Popularly referred to as “Nido” or “Nest”, the infant Montessori environment is a serene, loving sanctuary where they can explore without restriction and feel secure. The environment is separated into sections for living/playing, eating, sleeping and diapering. Unlike traditional day cares, the Nido environment is free of high chairs, playpens, jumpers or other containers. Instead you will see:
- Soft floor mats babies lie on and move freely around
- Mirrors positioned on walls close to the floor for self-discovery
- A variety of mobiles, wooden objects, and tactile materials for children to explore and stimulate brain development
- Infant bars and soft protected furniture for children to pull themselves up onto and maybe even climb into
- A stair with low steps and railing to practice climbing/crawling up and down
- Low chairs and tables to practice eating at the table
- Books, books and more books
The infant Montessori environment does not use sippy cups, which means that infants are introduced to drinking from cups right from the beginning. Older babies are invited to experiment with self-feeding as they practice the routine at infant sized tables and chairs. We truly recognize and respect each infant as an individual with their own needs and personality. We help them achieve independence and gain confidence to explore their environment.
Infant Montessori is rich in language and sensorial, as a baby’s brain is ripe for language acquisition and tactile learning. The most radical difference is that we engage with each and every child at every opportunity versus simply caring for their person. There is a lot of reading, singing and sign language in their day.
We support breast-feeding, as we welcome you to drop off expressed milk or drop in during the day to nurse your child.