The Basics of Styling a Montessori Nursery Room

Building a nursery is pretty different from styling your average room. A while ago, we shared some tips for styling your nursery, from layout and storage ideas to some sleep and safety considerations. There’s also another side to the equation: making space for your little one to play and meet other developmental goals.

You might have heard of Montessori nurseries or Montessori schools. They’re guided by Montessori principles that encourage independent and open-ended play through the freedom to choose the toys and activities that the child wants to participate in each day.

Perhaps you’re thinking of exploring this approach before your baby or toddler starts pre-school, or maybe you want to adopt the method at home regardless of what school your child attends. While this is by no means an exhaustive guide, here are some ways you can start incorporating the Montessori philosophy into your nursery room.

1. Shift your vantage point to baby’s level

Begin by making sure everything is accessible for your little one to pick up and interact with as they wish. Place toys and books on low shelving to let them select their own toys, and move pictures and decals to a lower height so they can appreciate the images without needing to be picked up. When they’re able to sit up on their own, consider adding a low table and chair too.

Place wall artwork and other décor just over or beside low shelves so that they can be admired from the ground too. Image c/o Manja Vitolic.

Besides low shelving units, wicker baskets are another accessible way to store and display toys. Plus, they're portable! Image c/o Pavel Danilyuk.

Short book stands, like this one our #SundaySleepClub junior member Luke is using, are also a great way to display books!

2. Baby-proof everything

Baby-proofing is ultra-important in a Montessori nursery! Since baby has the freedom to move around and explore whatever they’re drawn to, everything they can reach should be safe for them to interact with too. Aside from baby-proofing corners and keeping unsafe items out of the way, make sure there are no high furniture from which they might fall, and secure anything that could topple easily.

3. Get grounded to sleep

It should be no surprise that the sleep area in Montessori rooms are closer to the ground too! Beds typically go on the floor, either placing a mattress directly on the floor or on a low bed frame. This enables children to move around more freely, getting in and out of bed as they wish.

Younger babies do still sleep in cribs or bassinets, and you might not feel comfortable letting your baby or toddler sleep in an unenclosed space. Whatever the reason you opt for a crib instead, a floor bed can also act as a space for supervised naps or a soft play area.

Floor beds can also function an area for quiet activities like reading or napping. Image c/o Cotton.

4. Go for natural materials and neutral colours

The most common material for solid toys is wood, and you might also find toys made of metal or paper. Natural materials provide a wider range of sensory experiences for young children. Plus, their often simple nature (like wooden blocks and metal chimes) are calmer compared to battery-operated plastic toys, and offer more ways for open-ended play.

5. Keep clutter away

Montessori spaces are often clutter-free and minimal. Aside from tidying up daily clutter, this also extends to the items that you leave out for your child to choose from. Although Montessori promotes having open toy selections and even an open closet, providing too many choices can be overwhelming the young ones too. Instead, put a few items on rotation to keep things fresh for your little one.

Luke and his family playing with wooden blocks, a staple in Montessori rooms. Toys are frequently left in their raw colours or painted in neutral shades, which add to a sense of calm in the space.

Cloth items like stuffed toys, mats, and comforters are made of natural fibres like wool, linen and bamboo. Colour isn't discouraged, but often comes in the form of muted or pastel shades.

Made with naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial bamboo fabric, our Crib Sheets fit right into a Montessori nursery. Incredibly soft and smooth, they don't compromise on either comfort or safety for your little one. Rotate different calming shades with our Bamboo Crib Sheets Set of 2, featuring crib sheet pairs at a better price.

Want to know more about our crib sheets? We’re just an email or Instagram DM away!