May 7, 2011

Building our Montessori type baby room

I may or may not have mentioned this, but our 10 month old doesn't sleep in a crib.

And he hasn't in almost two months.

When I was on maternity leave (till he was 7 months old), I would nurse him down for every nap and bedtime on the bed (he would ONLY nurse laying down. I KNOW). Then I would either lay there with him until he woke up, or Tim would move him to his crib. 50% of the time he would wake up - and then if he did stay asleep, it wasn't for long, since he would wake himself up hitting his head or arms on the sides of the crib.

We got a bumper (I know - the horrors) but it still didn't solve the problem.

So...we put a thin futon on the floor and I nursed him down...and then I left him. And then he slept most of the night! When he would wake up he wouldn't crawl away - he sits there and cries, then I would go get him and bring him into our room.

We were sort of half-assing it the whole time though. We kept his crib in there, the room was half office/half baby room (since we lost our office/third bedroom in the move and haven't built our new one in the garage yet).

Last weekend I decided enough was enough and we started to build the dude his own montessouri style room.

Some components we're choosing to adopt:
low bed he can get out of on his own
low bookcases and toy access
clean minimal "stuff"
childproofing the whole room, so when he does get up and play at 2am, he's safe

The Ikea expedit bookshelves are perfect and actually have WAY more storage than we need. Part of the Montessouri theory (I am SO not an expert) is that order and cleanliness and lack of clutter make for a calming space that give babies room to explore and play and not be overwhelmed with "stuff". I hate stuff, so I'm super on board. The little guinea pig thing is a glowing light from target. We bought it when I was nursing and needed just a little light in the middle of the night. It's the perfect night light. We call him "Chernobyl the glowing hamster". I realize how unfunny that is after the disaster in Japan, but the name stuck. Other suggestions?

The rug is all wool and natural, and believe it or not, one of the first wool rugs that doesn't make your pants look like you have a house full of cats by shedding all over them. Maybe that's because I never drop thousands on rugs, and this is the most I've ever spent (I usually buy rugs on Craigslist). Anyway, the boy likes to stand and curl his toes around the big chunks o rug, but then he tries to step and forgets to uncurl his toes. Super cute.

This was a side of the road (or street) find that we put a little old english (the furniture polish, not the malt liquor) on and it shined right up. I bought baskets for the inside to keep hats and socks in, and I covered the baskets underneath with fabric (they were just plastic bins from the hardware store). They keep his blocks and other toys that stay in his room.

The majority of Turner's toys (and he doesn't have a lot (or enough) according to his aunt and my best friend) are in the living room in these fake leather ottomans.

The ottomans worked well in our old house, but I'm not a huge fan of how they go in this one, but they are FANTASTIC for the boy. They house his toys, he can't get the lid off without help, he learned to pull up on them, and they have soft cushy edges so if he falls, it doesn't hurt. They are fake leather from China, so they sat in the garage for a couple days off gassing when I picked them up ($18 bucks each from JC Penny plus a 10% off coupon).

Like the rest of the house, I'm a little trigger shy (did I really just use a gun analogy?) in putting anything on the walls. So his walls are bare for now.

The Montessori idea is that all his art should be at his level along with his toys and books - so the room is accessible and he uses his own abilities to get to everything.

Future Plans/Projects:
1)pictures of all his extended family members in childsafe frames low on the walls
2)childproof his dresser because mama is SO scared of pinched fingers in drawers
3)install a permanent babygate so when he does decide to start crawling away in the middle of the night, we know he's safe
5)bring in a more substantial futon. This is all for mama's aesthetics - I think his bed now looks like a frat house room

Hopefully we'll get a good bit of this done this weekend...and I can update on Monday!

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