for quite a few reputable outlets such as Today.com, Metro.News, Telegraph.co.uk, ReadersDigest.com, Quote.com, Reviews.com, Plus.net, IkeaHackers.net, MyKukun.com and many more. You can reach him at https://twitter.com/@dmitrikara.