The Evolution of K’s Montessori Room – Part 1

Before K was born, I spent a great deal of time surfing the web for room ideas, however, wanted to figure out a way to implement them within a “thrifty” budget. That is how I originally came across the idea of a floor bed, and Montessori Philosophy in general! I was hooked. Bought “Montessori From the Start” and have been applying the principles ever since, with great success!

K’s room has gone thru several iterations since I started, but the basics I bought before he was born:

1. The Floor Bed: The floor bed he uses is just a crib mattress from Ikea – was the VYSSA SLOA Mattress for $59.99 CAD – It doesn’t appear to be there, but I linked one that looks similar.

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2. Child Accessible Shelving: I got a cube shelf from Ikea for use as a low shelf for his toys and storage for diapers and whatnot on the top – It was *then* called EXPEDIT Shelving unit – birch effect on the IKEA Canadian site. Price was $79.99 CAD.  Now they renamed it to KALLAX Shelving Unit.. perhaps to charge $10 more? Who knows. I love this shelf and it was easy to put together, but word to the wise.. don’t follow the directions the way they tell you to assemble it, it’s hard to press the pieces into place so on one piece I tried to tap it in with a hammer which wrecked the edge a little. I discovered that if I just laid the shelf on it’s side so I could push down on each piece from above, it was much easier. So I’d lay it on the width side to push in a piece, then tip it up to lay on the length to push in the next, back and forth. It was *WAY* easier.  I also purchased 4 of the BRANÄS Basket – $12.99 CAD each. I decided to use the top of the shelf for a change table and strapped the mattress on. I have since sawed apart a free change table I got (you can see it in the picture above!) to add barriers to the change table so K can’t roll off 🙂 Here’s a photo of the initial set up before K was born!

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3. The Mirror – This is a great concept and one my mom used with me when I was a baby. She didn’t know anything about Montessori, she just said it kept me occupied. However looking more into it, I discovered it’s an important tool to get babies interested in several aspects of their surroundings. First off, it encourages them to push up and look at themselves when introducing tummy time in the beginning. It also gives them another view of their room so they can start to discover distances and create a map of where they are in their environment. I found Kieran liked it in the early days as well to see an alternate view of his mobiles, particularly the Munari with it’s flat pieces.. if he was laying underneath it he’d see a bit more of a 1 dimensional view of the card stock, in the mirror he’d see larger piece of the image. I purchased a mirror from Homesense for $39.99 and Screwed it straight into the joists in the wall so it was very secure.

4. Montessori Mobile Series: (Here’s a good post giving a summary and recommendations for the mobile series) – These I made myself. I looked around the web, and there were a few on Etsy, but with the cost of shipping to Canada, it was just ridiculous to entertain the idea of buying them. I’m not a very crafty person, however I did enjoy making the mobiles for Kieran. There are 4 typical ones in the series – 1. Munari  2.Octahedron 3. Gobbi 4.Dancer. The Flowing Rhythms One seems to be popular as well. I made the first 3 with tutorials online. I never did get around to getting the Dancer mobile made. It’s also typical to have a black and white mobile – usually Orcas or birds. I bought a Flensted Swallow Mobile from Gabriel Ross for $26 CAD – cheaper than the US Amazon.com price! One of the concepts I hadn’t really thought through before was making sure the mobiles are of animals or birds that would actually be flying, or floating thru water because of the movement of the mobile. It makes absolutely no sense for Safari animals to be floating around above a baby’s head! So those typical mobiles seen in baby sections of the toy store, while cute, don’t make much sense. We still have the Swallow Mobile up now at 5.5 months and Kieran loves watching it intently. He has loved all the mobiles we’ve had. Here’s a few pics!

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Entranced with the Munari (which you can only see one little bit, but the first pic above has the whole thing. I couldn’t find clear xmas ornament balls, so I improvised and used a round lightbulb! Hey, whatever works. Black and white mobile is high contrast so easy for baby to see. Kieran, even at only a couple weeks old, would stare at this thing for 15 minutes at a time giving me precious time for a shower or what have you

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Lovin the Octahedrons! Primary colours are the next step, and a new 3 dimensional shape!

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The next step is the gradation of colours offered by the spherical Gobbi mobile. I think was the most well used mobile I made. We had it up for quite a while because K was absolutely in love with it. He would watch it for ages!

5. A Nursing Chair – self explanatory 🙂 I got one on UsedVictoria for $20 that has arm rests the perfect height for my elbow to rest with K’s head in the crook of my arm. Additionally, I don’t know what I would have done without the awesome My Brest Friend nursing pillow. That thing saved my shoulders in the early days for sure. It’s on my list of awesome baby shower gifts to give. It’s $49.99 on the Toys R Us site, but I’ve seen it twice now go down to $34.99 on sale, so keep an eye out if you have a shower coming up

So as you can see, It cost me around $300 total to get the room set up initially, including art supplies for the mobiles. Not too shabby considering a crib would have cost me more had I gone that route!

Next post will be the most recent iteration of the room 🙂

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