Montessori from newborn to 1 month old with your baby is all about creating a prepared environment. It’s less focused on trying to make them “do” anything consciously and more focused on a space that your baby will interact with and absorb.
As Maria Montessori explained, children at this age have an “unconscious absorbent mind”. Babies will naturally absorb whatever is in their environment around them.
Here is how you can implement Montessori at home with your newborn/1 month old baby.
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Newborn & 1 Month Old Montessori Nursery
Your newborn’s montessori room should be a calm, prepared space that allows them to have deep involvement and focus. You want to give your baby the optimum environment and consider the purpose of all that you give them.
There are 4 main areas of necessity to consider for a Montessori baby room/nursery.
- Allow for view of the room
- Prepared mobile for focus when the awaken
- SID Safe Bed
Select a space in the room that will allow your baby to see their room and become accustomed to their environment. Their eyes may not be able to distinguish all the finer features of the other items in the room, but their blurry placement and color will become what they recognize as their space.
Many family’s go ahead with the floor bed that is promoted by Maria Montessori which allows the child freedom of movement and to learn the edges of their sleep space.
Since Maria’s time there has been more scientific research into safe sleeping arrangements for babies. It is important to take this information and find a way to meet in the middle.
Some options to consider,
- Bassinet at first, then introduce floor bed
- Using a cot
- Floor Bed (with careful consideration)
A general necessity area for your baby. You can either use a change table or make a organized tote with all the items you need for changing and change on a mat on the floor.
For some visual inspiration, we shared different versions of changing areas before deciding what suited up best, here you can see our Montessori changing areas.
It would be a good idea to think of the long term and making their bedroom a safe space for baby when they are able to move/climb later down the track. This might make using a change table unfavorable.
It is promoted to use cloth diapers/nappies for your baby. This allows for the child to feel being soiled and thus communicate their needs, as well as helps them understand their body later down the track with feeling wetness after the act of urinating.
Choosing to use cloth also assists with toilet learning when they are 18 months or older.
Some great options that we used included:
- Thirsties Covers w/ Osocozy Prefolds
- Thirsties All-in-ones
- Unbranded Pockets w/ bamboo & microfibre inserts
If you are brand new to cloth diapers a “cloth diaper package” can be a much more affordable option for getting a stash together.
Also, you can get Trial Packs which let you have a small amount to try them out first before committing to one style.
Whether you breastfeed for bottle-feed, you will be sitting down while feeding your baby.
Think about where you baby will be looking, are you able to prepare this area to have a visual focus component?
Consider hanging a picture behind a rocking chair like described in the book “Montessori from the Start“.
Make sure this is an area you will be comfortable and calm yourself, as this will make baby feel safe and secure.
Prepare a space in your baby’s room for them to have deep involvement and allow their mind to absorb their environment. The environment being their room, you can also dedicate other spaces in your home for activity time.
A designated mobile for them to develop their visual capacity is a great Montessori activity to start with at 1 month old.
A mobile with black/white is a great start as the contrast in colors stimulates their eyes for focus.
The baby play gym above is a great option, as it grows with your baby and has different toys to swap with as they grow and develop.
Best Montessori Baby Book to Start With
So, we’ve hit the 4 main areas of life for a newborn.
Are you saying to yourself “Now what?”
Well if you’ve already decided Montessori parenting and would love a modern book that gives you all the specific “How To’s” I’m excited to tell you it’s now here!
After much waiting “The Montessori Baby” co-authored by Simone Davies has come out this year!
This follows the well known and loved book “The Montessori Toddler” , which had 5 star rating and over 6,000 reviews. I LOVED this book and am SUPER excited they are now releasing “The Montessori Baby.“
If I was to recommend ONE book for a new parent starting Montessori with their baby, this would be the book.
Why Montessori from Birth?
I think Zahra from MontiKids does a great job explaining this in her video.
Montessori Shelf for 1 Month Old
At this age a “shelf” isn’t necessary to set-up yet, as your baby isn’t mobile and won’t be able to access it independently anytime soon.
What you can do is prepare a small basket with a few items to introduce to your baby.
A designated play area with this basket and a mobile is a great idea to set-up. This is where your baby can have uninterrupted, focused activity time.
Things to Do with Montessori Baby at 1 Month Old
During this stage of your baby’s life a majority of their time with be feeding and sleeping. During your baby’s period of alertness you can prepare of a few things to do with them.
There are activities you can prepare for your newborn which can easily be accessible at all times in their baby room, thus making minimal prep time required.
As well as you can do your normal practical life activities with them such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. while they are either on the floor watching or in a baby carrier observing your actions.
We used a DIY Munari Mobile next to a floor mirror daily for his independent exploration time.
Montessori Activities To Do with 1 Month Old
A mobile with black and white contrasting colors is an activity you can prepare for your newborn that will visually stimulate them. A mobile is your baby’s first work.
The munari mobile is the 1st stage of a 4 stage mobile system for Montessori infants.
Basket With Sensory Items
Have a small basket next to your baby’s activity space filled with a 1 to 3 small items for you to use as a sensory activity with your baby.
At this age grasping is another work activity your baby can participate in. Have items that your baby can grasp in this basket and experience different sensory experiences.
Example items would be:
– Wooden spoon
– Metal whisk handle
– Soft toy
Another area we set-up before we made our DIY mobile was like this. I would sit next to him and allow him to grasp at one item and explore it however he seemed to grasp it.
I used items that were already around out house from older sibling for this sensory basket. Items got switched around at times as the older sibling might find interest in using ball.
No such thing as “perfection”, use what your baby finds interest in exploring.
