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! Floor beds are a staple in Montessori because they encourage independence, allowing baby to get in and out of bed as needed.
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.
I personally love having a comfortable mattress to lay down on when I’m in our little one’s room too! We still nurse before naps and bedtime and it’s so nice to cozy up together on a mattress that’s big enough for me too!
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! Monti Kids provides Montessori subscription boxes and access to child development experts for children ages 0-3. Monti Kids subscription boxes come with toys and guidance in an easy to use program to give your baby the best education from birth.
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!
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!
This past year I had the amazing privilege of getting to work with Heather Gallagher to document our family from the end of my pregnancy through Harvey’s first birthday. I love that Heather offers this “year in the life” photography package because it focuses more on how the whole family changes and grows over a year rather than the more typical baby milestone photo packages I’d seen before. We have two older children and this year was HUGE for them in terms of changes and I’m so grateful to have these priceless images to remember our whole family unit over the course of the year that we welcomed baby number three into the fold.
If you are in the Austin area, I highly recommend Heather Gallagher not only for this year-in-the-life package but for any of your photography needs (especially birth photography!). She also travels for photo sessions from time to time!
Heather is also a full spectrum doula which you can learn more about by reaching out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or following her on Instagram @lifesaspectrum.
Our first photo session was a maternity photo shoot at the Austin Public Library which is one of our favorite places to explore together. The kids quickly became comfortable with Heather and were up to their typical silly antics.
The next time we saw Heather was for the birth! She arrived just 40 minutes or so before Harvey was born and probably would’ve missed it if she hadn’t had the foresight to be hanging around the area ‘just in case’ which I’m forever grateful for! Birth photos are the most beautiful images in the world and I look back at mine often. It can be hard to remember the details when you’re in “laborland” and having all of the little moments captured is not only really special but has also helped me in the processing of my birth story.
Postpartum Photo Session
Heather came back a few days later for a Postpartum shoot which really captures our big kids and how they were changing as they stepped into their new roles.
Two Months Old Photo Session
We had another photo shoot when Harvey was about 2 months old and It’s really special because we actually ended up moving soon after so I love having these images in the home that he was born in.
6 Months Old Photo Session
When Harvey was six months old, we had a photo session at our new home and I also got to model some of my sweet friend Hailey’s breastfeeding clothes from Chapter Goods. This are definitely my most favorite photos of nursing which is such a huge part of my journey as a mother and feels extra tender this time since we don’t plan to have any more babies.
9 Months Old at our Favorite Brewery
This is one of my favorite sessions which is so funny because it was actually pretty short and really casual! My kids were in a great mood and we were all in our happy place: Jester King Brewery in Austin. I loved that we captured the short window where Adelaide’s two front teeth were missing and Harvey had changed SO much since 6 months old!
One Year Old Birthday Photo Session
We finished our year together with Heather capturing Harvey’s 1st Birthday party! Of course I love all of the images but more than that, it was so nice to not have to worry about where my phone was so I could be taking pictures as well and I am in way more of the photos than I would’ve been as well. I think it helped keep everyone else off of their phones as well especially when it came time for the smash cake—I noticed that everyone didn’t do the typical thing of all trying to film this moment because they knew Heather had it covered.
It’s so surreal to have more than a year captured of our family and putting together this blog post was so much fun as I went back through all of the images. It was defiitely hard to pick my favorites and I’m sure my favorites will change over time! I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a year in the life of our little family! If you are in the Austin area, I highly recommend Heather Gallagher not only for this year-in-the-life package but for any of your photography needs (especially birth photography!). Heather is also a full spectrum doula which you can learn more about by reaching out to her at email@example.com or following her on Instagram @lifesaspectrum. Thank you Heather!!!
It’s amazing how many new products have popped up since my last baby was born 6 years ago. With baby #3 and working in the baby industry, I got to try a lot of new products as well as some old favorites. I wanted to round them all up to share with you. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about any of them.
Create a Good Sleep Environment for Baby
When your baby is first born they will need SO much sleep that they can pass out just about anywhere… usually on your chest after a feeding. But as they get older, you’ll want to put some thought into creating a proper sleep environment for them.
