Montessori for babies with Nicole from The Kavanaugh Report
A new series all about Montessori for babies.
In our book The Montessori Baby we wanted to highlight families from around the world applying Montessori from birth. As there wasn’t space to fit in all their photos and the full interview with each of them, this is the perfect place to let you get to know these families even better.
In the book, Nicole’s home was featured in the Setting up your home chapter. Here are some of their inspiring spaces set up with such intention.
The photos that were selected for the book
There are four children in the family and we can see how the space is set up to meet the needs of, and include, the youngest member of the family. Pictured here with a DIY black and white mobile inspired by the Munari mobile and the topponcino.
The bedroom area is calm and relaxed. A mattress on the floor serves as the floor bed, a sheepskin with wooden mobile hanger as a movement area, and low shelves display simple activities. Botanical artwork is down low for the baby to enjoy when awake and an adult feeding chair is in the corner so the baby can be fed in their room during the night. The space is baby-proofed so it is safe for baby to explore upon waking.
A soft carpet is used as movement mat where the baby can have free movement, stretch and explore their body and the things around them. A mirror allows them to see themselves, take in their body schema (how their body is made up) and also allows the baby to see their siblings busy alongside them. There is a bar on the wall when the baby is ready to pull to stand and cruise.
A low shelf with some objects to explore are at the ready – an object impermanence box with ball, grasping beads, palmar grasp cylinder, basket of objects and some simple board books.
A plant and wall hanging soften the space to make it feel cosy and inviting.
A low table and chair provides a baby-sized space for their first meals and as a snack area. A tray with a small glass and pitcher of water is at the ready, along with some flowers and a cloth placemat showing how we prepare even the baby’s feeding area with love and care.
The table height is around 30cm and the chair seat height is around 13cm so their feet can reach the ground.
This photo shows the baby being included in the family’s life. The baby has the space to do their explorations – lying on a sheepskin and a grasping object to investigate – while also tracking their siblings and parents going about their play. In the background we see a book shelf with books from the older children and a large puzzle on a mat next to the baby, nearby enough to see but out of reach for safety.
The baby’s clothes are easy to see and, once wriggling, the baby can make their way over to indicate which one they would like. This also establishes a sense of order once they are dressing more independently as they learn where their clothes are stored. We do not need so many clothes and can rotate these seasonally and as the child grows.
On the top of the low shelf is a changing pad for diaper changes and can also be placed on the floor as the baby gets bigger. Once they are standing, we can change their diaper as they stand (for example, with us sitting on a low stool). It takes some practice but the child does not feel so vulnerable lying on their back, involves them, and often leads to less resistance to diaper changing.
Thank you so much Nicole for sharing your home with us and giving us lots of inspiration. So happy to be able to feature your space in The Montessori Baby book.
You can find more from this series here:
- Montessori for babies with Maria from Montessori Chapters
- Montessori for babies with Junnifa from Nduoma Montessori
- Montessori for babies with Theresa from Montessori in Real Life
- Montessori for babies with Neus of Montessorian by Heart
- Montessori for babies with Ahoefa from Raising Yannis
- Montessori for Babies with Jaya from Forest Montessori
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