Reading to your baby is always beneficial, from birth through childhood. Reading to your baby benefits your baby’s language skills as they listen to the words and tones you use.
Where to Get Montessori Baby Toys?
You have a few options for getting Montessori materials for you baby. If you are looking for the easiest option, there are a few subscription box options that are wonderful for giving you the materials you need and the details on how to use them with your baby.
Montikids is a great resource for acquiring a collection of age appropriate materials in one box to be used by your baby for a few months at a time, though a bit pricey.
A more budget friendly option that is Montessori aligned is Lovery Play Kits. Ranging under $40 for a month (equivalent of 1 family meal out to eat), you get a kit with materials you can use to engage your baby in focused “work” or play.
Lovery would have saved me in shipping costs alone of trying to get things individually, so something to consider when budgeting and thinking buying thing separately will save you (I learned this the hard way).
Also, if you want a one-stop-shop for a mobile and attachments without needs to buy separate attachments or DIY anything they have a play gym with included toys for as they grow option which is can make things very easy for those struggling to remember to get “all-the-things”.
Play is the work of a child.Maria Montessori
Practical Life at 1 Month Old
Montessori practical life with a 1 month old is essentially taking your baby with you when doing your day to day activities and allowing them to observe.
Preparing a space on the floor for them to lay and observe, meanwhile also stretch out and utilize all the muscle movement.
A baby carrier is great option for making it easier to do you day to day activities and include you 1 month old.
Outdoor Play with 1 Month Old
Giving your newborn time outdoors allows them hands-on experiences that are concrete. It begins the foundation of understanding that the tree they see out the window is an object they can touch and hear.
Obviously your baby won’t understand fully at 1 month old, but these experiences lay the foundation of understanding the world.
Take your newborn on walks and allow them to see out, not just cover the pram/stroller with fabric for whole duration of your walks together. Stop and lay out a blanket some days and lay your baby on the edge of the blanket so they can see, smell, hear the plants (grass) and animals (birds) around them.
Montessori Baby-wearing Newborn
Another great way to get your newborn outdoors and exploring with their focus is to babywear.
It’s a great way for parents to get out of the house and have the whole family get some fresh air.
We took our newborn on long nature walks in the carrier while pushing our 1 year old in the stroller, it was a great weekend day trip for everyone. For some hikes we used a carrier for each of them, my toddler in the tweet Boba carrier on dad’s back.
Montessori Baby Routine (example)
For anyone who likes see what a prepared day can look like with your newborn, here is an example of a Montessori baby routine.
This Montessori newborn routine example is to give you ideas of activities you can do during these time-frames throughout the day.
Each day in your home may look different, so use this as a starting point and adjust to what suits your family and baby. Remember to follow the child, follow when they are most awake and interested in play and when they need to nap.
At this age it is expected to feed baby on demand and allow baby to sleep when they get drowsy.
Example newborn routine:
- 7am – 9am : Feed, Burp, Cuddle & Chat | Activity Time with Mobile
- 9am – 11am : Take a Walk | Practical Life with Carer
11am – 12pm : Prep Lunch & Eat Lunch
12pm – 2pm : Grasping Activities from Basket | Tummy Time
- 2pm – 4pm : Errands | Practical Life with Carer
4pm – 6pm : Cuddle & Chat/Sing/Read | Prep Dinner
6pm – 8pm : Have Dinner | Bath | Calm Activities
What to Expect from Baby at 1 Month Old
In the beginning baby will be able to naturally clasp with their hands. You can stroke you baby’s hand and allow them to clasp your fingers.
As time goes on you may try allowing them to clasp other objects such as a wooden spoon handle, a metal spoon handle, a soft toy, etc. The different objects will give them different sensory experiences.
You can encourage head and neck strength by doing tummy time on the floor, as well as holding your baby upright facing you while holding the back of their head with one hand for support. Smile and chat with your baby while doing these activities.
When a face or objects moves slowly in their line of vision they will briefly focus and follow.
Having baby in a carrier they will look out and look for your face or large objects close (like trees).
Social & Emotions
Your baby relies on crying and coo’s to communicate their needs and emotions. If they need something they will cry to communicate with you that they have a need.
As previously mentioned, smile and chat with your baby to expose them to different tones of speech. Use facial expressions and happy tones when speaking to your baby.
Your baby will respond to comforting voices they are familiar with, whether that be parents, grandparents, or other carers.
Singing and talking with your baby while making eye contact are great ways to help your baby in their language development.
- Want more information? Here is a List of Best Montessori Books for Parents!
- Want to make toy shopping stress free? Check out affordable options from LOVEVERY, Montessori inspired toys straight to your doorstep. Covid-safe shopping option for those with Newborns.
- After general newborn care tips?
2 thoughts on “Montessori with 1 Month Old/Newborn”
Love the post! I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom of movement and swaddling my newborn. He seems to feel very secure in his swaddle, but we try not to have him swaddled all the time to allow him to move. Would you say this is consistent with Montessori teaching or would Maria Montessori advise against the swaddle all together? What are your thoughts?
I lean towards the consensus that a lot of research into early childhood has occurred since Maria Montessori’s time in regards to medical and educational realms. I found swaddling to be lovely for my children and they slept more soundly just like more modern research has suggested since in snuggles them in similar to the womb. This is why when they are not sleeping I take a more Montessori approach and from newborn days onwards I lay them on the floor for complete freedom of movement everyday and quite often. Not using many modern suggested baby devices like bouncers, baby walkers, and excessive stroller time is my way of allowing the child freedom of movement when they are awake. I can’t speak for Maria Montessori and what her thoughts would be on swaddles, but from my view and modern gentle parenting research I would go with what works and seems to make your baby happy and what you are comfortable with.