Jun05 Montessori Bedroom 2012

An educational and adorable bedroom all in one? I love it!!!

Photographer Heidi Daniels  sent me this bedroom she designed for her son Tristan and I found the theory behind the design so inspirational.  I asked her to do little write-up to educate us on this bedroom style. Here she is:

“During my pregnancy I read quite a lot about the Montessori educational philosophy, especially as applied to babies. Perhaps the most important thing that makes Montessori “Montessori” is the idea of “Prepared Environment”, which is to say that a lot of intentional thought is given to a baby’s environment especially in two ways: freedom of movement and everything child-sized.

Freedom of movement and the floor bed: in the Montessori model, the baby sleeps on a mattress on the floor in a completely child-safe room so that once he can crawl, he is free to explore his environment. Montessori advocates believe that “Paying attention to communication attempts, and providing for free movement in a safe and limited space, in the child’s room, or a baby-proofed living room, will do more than anything else to help the child develop trust in himself.” (read more here) This is the beginning of the baby’s independence, decision making, and a balanced, healthy attitude towards sleep.

Child-sized room: rather than decorating a nursery for the benefit of the adult – with adult-sized furniture, art hung at the adult level, etc, Montessori emphasizes the room being “child sized” – low furniture, art at the child’s level, etc. I loved this idea and loved that when a friend saw Tristan’s room, without knowing anything about Montessori, she remarked on how everything was at his level. I love how he goes and decides what toys he wants to play with, or takes a book off of the shelf and brings it to us to read.

I think perhaps the thing that I like the most about the Montessori idea of “Prepared Environment” is that it is not a forced independence – it is simply providing the baby with the opportunity, and then the baby explores and develops at his own pace.

There are a lot of other aspects of the Montessori baby room, and while I didn’t do all of them, I appreciate the Montessori emphasis on respecting and following the child and being very intentional about creating an environment that will best facilitate their development. It’s definitely a little weird to not have a crib – a lot of people don’t understand how I can have a baby but not a crib – but we love it. Maybe more importantly, Tristan loves it – he gets up from his naps and either plays for awhile by himself or comes to find me, all without any crying or fussing. He loves his bed and doesn’t have any negative associations with it.

You can read more about Montessori baby rooms here.”

Thanks for educating us Heidi, and thanks for the wonderful photos.