7 - 8 Months

Encouraging Montessori independence in babies

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The Montessori method is rooted in the idea that babies and young children can—and should—be empowered to do things on their own. With modeling and support, your baby can start practicing independence earlier than you may think ❤️

3 ways to promote early independence

1. Provide choices

At this young age, independence is usually about presenting your baby with simple choices. Try showing them a book and a ball; though they don’t yet have the language to tell you which one they want, they have other ways of showing you. They may grab the book or look at the ball a little longer. When you perceive a preference, you can say, ‘You chose the book! Let’s read it together.’

2. Share difficult tasks

Your baby will likely need help when they try to complete a tricky task on their own. You can ‘scaffold’ the task by doing a part of it for them, then encouraging them to do the rest.

For example, if a wooden ball rolls out of your baby’s reach, and your baby wants it back but can’t get to it, you can scaffold by inching the ball just a tiny bit closer without actually handing it to them. 

3. Model and narrate

Even when you do an entire task yourself, your baby learns from watching you and imitating what you do and say. Consider picking up playthings or doing other household tasks as your baby watches you instead of waiting until they nap. When you notice your baby paying attention, describe what you’re doing: ‘I’m putting the balls back in the basket. Now, I’m putting the basket back on the shelf.’

Doing this routinely helps build your baby’s sense of order. When they eventually develop the motor skills to put a basket away, you’ll already have built the expectation—and modeled how to do it.

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Posted in: 7 - 8 Months, Communication, Montessori, Independence, Lovevery App, Child Development

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