All three of our kids have attended Montessori or Montessori-based preschools and we love the minimalistic and practical approach to toys (or works), furniture, and daily rhythms. When we were planning to transition our one-year-old into a room that was more for him than an afterthought/sometimes guest room, I knew I wanted to bring in some of the Montessori designs I had come to love. I fell in love with the simple Montessori furniture from Sprout and partnered with them on this post. You can use the code birthhour for 10% off at Sprout.
6 Things to Consider when Designing a Montessori Bedroom for Baby
There are a few key elements when designing a Montessori room for your baby or toddler.
Montessori Floor Bed for Baby
While you can definitely just put a mattress on the floor, we decided to go with a beautiful, yet simple, natural wood bed frame that can grow with our baby. This bed from Sprout keeps him from rolling over the back side and then as he gets older you can flip it over and have it a little higher off the ground. We have a few furniture items from Sprout and my favorite thing about their products is how easy everything is to put together. I can put it together by myself without any tools and very quickly!
Organic Mattress for Baby
Another important aspect of the bed, for us, was having a non-toxic mattress. Conventional mattresses are filled with all kind of nasty ingredients that no one should be spending half of their day laying on! We decided on a twin mattress from My Green Mattress that is GOTS Certified organic and comes in a bunk size that is the perfect thickness for our floor bed! We also got their Organic Cotton Waterproof Protector because, well, accidents happen, but at the same time I didn’t want to cover our organic mattress with a mattress protector that wasn’t toxin-free as well.
Play and Movement Space for Baby
We have a simple infant shelf, also from Sprout, in our baby’s room that is great for pulling up on and choosing his own toys to play with. We rotate out toys periodically to keep it interesting and prevent the shelf from being overwhelming with too many items. We always have blocks, some sort of puzzle toy, a stacking toy, books, and musical instruments (current favorite is a very loud drum!)
Finding high quality toys that will last a lifetime is important to us and we find that all three of our kids have enjoyed these items more than the flashing/noise-making toys that flood many store shelves. We are currently loving the quarterly subscription box of Montessori materials selected by age from Monti Kids. You can use the code BIRTHHOUR40 to save $40 + free shipping on your first Monti Kids order!
Mirrors are a frequent component of Montessori spaces and a great addition to a bedroom. We have ours behind the play area so our baby can make silly faces and watch himself play. For a younger baby, many parents will put the mirror next to the bed or changing area so baby can see themself while laying down on the floor. An easy tip for getting a mirror (and what we did), is to use one of the giant mirrors that many home builders install in bathrooms. You can remove it and hang a mirror in the bathroom with a bit more character! Or check online for people giving away these old bathroom mirrors.
Dressing and Self Care Area
Allowing your child to choose their own clothes and dress themselves from an early age is one of my favorite Montessori ideas. Not only does it make life easier when you are avoiding battles over clothing but I love to watch the creative outfits that come together! Obviously with a one year old, their ability to dress themselves is limited but even at 14 months, our baby knows that hats go on his head, socks go on his feet, and pants go on his legs. He will pull clothing out of his child-size wardrobe and place them where he thinks they belong on his body and then we can help him actually get dressed.
I love our Alba wardrobe from Sprout because it is customizable— we can add and remove shelves and doors based on the stage our little one is at. Right now we use all of the shelves and left the door off of the hanging clothes side so that our baby can see his jackets and sweaters and grab one when we ask him if he’s ready to go outside!
Babies and Toddlers don’t benefit from a character-themed bedroom (it’s more for the adults, right?) and Montessori rooms tend to include neutral colors and natural materials without a lot of excess clutter. If you do add wall decor, make it something that’s safe to hang at their eye level so they can enjoy it—it’s their room after all! We actually have a couple of canvases that our older kids made for the baby’s room before he was born that I still need to lower to his level since I doubt he even knows they are there currently! One of our baby’s favorite things in his room is the sheepskin rug. It’s so soft and he will often crawl over to it just to roll around for a bit!
Creating a Montessori based room for your baby doesn’t have to be perfect! Have fun with the design elements but focus on keeping it simple! Less is more and it won’t always be a picture-perfect space (see below!) but the goal is for baby’s room to be a place that he (and you!) want to spend time and explore together!
As a first-time mom, Kayla Bruccoleri spent the majority of her pregnancy educating herself on the female body and just how capable it truly is. She let that education empower her to have an unmedicated birth. Though she had a hospital birth, she labored on therapy balls, using labor bars, and spent almost the whole time in a labor tub. After about a twelve hour labor and an hour of pushing, she got her precious son placed right on her chest and they enjoyed every moment of that precious, golden-hour untouched together. Kayla would love to connect with you on Instagram over at @k_bruccoleri.
