Month 3 = weeks 9 to 13
This is the 3rd post in this series where I am attempting to share some of the ways that we applied the Montessori principles from birth.
During the third month, we continued to use the visual mobiles including the butterflies, the dancers and a modified octahedron. From these, In addition, we used a tactile mobile, the bell on a ribbon. See commentary with each picture.
We also used the Gobbi briefly during his 8/9th weeks but he clearly preferred the butterflies so we moved on to the dancers which he loved. He would dance with them. It was the first one that he responded to with his hands and legs and seemed to consciously reached for.
Since he was reaching, it was time to introduce the bell on a ribbon. Unfortunately, most of the pictures of this mobile are on my missing phone but I found one (thanks to Facebook). We hung from a portable hanger.
We also had another visual mobile. An origami/modified octahedron which we hung from the portable hanger but everytime I would put it over him, this would happen.
And so I assumed he hated the mobile and moved it away and after a while I noticed this:
He watched it for a while. It wasn’t that he did not like the mobile, he just the did like it over him. I wonder if it was his distorted reflection on the paper or something else. I have observed this with several children and some just don’t like the mobile directly over them so if your child reacts negatively to a mobile or any material, try a different placement or way.
During this time, he also got really interested in his hands. He would watch them and try to bring them together. I would sometimes offer him rattles by putting them within his view and reach. It would take him several tries but he would eventually grasp it and enjoyed mouthing it. It was interesting to watch because even while he was reaching for the rattle, we would watch his hands instead of the rattle.
Note that when the child is concentrating on watching his hands, it should be respected. I usually waited till he was losing interest of seemed bored with watching his hands before offering the rattles.
You should have seen the concentration and focus on his face. You can see a little glimpse from the last picture.
As his intentional reaching and grasp got better, I offered more rattles. He became very effective at grasping a rattle and bringing it to his mouth. We offered rattles that were the right size and proportion for his hands and mouth. They were simple, different made of natural materials. Here are some of his favorites
He continued to spend time on his stomach and started raising not just his head but also his chest. He could also move very short distances to reach for an item or get a closer look. Instead of putting things in his hands, I would put them within reach. He was attracted to colors and contrasts and I would leave him at one spot and find him taking a closer look at items on the bed.
Once his room was ready, we started spending more time there during the day. He spent a lot of time on his belly but also
I also started putting him down for a nap on his floor bed
I noticed that while he was napping for about 3 hours on our bed, when I put him down on his bed, he would sleep for about 40 minutes and then I would find him like this:
I reached out to my friend Pilar, from the full montessori and she reminded me of our biggest tool as parents and Montessorians, observation. So I observed him for 2 naps. One while sleeping in his bed and one on ours and I realized what was happening. Even on our bed, he woke up at the 40 minute mark but he would look around and go back to sleep. On his bed however, when he would look around, the environment was new and not very familiar so he would not go back to sleep. So I brought back his topponcino which I had recently stopped using, put up a picture of all of us on the head board and started spending more time in his room when he was awake. It took a few days but he adjusted and eventually started napping normally.
We started reading to him from the first month but by the 3rd month, we started noticing his responses to the books especially this book – Welcome song for baby. He had three favorite pictures in the book, and he responded the same way to them each time. I had made a video which was my most painful loss from my phone. Luckily I have some pictures.
These were two of his favorite pictures but if you look well you will notice a slight difference in the intensity of his gaze and know his favorite.
The was his third favorite and he would blow spit bubbles whenever we got to this page
Towards the end of his third month, I noticed him sucking his lower lip. I wondered about this and remember telling my mum that I was worried about him sucking his lip. He kept on doing it and would suck stop, suck stop and I could not find a rhyme or reason until the day he turned 3 months old. I was reading the book to him and as soon as I got to this page he started doing the sucking thing and immediately did this! I was pretty amazed. Every time I would show him the picture he would do it again.
I knew he could imitate us because from as early as 3 weeks, if I stuck out my tongue, he would imitate but I just didn’t anticipate imitating the pictures from a book or expressing preferences that early.
By the time he turned 3 months, he was very alert, could recognize my voice and face from a distance. He was also quite efficient with his intentional reach/grasp for stationary object and with bringing things to his mouth. He could slither for very short distances and enjoyed books and songs. The fun was only just beginning…
I would love to hear your questions, comments and thoughts!
Live a Good Life 🙂