Learning Guide Birth – 4 Months
By Olynda Smith
We are excited to share these beautiful and supportive items with you and your baby. We are even more excited to connect with you through this journey of conscious parenting. Parenting can be many things - from pure delight to total overwhelm. Most parents will say it is the most important work they will do in their lives. This parenting journey was never meant to be done alone. Whether this is your first or fourth child, we’re happy you’ve chosen to make us part of your village!
Little Ones, Big Changes
Your little one is changing around the clock during these first four months. Even if they seem like they are just lying around all day, they are actually learning and developing at an incredible speed. There is so much we can do to assist our littlest ones as they do this tremendous work.
The items in this box are intended to help your baby encounter just the right elements to support them through these first months. Of course, the most important element of your child’s early development is not in this box - it is you! Your presence, conscious communication, caretaking and adoring attention are truly the most essential elements that support your growing baby’s well being and growth.
The Visual Mobiles
Your baby’s visual abilities will change rapidly in the first months of life. These classic Montessori mobiles are here to meet your baby where they are and support their development. The mobiles are simple on purpose. Looking at them is a “workout” not only for your baby’s eyes but also for their newly forming ability to concentrate. Notice that the mobiles don’t include sound or mechanical movement. Those “extra” elements can be overwhelming and make it hard for the baby to focus. These mobiles will move naturally with the air currents - making their movements better for developing eyes and better for the earth.
Create a “discovery” place for your baby to explore these mobiles every day. Ideally, you can place your baby on the Acorn Mat (pictured below), or another soft surface, on the ground. Place a mirror next to them on the lowest part of the wall. From this space, they can get a good view of the room and enjoy discovering the mirror as well as the mobile.
Follow the Child
Observe your baby while they are doing their “work” with the mobiles. You may notice surprisingly long moments of deep concentration. Give your baby time and space to explore without interruption - this will assist them in developing their ability to concentrate. If your little one keeps turning their gaze/head away from the mobile, or is fussy each time you place them under that particular mobile - it is time to change to a new one. Move to a new mobile that has the same elements so that it is still developmentally appropriate.
Let the Mobiles Inspire You
Your baby will love seeing an assortment of mobiles. The more variation they see, the better it is for them. Feel free to create your own visual mobiles that are inspired by the traditional mobiles. This doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive and can be a great way to upcycle other materials or items in your home. If your little one has older siblings or cousins you can invite them to make mobiles for the new baby. This is a wonderful way for older children (or even other adults) to connect to the new baby. Rotate the mobiles to expose them to new sights. Take care to only expose your little one to one at a time, and to keep the elements of the mobiles appropriate to that moment in your baby's development. (See the material cards for more information about the sequence of the mobiles).
See it From Their Angle
As you are picking or making mobiles to hang as additional material to support and delight your baby, make sure you are making them interesting to them. Many mobiles that we adults think are wonderful and sweet - are really boring viewed from the infant’s angle. Lay down and look at the mobile from below to see it from their eyes.