I think a misperception about Montessori is that it’s mostly about all the *stuff* — but what stuff do you need for a newborn? There is pretty much only one material you need to “do Montessori” with a newborn — yourself! The parent or primary caregiver is the most important material needed for a baby from birth to about 3 months (and beyond, of course — but we’re talking about the newborn phase here). You are the only one who can meet your newborn’s physical and emotional needs.
A newborn baby’s needs:
- to be kept clean
- a safe space
Your main job in those first few months of life are to provide for your baby’s needs. Physically, that means making sure your baby is fed when she’s hungry, is able to sleep when she’s tired, and that her diaper is changed when it’s dirty. Responding to your baby’s only form of communication (crying!) is paramount during this time period — it helps her to build trust in you and to understand how to get her needs met.
Your other most important job is to interact with your newborn. Speak to your baby about what you’re doing — especially when you’re doing something to her body. Describe the steps you’re taking as you change her diaper. Talk to her as you walk through the grocery store with your newborn strapped to your chest. You don’t need to use “baby talk” — just carry on a conversation as you would with anyone else.
You can also read to your newborn, but keep in mind that her vision is not nearly as developed as your own. Newborns are near-sighted, and can see best at a distance of 12 to 18 inches. At first, they can see mostly black, white, and gray. Red is the first color they are able to see. Keep this in mind when you’re choosing the art that you show them or mobiles that you hang up for them.
I was sent these Baby Montessori books to review, and they fit perfectly with a newborn baby’s vision! It’s been a while since I had an infant in my home, but if I did now, I would prop up these books beside my baby for her to investigate during play time. These books are designed to nurture your baby’s eye development and come as a set with four enticing topics for infants — Big or Small, Animals, The Garden, and Follow Me! I would definitely put these on my baby registry, and I’ll probably be bringing a set to the next baby shower I attend!
The publisher has sent me this FREE set of Baby Montessori board books to give away to one lucky winner*!
*Giveaway now closed — congratulations to Adrianna M!
To read more about Montessori infant practices, check this post: