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babies

Resolutions

Whew... My head has been spinning since November, and I'm not really sure where to begin.

Out of the blue, I was offered the amazing opportunity to head up the creation of the Elementary program at the Montessori Institute Of San Diego's model school.  A dream come true, for sure, but one that has required me to spin a few more plates than the ones I already had going.  I'm working part-time right now, mostly from home while Zach naps, but I start work full-time in September as the head guide in …

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Learning

So often we focus our parenting energies on "teaching moments": spouting nouns ad nauseum, choosing the perfect picture book, or refereeing toddler interactions on the playground. We fail to notice, however, that babies and toddlers really learn the most when they are given the time, space, and framework to explore, experiment, and reach their own conclusions.

Zach is transitioning from babyhood to toddlerhood, a process that's as enthralling as it is exhausting. Meals are messy food-flinging f…

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MontessoRIE

I absolutely love RIE, an approach to infant care developed by Magda Gerber based on the work of Emmi Pickler.  I found in RIE a simple, practical, and effective path for helping my baby navigate the rough waters of his first years of life.  One of my favorite aspects of RIE is the belief that a child deserves to be treated with the utmost respect and his feelings need to be acknowledged.  Here's a great article that goes into more detail, courtesy of one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Janet …

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What's the Rush? (a rant of sorts...)

Our daily rhythm involves spending an hour at the park between morning and noon naps.  Before Zach was mobile, I would lay out a blanket on the grass and he would be content rolling, playing with toys, and watching the other children.  I would push him on the swing for a few minutes, which he loves, but for the most part we would just hang out on the grass and Zach would do his thing happily while I chatted with other care givers (i.e. nannies and grandparents).

Zach has recently started wanting …

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Mucho Happy Halloween!

While I dig myself out from under a mountain of post-trip laundry and try to get used to 5:00am wake-up calls (darn the time zone change, messed up Zach's sleep rhythm), here's a picture of my little man celebrating his first Halloween... Mucho Happy Halloween from "El Zachary"!

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Potty Post

It's been two weeks since we introduced Zach to the potty.  I only have one word to describe our experience:

Wow.

Our brief journey has been hassle-free and has become a daily reminder of the respect we should have towards the youngest members of our species.  I keep asking myself why I waited so long to introduce this process, even though we're starting a lot earlier than most families.  He seems so content every time he relieves himself on the potty, and his discomfort when his cloth diaper is w…

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The Power of Simplicity and Trust

The fundamental concept for the educator [and the parent] is not to become an obstacle in the development of the child.

-Maria Montessori, The Child In the Family

One reason I love to blog is because it gives me the opportunity to connect with many amazing parents.  After I wrote the post about Zach's experiences with the Jaramillo soup, I began an e-mail correspondence with a reader (let's call her Adriana) who felt the soup was right for her three-month old son (let's call him Charlie).  We e…

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Using a Fork (with video)

During the past few months, I've given Zach many opportunities to explore eating with his fingers.  On several occasions I've offered him small pieces of fruit or steamed vegetables that he can grab with his hands and bring to his mouth.  I thought he would find this enjoyable, since he loves to eat, but it's actually been super-frustrating for him!

Because he's only 8 months old and hasn't developed fine motor control yet, he can't grasp the pieces with a coordinated pincer grip.  He manages to …

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The Basket of Known Objects

The Basket of Known Objects is one of the most simple and effective Montessori activities for babies.  It promotes exploration, language, sensory development and movement... Best of all, it's 100% FREE!!

As its name implies, this activity requires placing 4-6 safe objects that you find around the house into a child-sized basket.  It can be introduced around the age of three months, or when you see that your child is beginning to grasp objects.  If your baby can sit up against pillows, you can int…

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Give Me a Pee!!!

I'm currently reading Diaper Free Before Three, a fabulous book about early toilet training that supports several tenets of the Montessori philosophy (and even quotes Dr. Montessori). It reviews the history of American toilet training from the 1800's to the present and gives logical, scientific, and thoroughly convincing arguments for helping young children achieve toileting independence at a young age (note: it's not a guide for practicing elimination communication).

I considered doing eliminati…

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