What happens when you put together a Montessori room for your infant and toddler, each with their own areas and activities, but all they want to do is follow mom around the house and not engage in any of those activities?
Toddlers want to interact with and mimic mom (or dad). They want to sweep if they see mom sweeping, fold laundry when they see mom fold laundry, cook, pull weeds...whatever you do your toddler wants to do. And a toddler shows this interest by following her mom around the house to see what she is doing and to observe her.
So what I always suggest is allowing a toddler to help around the house. Yes, it is frustrating because everything will take longer for you to accomplish, plus you have an infant, too! Just remember it is a phase, so you might as well make the most out of it and take this time to show your toddler how to do things around the house. You can incorporate language (the names of things), counting (count the number of socks you put in the washing machine), colors (this is a blue napkin), and so forth.
Also, your toddler no longer has you all to himself because he has a baby sibling, so he may feel insecure and more attached to you.
As far as your Montessori room that you put together, allow your two little ones to be in the same area together, but take away all the activities that are not appropriate for an infant (anything that can be a choking hazard and so forth).
Even still, your infant and toddler may want to be in the same room with mom and move from room to room following her around. So you may need to have ALL the rooms in your house set up with a few activities for both your infant and toddler. (This is how I did my home when my son was young mainly because we lived in a small home and had no playroom or even a dining room. So each area had activities: the hallway, the top of the stairs, his room, the living room... and I limited the activities to seven per room/area and rotated them each week or two.)
In the meantime, you may want to add family pictures to the Montessori room, as well as some dress-up clothes (easy stuff like hats and vests and scarves) and a baby-proof mirror--which can cost a lot but is worth it! And a low table--toddlers like to stand and play/do activities. If you can play music CDs in that room, it might attract your children to be in there together and not follow you around the house so much.
Lastly, when your little ones reach the age of three, their social development begins, full speed ahead, and you may just see them hanging out with each other, and ignoring mommy!
Want more Montessori for infants? Read my other infant blog posts here!