Nido: The Most Important Time in Your Child’s Life
“We should not look at newborn infants as small, helpless human beings, but as persons who are small in size, but with an immense mental capacity, and many physical abilities that cannot be witnessed unless the environment assists in the expression of life.”
– Dr. Silvana Montanaro
The Infant Community at Healthy Beginnings Montessori House is affectionately referred to as the Raspberry Room.
Like all of HBMH’s classrooms, our Nido environment is rooted in the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori. In fact, the word Nido comes from the Italian word “nest” and is meant to convey the warmth and security of a home.
Through the environment’s simplicity and order the room is safe, secure, stimulating, and most importantly full of love. The preparedness of the teachers allow students to learn at their own pace, using their senses to explore and discover the world.
The Importance of Concentration…
Montessori Morning Routine…
Ready to begin my day!
A successful morning requires a routine. I walk to my classroom, hang up my backpack, and take off my shoes one at a time, with little adult intervention. This gives me the freedome to enhance my independence and start my day at my own pace.
Photo courtesy of one of our Infant Nido community members
What’s up with the Floor Bed?
Every new family to our Raspberry Nido Infant Community has the same question…”What’s up with the floor beds?”
It is very common for traditional day care settings to have cribs (along with many other obstructions that prevent a child’s movement), while on the other hand, our Montessori Nido has floor beds. We provide the babies in our care with a safe and comforting beginning in a serene and nurturing infant community. They are respected and loved as we convey a message of unconditional acceptance. Trust is cultivated by experienced and trained adults through soothing engagement.
Our hand-made floor beds are made from oak wood and include a firm, comfortable mattress. These beds provide the infant with an “internal map”, as they learn to familiarize themselves with surrounding objects, by using their bed as a point of reference.
A letter from Ms. Tami, Director/Co-Owner of HBMH…
“From the first day the child joins our community they will be placed in a bed that allows unrestricted view of the environment with enough room for them to move. I understand, from birth the infant moves in a rotating, circular motion and stretches limbs. When the baby reaches the edge of the bed the child senses this and stops naturally. When the baby does leave the bed, it is because of the desire to do so and because she has the necessary motor skills.
To assist the infant in the order and orientation of the surrounding environment
To offer an unobstructed view of the infant’s visual sense
To assist in independent movement
To give the infant the most suitable place for sleeping and resting
The bed is the most important tool we can provide for the infant and later the growing child. This bed allows for movement such as slithering, from the first day. This first phylogenic movement is associated with the reptilian stage of movement. This type of movement and development is encouraged through unrestricted movement, the passage to crawling or mammalian movement will be aided.
The low floor bed allows the infant to leave the bed without aid as son as he/she is able. Other beds to not allow for this type of independence and can create a passive attitude in the child because they are forced to cry in order to see the caregiver, mother or father. Most importantly, the active movement which the bed allows for can support an active psychological attitude and empowers the child to solve his/her own problems. The more we permit the child to move the more we are supporting their optimum development.”
Supporting Quotes/Parent Resources:“One of the greatest helps that could be given to the psychological development of a child would be to give him a bed suited to his needs and cease making him sleep longer than necessary. A child should be permitted to go to sleep when he is tired, to wake when he is rested, and to rise when he wishes. This is why we suggest that the typical child’s bed should be done away with as has already been done in many families. The child instead should be given a low couch resting practically upon the floor, where he can lie down and get up as he wishes. Like all the new helps for a child’s psychic, a low bed is economical.”
– Dr. Maria Montessori, The Secret of the Childhood (p. 74)
“Generally speaking the bed prepared for a newborn is inappropriate because it is small and surrounded by rails or other materials which interfere with free vision of the environment. The newborn is very attentive and capable of concentration. He needs to be able to practice focusing the eyes on objects in the room without being disrupted by the presence of bed rails…There is no need for any expensive equipment but only for “prepared persons” who understand what a newborn is and with intelligent love, offer valuable experiences to children…this is the significance of education as an “aid to life“.
Dr. Silvana Montanaro, MD, Understanding the Human Being (p. 26-27, 109)
Photo of the Day: Outdoor Fun