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What is the Topponcino?

Written by Helen Wiseman, Mamma Montessori.

Have you ever heard of the Topponcino (Top.on.chi’no)? Until 5 years ago when my grandson arrived I hadn't!

The topponcino is a small mattress and it helps baby to transition from womb into the world and it was designed by Dr Maria Montessori.

When you are holding baby, the topponcino gives that extra sense of comfort and especially when the baby is little it ensures that baby’s head is always well supported. This gives extra confidence to friends and family who want to have a cuddle with the newborn, and it also means that when siblings want to hold their new brother or sister, they can do this with ease meaning you can relax knowing that baby is cradled and well supported.

But its not only family gatherings where the topponcino helps, medical appointments can run a lot more smoothly as well. The baby’s environment remains familiar, they are comfortable and can be peacefully transferred from one person to another. The familiar reference point makes this type of situation far less stressful. 

Newborn babies are living testaments to the miracle of life, and it’s only natural to want the best for them. They’ve just made the transition from the womb to the outside world and the topponcino helps to ensure their comfort and safety.

They need lots of rest to grow, but they also need to socialise and interact with family to help them to develop mentally and emotionally. During this time, it’s crucial to make sure that they feel comfortable while being held. The topponcino also helps provide a defined space where the other children know to stay back from so that the baby gets the space, they need to stay calm and safe in the early days and months. 

If a mum can sleep with the topponcino for a couple of weeks before the baby arrives it will absorb her familiar scent. This will help the baby to bond and better adjust to new environments so that even if when not in your arms, they’ll be able to stay calm with your presence in the pillow.

At any time when your baby falls asleep and you put them down, the topponcino surface doesn't change and the baby often keeps on sleeping! It’s the same in reverse, when you pick the baby up, they often continue to sleep peacefully. 

For these reasons, the topponcino is often at the top of any Montessori baby must-have list.

Once you’ve used one, you’ll wonder why every parent doesn’t know about them, making this the perfect unique baby shower gift. In fact, for many Montessori families it is the only essential item needed for a newborn baby.

So just who is Dr Maria Montessori?

Maria Montessori was born in 1870 and was an Italian educator and originator of the Montessori educational system. Her system is based on belief in the creative potential of children, their drive to learn, and the right of each child to be treated as an individual.

Maria Montessori described any manipulation of a newborn baby as a brutal shock and felt it would be best if they could be carried on a soft mattress.

The topponcino is a comforting support pillow based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s original 1940’s design and has now been used around the world for generations.

The Topponcino that Mamma Montessori hand crafts, is made with a cotton cover with RECYCLED polyester insert (supplied as one-piece - cover is not removable) and can be provided in an assortment of colours /patterns to suit your exact requirements.

Each topponcino is approx. 65cm x 50cm but will vary as all items are handmade.

The whole pillow is washable at 40 degrees or less and is suitable for tumble drying on a low setting.

For any further information including how to order your own topponcino, please visit: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MammaMontessori