When should you start your child at Montessori? It seems even the most devoted parents are a little leery about bringing their infant and maybe it is because of things like placing the crib mattress directly on the floor and not using cribs is not in tune to what our culture teaches us as acceptable.
If you happen to be expecting a new little one, you might want to consider if your baby might be better starting in Montessori during their four sensitive periods.
Before your baby is born, they are testing out their limbs, checking their gross motor skills and reflexes. You don’t realize it, but from birth to twelve months, they are learning what their body’s power can do by kicking and stretching and using their fingers to pinch and pick up items they find interesting.
Montessori teaches the parents’ they have the responsibility to assure that their baby is not restrained by the way they are dressed or by furnishings like playpens or cribs at home. The house needs thorough baby-proofing the entire house so the baby can move around safely. The baby should have some mobiles, simple wooden toys, and safe household objects that will serve for the baby to reach out and play with for their entertainment.
Understand that an infant has a perception of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell which is new and fresh. The parents of Montessori infants turn their shoulders to the toys that erupt in electronic sound which are lifelessly made of plastic and other odd synthetics. They are much too overwhelming for a new baby’s sensory experiences of his/her world. It is much better to keep things quiet and calm and keep the manufactured stimulus to a minimum while giving your newborn the essential relationship to their parents is the key.
Before your baby is born, they are reacting to sounds they hear from the outside world. Many times, Montessori parents will talk, sing and read to their babies before they have arrived. After their birth, babies realize they are in a world of sounds, but their heightened interest is the sound of speech they hear from their mother and father. Babies watch the people around them and pay close attention to how they move their lips and start moving their lips to imitate. It is not long before they start trying to make different sounds and try syllables that you will notice they repeat over and over. They are doing this to perfect how they control their tongue, throat, and lips.
It seems to be the last ‘sensitive’ period that surprises the new parents. Newborns are starting to feel secure as they make sense of everything they have perceived in their surroundings whether it is people or furnishings. They have learned their place in the order of things when they wake up from a nap and feel safe when they see everything is where it was before.
It seems the sensitive periods are at the most ‘keen’ from birth to age five. A large amount of your child’s development will happen in its first year, for the child that is growing and for the parent who is trying to figure out and fulfill what their baby needs. You must realize that every parent will make mistakes, but working at perfecting your skills and giving lots of love and not giving up on what you are striving for goes a long way. If you follow your baby to child, you will do your best work.