Blog, Montessori

MONTESSORI TOYS, ACTIVITIES AND PLAY FOR NEWBORNS

Newborns don’t need much. They’ll happily laze about and while hours away transfixed by the sky, by leaves rustling in the breeze or dangly objects in a play gym.

You also don’t need to do much with a newborn – other than savour their delicious smell, spend time getting to know your beautiful new baby and squeeze them tight (but not too tight).

Start the Montessori method from birth. Not to teach them to take toys from a walnut cubicle one at a time or thread beads but to welcome a baby into the world with the love and respect they are so deserving of.

WHAT NEWBORNS ARE DEVELOPING

Newborn development is huge. They learn and grow fast and change a lot in the first few months.

  • Eye sight and hearing
  • Smell, touch
  • Lifting their head
  • Grasping

MONTESSORI INSPIRED NEWBORN SPACES

A shelf isn’t necessary at this stage but can be helpful for storage. In truth our original shelf wasn’t very Montessori at all – too cluttered, too high and visually overwhelming.

You could also have a basket of newborn toys next to their play area for tummy time.

Use a soft play mat and a infant topponcino to create a comfortable, dedicated safe spot for your little one.

Our wooden play gym was a mid-range one from Mocka; fair warning that these types of play gyms run the gamut from cheap to very, very expensive and they are rapidly outgrown. I wish I’d spent less money on ours given the short space of time he actually used it; about five months max.

  • Montessori mobiles
  • High contrast dangle toys, pictures and objects
  • Ribbons
  • Sensory scarves
  • Bells

Add in a low floor mirror alongside their space. Babies are highly vain and love to see their cheeky little reflections!

MONTESSORI INSPIRED NEWBORN TOYS

High contrast things are good for newborn peepers and capturing their gaze. Babies this age like to watch, grasp and mouth.

  • High contrast, black and white picture cards, board books or crinkle blankets
  • Wooden pegs or rattles
  • Egg shakers
  • Mirrors for tummy time
  • A tummy time pillow with high contrast objects to reach for
  • Teething rings

Wooden egg shakers are the perfect accompaniment to nursery rhymes and soft singing that will attune baby to your voice and introduce them to language.

Instead of a wooden rattle, I liked to give Oliver a wooden peg to hold in his hand. These were great for mouthing – we found that rattles were better appreciated when he was over four months old.

ACTIVITIES FOR NEWBORNS

There’s two schools of thought about tummy time; you can start when you bring baby home or when their umbilicals stump falls off.

For us, we did gentle supported tummy time on our chests and laps until I found the stump in his PJs one morning. From then it was game on and we did tummy time on the mat.

Other newborn activities:

  • Outdoor time in a Moses basket to watch the sky, trees, washing on a line
  • Playing with a peg, rattle or teething ring
  • Baby-wearing walks or pram walks
  • Music and soft singing to attune them to your voice and introduce language
  • Smiling and talking to them about what you’re doing
  • Reading books out loud

The newborn stage passes by in a blink and before you know it they’re running amok. Take a moment to enjoy it and embrace the quiescence of the fourth trimester. That being said – it’s also okay to find that time stressful or hard work. It’s part of a huge life transition as new parents whether you’ve done it before or not.

If only there was a way to bottle that newborn smell without the sleepless nights and the growing pile of dishes in the sink!

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