Montessori Must-Have Items for 0-12-month-olds

I am so excited to talk to you guys today about 3 Montessori must-have items for your 0-12-month-old!

During this session of Montessori Mondays with Holly, we talked about Montessori must-have items for your 0-12-month-old. Watch the show above and click here to join the Facebook group.

A lot of parents that are new to Montessori always ask, When should I start Montessori at home? The answer? NOW! You can start Montessori from birth so even if you are watching this and your baby hasn’t arrived yet there are some things you can do to get ready.


Today I am going to focus on 3 must-have items for your baby’s first year of life.

If you only have a budget for a few items then you’re going to want to hear this!

The First Montessori Must-Have Item

The first must-have item is a movement mat. Have you heard of this before?

The movement mat can be used from the age of 2 months until a child is crawling. It will be replaced when the child begins to walk. 

The mat should be used when the child is alert and awake. You will be able to offer the child experiences to work while lying on the mat. They would be surrounded by stimuli. 

How To Use Your Mat

You can place your child on their backs so they can look upwards towards mobiles. They may also be placed on the mats on their stomachs to allow for certain parts of their bodies, such as their shoulders to develop.

The purpose of the mat acts as a point of reference for the child, and this supports the development of their independence and motor development. When a child is on their stomachs on the mat, they begin to use their hands to push themselves, and this is the beginning of crawling. 

Just as a reminder It is important to never put a child in the sitting position until they are ready. A child needs to be able to move by themselves and acquire self-confidence without any help.

This movement mat would be set up in your child’s area for movement which is usually the main living space of your home.

The Second Montessori Must-Have Item

The second must-have item is a mirror.

This mirror should be set up in your child’s area for movement alongside the movement mat. It should be perfectly attached to the wall, and it needs to be about the same size as your child’s movement mat.

The mirror is used so that the child sees themselves and repeats the movements they see. It also helps with supporting “tummy time.”

How To Use Your Mirror

The main purpose of The mirror is to help a child’s mind learn about their body. It helps the child’s brain form a vision of themselves and see how their body acts. This will affect the child’s movements.   

It can be introduced to a child at a young age around the same time as the movement mat. This will allow the child to know their own self and help support the human tendency for order as it aids in mental organization.

You can find out more about the area for movement in the Montessori By Age 0-12 month workshop. But there are so many other areas of your home including the area for sleep, area for physical care, and the area for feeding. 

The Third Montessori Must-Have Item

The third must-have item is a low shelf.

Now if you’ve been a part of Montessori for any amount of time you have probably already come across this. What you might not know is that you can introduce this low shelf to your child around the time as the movement mat. As your child gets better at rolling and moving around they will be ready to discover what is on the shelf.

How To Use Your Low Shelf

The purpose of This low shelf is to support a child’s sense of order and independence in this area for movement.

At this pre-walking stage, you will want a shelf that can sit on the floor because your child’s eye level is quite low. Some people use a 3 cube shelf laying horizontally for example or even a shoe rack works well for this height.

Whatever shelf you use it should have a back so the child can put the materials on the shelf from the front. The materials should be placed on the shelf in order of sequence of difficulty. At the earlier stages, you might only have 2 or 3 items available for your child at a time.

One easy way to remember how many materials you should have out between the ages of 0-12 months is by putting out the number of materials that correlate with their age in months. So a 7-month-old would have 7 materials out.

About Your Materials Guide

Now, this is a very loose guide because we are always trying to follow our child’s lead. And if we can see our child is overwhelmed with 7 materials than we should take one or 2 off until he seems comfortable again.

I also need to note that this guide should only be used until 12 months of age. As it is recommended to only have 6-12 materials out at a time from 12-36 months.

And Yes when it comes to materials or toys there are countless options that you can offer your child. But if you have these three must-have items the movement mat, the mirror, and the low shelf you will be able to add the others with time.

Montessori By Age 0-12 Month Workshop

So now you are probably asking what are those other materials? 

Or how do I know how to follow my child’s lead?

Or maybe you are just ready to set up your home for Montessori success with your baby.

I invite you to join me in our upcoming Montessori By Age 0-12 month Workshop! We will be covering everything you need to know to get your home set up Montessori style. And get you prepared to become the Montessori parent you’ve been dreaming of!

In this workshop we will be focusing on:

  • Setting your home up for Montessori success so you can start seeing the Montessori benefits such as an independent and confident child.
  • Finding activities that will support your child through every stage of development.
  • Working through the Montessori Sensitive Periods so your child can thrive at every stage.

This workshop will be LIVE on July 15th at 9 pm EST.

If you are just getting started with Montessori and you have a 0-12 month old I highly encourage you to join us for this workshop!

Montessori must-have items for your 0-12 month old.


Do you have any of these Montessori must-have items for your 0-12-month-old? Are you interested in the workshop? Let us know in the comments!



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