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October 05, 2019

The Newborn's Work - Montessori Baby Week 3

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what Teddy “does” during the day; about how we are “doing Montessori” with our newborn. The quick answer is that living life is “doing Montessori.” It’s not a set of materials but a way of seeing, respecting, and interacting with your child within a prepared environment. And, that's all day, everyday.

The Work of the Montessori Newborn 

Keeping that in mind, practically, this means a few things for Theodore. One, it means we spend our days respecting Teddy’s rhythms as he adjusts to the outside world. So he sleeps when he needs sleep, eats when he needs to eat, and cuddles when he needs to cuddle. And, honestly, that’s mostly what his work is these days. Honestly, at this point, I find this to be his most important work. We are getting to know each other, and he's figuring out this whole "being in the world" thing.

These early days are about creating routine, creating order in his environment, and patterns for him. It's about creating relationships with all of the members of our family and slowly finding his place inside of our little world. It's also about learning to trust. To trust that when he needs something someone will respond and his needs will be met.

We also work hard to meet his developmental needs during those times that he is awake. Newborns are so capable of concentration and attention. And, they are wonderful at using their senses to absorb information. In the words of Dr. Montanaro, "if we really observe a newborn and avoid the prejudice that it is only interested in eating and sleeping, we will see it making the effort to move with every part of its body and to observe all that is going on around it. We will notice how attentively it listens to the human voice and to any other sounds in the environment...Children want and enjoy many others things...our presence, music and anything that is interesting to watch." {Understanding the Human Being}

Keeping this in mind, during his short periods of active awake time, we do make an effort to make sure Teddy has access to interesting stimulation. Often, one of his siblings wants to hold, cuddle, or talk to him. But it also has included these other activities:
  • going for walks or being outside 
  • looking into his mirror
  • enjoying his Montessori mobiles {he is using a Munari mobile from Monti Kids in these pictures} 
  • looking at black and white images 
Again, this is a few minutes here and there, but he really does seem calm and concentrated during these times. It's simple, slow, and following his interest and readiness. 

Read about Gus' Montessori journey at week 3 here: MONTESSORI BABY WEEK 3 -- PROTECTING CONCENTRATION

What does Montessori life look like with your newborn?

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