The first months at home with a newborn are exciting, exhausting, quiet, and loud — all at the same time! Welcome to parenthood! There’s not a single best way to be a parent, but one time-tested approach to supporting your little one’s developing brain is the Montessori method.
We’re not talking about sending your tiny infant to a Montessori school, but rather a Modern Montessori approach to watching your baby’s development and offering them the growth opportunities they need at just the right time.
The first months at home are a time for parents to learn how to observe their baby’s milestones.
A newborn’s vision is sharpening; they are acclimating to the world outside the womb; and they are experiencing freedom of movement for the first time.
In the Monti Kids® Program, parents receive guidance and tools for recognizing changes in their little one and designing a rich learning environment that evolves along with their baby.
Here are a few snapshots from families who are in Level 1 of the Monti Kids Program with their new babies.
Supporting a newborn’s vision
A mobile that moves naturally with the air in the room allows a newborn to practice focusing their eyes and also to absorb the natural properties of our environment.
In the photo above, baby Audrey is focusing on the third mobile in the Monti Kids Program for newborns. The graduating colors of the balls allow her to begin distinguishing colors in their more subtle variations. (The previous mobile introduces the primary colors, for a younger newborn who will need more distinction to notice these differences in colors.)
Audrey’s two moms, Alexa and Kimberly, and big sister, Everly, are giving her time and space to watch and learn. That’s a fundamental Modern Montessori principle!
Noticing a newborn’s grasp
From birth, babies grasp instinctively, wrapping their fingers around yours in the cutest way! The way a baby gains control of their hands and fingers is one of the most transformative changes over the first year. It’s amazing to watch their fine motor skills emerge!
In Level 1 of the Monti Kids Program, parents are encouraged to place this lightweight wooden Grasping Toy in their baby’s hand. Although a newborn doesn’t know the item is in their hand, they are learning about it anyway! The texture of the wood, the shape of the toy, and the weight of the item are all information that a baby can absorb.
Amari’s mom Lennae says that she appreciates the Parent Learning Center that comes with the Monti Kids Program because, “Even though he’s my third child, there are certain things I didn’t know. I didn’t know that it’s okay if he’s not “doing anything”. It eases your mind a bit.”
Yes, Lennae! Babies who appear to not be “doing anything” are actually learning! They are adjusting to what it feels like to move their limbs freely. They are listening to the sounds of the environment. And, they are developing their capacity to concentrate, a skill that will serve them for the rest of their lives!
Setting up a playspace for your baby
Little Kalea is so lucky! Her big sister and her doggie are excited to set up her Activity Gym. In the photo above, she is being introduced to the Munari mobile, the first in the series of mobiles included in Level 1 of the Monti Kids Program, but when she begins lifting her feet off the floor, her family can attach the Kicking Ball. When she begins reaching with intention, she can be encouraged by a Grasping Ring hanging from the mobile.
In her family’s Parent Learning Center, they’ll find short instructional videos and articles that explain how to introduce each of the included toys!
Every baby has their own developmental path. Some might be watchful and alert from Day 1. Some might be sleepy for several weeks, and not ready to take in the stimulation of toys. Learning your own baby’s signs of readiness are the key to supporting their growth. (Are you wondering, “But when can my baby play?“
It’s so rewarding to watch them grow more aware, stronger, and more comfortable in the world around them. We love the ideas of Montessori, made modern, and would love to share them with you.