Skip to main content

Baby Proofing in a Montessori Home

We seem to live in a culture obsessed with safety, or at least I do. There seems to be a million different rules for how to keep babies and young children safe in our dangerous world. And, incidentally, a product you can buy to make your world a safer, better place. Baby proofing has become a whole industry of toilet locks, bumper pads, locks, and covers.

This can be sort of a challenge for Montessori families. Montessori emphasizes the freedom of movement, the need for young children to explore and manipulate their environment, and generally just trusts kids with "dangerous" objects {like knives, or working tools} from a much younger age than most mainstream parents. In Montessori, it is the adult's job the prepare the space to make it safe and accessible to children, not our job to place roadblocks to exploration in our home.

Baby proofing in a Montessori home, a look at our must-haves and the things we skip

But, this doesn't mean that Montessori homes don't take precautions to keep babies safe. But, it has to be balanced with these other Montessori needs. So, how do we baby proof in our Montessori home?

For us, the answer is balance. We both want to keep our children safe, but give them freedoms. I have become aware of what I call "the commercialization of safety." And, therefore approach many baby proofing products with a skeptical eye. There are so many places trying to sell us something to prevent some "hazard." I really evaluate whether the risk is something I need to prevent, or if it is just meant to help avoid an adult inconvenience.


With that in mind, I have some must-haves in our home. These include:
  • Accessible electrical covers - we have changed as many of our electrical outlets to include built in covers. These outlets keep a baby from getting electrocuted if something was stuck inside the outlet, BUT allow a toddler or older child to plug an electronic in without needing assistance or removing a bulky cover. 
  • Furniture anchors - anchoring tall furniture to the walls so that it wont tip if climbed. 
  • Baby Gate (kind of) - we have one set of tall, steep stairs which we gate, our other smaller stairs are not blocked off. 
You can also see some specific safety steps we take to baby proof with our Montessori floor bed

Baby proofing in a Montessori home, a look at our must-haves and the things we skip

Things We Skip

Now, everyone will have to make specific decisions for their own family, but we choose to skip:
  • Cabinet locks - instead we opt to move dangerous chemicals/medicines up high or in locked boxes. And, yes, that sometimes causes a mess, but for us it's more important that our children have access to practical tools and the ability to explore than to lock things up. We simply remove anything we don't want touched. 
  • Bumpers - we skip things meant to keep our kids from bumping their heads or bodies. 
  • Toilet Locks/Fridge Locks - basically any lock that keeps your kids from using every-day objects 
  • Door Covers - I don't find them necessary, again I see it as my job to just remove anything I don't want explored and to set my kids free in our home 
Baby proofing in a Montessori home, a look at our must-haves and the things we skip

Once again, specifically what you need to do to baby proof will depend on your comfort level and your home. It will depend on balancing freedom and safety. But, instead of placing the burden on your child to avoid things, shift that burden to yourself to prepare your environment in a way that allows your child's natural development to unfold!

What baby proofing items are must-haves for you? 



Unknown said…

First this is so great, I completely agree on these things in my own home. I was wondering what you do about holidays and trips to other friends/family homes that maybe don't take the same approach. I didn't register for a pack 'n play because it feels like a mobile baby jail that shouldn't be needed, but I am not sure how to keep my little one safe without something like it or keeping a constant eye on him when trying to visit with other people. I don't have this problem in my own home but with a very busy little man I don't want to let him get into something that I didn't forsee. Also I was wondering what do you take with you on vacation or trips with your little ones and what do you leave at home (we have a 10 day cruise coming up and I don't want to bring everything haha)?
Unknown said…
I have found when traveling it it isn't that big of a deal when others houses are not baby proof. You are naturally watching him closer and there are other people around who are also keeping an eye out for them getting into trouble. You can simply slowly move things out of reach at other peoples houses such as plants on the floor, dog food etc. We have traveled a lot with our little one. I did wish we had a pack and play for sleeping but never for awake time.

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2021

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure! 2021 UPDATE: Please be patient with links this year, with supply chain issues things are selling out faster and restocking slower. I anticipate some of the specialty toys will not restock once they are gone. Puzzles, in particular, have been difficult to find in stock. So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created toys, bu

Montessori Toddler: Favorite Toys and Activities 18 to 20 months

I've been putting off this post for a little while because I felt a little disappointed that I didn't have more to share. See, Teddy just isn't that into materials, especially those on the shelf. He tends to return to a couple of favorites over and over again and ignore all other attempts at shelf work. But, really that's my own adult feelings getting in the way of Teddy's own interests, and developmental path.  It's also me subconsciously valuing fine motor skills and stillness as more important than gross motor play and movement. I working hard not to do that, and want to normalize that all toddlers are different. All children have different interests and that concentration doesn't have to mean sitting still for long stretches of time.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. With all that said, here are some of Teddy's favorites over the last couple of months. Favorite Montessori Toys 18 to 20 Months I'm listing the toys that have be

Our Family's Montessori Christmas Gift Lists 2021

It's hard to believe another holiday season is upon us again. Every year I enjoy putting together my kids' Christmas gift lists. It's really a good time to observe them, see what they are interested in and what they might be ready for during this coming year. It's one of the few times a year that I purchase new materials for our home so it's always really exciting. IF YOU NEED MORE IDEAS DON'T MISS MY ULTIMATE MONTESSORI TOY LIST OR MY 2021 DEALS PAGE ! When considering these lists, please remember that these were curated based on my own children. Use them for inspiration but they are heavily influenced by what my children are into and interested in. And for my older second plane children, what they have asked for!  Here's a look at our family's Montessori Christmas lists for 2021!  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Theodore (Toddler) Teddy is just over 2-years-old. Being our fourth baby, he is really hard for me to think of unique