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, How We Montessori has collaborated with other parents and has photos of different infant 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.
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.
Why Montessori from Birth?
I think Zahra from MontiKids does a great job explaining this point in this 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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- Check Out Montessori Christmas Gift Ideas for Baby! Great to send to family and friends.
- Want more information? Here is a List of Best Montessori Books for Parents!
- Interested in quality toys for baby? Check out affordable Montessori inspired options from LOVEVERY.