Diffuse Essential Oils in Baby’s Room
I got really into essential oils during my pregnancy and especially found so much support from them for my sleep. So of course I was excited to try some of the gentler oils with baby. We only use Young Living essential oils because they are 100% pure therapeutic grade and honestly just work better than any other brands I’ve tried. When baby was still sleeping with us we’d just diffuse one or two drops of lavender, frankincense, or a blend called Gentle Baby right before bed. Now that he’s in his own room we do the same and have since discovered that he seems to sleep really well with White Angelica or Peace & Calming. Most of these oils come in the Young Living Starter Kit if you want more info about getting started.
Use a Cool Mist Humidifier
Babies only breathe through their noses so if they are congested it’s very difficult for them to get good sleep. We love Crane’s cool mist humidifiers (the cool mist part is really important) because they are super easy to use and clean and are freaking adorable. They come in all different animal themes as well as sleep drop styles. We’ve been partnering with Crane for quite a while and they offer the coupon code BIRTH19 to my audience for $10 off +free shipping.
Make the Room Super Dark
Babies are used to complete darkness in your womb and they like a dark room to sleep in too. I know when they are brand new they can sleep anywhere and anytime but as they get older you’re going to want to create a dark room which is easy to do with some quality blackout curtains.
Use a White Noise Machine
Again, babies are used the loud white noise of being in your belly so they love a good, loud white noise machine. Not all of these are created equal and you definitely don’t want songs or nature sounds. I interviewed a sleep expert on the podcast and they actually said pink noise is best. My favorite ones are from Lectrofan.
My husband and I have chosen to co-sleep with all three of our kids for the first six months or so. With our first two children we just had them in bed with us and practiced safe co-sleeping guidelines. With our new baby we tried out a couple of baby loungers. There are many brands on the market from large and small companies but the two we had were the DockaTot and the SnuggleMe Organic. We like them both for different reasons. The SnuggleMe really hugs baby and keeps their knees up with baby’s love when they are having tummy troubles. The DockATot has a bottom to it so it was more comfortable for travel with we would put baby down in it on the hard floor. We also ended up using the DockATot longer because it felt like he grew out of the SnuggleMe faster.
Swaddles and Sleep Sacks
Ok there are a million different swaddling and sleep sack options on the market so it can be hard to know what to use and they aren’t exactly cheap either. Luckily once you find one your baby loves, you really only need two. Here’s what worked best for us.
Newborn – Solly Baby and SnuggleMe Organic swaddles (these are adorable and soft but he started to bust out of them pretty quickly!)
I discovered a couple of products to make travel more easy this time around and am excited to share them!
Slumberpod Blackout tent for playyard – This one is a GAME CHANGER you guys. I think of all of the times we tried to squeeze our older kids pack n plays into a hotel bathroom and wonder why it took so long for someone to invent this!? You can use the code birthhour for $10 off too! It’s on backorder a lot but they will notify you when it’s back in stock!
Travel blackout curtain – if you aren’t going to use the Slumberpod, there’s also a great travel blackout curtain that suctions to any window.
Portable white noise machine – I love this rechargeable white noise machine for on the go. You can use this next to their bed but also in the car, strollers etc.
Doona Carseat that converts to a stroller – This is one of my favorite baby products on the market right now. It is definitely pricey but if you are going to register for one big ticket item then I can’t recommend this enough. Or go for the $80 ikea crib (we love ours) and then spring for the Doona carseat/stroller! Not only does it make short trips in and out of the store WAY easier, it also helps baby stay asleep when you don’t have to fumble with a travel system or take them out of the carseat to put into a stroller.
Baby carrier – There are so many options and everyone will have different preferences here. We’ve been using Ergobaby carriers for all three kids and still love them and you can’t go wrong with a snuggly wrap for the newborn days.
Remember, All Babies are Different
It’s good to keep in mind that no two babies are going to have the same sleep habits but having some awesome products on hand will hopefully help! I also highly recommend Taking Cara Babies sleep course for newborns and older babies and the Happiest Baby on the Block.
Ok first, let’s address the biggest question… no, CBD is NOT marijuana. Ok…Then what is it?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring substance of the cannabis plant. There are two primary species of cannabis, hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD, but hemp contains lots of it while marijuana produces more THC. The stalks of hemp is where we’re extracting our CBD from, not from the buds of Willie Nelson’s favorite plant.
Important to know: CBD does NOT produce the mind-altering effects caused by THC.
The CBD from Nature’s Ultra (part of the Young Living family) is distilled into an isolate and is lab-tested to contain 0.0% THC which is hard to find.
