Developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori, the Montessori Method is based on specific educational principles that take into account the child's development at every stage of life. This method is not just for school-age children, but can also be adapted for babies.
The Montessori approach for babies
The Montessori approach for babies consists in creating a secure environment adapted to their need for exploration and discovery. It's essential to respect the child's rhythm and allow him to express his needs and desires, without imposing external constraints. The games and activities on offer must encourage autonomy and sensory, motor and intellectual development.
The basic principles of the Montessori method for babies
- Freedom of movement: From birth, babies must be able to move freely, without hindrance. That's why we recommend loose-fitting clothes and avoiding shoes too early.
- Suitable environment : Baby's bedroom should be designed to encourage independence and discovery. This means a mattress on the floor rather than a cot, low, stable furniture and a safe play area.
- Sensory activities : the activities on offer should stimulate the baby's various senses (smell, sight, touch, hearing, taste) to foster intellectual and emotional development.
- Respecting the rhythm : Children should be encouraged to follow their own pace, without being pressured by adults who want them to grow up too fast. This applies in particular to apprenticeships such as potty training and independent eating.
Montessori games for babies
Montessori games are designed to meet the specific needs of toddlers, according to their age and development. Here are a few examples of adapted games:
0 to 6 months
- The rattle: simple and effective, the rattle stimulates baby's hearing, sight and touch, while developing motor coordination.
- Mobile: Montessori mobiles are made up of geometric shapes and contrasting colors to stimulate babies' eyesight and concentration.
- Early learning mat : Ideal for encouraging freedom of movement and sensory discovery, the Montessori learning mat is made up of a variety of materials and objects.
From 6 to 12 months
- Rolling objects : from small cars to balls, rolling objects encourage gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
- Musical instruments : Maracas, tambourines and xylophones help babies discover different sounds and develop their sense of rhythm.
- Built-in sets : Suitable from the age of 9 months, nesting games stimulate babies' logic and fine motor skills, while teaching them about different shapes and colors.
Everyday life with a Montessori baby
Beyond specific games and activitiesThe Montessori approach also invites us to rethink certain aspects of daily life with a baby. Here are a few tips for putting the Montessori method into practice on a daily basis:
Babywearing, in a sling or ergonomic carrier, enables babies to be in close contact with their parents, while discovering the world around them. It encourages emotional bonding, while respecting the baby's freedom of movement.
Caring communication is at the heart of the Montessori method. It involves listening to and respecting the baby's needs and emotions, without judgment or interpretation. This is achieved through eye contact, reassuring gestures and a soothing tone of voice.
The introduction of solid foods should be gentle, following the child's rhythm. The Montessori approach encourages autonomy from the earliest age, by offering pieces that the baby can grasp with his fingers, rather than pureeing with a spoon.
In short, adopting the Montessori method for your baby means creating an environment conducive to his development and blossoming, while respecting his individuality and rhythm. Montessori games and activities are designed to stimulate the senses and encourage autonomy, thus promoting awakening and learning.