Montessori At Home - Birth to Six Months
One of the most important aspects of Montessori in the newborn stage is understanding the Symbiotic Period (the first 6-8 weeks of life). In this period the infant learns to trust the outside world by having their needs met, being held close, and having warm contact. The infant will use their senses to connect with their caregivers through points of reference - our voice, scent, the feeling of being held close and hearing our heartbeat. We also learn to care for the child while being respectful, gentle, and responsive. We follow the child's cues regarding sleep and feeding. This is far more important than any of the activities or materials listed. To read more about the Symbiotic Period I have listed suggested reading at the end of this article.
Today I'm sharing activities and materials we enjoyed from birth to six months of age. These are listed chronologically.
Above the child is ten days old and is lying on the movement area on a Topponcino. Here are Ten Things To Do With Your Montessori Newborn.
Above is our child's bedroom at six weeks. You can see a wall mirror (similar), movement area with a play mat, Octahedron Mobile (similar), high contrast images on the wall. This overview of a Montessori Infant Room Newborn (Birth to Three Months) is a useful guide.
At this stage, our child slept in our (main) bedroom but took naps, had quiet time, and used the movement area in his bedroom.
Although he is too young to reach his materials, we prepare the room for when he is ready to creep and crawl.
Using an infant carrier is a good way to maintain contact with the child's points of reference (our warmth, scent, sound of our heartbeat).
Lots of snuggling is important.
The child begins to focus on mobiles in his movement area. This is the Octahedron Mobile (similar) next to wall mirror (similar) (six weeks).
Tummy time while looking at his brother (2 months).
Tummy time observing himself in the mirror (similar) (2 months).
You can read more about the Montessori wall mirror here.
Dancers mobile (3 months).
Bell rattle (similar), a first grasping toy (3 months). Please note that we present the bell rattle before the child can bring the rattle to their mouth. We do not allow the child to mouth the bells. Once the child is mouthing items we move onto other rattles and grasping materials.
We keep a basket of grasping materials near the movement area with various rattles and grasping beads.
Teething Ball (UK) (3 months).
Bell harmony tactile mobile (3 months).
A butterfly mobile and black and white images (3 months).
Activity shelves in our living area (4 months). A large rug allows the child freedom of movement, being in the living area the child can play and move while still being a part of the rest of the family's activities.
Rolling toys to promote movement (5 months). The toys on the play mat to promote movement include Skwish, Puzzle Ball with Bell, Woven Ball with Bell, Interlocking Discs, Teething Ball (UK), Small Bell Rattle, Ball Cylinder (similar).
Balloon mobile, low shelves (EU) (similar here) with materials, and a soft space to play in the bedroom (5 months). Here the child has lots of interesting things to reach and crawl towards. Later, the child will use the low shelves to pull themselves to standing.
Interlocking Discs to promote hand-to-hand transfer (5 months).
Bell rattle also for hand-to-hand transfer and to learn about cause and effect (5 months).
To prepare for the introduction of solids we set up our Montessori Weaning Table and Chair.
We put together our weaning set including a Montessori Weaning Place Setting, and Infant Cutlery.
We also use an absorbent bib with an elastic neck that the child can later put on and take off themselves.
At 3-4 months we moved from Australia to the UK, which explains the different home spaces and bedrooms shown here.
If you have a child close to six months you might also like to read Montessori Activities to Try at 6 -12 Months.
If you are new to Montessori I recommend reading:
- Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three.
- Babies Build Toddlers: A Montessori Guide to Parenting the First 18 Months.
- Understanding the Human Being: The Importance of the First Three Years of Life
- The Montessori Baby.
- Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three.
If you are looking for a Play Gym I recommend Lovevery (Australia link here). For more play ideas have a look at the Lovevery Play Kits including:
- The Looker Play Kit - 0-12 weeks
- The Charmer Play Kit - 3-4 months
- The Senser Play Kit - 5-6 months.
It can be difficult to source good-quality Montessori infant materials in Australia. If you are looking for something specific please feel free to email me at [email protected] Etsy is a good place to look for handmade Montessori materials. In New Zealand, I recommend Montessori kete.
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