Crate and Kids
This episode of The Birth Hour is sponsored by Crate and Kids. Crate and Kids understands the joys, surprises (and challenges) that come with having a baby. That’s why their warm and modern designs are made just for your growing family while also allowing you to keep your sense of style.
Use code TheBirthHour10 at checkout to receive 10% off your full-price purchase of furniture and more at crateandbarrel.com/kids. It’s valid online only, and some exclusions apply, so see their website for details.
After initially not wanting to have kids and having a change of heart, Simone got pregnant almost immediately after removing her IUD. Though they didn’t think it would be that easy to get pregnant after Simone’s weight loss surgery, Simone and her husband quickly got on board and did as much research as they could to be ready for birth and parenthood.
Simone prepared to have a typical, long-and-late birth, but Mother Nature had a different idea. Nothing could have prepared Simone and her husband Gregg for their little boy to come 10 days early, fast and furious, with a precipitous labor.
Simone Torborg Bio
Simone is married to her husband, Gregg, and they have an 18 month old boy named Arthur (and a pup named Tango!). They live in a small neighborhood in New York. Simone works full time as a hairstylist in a high end salon on the north shore of Long Island, and she is obsessed with coffee, funky glasses, and all things black.
Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company, and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door. All you have to do is go to the Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their free and easy Qualify Through Insurance form. Be sure to go to aeroflowbreastpumps.com/birthhour so they will know I sent you!
Joanna shares her experience with gestational diabetes and an epidural hospital birth.
Joanna Lundeen Bio
Joanna is a mother to Lleyton with a baby girl on the way, a graphic designer, and wife to Daved living in North Dakota. She spends her free time watercolor painting, talking about Buzz Lightyear & Spider-Man and supporting her husband as a coach of the boy’s basketball team. She loves to connect with other mama’s and share mothering experiences together. Find her on Instagram @jototheyo.
This episode is sponsored by Milkies by Fairhaven Health. Milkies is a line of thoughtfully designed products for moms, by moms, to help support all women in their breastfeeding journey. Products include breast milk collection and storage, supplements, teas, nursing pads and much more! Milkies is generously offering 10% off all products with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.fairhavenhealth.com.
Lindsay and her husband, Jeff, live in Detroit, Michigan, with their son, Rivers. Lindsay has had type one diabetes since she was a child, and with it came some obstacles to navigate in order to start her journey to become pregnant.
Lindsay became pregnant shortly after her team of doctors gave her a green light; and, her pregnancy went well until she was unexpectedly hospitalized at 27 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. By 34 weeks she was induced because of elevated blood pressures at an NST. After a 40-hour induction/labor hooked to a magnesium drip, a failed Foley bulb, and hours of pushing Lindsay’s labor ended in a c-section that felt more mentally traumatic than she anticipated.
Her son had to stay in the NICU for 12 days but was not in a serious condition despite his gestational age. They were able to exclusively breastfeed a few weeks after he was home and they’re both happy and healthy now.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies. Ergobaby offers a broad range of award-winning baby carriers, strollers, swaddlers, nursing pillows, and related products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely. At the end of today’s episode I spoke to Kelly all about the new Embrace carrier from Ergobaby.
Julia knew she wanted an unmedicated birth from the start. Fear of the hospital environment and medical interventions influenced her decision, along with stories from her mother of her own births. Julia had a relatively straightforward pregnancy but several changes in providers, and she eventually transferred to a midwife group at 30 weeks. Julia went into labour at almost 38 weeks, had a 30 hour labor at home with mostly back labor, and after a quick drive to the hospital Frankie was born two hours later.
Julia FitzRoy-Chow Bio
Originally from the UK, Julia FitzRoy-Chow lives in Los Angeles with her husband Geoff and daughter Frankie. Previously Julia led the North American team for a popular home-sharing company, traveling the country vetting potential homes for the platform. Currently staying home with her toddler, and preparing for baby #2 in March.
The people at Babylist believe that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.
Jennifer’s husband was diagnosed with cancer two months after they were married. They were able to bank his sperm before he started chemotherapy and knew that IVF would be the only way to have children in the future. After years of battling cancer they decided they didn’t want to let cancer hold them back from living life. They implanted one embryo through IVF and were shocked when they found out their one embryo had split into two. They were expecting twins!
When Jennifer was seven months pregnant, her husband got very sick and was admitted into the hospital. They weren’t sure he would make it to the twins birth. Miraculously he made it home and was able to be at the birth with is wheelchair and oxygen. Jennifer’s birth was not easy and she decided she wanted to try and have her babies vaginally. The first baby came vaginally, but the second baby’s heart rate started to drop. They had to do an emergency c-section. Baby B came out blue and they rushed him to the NICU. Thankfully he was only in for the evening and Jennifer was reunited with both babies in the morning. They were able to spend a couple months together as a family of four before her husband passed away in July 2018.
