10 Montessori-Inspired Ways to Boost Baby’s Brain Development

Every baby is born with about 100 billion neurons. Neurons are the special cells responsible for most brain functions, such as thinking, seeing, and feeling. We currently believe that those 100 billion neurons are all you get; few or none of them are produced later in life. Neurons connect with each other across tiny spaces called “synapses.” These connected neurons join together to form the systems that perform the various functions of the brain.

During the first eight months after birth, neurons link up at an amazing pace. By the end of that period, a baby can have as many as 1,000 trillion synapses. These synapses, however, operate on a “use it or lose it” principle. In order to become permanent, the connections must be reinforced through everyday experience and stimulation. Many of those early connections end up in the discard pile, and by age 10 a child has about half as many (500 trillion) synapses, roughly the same number as an adult”. Source

There are a few main points of our parenting that we truly believe provide a great foundation for brain development:

1.TALK to the child all the time so she is used to hearing speech (except when the child is focusing on something else). When possible while talking make eye contact. We also have been reading books every day since she was born. Our favorite books to read are the Bible and photography books with big beautiful realistic photos

2.TOUCH – everyday massage is so beneficial: great to strengthen the immune system and helps to bond with the child, it is very important for brain development.

3. FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT. It is important to observe the child – when she wants to move –  let her discover freely. Movement is essential for brain development as well.

4. When she wants to be held – cuddle her, pick her up or put her in the carrier. Remember that it is impossible to spoil a baby. She will tell you exactly what she needs when she needs it, she knows the best. Whenever you question yourself, always ask: ‘Would I like to be treated the way I treat my child”. It helps me to make the right decision every time.

5. SAFE ENVIRONMENT not just physically but emotionally, stress-free and peaceful. I am not saying it is always possible, we are all humans and things happen. However, it is possible to achieve this once both parents make a commitment to try their best.

6.Allowing the child to play on her own as much as she would like to every day will help her to develop a sense of independence and stronger self-esteem. Important rule: never interrupt her precious moments of CONCENTRATION.

7. Treasure every moment of her SLEEP.

8.NO SCREEN time until the age of 2.

9. NEVER DO FOR THE CHILD WHAT SHE CAN DO FOR HERSELF. I consider this a core of the Montessori method.

10. Also providing the child with a daily portion of high-quality fish oil will benefit her brain development in the most effective way!

All these principles came from our experience, common sense, our beliefs, and one or two books we read. It is so rewarding hearing people compliment our child’s concentration or her ability to grasp with her little hand or for her being a happy little person. And it is not the most important thing – the crucial thing for us is to give her all the love we can in the most natural way.

Here are the books that inspired us to give our daughter the best of our ability to help her to open her potential and be a happy person starting from the very early years:

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five John Medina

What’s the single most important thing you can do during pregnancy? What does watching TV do to a child’s brain? What’s the best way to handle temper tantrums? Scientists know.

In his New York Times bestseller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina showed us how our brains really work—and why we ought to redesign our workplaces and schools. Now, in Brain Rules for Baby, he shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. This book is destined to revolutionise parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control.

Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practise. Through fascinating and funny stories, Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and dad, unravels how a child’s brain develops – and what you can do to optimise it.”

Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three. Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen

“What can parents do to help their youngest children in their task of self-formation? How does the Montessori method of hands-on learning and self-discovery relate to the youngest infants? This authoritative and accessible book answers these and many other questions. Based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s instructions for raising infants, its comprehensive exploration of the first three years incorporates the furnishings and tools she created for the care and comfort of babies. From the design of the baby’s bedroom to the child-sized kitchen table, from diet and food preparation to clothing and movement, the authors provide guidance for the establishment of a beautiful and serviceable environment for babies and very young children. They introduce concepts and tasks, taking into account childrens’ ”sensitive periods” for learning such skills as dressing themselves, food preparation, and toilet training. Brimming with anecdote and encouragement, and written in a clear, engaging style, Montessori from the Start is a practical and useful guide to raising calm, competent, and confident children”.

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9 thoughts on “10 Montessori-Inspired Ways to Boost Baby’s Brain Development”

  1. Thank you for this Anastasia! Good list to refer to every so often now that I have Cara. I particularly appreciated #4 as it affirms what I've been doing with her. People keep saying not to spoil by putting her down, not carrying too much. But I figured, she's telling me what she needs, and I am to respect her pace.

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