Montessori Baby Essential: The Topponcino

Nana with one-day-old Paloma
I am very excited to share with you a series of posts I have planned that are all about raising a baby the Montessori way. I did a lot of reading to help me figure out what materials I wanted to have in our home to welcome Baby #2. Now that Paloma is here, I have to say, the #1 item I am so glad we had/have is the topponcino. It's basically a small, soft, thin mattress that you use to carry or hold the baby for her first few months of life. Here is a tutorial if you want to make your own. I was lucky enough to get one from my friend who completed the 0-3 Assistants to Infancy training. She gave me the topponcino that she created as part of her examination. Some people recommend having two so you can still have one if the other is in the wash. We manage just fine with one and three different removable covers/shams. 

An alternative title for this post is "We Heart the Topponcino," and here are 5 reasons why:

1. It makes family members feel secure holding the baby. (By the way, our family lovingly calls it the taco.) We recently had a family get-together so everyone could meet the baby, and we passed her around in the topponcino. Everyone remarked how they felt so comfortable holding her because her body and head were supported by the topponcino.

2. The baby feels secure. The whole point of the topponcino is to assist the baby in her transition from the womb to her new world. She grows accustomed to the smell and sensation of the pillow and it comforts her. It is used daily and often, so it becomes a constant in her life, which in turn makes her feel secure. 

3. Older siblings can more easily hold the baby. This point is kind of a combination of the first two points. We feel secure setting Paloma in Hunter's lap because he doesn't have to worry about supporting her head, and she doesn't feel like she is about to slip through his arms. Win-win!

4. It provides some nursing coverage without having to totally cover up. I have never really used a nursing cover while out in public because I find it just gets in the way, but I have always found ways to be discreet while nursing. The topponcino really helps with that because it creates a sort of wall so no one can see in ;) During our family get-together, I spent most of the time nursing Paloma parked on my sister's couch, but the topponcino allowed me still visit with everyone while she nursed.

5. It eases the transition to baby's bed. Whether I am rocking Paloma to sleep or nursing her to sleep, the topponcino provides an easy way to transfer her to the bed. When she falls asleep in it, I can place her in her bed without disturbing her body too much. Rather than transferring her from warm, cozy arms to the cool sheet covering the mattress, the topponcino provides a constant cozy temperature. 

What do you think about this baby essential? When I first heard about it, I didn't like the idea of it at all because I thought it would be like a barrier between me and my baby and of course I would want direct contact with the baby!! Once Paloma arrived, however, and I tried it out, I realized how helpful it was for all the reasons mentioned above. And of course, I don't use it every time I hold her. I have plenty of direct contact with her and use the topponcino at very purposeful moments.

Check out Paloma's birth story to see more photos of the topponcino in action.

1 comment

  1. ha, yeah! the direct contact is what i thought about first, but then i was like...i kind of wish there was an adult toppocino


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