Depending on the design of your home you may want to consider placing your infant's movement area in a shared family space. The movement area can consist of a moveable play gym, a soft rug or mat with some toys, or perhaps a wall mirror and Montessori style mobiles (visual & tactile).
The benefit of having the movement area in a shared space is the child can observe and hear their family members going about their everyday lives. The child can move, play and rest at their leisure while still feeling that they are a part of the family, not tucked away in their bedroom. This can lead to independent play in the future, the child doesn't need to be entertained in a bouncy chair or walker, they can work on their skills like movement, grasping, visual tracking, and building concentration.
"A child is curious and in need of sensorial exploration from the very first days and wants to be with the family, not tucked away in a quiet room all day. To help make this possible, parents can use a special baby floor mat, a small futon or special rug, which can be moved to wherever in the home the family is spending time - the kitchen, bedroom, living room, family room, etc. In this way the child can be with the family, observe life and doze off at any time sleep is needed. The infant can stay in touch with his unique natural rhythms of sleeping and being awake. He can listen to conversation, laughter, and music or peaceful silence. On these mats the child can also practice developmental skills such as exploring his hands and feet, as he has done while still in the womb, exercising and stretching muscles, doing push-ups, reaching and pulling up - and still follow the natural rhythms of sleep and wakefulness." - The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three.
Do you want to see what a Montessori-style infant movement area might look like in a shared space?
This is a beautiful and peaceful shared playspace. The Play Gym provides a nice spot to view the rest of the room almost unobstructed. The key here is making the space safe, interesting, and developmentally appropriate for both children. This space also provides motivation from movement, the infant can see the shelves and their sibling's materials and will in time be motivated to move towards them.
I agree that peaceful and harmonious moments like this may be rare, but this is a lovely shot of all three children working and concentrating. The Play Gym and perhaps a grasping toy provide enough stimulation to the infant, it's not overwhelming and it can also be moved from room to room. Playing and resting here, the infant is with their family and will feel a part of the action.
I adore this space. See the materials for the infant are on the left and the materials for the older child are on the right!!
This is such a sweet and peaceful space. The light, the movement of the large plant, the mirror, and the soft playmat all make this perfect! The scattered toys on the mat also promote movement as the child reaches or creeps to get to the toys. I love that this movement area is in the corner of the dining room!
This space is in the corner of the living room, right next to the dining room. I'm sure this is an area where the child can see and observe their family members working and interacting during the day, the child can also hear what is going on and just feel a part of the family. You can see they have chosen a small square playmat and smallish low shelves. Choose furniture and materials that will fit your space!
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