Doing Montessori at home with your baby (newborn – 3 mo)

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“The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.”

Montessori The Absorbent Mind.

Becoming a parent is one of the most challenging and satisfying aspects of life. Children are given to us as the most precious gift.

There is not that much that is in our control, however, we need to give ourselves some credit for accepting this challenge and taking responsibility for their development, safety, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. I would love to share some thoughts on doing Montessori with babies from newborn to 3 months of age.

Doing Montessori at home with your baby (newborn - 3 mo)

First, three months of a child’s life can be extremely intense, especially for first-time mums and dads. Learning to soothe young babies, differentiate tones of their crying, and give yourself selflessly 24 hours a day to be with your beautiful, precious, demanding undivided attention and all your strength newborn child.

 “It begins with a knowledge of his surroundings. How does the child assimilate his environment? He does it solely in virtue of one of those characteristics that we now know him to have.

This is an intense and specialized sensitiveness in consequence of which the things about him awaken so much interest and so much enthusiasm that they become incorporated in his very existence. The child absorbs these impressions not with his mind but with his life itself.” Maria Montessori.

The Montessori method helps to bring advice and support in establishing a close relationship with your child from the very start, creating an environment that meets the baby’s needs, changes, and evolves along with your baby.

Not every aspect of the Montessori approach is going to fit each family’s unique style and parenting beliefs, but it will certainly enrich and make your experience of raising the child more satisfying. Just pick and choose what resonates in your heart and goes along with your family life.

montessori inspired bedroom

Baby Home Environment

 “The child has a different relation to his environment from ours… the child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear.” Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori emphasized the importance of the environment. It needs to be appropriately organized to meet the child’s ability and desire to explore the world around them from birth.

baby laying on the tummy looking at pictures

Main characteristics of Montessori Nursery:

  •  attractive and pleasant to an eye
  •  uncluttered
  •  not overly stimulating
  •  interesting
  •  allows the child to move freely

Often you will find:

  •  floor bed
  •  mobile
  •  mirror attached to a wall
  •  soft rug next to the mirror
  •  art picture on a wall (where a child can see it)
  •  baby care area
  •  books
  •  nursing chair
  • rattles

Floor Bed

A Montessori floor bed – usually just a mattress on the floor – is there for babies to allow them to move freely. The child is encouraged to choose when to go to sleep and when to wake up. Transition to the floor bed from Moses basket normally happens when a baby turns two months. It can be a convenient option for those who choose to co-sleep.

montessori inspired bedroom

There are different floor bed styles to choose from:

  • crib
  • single or double-size mattress
  • floor bed frame
  • wooden frame for bed with legs of the bed removed
  • infant bed

There are numerous amazing examples of Montessori nursery setups out there. Why Not Montessori gives a tour of her beautiful Montessori nursery room in this video. The colors and details of the room are carefully chosen, every aspect of it presents a purpose and safety is a great priority.

The connection between mattresses and SIDs

On a side note. Not many people are aware of the connection between toxic gasses in mattresses and SIDS:

James Sprott, OBE, a New Zealand scientist and chemist, states that crib death is caused by toxic gases, which can be generated from a baby’s mattress. He says chemical compounds containing phosphorus, arsenic and antimony have been added to mattresses as fire retardants and for other purposes since the early 1950’s. A fungus that commonly grows in bedding can interact with these chemicals to create poisonous gases (Richardson 1994).

These heavier-than-air gases are concentrated in a thin layer on the baby’s mattress or are diffused away and dissipated into the surrounding atmosphere. If a baby breathes or absorbs a lethal dose of the gases, the central nervous system shuts down, stopping breathing and then heart function. These gases can fatally poison a baby, without waking the sleeping baby and without any struggle by the baby. A normal autopsy would not reveal any sign that the baby was poisoned (Sprott 1996).

read more about it here.

New Zealand company seems to have an answer to the problem. Aside from buying a toxic-free organic mattress for your child – which can be very costly – they suggest wrapping the baby’s mattress to avoid contact with toxins. Incredible, but according to this article, they had 100% success. If you are interested to buy one – here is where you can find it: Toxin Shield Mattress Cover.
I personally strongly believe in the great benefits of co-sleeping. In our case, we found a mattress wrap that fits a large mattress and protects our baby from toxic infusions. If you are skeptical about it, I suggest reading this book: “The Cot Death Cover-Up” This information is for educational purposes only. It does not provide medical advice. The information shared here is meant to encourage you to make your own decisions based on your own research.

A mirror on the wall in baby’s room

The mirror on the wall provides a great perspective for the baby. He or she can look around, see themselves in the mirror. In addition to mobile, the floor play area is an entertaining play spot for the baby as they do get bored.

Also when laying on the floor baby is safe, she is encouraged to look around from side to side, up at the mobile, and in the mirror. This position is perfect as it creates a safe environment for the baby to move freely and develop, also it will help to avoid flat head syndrome.

