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March 18, 2022

Changing the Montessori Baby Mobiles

Babies change so fast! It’s like lightning. At six-weeks-old, Penelope is already so different from what she was like at birth. She’s nearly doubled her birth weight, she’s more alert and has more and more control over her body every day.

With all these changes, I need to keep in mind her environment to make sure it is tailored to her specific needs. This doesn’t mean making big changes. Actually, that’s what I’m trying to avoid by frequently thinking about if the materials we have available meet her current needs. Then, I can make slow and small changes to meet her growing, learning self.

During the first few months, some of the biggest changes that I make are with Penelope’s mobiles. The visual series of mobiles is meant to change with a baby’s growing visual and cognitive skills.

When Do You Change the Montessori Baby Mobiles?

This week, I introduced Penelope to the second mobile in the series - the octahedron mobile! I thought I would share a few thoughts about when and how we change mobiles.

Observation: I closely observe my babies both under the mobile and away from it. Are they interested in the mobile? How quickly do they tire of it? Are they fussier than usual while using the mobile? What is catching their eye in other parts of their day? Are they noticing more? Grasping? Following objects? All these questions, and more, can help to inform whether it’s time to make a change.

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Last week I started noticing that Penelope wasn’t content while looking at the mobile, she seemed to get fussy quickly. I’ve also noticed she really likes Henry's brightly colored outfits, and she frequently follows him around the room with her eyes and head. To me it was all a sign that she was ready for the octahedron mobile.

Timelines: There are general timelines and an order to introducing the mobiles to keep in mind. I find these less important that actual observation, since each individual baby will vary slightly. But, it can be nice to keep these times in mind. For the octahedron, I generally find that babies are ready somewhere between one and two months old. You can find my visual timeline here. You can also find general timelines in The Montessori Baby and Babies Build Toddlers.

How Do You Change the Montessori Baby Mobiles?

Use Hooks: I use simple 3M hooks to store mobiles on the wall. This makes changing them out easy, simple and quick. 

With Your Baby: I always make sure to change the mobile with my baby there. It helps them to see the transition and learn to understand what is happening in the environment. This protects their sense of order and points of reference. 3MM Montessori has a great example on Instagram on how this is done practically.

Be Flexible: It doesn't have to be an all or nothing change. I often will switch between one or two mobiles as they transition. When babies are sleepier or fussier, they may find comfort in a familiar mobile. Or when they are more alert, a new visual challenge might be better. Same might be true as tactile mobiles are introduced too.  

Practical tips for using and changing a Montessori mobile with your newborn. This series of Montessori baby mobiles engages baby's development

This post is week 6 of my weekly Montessori baby series focusing on Penelope. 

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