Welcome to your tour of Annabelle’s *mostly* Montessori Nursery! Here’s the view as you walk in…
This corner is totally complete, and I’m so happy with it! The rest will probably change with time. We got the wall decorations from Modern Wall Graphics. That tree is 7 feet tall, and I just love it. This was the starting point for the room. In keeping with Montessori philosophy, I wanted any imagery to be reality based — to look like the real thing. I wished I could find birds with more defined body parts, but these still worked well.
Here’s a closer look at the bed. Montessori is all about independence, so a Montessori infant’s bed is placed on the floor, eliminating the need for an adult to take them out. Annabelle’s room is her environment, so there should be nothing in it that is not safe for her to use and explore – nothing is off limits. When she is ready to wake up (and mobile!), she will be able to get up on her own, and even to play on her own if she would like.
There are actual floor bed frames available, but they don’t really do much other than sit there and act like a box for the bottom of the mattress, so we didn’t see the point and opted to simply place her mattress directly on the rug. I had the blanket custom made by Savaria on Etsy, though it looks like she may have closed up shop. I sent her the birds from the wall and she used one for the appliqué. The rug is wool, from Ikea. It’s very cushy so that if Annabelle does roll off her bed, she won’t get hurt. Right now, she is still in our room with me and will remain there until she is no longer waking up in the night to nurse, so the bed hasn’t gotten any use yet.
This is called the Gobbi mobile, in honor of its creator, Gianna Gobbi. I can’t speak intelligently on the specifics of its design, since I’m not infant trained, but I know that it is made by AMI students during their Montessori Assistants to Infancy training. Like any mobile, it is intended to appeal to the infant’s visual sense. One characteristic of all Montessori materials is that they are simple in design and aesthetically pleasing, and this is no exception. I also found this one on Etsy, beautifully made by Goose Designs. I was so excited to see that she had one that fit the color scheme of Annabelle’s room!
The curtains were also custom made by Savaria, using the same bird appliqué to match the wall decals and the blanket. She did such a beautiful job! I hope that by the time we’re ready to give Annabelle a sister or brother, I can learn to custom make some of these things myself. I had intended to make everything for the nursery, but eventually decided this was a bit too ambitious, and once I started working full time again realized it would be best just to let someone with the requisite skill do the work while I slept to keep up the energy required to grow a baby. I developed the ideas, at least! : )
This shelf will house Annabelle’s toys and materials on a rotating basis once she is actually mobile and moved into her room. Right now, the toys we have for her current stage are kept in a small basket beside her favorite blanket (thanks, Grandma!) in a sunny spot in our living room. It is there that she plays and gets some good exercise in each day. There are lovely shelves made by Montessori material companies for this age, but it is much less expensive to do as we did and turn a standard cube shelf on its side. Beside the shelf, you can see Annabelle’s book basket, which I’ll discuss later.
On the shelf, there are a number of baskets which are currently empty, but will be transformed into what Montessorians refer to as “treasure baskets” soon. Treasure baskets contain a set of items that the caregiver suspects will be of interest to the child. These are not necessarily toys, but simply objects of interest, and can really be anything from around the house – a spice jar, a spool of thread, an acorn from the yard. Objects are generally rotated in and out so that the child is continually interested. Once Annabelle can sit on her own, I will present them to her. My plan is to have one in each room of the house where we spend time and have each one follow a theme. There will be one in the kitchen, for example, that she can work with while I wash dishes or fix dinner, and it will likely have things like spice jars, utensils, etc. Of course, once she is a bit older, she will be more involved in what we are actually doing in those rooms rather than engaging in a separate activity. When I wash dishes or fix dinner, I’ll invite her to join me.
She also has a Peace Rose, which is a topic for another discussion, as well as a peace totem. These were both given to me upon “graduation” from my internship at the wonderful Giving Tree Montessori School. Then, of course, there is the mirror.
I’m not sure what the infant trained folks think of adult chairs in their environments, but I don’t think this rocking chair is really Montessori at all. I know that none of my 3-6 classrooms ever had adult sized furniture of any kind, as they are intended to be the children’s environment. I thought I might like to rock Annabelle here while nursing, but I have actually not used the chair at all! It will be removed before she is mobile and begins sleeping in her room and replaced by a small table and chair that are her size.
The blankets are both of great importance, however. The bottom one was handmade for Annabelle by “Aunt” Peg, who was the husband’s sponsor in Colorado and is a lovely woman all around. The other is also handmade and was hubby’s when he was a baby.
Finally, there is the closet, which is not Montessori at all. If we were going to be in this house longer, I would have installed the bar in the closet low enough for Annabelle to reach so that she could get out and hang her own clothes. Since we will likely move when she is only 14 or 15 months old, that’s not an issue here, so we’ll do a Montessori set-up for her clothing at our next home. If she takes an interest while we are still here, I’ll simply move many of her clothes to a low shelf in the closet so that she can take out and put away clothes on her own. If I had unlimited resources, I would buy her the incredibly gorgeous, child-sized, heirloom quality armoire made by Jericho Woodwerks. *Swoon*
That’s the tour! Pretty simple.