“Montessori from the Start”
Chapter Two – “Welcoming the Newborn”
This chapter in the book, “Montessori from the Start” brought back nostalgic feelings for when my little boy was an infant. I am all excited now to start over again with baby number two following these awe inspiring Montessori methods for the Montessori infant environment.
Chapter two is entitled, “Welcoming the Newborn.” The chapter starts with a detailed outline of what a Montessori infant bedroom can look like with low shelves, mirror on the wall, floor bed, low hung art, and a beautiful mobile dangling from the ceiling. This is a room where the infant will spend time alone in deep concentration. This is where the infant will spend time sleeping, breastfeeding, having his diaper changed, and engaging in activities that promote quiet contemplation. This should be an atmosphere of tranquility, order, and beauty. Please visit, Montessori Moms blog for a Montessori Bedroom Tour. (Please read the post, the pillow is removed when the infant is put to sleep on the floor bed for safety concerns.)
The chapter outlines several developmental activities that the infant can engage in to develop concentration. The first place to start is by hanging specific Montessori mobiles within eyesight range of the infant. These mobiles help the infant to practice focusing and following objects. Please visit my Pinterest board, Montessori Infant Environment, for several examples of lovely Montessori infant mobiles and a few tutorials for DIY Montessori mobiles. Also, visit the post, “Developing Concentration and Independent Play” by the Montessori Moms blog for more information on how to help an infant develop the skill of concentration.
The next developmental activity is rattles to engage the infant in discovery and to encourage hand grasping. Kimberly at the Natural Beach Living blog created some lovely DIY Easy Sound & Sensory Bottles for Baby. When the infant is around 3 months of age, it is time to introduce low hanging object (large wooden ring or bell) within the infants reach for practice aiming his hand, touch, and grasp. The infant will then try to bring the object to his mouth for exploration.
Next can be introduced the object permanence box for the infant to develop sustained attention. Please visit the Montessori on a Budget blog for the “Top 10 Things for a Montessori Baby.” This post includes several beautiful infant Montessori toys that will engage your child in the work of developing concentration.
For several more Montessori Inspired Infant toys, visit “Montessori Inspired Toys 0-6 months.”
The authors of “Montessori from the Start” mention what Dr. Montessori calls – “the problem of the match.” This term represents the parent’s role in matching the correct activity to the infant by introducing progressive levels of difficulty as the infant shows developmental readiness. It is essential that the parent recognizes what deep concentration looks like in their infant and that they are protectors of the child’s concentration. This requires the parent to have their own latent powers of concentration and to be intuitive as well as thoughtful to how materials in the infants environment will support his development. The parent must learn to offer a good balance between support and challenge for the infant.
Please visit this Pinterest picture and PIN IT of a beautiful Montessori infant environment.
“When proper care is taken, such a bedroom is the safest environment for the infant.”
(Quote from page 33)
Please visit, Feeding the Soil blog to enjoy a Montessori Nursery Tour.
The chapter concludes with how setting up the environment for a child to develop the skill of deep concentration encourages the child to develop focus. The Montessori learning environment unifies the mind and body with tasks that require repetition. This type of thinking bounces back and forth between the intuitive and rational thought which creates a quality of playfulness. This in turn leaves the child feeling peaceful, happy, and refreshed. Developing deep concentration in infancy is an essential building block for the future formation of self.