Nido Curriculum: The Montessori Difference

What’s so special about a Montessori infant program?

The Children:

The Nido is home away from home to babies aged 3 months to 17 months.  True to Montessori’s philosophy, our infant environment supports a range of ages.

 The Environment:

The Montessori infant environment is a tranquil, safe place for mobile and non-mobile infants that stimulates the senses while maintaining a peaceful place to learn. The environment is designed first to be beautiful, serene and inviting. It is a dynamic, ever-evolving space that is adjusted to meet the needs of the infants growing in the space. Not-yet mobile babies have protected, quiet spaces to explore sights, sounds and materials. Our crawling babies can pull up on specially designed low shelves and gain the strength and coordination they need to walk. Our Nido toddlers can move about freely, choosing materials and practicing their budding social-emotional skills.  Infants of all ages sleep on comfortable floor beds according to their individual sleep schedule. Parents are welcome to come at any time to breast feed or give their infant a bottle.

The Teachers:

The Nido teachers are specially trained to move thoughtfully through the environment, offering the necessary assistance and support to the infants as they learn to become successful, confident individuals.  All teachers use baby sign language to support communication, in conjunction with plenty of language learning through narrating, singing and reading. Teachers support the infants in independent toileting, including upright diaper changes when the infant can stand and using a potty chair when the infant can safely sit. Infants and their teachers form close, trusting relationships that are the foundation for learning.


What are Montessori babies doing all day?

  • 3-12 months – Nido babies gaze at beautiful objects, listen to soft music, eat at small weaning tables, roll, sit and move freely and unrestrained. Infants learn to creep, pull up on low shelves and eventually take first steps.
  • Around 12 months – Infants begin to sit at the big communal table practicing grace and courtesy while refining self-feeding skills. They learn to eat with forks and spoons, drink from a cup and sit carefully in their chairs.
  • 15 months and up – Nido toddlers learn to pour from a small pitcher, push their chairs in, put work away, clean up spills and are introduced to the basics of self-care.
  • 17 months – Toddlers practice skills and begin a month-long, gentle transition into the toddler classroom. Our oldest Nido children visit the enticing toddler classrooms when they are ready, accompanied by one of their teachers.

Parents are saying…

“We were amazed by how well prepared our twin boys were to transition into a toddler Montessori environment from the Nido. When our older son entered the toddler program, we didn’t know how he would handle the level of independence expected of an 18-month-old in a Montessori classroom, after being cared for at home. We have no doubt that our twins are fully prepared, as they already engage in many tasks independently and enthusiastically at this age, after spending eight months in the Nido. Their transition from the Nido to the toddler classroom has been amazingly smooth and gentle. By the time they had their first full day in their new classroom, they seemed like full members of the toddler classroom community.
We can’t say enough about the gentle, loving, respectful care that our boys received in the Nido classroom from their teachers. The environment really is an ideal place for infants to grow into healthy, capable toddlers.”
-Sarah and Spencer


We welcome observations, just call to set up a visit. We also offer an infant playgroup (free and open to the public) if you’d like an opportunity for your infant to play in the IMS Nido and talk with trained Montessori teachers.