Sunday, August 5, 2012

Creating Baby's Space - Montessori Style

So, in a few short weeks I’m going to be a mom. Oddly enough, before I moved to Laos I never envisioned myself having children. I liked them. But they were for other people to have. Maybe living here it’s impossible not to feel the call of motherhood, as the culture loves children so much. Not to mention there are 3 routine questions you are asked by every stranger: How old are you? Are you married? Do you have children?

Now that I am finally on maternity leave, we have started setting up a space for River. All  my  Montessori training is coming out in River’s spaces. He won’t have his own room in this house as there just isn’t the space. (We are in the process of building a house.) There is an extra bedroom here but La uses it as his art studio, and we both agree it’s too important to confine oil paints, thinners, cutters, chemical smells and all other supplies that make a parent cringe in a safely locked no baby entry space.

We are doing co-sleeping, so I’m setting up that area for him. He won’t actually sleep in the same bed as us, but next to the bed on his own little mat. I’ve never personally been fond of cribs, as to me they look a bit like zoo cages, but in Laos, they are even more unheard of. There is no debate here about co-sleeping; it’s how every baby sleeps and you’d be called a bad parent by locals to try otherwise. He will also get his own mosquito net, which I have to buy this week. Yes, they make baby size models.

In the main area of the house, I’ve set up one bamboo shelf for his supplies that we need to use everyday. I was going to keep it in our bedroom, but with MIL coming to live, I need it to be accessible to all. There is also a soft woven fabric mat for the floor and I will buy another small bed mat this week. La’s friend at Vientiane frame shop is making us a big mirror Montessori style, for the wall. That way during tummy time he can explore his environment and himself. La is painting the story of the frog and moon also to be hung low on the wall to introduce River to artwork. I plan to make a simple mobile, hopefully have that finished also in the coming week.

There is just SOO much info on the web about Montessori parenting, but I have a few blogs that continue to be sources of inspiration:

Sew Liberated - This is my all time favorite go to blog for Montessori / creative parenting. I've read her for years for teaching inspiration and now I see it as Mama inspiration. 

One book I have found really helpful with regards Montessori and Infants is: 
Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three 

Photos to come, I’ve got a lot of work to do first!! Ha, maternity leave. OK, I’m not teaching in a Montessori pre-school of 41 for the next 3 months, but it feels like I have an even bigger task with 1 soon to be newborn!


  1. I got much better (and not to mention, more) sleep with co-sleeping and then bed-sharing. It's so much more compatible with breastfeeding, for us. :)

    That's great, I love reading about my family's homeland and exactly how the culture is slightly different here. In America, our society doesn't love children as much, I don't think. Laotians do love children though.

  2. That sounds like a beautiful and practical set up. yes, here in the states, we keep the baby next to our bed in a bassinette. some people just keep the baby separate in fancy crib :(. it's better to keep the baby and everything you need right next to you for convenience for the first few months. very smart!