The Montessori system, created by the early nineteenth century Italian physician Maria Montessori, should begin at birth. This educational and development philosophy is based on allowing a child the maximum intellectual growth possible. Instead of directing our children's play, we should allow them to explore, according to the Montessori system.
Parents who are particularly concerned about their children's intellectual development should consider designing their nursery as a Montessori-style nursery so that the baby can gain a benefit from the nursery.
According to the Montessori philosophy, the nursery should not only be a place to sleep. Instead, Mom and Dad should set up a feeding area. It should contain a rocker and any of the necessary supplies for feeding, including a footstool for the parents and bibs for the baby.
The rest of the nursery will be a bit different, and you may find yourself trying to explain it to visitors. You will not have a crib. Instead, you will have a mattress in one corner of the room. You may use a crib mattress although you also could try a futon mattress or a full bed mattress.
Line the area between the mattress and wall with stiff pillows that will be changed to fluffy pillows as baby grows. You also will need a furry rug on the side of the mattress where the baby may fall off. Because the mattress is only a couple of inches off the ground, there is little chance of getting hurt from falling.
This bed set-up will allow baby to explore at night when she wants to. You will need to put up a baby gate very early so that you may contain your baby in the nursery when he does climb off the mattress.
The next step is to add mirrors and mobiles at various points in the room. You should be prepared to change out the mobiles every few months. The mobiles should challenge the eyes and coordination of your baby so that eventually she will be able to grab the mobile or to "talk" to it.
You can bolt the mirrors along the wall at various places in the room. Your baby will enjoy looking at himself when he is a few months old. The mirrors will help him to explore himself and his toys. Be sure that you bolt the mirrors well. Do not make them too big or in any way dangerous to your baby.
The next step is to consider the colors in the room. Instead of overly busy colors, use subtle tones that are brighter than pastels. Try a good royal blue or a solid pink color. You also can try greens, purples, and oranges. Use different colors throughout the room so that baby can sit back and enjoy the room. Think about alternating colors and using cloth. Be creative. Your baby will enjoy it.
The Montessori nursery will stimulate baby's mind. Be careful and make sure that you are safe with your decorating. Then sit back and let baby enjoy the decor.
by Julia Mercer