Montessori Infant: Eight Months

Eight MonthsThis month saw a continuation of Malin’s development. Her crawling improved, she began pulling to standing and now she cruises along the furniture.She babbles constantly. She started to become much more adept at feeding herself so we’ve been putting out more finger foods. 

I did want to talk a little bit about feeding babies. There are a lot of methods out there and Montessori stresses giving the infant real flatware, cups, and plates or bowls. The methodology also stresses allowing the baby to feed themselves. If you follow exactly there should be a small table and chair for the infant to sit and eat at. This is, however, not the most practical solution for all families. If you have enough space in your home, a weaning table (as they are called) might be a good choice. It also presumes you are starting feeding solids once your baby can sit up unassisted well enough to sit in a chair, at a table. All great things if this works for you, but don’t feel you have to be so dogmatic in following any parenting method. 

Here’s why a weaning table doesn’t work for our family. Our house does not have a good spot for one. We’re not super heavy on furniture in our house, but we still don’t have space to squeeze one in. Our dining room is attached to the kitchen and is small, plus it already has a dinning table and chairs in it. Our kitchen is long and narrow and does not have extra space. It’s been a challenge having a step stool large enough for our kids let alone an extra table and chair. Another reason we haven’t gone for the weaning table is that I have really struggled with nursing- repeatedly blocked ducts, repeat cases of mastitis, poor latch despite so much effort to correct this. I am happy to breastfeed, but we need to be supplementing with solids sooner rather than later and for my own health we need to wean around a year. Finally, I feel very strongly that we don’t eat alone at a table off in the corner. If we are home we almost always sit at our dining room table and eat our meals. When we’re not home we’re sitting at restaurant table together talking (no screens at the table in our family). We eat nearly every dinner together at the table and since I’m home with the girls during the day, we sit to eat lunch together too (and often breakfast, but that one we’re more loosey-goosey about). I don’t want to relegate the baby to a different meal time or space to eat while the rest of us sit at the table together. And because of space constraints I’m not going to have a special table for her snacks. 

In other news the past month, my husband and dad have been building the baby a Pikler triangle. This baby is so physical. She lifted herself up early, she rolled over early, she crawled early and I suspect she will walk (the run!) early too. She wants to move much more than her sister did. A Pikler triangle should give her something to climb on and interact with in the house this winter (although we live in a mild winter climate and do get out) and will hopefully satisfy her need to move. 

I’ve also rotated out some of her treasure baskets. This is one of the most fun parts of baby toys. You don’t have to have fancy toys or even things that are designated as toys at this age. I grab things out of my kitchen cabinets and toss three or four in a basket and set it out on the floor. Obviously they should be safe things for babies, no chokable parts that might come off, safe to be chewed or sucked on. I’ve grabbed out a handful of lids from various jars and containers. I made another that had a spoon, a spatula, and an egg timer. For more ideas see my Instagram feed to the right- click over to my account so you can flip through them. 

We did get out the puzzle balls I made her and I’ve set out the stacking rings in her room. She’s not quite ready to actually put them on the post, but she can pull them off and hold them. We talk about colors and sizes while she does that. I have also set out some books for her in her room and she likes to pull them off the rack and chew on them and flip through them. 

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