Wall art in baby’s room

Paintings and pictures. Place them where your baby will see them – above the changing table, in front of their car seat, or attach to a mobile. In the beginning, babies are able to see only about 20 to 30.5 centimeters and cannot differentiate tones of colors, hence, ONE-month-old infants are able to focus on black, white, and red colored pictures. In the month of TWO, they can focus on primary colors and more complicated shapes.

Baby watercolor cards for wall art
Check out these gorgeous baby watercolor art printables

Baby mobiles

Mobiles play a very significant role in the Montessori approach as an educational tool for infants learning to develop their eye focus and concentration. Appropriate mobiles can be used from the very start.

baby laying under a Montessori mobile

Mobiles assist infants in developing concentration, a visual focus at different distances, development of cognitive order and comparisons, size differentiation, detection of changes in light, distance perception, hand-eye coordination, motor control, the distinction of shape and line, distinction of color.

You can purchase a set of Montessori mobiles or create your own.
If you have older siblings it’s a great opportunity for them to make a mobile for their younger brother or sister:

  • paint small branches
  • let the paint dry,
  • make a cross by tying branches together,
  • ask your child to cut out some colorful shapes, for example, butterflies
  • hang them off the mobile
  • attach mobile safely for your little treasure to enjoy.

DIY baby mobiles

Here are a couple of ideas for DIY baby mobiles:

DIY baby mobile with watercolors

Cards for Low-Hanging Wall Art for Babies

Please, remember to place the mobile above the child’s chest, not their face for safety reasons, and never leave your child unsupervised.

Baby books

Pediatricians urge parents to read to their children from birth, as it is essential for their language and brain development. Books that are highly recommended by a Montessori community are the ones with realistic pictures, pictures with black and white patterns, and books with people’s faces.

Here are some of our favorite books:
First Soft Book
First 100 Words
Baby Animals Black and White
Spots and Dots
Black and White
Art for Baby
Faces for Baby

There is nothing in this world that will delight your cherub as much as seeing your face close to them, watching you, and interacting with you.

Talking to your baby when they are awake, the outside time when they are concentrating on something is very important. When a child looks at their facial expressions they learn to recognize and relate to different emotions.

Baby care

Baby massage

Massage is an amazing way to bond with the child. Soft-touch – sensory stimulation that calms the child. Touch is essential for brain development and important for skin-to-skin contact.

Using massage oils helps to keep the baby’s skin moisturized. Here is our favorite baby massage we do every day. I would recommend using natural oils for massage – almond, coconut, and mustard oils are the best choices.

Young happy mother looking at her sleeping baby while sitting by the bed at home.

Nappy change time and baby dressing.

When changing a baby it is only natural to engage in conversation. It is the best time to give the child undivided attention.

When putting on clothes – show every piece before putting it on and speak as you dress the child. Always let them know what you are about to do – talk them through every step of the process.

For families with older siblings it is a brilliant opportunity to incorporate Practical Life and invite older siblings to help take care of the baby with supervision from parents, for example:

  • fold clothes
  • give a massage
  • restuck nappies and wipes for changing table
  • choose clothes for the baby to wear
  • make sensory toys (making sure there are no loose parts)
  • clean changing mat
  • choose music for the baby to listen
Child helping to wipe changing pad and restuck nappies

Baby and nature

Nature outings are very pleasant for little ones. Outdoors provide such a rich spectrum of learning sensorial experiences – sounds of birds singing, waves crashing on the shore, grass in baby’s fingers.

If your baby enjoys tummy time, he or she may enjoy laying on the side on the picnic rug at the beach or in the park where he or she will be able to feel grass or sand with fingers.

baby outdoors nature montessori nature (1)

Recommended Resources for Babies

Monti Kids is the only at-home, safety certified Montessori toy program for babies from birth to 3 years. Through their subscription-based, learn through play program, they provide authentic Montessori toys thoughtfully designed for a baby’s specific stage of development, on-demand expert support from AMI certified Montessori educators, and access to a private community of parents in similar stages of life, giving parents everything you need to support your child’s brain development. Learn more here.

Buy animal toddler cards
buy fruit and berries cards
buy minibeasts cards
books about positive discpipline

  About Anastasia. Anastasia is a former Early Childhood Teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature, a blog about Montessori - inspired and Nature-based explorations. She taught in a Montessori setting for 10 years and has been practicing the Montessori way of learning and living for the last 20 years. She loves designing engaging educational printables for children. Browse Anastasia's educational resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.

9 thoughts on “Doing Montessori at home with your baby (newborn – 3 mo)”

  1. What a wonderful guide! My husband and I hope hope hope to have another babe sometime in the near future and this is just such a great post 🙂 I can't wait to refer back it. Also, thank you for writing about mattress wrapping – I'm definitely going to look into that now!

  2. Thank you for this post very beneficial. Can you please provide a link or the brand name of the surveillance camera ? and did you find it sufficient enough that there was no need for a baby monitor? Thank you very much 🙂

  3. Absolutely! There are many DIY options out there. You can also check your local library, many have toy libraries available for parents to borrow.

  4. This is an amazing post… I have been scouring the internet for ideas for months, and not one Montessori reference page was this thorough… thank you so much for providing this!

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