Jennifer Hanks Bio
Jennifer recently lost the love of her life to cancer. She is now a single mom of IVF miracle twin boys. She hopes to help others as she shares her journey as a new widow and mother of twins. Connect with her on Instagram @cocoscaravan or on her website cocoscaravan.com.
FamilyAlbum Photo Sharing App
Today’s episode is sponsored by FamilyAlbum. FamilyAlbum is a family-focused photo sharing app with over 5 million users worldwide. FamilyAlbum helps you save, share, and remember the special moments in your baby’s life. You can even get started before baby is born and document your pregnancy.
FamilyAlbum app offers unlimited free storage, is completely ad-free, and provides smart, automatic organization. But my absolute favorite thing is that you can invite friends and family to view your photos privately and securely. You can even specify which family members see which photos. Your family will be notified when new photos are added and they can leave comments creating a fun conversation! You can also use suggested ideas for monthly photobooks, or create your own and then have them shipped straight to your door. The app keeps your memories safe, allowing you to recover them even if your phone is lost or damaged. To download this fun app head to the apple or google play app store and search for FamilyAlbum, or go to family-album.com!
SYDNEY’S BIRTH – Because of PCOS, Cassi had to use Clomid to conceive all but one of her babies. All in all, it took 15 months to conceive their first child, Sydney. The pregnancy was fairly uneventful, but Cassi was diagnosed with a marginal placenta previa at the end of it and was given a choice between an induction and a c-section. Though there was a significant risk of hemorrhage with a vaginal birth in this circumstance, she chose the induction and was induced just before 39 weeks. After 17 hours of labor, she requested an epidural, which needed to be placed twice because the first try did not work. Three hours after getting the epidural, Cassi was complete and ready to push and, just twenty minutes after that, Sydney Rose was born.
ELOISE’S BIRTH While trying for their second baby, Cassi had a miscarriage at 7 weeks and visited a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor) for the first time. As she prepared to start injectable drugs, she and her husband conceived Eloise unexpectedly on a cycle they thought was a bust. The pregnancy was a hard one, full of anxiety, high blood pressure, and a lot of doctor appointments. At two days past due, they discovered that the baby had turned into a breech position and Cassi was scheduled for a c-section. The next day, Baby had turned again and so Cassi was scheduled for an induction instead. The induced labor was incredibly hard, with contractions coming every 90 seconds for hours. Though she was once determined to have an unmedicated birth for this one, Cassi eventually requested an epidural when it was discovered she was only 4.5cm dilated after enduring hours of hard contractions. Twenty minutes later, long before the anesthesiologist arrived, she was 10cm and ready to push. Eloise was born after just another couple of minutes, sunny-side up and with no epidural in sight.
FINLEY’S BIRTH Cassi’s pregnancy with Finley was easy and uneventful, as was the labor and birth. For the first time, she went into labor on her own just two days after her due date. She and her husband made the quick trip to the hospital in the middle of the night and Cassi labored peacefully in her room and the bathtub for a short while before she felt ready to push. Though there was meconium in her water when it broke, Finley was born without any issues, just two hours after their arrival at the hospital. He was born sunny-side up as well.
ISABEL’S BIRTH Though Cassi’s pregnancy with Isabel was free of any significant complications, she developed eczema in this pregnancy and, due to it getting badly infected multiple times, pregnancy was miserable. When she went into labor after having her membranes stripped a few days past her due date, she was more than ready to welcome her baby. Unfortunately, this hospital birth was less than ideal. It was a comedy of errors with a room full of nurses who didn’t respect her wishes or treat her as an individual and who seemed disorganized and unprepared to have a patient who wanted an unmedicated birth. Pushing was hard and required more work than ever for Cassi to birth her baby and Isabel was born sunny-side up and covered in vernix. At last, Cassi felt as though she had the large family she’s always dreamed of having. However, the disappointing circumstances of the birth have left her longing for just one more.
Bio Cassi Robinson
Cassi has been married to her college sweetheart, Dan, for eleven years and they live in the Pacific Northwest. She’s a stay-at-home mom to their four loud and energetic children, Sydney, Eloise, Finley, and Isabel. Other than motherhood and birth, she’s most passionate about photography and travel. You can connect with her on instagram (@cassi.robinson.8), facebook (Cassaundra Robinson), by email (email@example.com), or on her blog, Living on Coffee & Prayer (http://www.livingoncoffeeandprayer.home.blog).
