My husband and I have been so blessed …. two new grandbabies in 3 months!!! Our now-3-month-old granddaughter (and Zoey’s sister), Sophia, was born in early December. Now my daughter, Christina, and her husband, Tom, are proud parents of their beautiful son, Caleb, born March 1!!!
Here are some ways we’ve welcomed Caleb into our family.
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A Montessori Baby Welcome to the World
Before Caleb was born, Christina and Tom both spoke to him a lot, read books to him, and played some of our favorite baby music for him (A Child’s Gift of Lullabies, The Happy Baby Song, Music by Miss Nancy, and Baby Beluga by Raffi), which he heard both at home and at Grandma’s house.
Christina researched and found the most natural baby products for Caleb. Christina and Tom also prepared a lovely Montessori environment for him at home (and I have a Montessori baby environment at my home two houses away). I’ll let Christina tell more about their environment at home on her own blog, ChristinaChitwood.com as soon as she has the chance.
Some Montessori families have home births, but my family likes to have babies at a hospital. Caleb had a natural delivery and was able to stay in the room with his parents, which is our favorite type of delivery when it’s possible. But don’t worry if you don’t get to have your perfect delivery as a Montessori mom. By necessity, I’ve had both types of deliveries. Each was joyful because each resulted in a healthy baby.
What a joy to meet Caleb! Caleb was (and still is) as peaceful as his birth was.
We use a topponcino for Caleb, like we did with Sophia. The adults who hold Caleb most often, such as Christina, Tom, and I don’t use it, but it’s wonderful for adults and, especially, children. Only siblings are allowed to visit the hospital where Caleb was born, but the topponcino will be the way Zoey always holds Caleb in his first few months. And we have a topponcino on our floor bed for Caleb to feel secure as a newborn. You can read more about the topponcino in my post about welcoming Sophia into our Montessori family.
Will (my son), Chea (my daughter-in-law), my husband, and I had all seen Caleb at the hospital. Will was at work, but Zoey and Sophia were there with their mom, Chea, to help greet Caleb when he arrived home at two days old! (Chea took the photo.)
I loved that Zoey used her work with Montessori social graces to introduce Tilly the cat to Caleb. After saying, “Caleb … Tilly,” she said, “Tilly … Caleb.” Then she introduced them a few more times, trying to get Tilly to pay attention!
Here are the proud parents at home with Caleb!
Visiting Grandma and Grandpa’s House
Since we only live two houses away, Caleb will get to visit Grandma and Grandpa’s house a lot! I was so happy that our home was already Montessori friendly and ready for a baby. From birth to 3 weeks, I like to have black and white images on the horizontal mirror by the floor mat. (At home, you could have them by the changing table or area.) I’ll change the image every few days. Then, when Caleb is about 3 weeks old, I plan to put up the Montessori munari mobile.
Caleb is already in love with his mirror (both at home and at my house). Yesterday, he spent about 20 minutes concentrating on the black-and-white panda image and his own image in the mirror.
To follow Montessori principles, the most important thing, though, is to observe and follow the child. Even though babies can’t see well and do best with black and white images, later I observed Caleb looking with interest at the dancer mobile I had up for Sophia.
So I had Christina hold Caleb close to the dancer mobile so that he could see it well. Caleb was fascinated by it!
It will be so much fun to watch Sophia and Caleb growing up and experiencing Montessori activities together! And Zoey will be there to teach both of them as well!
Grandma’s Montessori Baby Environment
I have a post that tells more about the newborn baby space in my house. I’ll adapt it according to Sophia’s and Caleb’s needs and interests.
If you’d like to know more about the fabulous Montessori mobiles for the first few months, check out my post on Montessori mobiles.
I have a sweet video and lots of resources for preparing a baby doll washing and baby care activity. These sorts of activities are very helpful for bringing out the nurturing side of a new sibling (or cousin). About a month before Caleb was born, I added an anatomically-correct boy doll to the doll washing and baby care area. Zoey loves having the two dolls to take care of.
Some of Our Favorite Books about Welcoming a New Baby
These are some Montessori-friendly books that can help prepare a child for a new sibling or cousin.
Family Members You’ll See on Living Montessori Now
The blog posts are all written by me, Deb Chitwood. I have blog posts for all ages, even a category of posts for babies. That category will be growing larger! And I’ll continue to add activities for older kids, too!
You’ll see Zoey (4 years old), baby Sophia, Christina (my daughter, Caleb’s mom, and Zoey and Sophia’s aunt), and Christina’s baby, Caleb, on our Living Montessori Now YouTube channel. Christina’s husband, Tom, composes the music for our videos through his site at MusicCatRF.com. (Note: Tom has lots of Creative Commons music that’s free for bloggers – or anyone – even for commercial use with attribution.) You’ll also see new photos of Zoey, Sophia, and Caleb on Instagram! Christina will soon have lots of photos of Caleb on Instagram, too!
We hope you’ll join us as we continue having fun living Montessori now!
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy! I’m also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!
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