Montessori Inspired France-Themed Gender Neutral Nursery
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We didn’t find out the sex of our first child three years ago, and it was so much fun that we decided to do it again with our second that was born this August 2020. My pregnancies were very similar so I thought it was a boy, but I knew there was still a chance that it could be a little girl. So, I did a gender neutral nursery and had a few options for themes. We love to travel so I thought it could be a general theme where you could do airplanes and pictures of famous landmarks all over the world. I also thought of Whinnie The Pooh but I really don’t love red and yellow so I decided to keep looking for other themes. I also like the beach theme but decided that France has my heart and I want to be reminded of the wonderful times I’ve had there when I’m up at all hours of the night feeding and rocking and changing nappies.
Shelves above the dresser
I loved decorating these shelves above the changing table
A little back story on France – I quit teaching elementary school (after 8 years) back in 2016 and needed an experience to lift me up out of exhaustion and burn out. I contacted a family through an au pair website and took a job to au pair for a family in a small coastal town in Brittany, France. I went for two months an had an absolute blast. The family was amazing and the town and beaches were stunning. The language, food and people were the best. I got along so well with the family, I asked if they wanted/needed me to come back in 2019 and if I could bring my family this time! Oliver and Daniel came with me and we stayed for a month looking after the kids, while Daniel worked from home (as he does now). I am so grateful for the family for giving me these experiences and I can’t wait to travel back to France again sometime!
Montessori Floor Mattress and pull up bar
We have since bought this crib wedge to put under the floor mattress to elevate the top a little to help with the spit up. I am so glad we decided to add the triangle decals on the wall, it really makes a statement and adds a little to the wall without being too busy. Callum loves staring at them as well which is a win.
We bought the bookshelf from Ikea and the mirror and pull-up bar for Oliver’s nursery back in 2017 and they are one of the best purchases. Oliver learned how to pull himself up and loved looking at himself. When he was a baby, I would slide the mattress or rug over to the mirror for him to look at himself and do tummy time.
Oliver enjoying tummy time because of his mirror
Dresser and Recliner
I absolutely love this space and I’m so thrilled with how it all came together
The dresser is really special because it was my mom and dad’s from when they lived in Wheaton, Il when they first got married. We don’t have very many really special items as we have moved so many times and it’s so costly to send bulky items over the ocean, so we are so thankful to have a family piece that has been so well used. The recliner is from Wayfair but I won’t be buying anything from them again due to the alleged involvement in human trafficking.
Callum loves looking at these prints when we are burping him
I had originally ordered prints on Etsy to go in the frames but after two months of them not arriving from Russia (won’t buy from somewhere that far away again) I decided to buy other ones. These were downloadable prints that I had printed with Amazon Print. If you haven’t used the print service with Amazon, I highly recommend them! You can choose different sizes and the quality is great for what I’m using them for. I have ordered over 800 prints from them trying to get my photo albums on track!
The toys will be rotated when Callum can start playing with them and we still need to anchor them to the wall so he can’t pull them on himself when he is mobile (which will sneak up on us I’m sure!).
A little about a Montessori Nursery
I always get questions about the floor bed and the Montessori set up so I thought I’d try answer some of them here.
One of the purposes of a Montessori nursery is to allow for independence/freedom. The room is set up 100% baby-proof (ie-no lamps and cords anywhere) with a baby gate at the door. This way, when the baby can crawl, they can use the whole space to freely move around. The idea with the floor mattress is that when you put your child down for a nap or bed time, they could crawl out and read a book, or play with a toy before crawling back to bed and putting themselves to sleep.
Oliver is a great sleeper and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact his room was set up like this. Yes we did have a stage (I think it was around 9/10 months old but I can’t be sure) when we had a couple of really rough nights and I even got the pack ‘n play out one time when Daniel was on a 10 day trip to Ireland when I was exhausted and needed Oliver to stop playing and sleep. But those few nights were very worth it considering how well Oliver puts himself to sleep at nap time and bed time, even to this day. It was also a breeze transitioning to a toddler bed.
I hope you know I am just sharing our lifestyle to show you how many ways there are to do certain things and how we have found something that we love.
One thing about the floor mattress is that you need to lift it up and air it once a day or a couple times a week as there is no air flow under it when it’s on the floor and it can get mould. Speaking from experience, after two years we found three little specks and the mattress was gone and we bought aa toddler bed that day!
Thanks for getting this far, whew! I can really ramble! Let me know what you found helpful or if you have any more questions.
Keep well everyone,
Read about my first child, Oliver’s Montessori-Inspired Nursery HERE.