Applying Montessori Principles from Birth: Month 2

Wow! I am humbled by all the attention the last post seems to have gotten, and excited to be somehow helpful to new parents. My dreams are coming true. Thank you for reading and sharing… and subscribing.

I hope you continue to find this series helpful and also look around, I have written other posts that you may enjoy. Ok let’s go!

Month 2 is going to be quite short for several reasons: we continued to do a lot of the things that we did in Month 1, we traveled a lot as a family and I lost my phone with most of my pictures from that month but I do have something I wanted to add to Month 1 so I’ll talk about that first.

Some other thoughts on Month 1

Schedules: I mentioned on the last post that we did not use any schedules but instead nursed him and let him sleep on demand. What I did not mention is that I also followed the breastfeeding recommendations from training. I breastfed exclusively from the start. In the first few days when the child is only getting colostrum, it can feel like you are breastfeeding a lot. You may even get advice from health professionals to supplement but the child is getting ALL he needs. Colostrum is the best food for the newborn. It helps him pass meconium, and is also composed of mostly proteins which contain and support antibodies.

The other recommendation we took was emptying one breast before switching to the other one. This goes against recommendations to nurse 15 minutes on one side and then switch. According to my training, the fore-milk or the milk which the child takes when he first starts sucking is lighter and like the thirst quencher. The hind milk is heavier and will give more satisfaction. The other thing of note is that the milk at different times of the day also helps regulate the child because the milk in the morning is different from the one at night. I remember asking during my training how I would know that I had emptied the breast and I was assured that I would know and I did. It helps to note which breast the child left off at so that you where to continue.

I mention all of this because once my milk came in and I followed these recommendations, I did not have to follow a schedule. He ate well and by himself went on a 3 hour schedule. He would eat and then not get hungry for 3 hours. That said, every child is different so it’s ok and may be normal if your child wants to eat more often during that first month. Meet his needs and he will gradually settle into a natural rhythm.

Bell Rattle: I introduced this rattle around week three. It is usually offered around 2-3 months when the child is reflexively grasping but he was always opening and closing his hands (involuntary) and I wanted to see how he would react to it. I also thought he would enjoy the sound of the bells. We used this until about 3 months. See a video of the first time I introduced it.

Month 2

A lot of the needs for the second month are the same as the first month. The difference being that the child is more aware and daily improving his abilities. We were traveling a lot in the second month but these are some ways we continued to use Montessori principles.

Maintaining order and points of reference: We continued to use the topponcino for holding him, the bassinet for sleep and when on the go, we used the changing pad/towel from our original set up. We also had a portable mat that we could set up with his black and white book or a mobile for some independent time. We found creative ways to hang his mobile. I remember we once tied it to the handle of a heavy chopping board and then put the board at the edge of the counter. We had a paperclip tied to the end of the rope the mobile was attached to and could put the paper clip between two velcro strips and stick the velcro strip to the ceiling.

We introduced other mobiles as his interest waned: His favorite was the butterfly mobile. I have found this to be the most engaging mobile for infants between 6 and 9 weeks and it was no different with my son. He loved this mobile. I change it to the Gobbi and he protested and visibly upset until I brought it back.

Captivated by the butterfly mobile
Captivated by the butterfly mobile
Engaged
Engaged

Clothing: We started using onesies: Now that he was more adapted to our movements around him, we gradually and carefully transitioned to onesie. Always telling him that we were going to take off his clothes and preparing him. The other reason we switched from the undershirts was that he was spending more time on his stomach and we did not want the snap/fastening to cause discomfort.

We also switched to BumGenius AIO diapers as we no longer had access to a service.

We left his knees and feet bare a lot but also used socks or leg warmers as needed.

Nature: We spent a lot of time outdoors and in nature. We went on hikes and to the beach. He was usually in a carrier.

IMG_9610

We continued to use carriers including our favorite the Ergo and the blue one (the name escapes me.)

Ergo
Ergo
Can't remember the name
Can’t remember the name

Month 3 was much more exciting. Come back next week to read about it. As always, I would love to hear your comments, questions and experiences.

Live a Good Life!

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12 thoughts on “Applying Montessori Principles from Birth: Month 2

  1. You write beautifully I so enjoy reading your posts. I am also AMI A to I trained and work in a Parent Toddler Program in Australia. It is so good to find so many people putting up wonderful posts and getting the word out there for parents to be more empowered to enjoy their parenting for for children to benefit from respectful parenting. Keep up the great work 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Sarah. That means a lot coming from another trained A to I. I am so glad to be doing this work and hopefully helping one or two parents out there. Like you I am happy that there are so many more examples of this style of parenting represented out there. Thank you again!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful series you’re doing Junnifa! So lovely reading about the unfolding of Solu’s life. I wonder if the blue wrap you’re using is a Moby. It looks similar to the one I used and we also loved ours for the first few months.

    1. Thank you for your comment Carrie. It is very similar to the Moby but it is called the Sleepy Wrap. I inherited it from my wonderful sister inlaw and look forward to using it with future children. We only used it for the symbiotic period because we were in the US. We found it too hot for Nigeria and mostly used the Ergo once we were home.

  3. Thank you for sharing this!
    I feel so blessed for discovering your blog!
    My baby is almost 7 months old, so I hope to catch up soon 🙂
    May you have health and time to keep sharing your advices 🙂

    1. Thank you Anca! I need to hurry up with the posts so that you can find relevant posts. I have to be honest, I have been a little overwhelmed with writing about the next few months but I am working on it and your comment is more motivation. I have to have a few more up next week. Thank you for your good wishes and Amen!

  4. Looking forward to following your journey and researching your archives.
    we’ve been incorporating montessori principles into the parenting of our three children (5, 3, 6 months) since birth and it has been a true blessing.
    we love our ergo too and the blue wrap looks like a sleepy wrap – we have it in the same color 🙂
    smiles, June Mee

    1. Thank you for your comment June Mee! I love hearing from people who have walked the same path and had a positive experience. You are right, It is the sleepy wrap!

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