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April 23, 2022

Montessori Babies: Growth Is Slow

For my last three Montessori babies, I've been writing these weekly Montessori baby updates. I share a bit about what's on my mind, and give a little picture of what it looks like to use Montessori from birth at home in real life. I love being able to share our story and what Montessori feels like for me. But, in writing these updates, I also feel like I need to clarify something - growth is slow. 

By writing these updates, I sometimes feel like I'm giving the impression that something is always changing with your baby. And, while that is sometimes true - the growth in babies is astonishing - a LOT (and I really mean A LOT) stays the same day to day. Being a Montessori parent to your baby doesn't mean providing more and more each week. It's not about rushing to meet some predetermined schedule of activities. It's not about maximizing some opportunity for learning materials. Or whatever. 

It's intentionally slow. I never want it to feel like I'm sitting around pushing some planned schedule of things, or changing things each week in order to push Penelope forward with my own agenda. No. It's hard to get across how much it's just watching, waiting, and trusting. 

Dr. Montessori identified that babies are driven by their horme - an internal force that drives their actions. It's this invisible force that should be making the decisions. And, it moves at its own pace. There are periods where that can feel like something new is happening every day. But there are plenty of times where the change is so slow that you hardly notice it at all. Either is perfect. The child's timeline is perfect. 

So take these weekly posts and remember the slow. It's not big changes week to week. It's tiny things like noticing a new finger movement, a new twist of the hips, a new vocalization, or sleeping pattern. It's not a race to present new materials, or think up creative activities. It's just me, sitting here observing this perfect little baby and her perfect little path. 

Take time to observe. Take time to appreciate the slow. Don't rush for something new each day or week. It will come in its time when your baby is ready. Suddenly, you'll look back and see the growth was happening, but you'll also know the way it happened was just perfect for your child. 

Have you noticed the slowness of Montessori baby-hood? Or do you feel the pressure towards more? 

This post is week 11 of my Montessori baby series focusing on Penelope.

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