A new series all about Montessori for babies.
In our book The Montessori Baby we wanted to highlight families from around the world applying Montessori from birth. As there wasn’t space to fit in all their photos and the full interview with each of them, this is the perfect place to let you get to know these families even better.
Meet Neus, John and Julia from Montessorian by Heart and follow them on Instagram here. They are from Spain, living in the US.
1. How has Montessori helped you with your baby?
Montessori helped me to pause and observe my baby. Her movements, her reactions, her excitement and prepare the environment following her needs. I had always done it for the toddlers in my classroom but never with a baby. It was a wonderful experience.
2. What were your favorite moments when they were a newborn?
My favorite moments were nursing, cuddling, singing, reading to her and seeing her eyes light up when she saw for the first time the octahedron mobile. It was her favorite Montessori material and she focused on it for long periods of time. The colors and the movement amazed her and it was a wonderful experience to observe as a Montessori mom.
3. What were some of your baby’s favorite activities? Maybe at different ages.
As a newborn she loved the “Black and White” board book by Tana Hoban. After a few weeks the octahedron mobile was a favorite. She used to track visually the shapes with enthusiasm. I often remember her first impression when I presented to her. She got so excited that she started moving her arms and her eyes light up. It was a wonderful moment that I will keep in my memory forever. During her pre-crawling stage her favorite activities are face-to-face singing, reading and playing with her Montessori bell on a ribbon.
4. What do you wish you had done differently?
I wish I allowed her to move freely while sleeping instead of believing that she need it a swaddle for the first month of her life. I also stressed much in following the presentation timeline of Montessori materials instead of focusing more in my own daughter and her own development. That hit me when I was setting up the Gobbi mobile and I observed in her face expression that it was not what she was interested in that moment. This observation allowed me to pause my mom self and go back to my Montessori self by following her lead.
5. Any Montessori advice for new parents for the first 12 months?
I would recommend to observe, pause and talk to your child while doing the day-by-day routines. I truly believe that children express themselves since birth by sharing their needs in every step of the way. Our job as new parents is to follow their leads and prepare a safe environment for them to get comfortable and explore freely.What I often recommend for first time parents and that worked so well in our household is to set up a movement play area before birth and spend time in that area since the beginning. Our daughter loves her movement area so much and enjoys discovering and playing there every day.
6. How did your home play a role in your baby’s first months/year?
A quiet, calm and safe home environment is key to help a baby settle and start engaging with the world around them. We set up designated spaces for sleep, eat and play and that helped her anticipate these routines and give her a sense of security. We also minimized and preferred to have a few visits at home when she was a newborn and we followed her lead in terms of feedings and sleep.
7. Did your baby have a regular rhythm to their days?
At the beginning she didn’t have a regular rhythm as per a routine. We followed her internal rhythm and she will sleep and feed on demand. Little by little, we showed her the different areas of the house and introduced a few routines, like a bedtime routine, nap routine, movement area to play, her changing space, her feeding space with a glider chair and finally we introduced her to her baby room for sleep when she was ready to transition to a bigger bed.
8. Anything else you’d like to add?
In the last few months as a new mom, I observed the magic of Montessori for babies and it keeps amazing me every day. The freedom of movement helped my daughter love to play and explore independently. She is a baby eager to engagewith the world by moving, batting, rolling, grasping and using all her senses. The Montessori prepared environment for feeding, changing and sleeping also helped her feel calm and safe and look forward to new and exciting adventures.
Thank you so much for sharing Neus and delighted you are part of The Montessori Baby book.
You can find more from this series here:
- Montessori for babies with Maria from Montessori Chapters
- Montessori for babies with Junnifa from Nduoma Montessori
- Montessori for babies with Theresa from Montessori in Real Life
- Montessori for babies with Ahoefa from Raising Yannis
- Montessori for Babies with Jaya from Forest Montessori
- Montessori for babies with Nicole from The Kavanaugh Report