We welcomed our second child, Dany, in the beginning of April. He was born 5 weeks early at 35 weeks. It was a pleasant surprise as we weren’t expecting him showing up that early! Considering that he was a preemie, he had to spend a lot of time in the hospital during his first few weeks to make sure everything was ok. After a lot of apprehensions, we finally got to bring him home! Since day 1 we had lots of snuggling, eye and body contact, and skin to skin. Time goes by way too fast so we enjoy every moment and get to know each other. As for our daughter, Anya, we did the best we could to help her through this transition. We soon realized that meeting the needs of both kids at the same time is challenging and that we can’t keep everyone happy all the time.
We discovered Montessori when Anya was about 3/4 months. Therefore, we wanted to start Montessori from birth with Dany this time around and we made sure we were well prepared for this new adventure! All babies have different needs and preferences so here is what work for us:
Creating a warm and a loving atmosphere was our first concern but with a toddler, it can quickly become very chaotic! The movement area should be a very simple and calm space with no overstimulation thus, we dedicated a play area for Dany in our living room. For the first stage and as long as he is not moving much or crawling, we are using a comfy crib mattress. Since we have hardwood floors, we are using a foam sheet cubes underneath it. We installed a wall mirror afterward to his space so Dany perceives his own reflection and explores the things around him. After he started opening his eyes, we gave him some high contrast images (DIY back&white) to look at since that’s all he can see, to begin with anyway! They are also black&white pictures’ book available for babies. We have the book panda by Pauline Kalioujny and Black&White board book that we really like it.
Montessori mobiles are a big part of babies’ first environment and many of them are really easy to make yourself. They encourage concentration, develop focus and visual sense. After the balck&white pictures, we introduced the Munari mobile which we made by the way to Dany when he was about 3 weeks. He is also having some non-mobile time where he simply stares at the things around him.
A place to sleep
We didn’t bother with a crib but instead, we used a bassinet (we are using a Moses basket and a rocking stand ) for sleeping during the first few months! It is all snuggly and comfortable so Dany quickly got used to it! The Moses basket is next to our bed and is the perfect height so it makes our night nursing sessions much easier! It is also portable so Dany can follow us around the house! We are planning to move him to a floor bed once he outgrows the bassinet where he will share Anya’s room.
This is what worked for our family and you got to do what seems good for yours!
Don’t be afraid to talk to the babies they are always listening. For newborns, the world is still NEW and unclear so take the time to connect with your child and to describe what you are doing to them.
We slow things down and try to be present during caregiving time with both kids such like diapering, bathing, feeding, etc. As an example, while we were changing Dany’s diaper earlier, we noticed that he was so focused looking at the mirror on his changing table. Instead of rushing to put the diaper on him, we let him peacefully enjoys that moment. He then turned his head towards us to let us know he was done! It was a wonderful moment and we personally felt that we truly connect with him!
Did you also start Montessori from the strat or are you planning to? I would love to hear more about your Montessori journey.
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