Human Milk 4 Human Babies (I think each state has their own Facebook group or page for this)
This episode is sponsored by Crane Humidifiers. Crane’s colorful humidifiers are a nursery necessity to help relieve your baby’s tiny congested nose, which can make feeding and sleeping a struggle for both baby and mom. A happy baby is a healthy baby. Crane is generously offering $10 OFF and free shipping on all of their full-priced, 1 gallon, adorable animal shaped humidifiers and drop humidifiers with the code BIRTH20 at www.crane-usa.com.
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After a cesarean section with her first child, Danielle couldn’t shake the desire for a vaginal birth experience. When she became pregnant with her second child she sought out a provider who was supportive of her wish to VBAC. She incorporated every “trick” and potion in the book to help her odds of success, especially as she neared the end of her pregnancy. But she never dilated or effaced. Once her due date came she had made no progress and she scheduled her second cesarean.
She slept well the night before and checked into the hospital that morning with very little fear. But as if her body had muscle memory, when it came time to walk into the operating room, she was shaking uncontrollably with fear. At the beginning of the surgery, her OBGYN found Danielle had a large uterine window. This condition would have made a VBAC very dangerous. The first words out of her OBGYN’s mouth when she got inside were, “Your body was looking out for you.” Danielle believes this to be true. She didn’t get the experience she had hoped for, but with her OBGYN’s guidance, she got to have a “Gentle c-section” which included many things she didn’t know were options her first time around. She rejects the term “failed VBAC” and believes her birth experience is better described as a “Successful c-section”.
Danielle Estrada Bio
Danielle is an LA native and recent Austin, Texas transplant. She is the mother to two girls, Olivia and Elle, a wife, and successful tech executive who moonlights as a swimwear designer. Her uniquely inclusive swimwear brand, Olivia + Ocean, is on a mission is to empower and support every Mom who has struggled getting in a swimsuit post-baby. Born out of her own challenges resonating with the swimwear brands on the market after becoming a mother for the first time. She designs specifically for the needs of the postpartum mother who wants something functional that doesn’t sacrifice fashion. Her swimwear collection embraces the mother in search of her new sense of self that often accompanies the transition into motherhood. Connect with her on Instagram @oliviaandocean.
This episode was sponsored by Motif Medical. Motif designs insurance-eligible products for busy moms. With a focus on innovation and empowerment, Motif’s line of breast pumps and maternity compression garments are sophisticated, yet discreet, and made to support mothers as they navigate new motherhood. Discover why moms are reporting more milk in less time with the Luna breast pump, and see how you can get it covered through insurance at motifmedical.com/birthhour.
Our sweet boy turned one last month and while we got a few gifts that have been huge gifts. We generally don’t buy much for our kids until they are older because they can easily be entertained by a spoon, a bucket, or a crumbled piece of paper but luckily we have friends and family that are in the know when it comes to all of the fun baby toys and our son has been loving a few things.
He’s 13 months and still not quite walking but man can he go when he pushing this thing around! We’ve tried quite a few and this one never tips backwards plus it’s a lot cute than many of the plastic ones I’ve seen.
This Hape piano collab with Baby Einstein is so cool! I love that it’s aesthetically pleasing but I mostly love the low volume setting! Our son loves to play with it and as he gets old there are even little music cards for him to practice playing tunes. So cute.
Another Hape toy that combines music with pounding (always a win!) is this toy. He loves to take the xylophone in and out and push the balls through. It’s getting lots of play time around here.
I also got him this drum for Christmas. It’s a little pricier than others on amazon but I read all of the reviews and I think this one will hold up best. Lots of people were saying their kids even used it as a little stool to sit on!
You can never go wrong with blocks. We have a few sets that have lasted over the years and still get played with by all three of our kids (ages 8, 6, and 1). We love these and these (easy for little hands to stack because they fit together) and we just got these for his birthday and they’ve been great too!
Babies love balls, you can go to literally any store and find some good options but I particularly love these because they are great for sensory play as well.
We’ve collected a good amount of nice quality wooden toys over the years and a few of my favorite places for these are Haba, Hape, and Melissa & Doug. You can also find really special one locally or on Etsy.
You can’t go wrong with buying books because again, babies don’t care too much about what they get and the parents will love you for freshening up their bedtime reading selection. For young babies we love these books that are impossible to destroy—seriously baby can chew on them, sit on them, bathe with them and they will be fine! We also love these board books.
Age Specific Play sets
There are also a couple of great subscription type toy sets for babies and toddlers that are awesome because little ones don’t need a bunch of toys at once! I’m a huge fan of MontiKids (BIRTHHOUR40 for $40 off) and Lovevery! You can even ask for gift cards from these companies!