Applying Montessori Principles from Birth: Month 4

Month 4 = weeks 14 to 18

This is the 6th post in this series where I am attempting to share some of the ways that we applied the Montessori principles from birth.

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get this post up. Frankly. so much happened during this time frame that I’ve had a hard time organizing this post. I’ll just go ahead and try.

Tactile Mobiles

He continued to use the ring on a ribbon which was introduced in month 3. It sometimes hung over his hands and other times over his legs.

Bell on ribbon. Should have elastic at the end so that the child can pull it and bring it to his mouth.
Bell on ribbon. Should have elastic at the end so that the child can pull it and bring it to his mouth.

We also introduced the ring on a ribbon. He really enjoyed this mobile and it led to long periods of concentration.

He tried so many times and failed so many times before finally catching the ring and since he did not have enough control yet, he let go almost immediately and started trying again... Perseverance
He tried so many times and failed so many times before finally catching the ring and since he did not have enough control yet, he let go almost immediately and started trying again… Perseverance

Stylized wooden mobile

I made this mobile by painting 3 wooden elephants cut from balsa wood with nontoxic paint. they knocked against each other whenever his hand made contact with one. The sound produced was different from the bell.
I made this mobile by painting 3 wooden elephants cut from balsa wood with nontoxic paint. they knocked against each other when his hand made contact with one. The sound produced was different from the bell.

Time on the Floor

One of the things that stood out to me as I looked at pictures from this time period is how much time he spent on the floor. His room was designed with movement in mind so it was uncluttered and there was a large rug which served as his movement mat. It was between his bed and shelf and both enticed him to move.

hello self
hello self
We also set out a blanket for him in a corner of the living room so that he could be with us but do his thing.
We also set out a blanket for him in a corner of the living room so that he could be with us but do his thing. You can see some of the grasping rattles we had available for him

He spent time on both his tummy and his back and had different materials to explore. Some of the favorites were

  • The mirror
  • Grasping Beads
  • Baskets
  • Kicking ball
  • Rattles and grasping materials
  • Ball cylinder
  • Bell cylinder
  • Squish
The beads fit perfectly in his hands. Were great for mouthing and also encouraged both hands to work together.
The beads fit perfectly in his hands, were great for mouthing and encouraged both hands to work together.
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I loved observing his movements and noticed he grasped materials with 2 to 4 fingers but his thumb was never used.
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The kicking ball was a favorite. It mostly hung over his leg but also sometimes over his hands. I would also take it of the ribbon sometimes and he enjoyed reaching for it, grasping it and bringing it to his mouth
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Building core and leg muscles. See those legs!
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Baby push ups. During this stage, I was usually in the room with him but usually just sitting back and observing or responding when needed.
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He really enjoyed blowing spit bubbles during this time. This is part of speech development and allows the baby practice moving his mouth, lips and tongue. I would do it with him sometimes.
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He loved looking at himself in the mirror and would smile at his reflection. He also enjoyed moving his body and watching the movements in the mirror.The mirror is definitely my favorite material for this stage.
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I put 3 rattles/grasping materials in this basket and put it within reach. It was hard work but he got to it but loved the basket more than its contents. The basket continued to be a favorite until he figured out how to pull off the bells attached to it.
It is very common for the child to be more attracted to the container than the materials it holds. Using a basket, a small bowl or tray to hold a material also starts laying that foundation of order. There is a place for everything.
It is very common for the child to be more attracted to the container than the materials it holds. Using a basket, a small bowl or tray to hold a material also starts laying that foundation of order. There is a place for everything.
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Are these called pull ups? Building core strength
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He enjoyed this ball cylinder because whether he was on his back or belly, he could reach for it, grasp a rung and bring it to his mouth, shake it or just pass it from hand to hand
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Yum!

 

Clothing

I tried to leave his knees and feet exposed most of the time. They are both required for slithering and the wrong clothes can make it hard for the child the move.

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Kicking ball off the ribbon
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This book continued to be a favorite. The squish which you can see on the shelf was also a favorite.

Floor bed

We started using the floor bed consistently for naps.

Napping on the floor bed
Napping on the floor bed. You can see the changes we made: Topponcino and family picture on  headboard. They made a difference

 

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I just loved watching him sleep in this room.

 

When he woke up from his nap, he would stare at the picture or
When he woke up from his nap, he would stare at the picture or

 

Reaching for the picture
Reached for it
Try to get himself off the bed
Other times, he would try to get himself off the bed

Turning over

He started turning from belly to back during this time. I wrote a post on my observations about this here

Towards the end of this period we noticed a strong interest in his feet.

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Note that putting the child in sitting position when he is not ready is not encouraged in Montessori. From observation, we saw that he wanted to be in this position sometimes.

Other Sensorial Experiences

Apart from mobiles, other safe natural materials that provide interesting visual stimulation can be added to the child’s environment. This can include safe plants, flowers, pictures, chimes etc.

He started coming to work with me during this month and watching the aquarium was one of his favorite things to do
He started coming to work with me during this month and watching the aquarium was one of his favorite things to do

We should also sing to the child, play instruments and expose him to music. This helps with language development and is a source of great enjoyment for the child.

He enjoyed his first live concert and loved it!
He enjoyed his first live concert and loved it!

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We also started taking him swimming the day he turned 3 months old.

swimming
swimming

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Remember children were swimming in the womb. They still remember during the early months. Unfortunately, many children are not given the chance to use their swimming skills and soon forget. While this is not necessarily Montessori, I think it is similar to the sensitive period in the sense that there is a window that is best to introduce children to swimming and if missed, it can become a harder process.

I hope that wasn’t too overwhelming. I am trying to put the information for each month in one place, but perhaps it would be better to break them down into smaller posts. What do you think? I would love to hear your opinions and questions if you have any.

Live a Good Life!

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Applying Montessori Principles from Birth: Month 4

  1. I love having it broken down by month. It’s helpful to me because we don’t know what age child we will be adopting. thank you for all of this great information.

  2. I LOVE your posts! I’m a Montessori teacher for the 6-9yo in a public school in Montana. I also have two young children ages 2.3yo and a 4 month old. I’ve been ‘doing’ Montessori with my children from the beginning, but consider it more of a life style really :). I love that you post things month by month so all the info is in one place. Thanks for sharing and documenting so well.

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