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January 26, 2022

Preparing for Baby - A Montessori Environment

As it gets closer and closer to my delivery of Penelope we have been preparing in a variety of ways. We prepare ourselves for this huge transition, and we prepare our other children, but we also have been spending some time preparing our environment. Even for our fifth baby, it's easy to assume we don't need to do much to prepare for our newborn's arrival. And, in some ways that's true. Newborns need very little and very simple surroundings to adjust to life in this big new world. But, making some preparations can make the transition easier for you and for them. 

I wanted to share a few areas that we have prepared prior to our baby's arrival this time: 

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Baby's First Environment

A Montessori baby's first  prepared environment will be in the arms of those that love them. When in my arms, that will often mean skin-to-skin, but in other people's arms that means on the topponcino. The topponcino will provide a constant for the baby that is both supportive and comforting. Until I go into labor I will sleep with the topponcino so that it smells like me. It's a simple way to prepare your environment to meet the needs of your newborn immediately. 

I cannot personally speak highly enough of the the topponcino, you can read more about them in these articles: 

Sleeping Space

The baby's sleep space is definitely another area that I like to have prepared for birth. We do a combination of a basinet and a Montessori floor bed from birth. The basinet is where our baby will sleep at night and is located in our adult bedroom. Then we have a floor bed set up in our nursery where we will offer at least some naps from birth. For us, having those spaces available for even little bits of time have helped us transition to more and more sleeping on the floor bed as the baby is ready. 

It just helps to give them time to slowly adjust as they show signs of readiness over the first several months. The spaces themselves are calm and fairly uneventful. Just safe sleeping spaces ready for eventual independence. I will share these spaces in more detail soon, but here's a look at some of our previous newborn sleep spaces (which honestly are very very similar to what we will use with Penelope): 

Movement Area

The movement area is the last area that I try to prepare prior to the baby's birth. This way I know that there is a safe space for the baby to be placed on the floor from birth. While these moments will be few in the early days, we will start to place the baby on the floor from the time they are born. This gets us both used to allowing independence (as much as the baby is ready for) right from the beginning. Especially when the baby is tiny, I want to know that the space is safe and developmentally appropriate. 

For a newborn this just includes a soft place to play and a high contrast mobile. Toys and other materials will come along in a couple of months, so mostly we just have visual mobiles and keep things simple - allowing for freedom of movement and slow adjustments to the world. Again, I'll share details of Penelope's exact space soon, but here's some more info on movement areas:

What parts of your environment do you prepare before a new baby comes?

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