I know a lot of Australians live closer to a Kmart than they do to an Ikea. So when I recently discovered one of their awesome matching games, I really wanted to share it with you. But more than that, I realised that you could do so much to create a Montessori home with one trip to Kmart! Children's Table and Chair Set White - great for a snack table, art area, work table, almost anything! Remember that you can cut down the legs of almost any wooden furniture to make it fit a younger child/toddler. Activity Gym - for... Read more →

Do you use essential oils at home with your children? They are a great way to help calm your child, prepare them for bed, help with their concentration or even with colds. But it can be difficult to know which oils are safe to use. I've asked a lot of different people for help when using essential oils with my children but I've often received mixed messages and some terrible over the counter advice, so I want to share with you what sources I've actually found useful! There really aren't a bunch of essential oils that are 'kid safe', it... Read more →

Perhaps it's because they are so small, perhaps it's because they don't say much, babies especially those with older siblings can be constantly on the move or rushed or shushed. I'm a busy parent, I live in the real world but I could do with a reminder. Perhaps you could do with a reminder too. From some of my Montessori readings, here a few ways we can respect the baby. We can respect: Individual developmental needs - don't rush, push or force. Observe and follow the child's lead, provide an environment that is developmentally appropriate. Need for sleep, rest and... Read more →

Otto in the hug-a-bub Organic Ring Sling c/o Fertile Mind. My first mothers group consisted of ten to twelve mothers who had babies within a month of each other. Besides the timing of our baby's birth, we had very little in common. We met weekly and later fortnightly for over a year. I never really fitted in. I parented differently, I was on the outer of much of the conversation. I recently spoke to a friend who said she didn't fit in with her mothers group either. Her baby often cried through the gatherings, she felt like the other mothers... Read more →

Are you looking an awesome gift for a new or expectant mum? Perhaps for a sister, best friend, daughter or daughter-in-law? I would have bought this for my sister for her first or second baby, or even for myself. The idea is brilliant! The Tuutu Baby Box is inspired by the Finnish Government maternity package, which is gifted to every expectant mother in Finland. The box is filled with the essentials every new parent needs. Running since 1938, Finland has given out more than 3 million boxes in total, and more than 40,000 boxes annually! The focus on quality necessities... Read more →

I wish there was more information online about Montessori with infants. There just isn't enough information available to support parents through these early parenting days. I would love to write more about this period but find myself struggling with daily parenting tasks. When I read some work by Simone, who is better known for her work with toddlers, I asked her to share some of her knowledge and advice here. This is a lovely article by Simone from The Montessori Notebook about the Montessori view of the Symbiotic Period (the first 6 to 8 weeks after birth). I hope you... Read more →

I have some good news! Our baby arrived last Friday. His birth was much longer and less natural than anticipated, the third baby doesn't always come faster or easier. However, baby Otto (pictured above) is completely healthy and has spent the last couple of days settling into family life! Caspar and Otis are of course thrilled that their little brother is here. I'll share some more about his nursery and activities in future days and weeks. But for now here are a few articles that I have been enjoying: An Introduction to Practical Life, with beautiful photographs as usual, at... Read more →

I always parent from the heart. I follow my instincts and I've never had any regrets about my parenting. I have looked to Montessori for guidance and ideas and it's always made sense to me. I've not always agreed with other Montessori parents and I occassionaly find a book (and many e-books) that I disagree with. But at the core of it, I am naturally drawn to parenting the Montessori way. With my last son Otis (pictured above, asleep in the Ergo), we almost exclusively used a baby carrier over the pram. For our next child, we intend to do... Read more →

I've written a little about pregnancy and birth but before our baby arrives it's worthwhile for me to get down my thoughts on parenting a newborn, what do Montessori parents do differently? It's important to note that all Montessori families do things in different ways. I've met parents who have Assistant to Infancy training who use a cot and pacifiers. So my intent is to share what has worked for our family and explain the reasons behind some of these Montessori recommendations. No (or little) swaddling - Personally, I have never understood swaddling. I understand the concept of the startle... Read more →

Mirror / Topponcino / Whale Mobile I am incredibly thankful that I am nearing the end of this pregnancy. Not including a couple of weeks in November/December last year, I have been pregnant for over 12 months. This is my fourth pregnancy and it has been harder emotionally and physically. However, I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and we only have a couple of weeks to go! We are so close! I'm feeling nervous and still a little underprepared (I only ordered our infant car seat on Wednesday!). Today I want to share with... Read more →

Today I'm going to challenge traditional thinking about baby change areas, or just prove how offbeat my thinking is. I like having the infant change area on the floor! It's safer for the child and makes the transition for the child to self-dressing that little bit easier. There are two main barriers to having the infant's change area on the floor; it's important to keep some creams, wipes etc out of the reach of the child and many parents have physical restrictions that prevent them from being able to comfortably change a baby on the floor (usually back or knee... Read more →

I apologise for this narrow topic but it's one that I feel is important and useful to me! Today I'm writing about the Montessori Topponcino or security pillow. The Topponcino is typically used from birth to six to eight weeks (or more depending on the size of the infant). It is recommended that the parent/s sleep with or put the Topponcino in their bed so it takes on their homely scent. The Topponcino is then used (from birth) to securely hold and support the infant. From memory, Maria Montessori didn't design the Topponcino (although specific measurements are provided in the... Read more →

I'm at the stage in my pregnancy where I can't get a good night's sleep. Remember what it is like? Not able to get comfortable no matter which way you lie? I'm also at the stage where I wished the nursery was finished. Well, it's getting there. I've put up some pictures and a fabulous friend passed onto us the most gorgeous wooden bed. We still have our low shelves from when Otis was little (a friend borrowed them but we now have them back!). So I have started to tinker and move things around a little. It has me... Read more →

Have you ever tried to make or use the traditional Montessori Munari Mobile? It is the first in the visual mobile series offered to a newborn at around 2-3 weeks of age. They are incredibly hard to balance and our glass globe broke while Otis was underneath it. We replaced the globe but I never again felt really safe around it. With our next baby, we are going to skip the Munari! We are fortunate that we have access to a lot of resources and already have a few black and white mobiles to try, so I thought it would... Read more →

I've become obsessed with wool, especially now we know we are moving to a cooler climate. My direction for buying baby clothes has changed completely! When we lived in Canberra the boys wore a lot of wool including organic merino thermals (we loved these). Now I'm starting to stock up again. We know wool as a natural, breathable fibre that helps to regulate body temperature but most importantly is also so, so soft on an infant's skin. One of the best recommendations I've received is to use Disana Wool Covers (Australia here). I was shocked when I opened the packet.... Read more →