Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Many of my doula clients appreciate my previous experience as a Montessori teacher. I'm sometimes asked at postpartum visits about ways that parents can support their child's development. The most "Montessori" way to aid your child's development is to create a prepared environment that is made with your child's success and independence in mind. Eventually that might look like a designated shelf in your kitchen with washcloths for wiping up spills and a tiny broom for sweeping up crumbs, but for now here are some ways to prepare your environment for your newborn.
Here is a list of my favorite Montessori materials for early infancy (0-4 months).
1. Montessori Mobile Set -- Munari, Gobbi, Dancers, Octahedron, Rainbow
These mobiles are not made to be put over the place your baby sleeps. Montessori mobiles are made to stimulate your child as they develop the ability to see color, and to encourage movement.
2. Montessori Infant Hand Manipulatives -- Interlocking Disks, Grasping Beads, Bell Rattle, Bell Roller, Large Rolling Ball Rattle
Hand manipulatives help to develop hand eye coordination, and encourages infants to use their hands to problem solve.
Newborns love black and white cards that they can focus on, because those are the first colors that they can see. You can prop the cards up for baby while they lay on their floor bed or hold cards up for your baby while you hold them. Babies see clearly between 8-12 inches from their faces, so be mindful of the spacial distance of the cards.
Mirrors are always available for infants in Montessori spaces. They can be mounted at the base of a wall, or you can use a sturdy base mounted mirror like the one linked here. They help to develop focus, visual tracking, and movement. You can find more information about Montessori wall mirrors from this blog post from howwemontessori.com (one of my favorite blogs!) that has detailed info on the benefits of providing a wall mirror for your child, and where to purchase one.