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.

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  • Kelly Sauer on June 05, 2012

    oh sweet – go Heidi! I saw this room in person, and it is just the best room for her little guy – I love it!

  • Lisamarie on June 05, 2012

    This is such an interesting concept. At what age did she put her child on the mattress on the floor? Surely you wouldn’t put a non-crawling newborn down there, right?

  • meg on June 05, 2012

    I like subway art anyway, but personalizing it like that makes it even more amazing. And what a perfect thing to have marked on the wall – the way God made you and sees you. Love it.

  • Heidi on June 05, 2012

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Lisamarie – I started putting him on the floor bed at 5 months old, for naps and part of the night. Prior to that we co-slept. I would not hesitate with a future child to put them on the floor bed even younger. I believe that a lot of Montessori families put their newborn on a floor bed right from the start. The height is very low to the ground so even once they start rolling, if they rolled off they would not get hurt. Tristan loved his floor bed from the day we got it – if I’d known how much he’d like it we would have gotten it sooner.

  • Lisamarie on June 06, 2012

    Thanks Heidi, for the info! That is so interesting. My sister has her little girl at a Montessori day care a few times a week and they (my sister and her girl) love it.

  • Smoochagator on June 08, 2012

    Here from Hollywood Housewife – and TOTALLY in love with this room! I’m hoping to transform my son’s room from a storage unit into an actual fun, useful, enjoyable space, and these pictures are so inspiring. Question for Heidi – the bed on the floor… is it just a regular crib mattress, or something else?

  • Dea on August 14, 2012

    I have been bed sharing now since my son was about a month old. It worked fabulously, but now I’m ready to move him to his own room. Only, he wasn’t taking to the crib and, frankly, I just didn’t like the crib idea. Enter: the Montessori infant room. And Tristen’s room is simply gorgeous! I’ve been obsessed with the idea and excited about trying it. Only, I’m not sure what type of bed to use. Many parents seem to just use the crib mattress, but I’d like to start off wih a twin. What type of bed did you use and is there anything I should look for in general?

  • Jamie on January 14, 2013

    Thank you for this! We’re in the process of overhauling our 16 month old’s room with Montessori elements, and I’ve been looking for images of ways to keep it from looking like a largely empty room. This is lovely! Well done, you!

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  • Salam on February 07, 2016

    What an amazing room, lucky baby. I love everything in the room, i have a 1 yr old boy and in 3 months will have a baby girl, i dont know anything abou the montessori way but i cosleep with my baby on an air mattress for a while because he hates his crib anyways can u plz tell me about the display cabinet and the book shelf where from if ikea whats the name also the book collection is very nice can u give me a few names thx a lot

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