So instead of euphoric trips and feelings of sedation, CBD actually helps promote feelings of calmness and relaxation! This is because CBD has an amazing ability to support us and help us achieve balance. Whether we are feeling off physically or mentally – the root causes can start from some level of ‘imbalance’.
How do you use CBD oil from Young Living?
Nature’s Ultra CBD oil is used topically on the areas that need the most support.
Topically on your skin
In some cases our joints and muscles desire some TLC, our skin is irritated, you name it. In cooperation with things like targeted exercises, healthy diet, meditation, and drinking plenty of water, we can also support some of these areas with CBD oil, Roller blends and CBD Balm.
I love using CBD topically after chasing kids around all day or after a hard workout! Also great for those on the computer a lot or with texting thumbs 😉 ! Using CBD topically in a muscle rub or roller can help support sore muscles and aches. I personally use it regularly on my forearms after I’ve been typing or texting too much and then do some hand exercises.
How do Nature’s Ultra and Young Living Work Together?
Nature’s Ultra is a wholly owned partner of Young Living, and their CBD products are now available through your Young Living account at wholesale prices. You can also become a member of Young Living now with a CBD Starter Kit (click the tab that says “other premium kits”).
CBD Premium Starter Kit from Young Living
You have the choice between two different strengths of CBD when getting the CBD starter kit from Young Living. Regular or Extra-Strength. The regular strength includes:
Calm CBD Roll-On, 300 mg
Citrus CBD Oil, 500 mg
CBD Muscle Rub, 300 mg
Getting Started with CBD brochure
Access to our exclusive team resources including private FB groups, monthly online classes, e-books, and mentorship! Be sure to use our referral link when signing up!
Extra-Strength CBD Premium Starter Kit
The Young Living Extra-Strength CBD Premium Starter Kit includes:
Calm CBD Roll-On, 600 mg
Citrus CBD Oil, 1,000 mg
CBD Muscle Rub, 600 mg
Getting Started with CBD brochure
Access to our exclusive team resources including private FB groups, monthly online classes, e-books, and mentorship!
According to Young Living, “One of the factors that motivated the acquisition of Nature’s Ultra is that we recognized they share many of the same values as we do. They even share our Seed to Seal® commitment to quality, which we’ve verified through visits to their farms. Nature’s Ultra and Young Living are a match made in health!”
The Young Living infused Nature’s Ultra CBD products are created with essential oils and you can also enhance your CBD experience by pairing it with Young Living essential oils in your Starter Kit (plus many more). It’s important to note, the safest and most effective form of CBD is an isolate which is what Nature’s Ultra produces. By combining the CBD oil isolate with terpene-infused essential oils, you’re enhancing the potential benefits of your CBD experience with a more targeted approach. Terpenes are responsible for the unique aromas of essential oils. More importantly, smelling them directly contributes to the emotional support we get from using our essential oils.
Pairing CBD with Young Living essential oils
You can easily pair CBD with essential oils from your starter kit for an enhanced experience. The essential oils mentioned below have those awesome terpenes we talked about earlier and can enhance your experience for an even greater result. As always, it’s recommended that you consult a professional to create a tailored plan for your needs.
Frankincense: applied topically to the face with CBD oil for skin rejuvenation.
️DiGize Vitality: applied to your abdomen with CBD oil to aid in tummy relief.
Lavender: applied topically to your feet at bedtime with CBD for better rest and deep relaxation.
And this is only the start! You can enhance your experience with almost all the oils in the Young Living premium starter kit along with tons of others.\
Calm CBD Roll-On: Infused with Young Living lavender, this roller creates a peaceful environment that will help relax and quiet your mind (currently loving this postpartum) and great for bedtime.
CBD oil cool mint
CBD oil cinnamon
CBD oil citrus
CBD Muscle Rub
When is the best time to use Nature’s Ultra infused with Young Living CBD products?
On the Go with CBD roll-ons
What we apply to our skin topically is absorbed into our skin. We want to be aware of the things that are bad for our health, and only put products on our skin that we know what’s in them. That’s why I love the CBD roll-ons from Nature’s Ultra because they practice the same Seed to Seal guidelines as Young Living.
When you’re feeling stress
Apply a CBD roll-on infused with Young Living Essential Oils then take some deep breaths or try a guided meditation and you’ll enjoy the benefits of relaxation from essential oils and CBD while improving your daily practices.
One of my favorite combinations is applying lavender essential oil topically to your feet at bedtime with CBD for deep relaxation. Try a relaxation exercise like tightening each muscle one by one and releasing.
