If you’re expecting a baby and have looked into alternative nursery ideas, you’ve probably stumbled across the Montessori concept for baby rooms. The Montessori Method involves a theory and practice that is applied to child-rearing techniques, activities, and education…and there is also an entire set of guiding principles for the Montessori nursery.  

Parents who favor the Montessori Method are familiar with the pillars, which include simplicity of form to allow for creativity; freedom to explore one’s surroundings and grow and learn through this self-guided exploration; and a focus on individuality and decision-making, even from a very young age.  

There’s so much more to learn about Montessori-style parenting; to focus on the baby’s room, here are the important pieces: Your child should have the freedom to move around their space and interact with what draws them in. As such, the room should be safe and inherently “baby-proof” without high furniture, fall risks, or items that need an adult’s help to access. Books and toys should be set up on low shelves and in floor bins so that Baby can pull out and play with what moves him, without needing Mom or Dad’s help. The Montessori nursery respects Baby’s development at every turn, creating a nurturing and clutter-free space to learn, grow, and have lots of fun. Here are some easy ways you can achieve this type of room in your home. 

Soft Play Spaces 

 Montessori nursery with soft playspace in center of room

Photo: Instagram/ilayinka

Your little one should be able to move around the room freely and at their own will, so make sure there are durable, wipe-clean, soft play areas throughout the space where your tot can jump, roll, and learn about their own body in the process.   

Neutrals and Rainbows Montessori Nursery

Montessori shelf with rainbow wooden toys on display 

Photo: Instagram/maryann_hall23  

Natural materials are important in a Montessori nursery, which means there will be a lot of bare wood, wool, and so on. While neutrals are thus inherently a part of Montessori-inspired spaces, babies thrive on color, too. Make sure to incorporate some gorgeous rainbow pieces in the toy setup and wall art to encourage color exploration in addition to your serene neutral themes throughout the space. 

Montessori Nursery Mirror and Barre

Toddler stands at child-size barre and looks in the mirror in a Montessori-style nursery 

Photo: Instagram/little_one_studio 

The low-hanging, typically horizontal mirror is a staple in the Montessori baby room. Even from the very first weeks of life, you can do tummy time and interact with your baby in front of this mirror. The barre shown here is great for dance, but also serves to help Baby pull up to standing, even before they walk on their own. 

Montessori Nursery Pikler Triangle 

 Baby climbs a Pikler triangle structure in a Montessori-style nursery

Photo: Instagram/patty0jin

While it’s not a formal staple in the Montessori nursery, this clever indoor playscape is popular with like-minded parents. The triangle serves as a climbing surface for active play and has multiple uses to encourage imaginative and practical learning.  

Functional Wood Toy Structures  

 Functional toy wooden structures in a Montessori nursery

Photo & to Purchase: Etsy/WoodJoyCollection

Open-ended pretend play is an essential component of Montessori spaces. This simple wood sink setup mimics a kitchen or mud room without guided decals, tons of accessories, or distracting clutter. As soon as Baby is able to lift to standing, this will be played with constantly. The optional shelving next to it is perfect for storage and toys. 

Montessori Nursery Low Shelving

 Low shelf in a Montessori nursery

Photo & to Purchase: Target

Montessori nurseries call for long, low shelving where toys, books, and exploratory trinkets can be placed. This setup allows your child to access what they want to play with in the moment without needing your help to get to it. Plus, it encourages a lack of overcrowding and clutter as the clean lines and simplicity of the piece beg to not be overloaded. Less is more here! 

Montessori Nursery Open Closet 

Open closet in a Montessori nursery 

Photo & to Purchase: Amazon

Montessori learning and living encourages children to make choices for themselves, and that includes their wardrobe. Too many choices can be overwhelming and have the opposite of the desired effect, so most experts recommend keeping the bulk of their items in a closet or dresser aside, but leaving out a handful of outfits and a couple of pairs of shoes in an open structure like this one where they can select and take down their choices for getting dressed each day.

Montessori Nursery Child-Sized Furniture 

 A baby plays at a child-sized desk in a Montessori nursery

Photo: Instagram/maninemontessori 

Furniture that is built for their size is so important as it encourages independence and ownership. A simple table and chair like this are perfect for the Montessori nursery. Everything from puzzles to coloring to sensory bins and flipping through books can happen in this cozy corner.

Montessori Nursery Toddler Floor Bed 

Toddler floor bed in a Montessori-style nursery 

Photo: Instagram/balanced_and_barefoot

The Montessori baby room is encouraged to contain a “floor bed,” which is essentially a mattress on the floor or a low framed bed that allows them to move freely around the space. While Baby is still sleeping in a bedside bassinet or crib, the floor bed is excellent for awake play and quiet time or supervised naps. Once your little one is ready to transition to a toddler bed sleeping arrangement, the floor bed will be all set up to receive them in their nursery. 

Montessori Nursery Infant Floor Pillows 

 Floor pillow for babies

Photo & To Purchase: Target

In keeping with the concept of floor play, a lack of clutter, and open-ended imagination time, start your little one out early with a simple tummy time mat or floor pillow. This is a dedicated space for them to play and think, and as they grow it will be incorporated in their creative play many different ways. 

Montessori Nursery Low-Hanging Pictures 

 A baby gazes at low-hung pictures from the floor

Photo: How We Montessori

The key to decorating the walls in a Montessori nursery is to keep art low and simple. You want your baby to be able to see what’s on the walls from the early days and interact with these pieces over time. The blog post linked here gives great tips on how to achieve this goal.

Accessible Developmental Toys

Low-shelf with baby toys 

Photo: Instagram/halfway_montessori

Open-ended and sensory play, real-life objects, and simple books make up the bulk of the toy selection in a traditional Montessori classroom or baby room. Arrange on your low shelving and let the fun begin!

Montessori Nursery Play Gym 

 Wooden baby play gym

Photo & To Purchase: Poppyseed Play

These modern boho wood play gyms for babies are wildly popular with new parents, not only because they’re fun for Baby but also because they’re just so beautiful. As they’re made using natural materials, they encourage floor time, and can be converted for other creative uses later, they make a great addition to the Montessori nursery. 

More Nursery & Toddler Room Inspiration:

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

View more posts tagged, nursery themes

Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Submit your questions here.

Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.