Babies Build Toddlers: A Montessori Guide to Parenting the First 18 Months by Mariana Bissonnette
My children are out of the infant stage so I didn't worry too much about getting my hands on Babies Build Toddlers: A Montessori Guide to Parenting in the First 18 Months, when it was released early this year. But when I saw some of the pages in a review I immediately wanted to read the whole book.
Firstly, it is different from other Montessori baby books. I found it very gentle and easy to follow. It is a guide, it walks you through the infant stages. The focus is on supporting the child's development the Montessori way. It is comprehensive covering topics like eating, sleeping, dressing, toilet learning. designing spaces, setting limits and so much more. The colour tabs on the side of the book make it easy to find what you are looking for.
I promise that this will not make parents feel overwhelmed or inadequate, it will support parents in what they already do and what they already know about their child. It will also help parents better understand their child and prepare for the child's next stage in development.
Babies Build Toddlers would be a wonderful gift to give expecting parents or those with a newborn to young toddler, ideal for giving at a baby shower. It would be the perfect gift for friends or family with an infant who are curious about the Montessori way of doing things. It should also be included in Montessori parent libraries. If you are a Montessori guide or carer for the infant and toddler stages, this is a book you may want to recommend to parents.
Babies Build Toddlers is the most inclusive Montessori parenting book I've read featuring a range of cultures and family structures. It is also one of the rare Montessori parenting books that is fully referenced!!
Shall we take a closer look?
It was the illustrations and charts that initially drew me to Babies Build Toddlers. The illustrations are all through the book and would really help parents who are new to Montessori and perhaps haven't seen a Montessori bedroom or workspace before. The charts are fantastic at summarising and highlighting key points.
The author's voice is very clear but also warm and down-to-earth (tells it as it is). Babies Build Toddlers is supportive of all parents and is non-judgemental for example has information on breastfeeding and bottle feeding, and discusses sleep (including rocking to sleep/co-sleeping) and things like using disposable diapers (during toilet learning) in a nonjudgemental, factual way.
You could read Babies Build Toddlers from start to finish, as I have done, or with the different topics and coloured tabs on the side, it's easy to read in sections, a little bit at a time. Or you could just flip through and admire the fantastic illustrations and read what jumps out at you.
Check your local libraries, request it if you can't find it and recommend it to all of your friends. Babies Build Toddlers will help a lot of families understand the Montessori approach to early childhood development.
It should be noted that Babies Build Toddlers is a little more expensive than other Montessori parenting books, but it is worth it. I believe it is self-published, which often increases printing costs. There are a team of illustrators who contributed to the book, it is in full colour, on quality paper and it is completely professional in print and format.
If you have any questions about Babies Build Toddlers, please let me know!
Other Montessori parenting books for the infant years include Montessori From The Start, The Joyful Child and The Montessori Baby.
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