How do you order Nature’s Ultra CBD products through Young Living?
If you aren’t already a member with YOUNG LIVING, let’s start there! To become a member you just need to buy a starter kit and now you can get a CBD starter kit for an amazing value compared to buying the products separately. You can get also get the premium essential oils starter kit which comes with 12 of the most popular essential oils and a diffuser or the basic starter kit which simply gets you your membership and comes with Stress Away oil.
Once you become a member, you will enjoy the wholesale discount of 24% off that all Young Living Members get on products. In addition to ordering the CBD products through Young Living, many of the essential oils compliment CBD usage and are a perfect start to plant-based wellness.
Use our referral link to get your CBD starter kit or essential oil starter kit. You’ll become a member, get wholesale pricing and gain access to our team resources. More about that here!
When logged in to your Young Living account, click One Time Order and find the CBD section! Starting February 1, 2020 you will also be able to order these products through Essential Rewards, Young Living’s monthly autoship program that comes with lots of additional perks!
Enjoy shopping for the best CBD ever at a discounted price!
FAQ: Is CBD oil safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Unfortunately there isn’t much research in this area yet when it comes to CBD. There are studies regarding marijuana and pregnancy/breastfeeding and use of marijuana should definitely be avoided. More info here.
However, several of the main concerns with marijuana use including impaired ability to properly care for your baby and second hand smoke, are not concerns with CBD oil. The main question is how much CBD is transferred to your baby and what effects will it have and that’s where the research is lacking still. You should always consult with your care provider with any questions.
This article is only referring to Young Living and Nature’s Ultra products which have very high standards of quality and 0.0% THC. Please do not apply what you read here to other brands. Again, always talk to your care provider and use your own judgment.
DISCLAIMER: The information is for informational purposes only and it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.
I love that we are discussing pelvic floor health more and more especially with moms postpartum. In many countries it is standard practice to visit a pelvic floor therapist after having a baby and while that isn’t the case here in the United States, there are more and more therapists available. I’m always happy to get the message out that if you are experiencing symptoms related to your pelvic floor after having a baby, you do not need to just ‘deal with it’.
I recommend looking for a pelvic floor therapist and doing some of your own at-home therapy as well. I’m always recommending the MUTU system for an at home program and I myself have really loved it. Recently, I also had the opportunity to try the Perifit Pelvic Floor Trainer as the company sent me one to review.
From their website, “Perifit is an FDA-approved medical device that is recommended by doctors to prevent prolapse and incontinence, eliminate the need to wear pads permanently, aid quick recovery from childbirth and surgery, regain core strength and bladder control, and enhance confidence in the bedroom.”
From my own personal perspective, it’s also just fun to use compared! You insert the device into your vagina and then it connects with an app that you play games with your pelvic muscles to move your “player”. It’s kind of hard to explain but go here to watch how it works. I’m not even someone who typically likes video games but this was surprisingly really satisfying to advance to the next level on—maybe because I know that I’m actually doing something good for my body in the process.
Kegels aren’t all that great for you
Many of us have always heard to do kegels… the way I learned was to practice the feeling of stopping the stream of urine but it turns out that that isn’t all that good for strengthening your pelvic floor, plus it’s boring! So, the difference with the Perifit is that you also work on the action of relaxing your pelvic floor muscles and contracting them. Plus, the device can tell you the difference between the use of your deeper muscles versus the superficial ones.
My favorite part is that you get real-time feedback so you know how you’re improving. It really helped me to better understand how to do pelvic floor exercises since you can try different things and then see in the app whether you’re improving or not rather than just listening to someone describe what to do.
Programs for your stage in life
They have a few different programs to choose from including: postpartum, stress/urge incontinence, intimate well-being and preventative. I’m working my way through the postpartum program right now and feel quite the sense of accomplishment when I move up to the next level! I only spend about 10-15 minutes a day doing the games and noticed an improvement within about 3 weeks (I may have missed some days in there but I TRY to do it every day). You can set the app to send you reminders to play the games too!
I definitely recommend the Perifit if you’re struggling with any pelvic floor issues and think it would benefit just about any mom postpartum. Of course it’s always a good idea to consult with your care provider if you have any questions.
You can use the coupon code TheBirthHour10 for 10% off your purchase. I was gifted the Perifit to review and was not compensated in any other way. I only recommend products to you that I truly love and all opinions expressed are my own.