Can you do Montessori with a baby?

"Can I start Montessori with my baby?"

Yes, you can. With a baby, you lay the foundations for all the years ahead.⁠

Although Maria Montessori started with children aged 3 to 6, she soon showed an interest in children from birth to 3. The Montessori principles can be applied from birth.  

Many parents discover Montessori with their first child often when he is 2, and they always say that they would have done so many things differently.

You can make sure your routine is not overwhelming for your child, and you can definitely start to work on yourself! That will pay off, in the long run, to be respectful of your own needs from day 1.⁠⁠

You can set up a beautiful and inviting space where your baby will be free to move and explore.⁠

You can be mindful of how you communicate with your little one, focusing on respect and empathy.⁠

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Here are a few things that you can do from the start:⁠

  • Have a floor bed, learn about normal baby sleep, focus on a sleep routine, check if cosleeping is an option for your family⁠. 
  • Observe your child instead of entertaining your child⁠
  • Follow your child's rhythm and be mindful of not having too many activities in your schedule⁠
  • Learn about baby-led weaning and see if it's for you⁠
  • Set up a space where your baby can explore safely
  • Ditch the containing devices such as a Baby walker and baby entertaining station.⁠ I understand that you may want to use them from time to time to keep a baby safe but don't make it a habit. Babies need freedom of movement.
  • Place a mirror along the wall to encourage the baby to move and communicate⁠
  • Have a look at Elimination communication and adopt cloth nappies if doable for your family as your baby will be more aware of his bowel and bladder movement.⁠

If you have a baby, let me know  in the comments what you do to support their development the Montessori way!⁠

Want to learn everything about Montessori?

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Design a home that promotes independence and self-learning, choose the right toys and prepare some Montessori activities!

About the Author Carine Robin

Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.

  • work4good says:

    I definitely believe that Dr. Silvana Montanaro gave herself permission to “update” Montessori’s work in order to align it with the “science” of the time.

    However, Dr. Montessori was often critical of the conclusions of psychologists and scientists – pointing out where their thinking was sometimes influenced by bias rather than on objective observations of children.

    While Dr. Montanaro is to be celebrated for developing teacher training programs and environments for infants and toddlers, I think it is important to separate her opinions from those of Montessori. Things can look very different when we do this.

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