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Exploration -- Montessori Baby Week 41

It can sometimes feel like having the right shelf with the right toys is the most important thing for your Montessori baby. But, let me tell you, it's not. Babies are naturally called to explore their environment. They are always going to want to check things out, examine how something works, and test everything in the world around them. 

"The baby is next endowed with an urge, or need, to face the out world and to absorb it." Maria Montessori

And sometimes that means the shelf in their environment and the carefully selected toys. But a lot of the time, it means the power cord, the spot of sunlight on the floor, and kitchen cabinet door. A shift in our mindset needs to occur to accept that each is equally important. Dr. Montessori says, 
"At birth, the child leaves a person – his mother’s womb – and this makes him independent of her bodily functions.  The baby is next endowed with an urge, or need, to face the out world and to absorb it.  We might say that he is born with ‘the psychology of world conquest.’   By absorbing what he finds about him, he forms his own personality.” 
This past week has been all about exploration for Augustus. I mean seriously, he just wants to explore every last inch of everything. This week could have very easily been called "and nobody sleeps" because who has got time for that when there are bins in the kitchen to dump out!!? 

This stage can feel so exhausting because it feels like I am always 2 steps behind him cleaning up the wave of destruction in his path. Gus just wants to know what every single thing is, how it feels, how it tastes, whether he can pull up on it, and how it sounds when he bangs it on the floor. But, still we allow this exploration implicitly. It's just so important. 

Here are a few things we have done to make this exploration as easy for me, and safe for Gus as possible.
  • Move anything that you don't want to be part of the exploration
  • Make sure dangerous items are locked up 
  • Remove baby locks when the items they are hiding are only inconvenient for you to pick up
  • Allow the exploration, and provide simple language for new experiences 
  • Don't interrupt concentration, take a deep breath before reacting to something that you perceive as dangerous, give your baby a second to work out a solution  
  • Let the shelf "work" go, trust that your baby will come back to it when your baby needs that work

Does your baby like to explore? How do you handle it?

"The baby is next endowed with an urge, or need, to face the out world and to absorb it." Maria Montessori


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