The growth began to feel even more rapid and exciting from eight to nine months old. During this month, our twins began consistently crawling, pulling up on things, exploring, and engaging with their Montessori environment in new ways. Let me share with you how our Montessori home looked at with 8-month-old twins!
Materials in Our Home
These are some of the things that were either starting to be introduced or continued to be very engaging during this month. If you are looking for some great Montessori toys for your baby or toddler, check out My MonteHome for high-quality and affordable Montessori Toys, use the coupon code TWINS at checkout for 10% off of your order.
We set up a Montessori pull-up bar with a mirror. This has been a great area for our boys to practice the skill of pulling to standing from sitting. A Montessori pull-up bar allows the opportunity to work on this skill in isolation and is a simple way to support the developmental needs of your baby.
Books have been a huge fascination this month! We have a bookshelf with many books on the bottom, they love pulling all of the books off of the shelf. We also have a low bookshelf (pictured below) in their bedroom with books which they will both pull up on and take the books off of the shelf to explore.
I was surprised how quickly they took to climbing the stairs! We have baby gates at both the top and bottom of the stairs just as additional safety precautions. With two babies crawling around I find it necessary to make sure things are extra safe because one may move away to another area in the home while I’m tending to the needs of their brother. Having the baby-gates at the stairs gives me that peace of mind knowing they are totally free to explore.
I will have them climb the stairs when it is time to go up for a nap, or just for fun throughout the day when I can slowly walk behind them.
Object Permanence Box
The object permanence box is explored often! They are captivated when I show them how the ball drops through the hole in the top and comes out the door on the bottom. They are not independently putting the ball through the hole, but I will rotate it back into their shelf work soon and see if they are more interested in exploring it in that way.
We have taken out the pickler triangle, which is a fabulous material for a baby to pull up on. They enjoy pulling up on the rungs, but haven’t done much more than that, which is just fine! They will progress at their own pace and in their own way. You can get beautiful pickler triangles from AlignedPlay. Use the coupon code TWIN5 for 5% off your order!
We have had some beautiful summer days and the boys love going on walks to the park. There are so many sights and sounds to take in when we are out on a walk. Taking time to get outside is a priority every day!
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General Routine of the Day at 8-Months
Wake up typically between 5:30 and 6:30. Hoping that this naturally gets later.
Nurse in the chair in their room.
Play upstairs while I make my bed and get dressed for the day. Usually, they just tag along!
Diaper change and then eat breakfast
Play and get dressed.
Morning nap around 8:30 or 9. For usually about 1.5 hours.
Nurse when they wake up from nap.
Play more. Maybe go on a walk.
Afternoon nap around 2pm.
Nurse, play, snack.
Dinner as a family.
Play with Daddy.
We typically start the bedtime routine between 6:30 and 7:15. The boys have been sleeping around 10 to 11 hours straight through the night, which has been wonderful! I’m hopeful that it continues!
Key Montessori Moments
I have started to recognize a few moments throughout our day in which the boys are becoming more and more involved. It has been so fun to see them begin to be more active participants in their self-care needs such as diaper changes and being cleaned up from a meal.
Participating in the washing up after meals
Let’s face it, any parent who does baby-led weaning has a messy child to clean up. I have loved baby-led weaning because it builds that autonomy and relationship with food, but it is quite the job to clean up twins from a breakfast of yogurt!
It is important to try to be consistent in the steps to clean them up from their meal and do things in a similar order each time. A baby’s sense of order is so strong and important. I use a wet cloth to wash their hands and face. As well as wipe down their high chair and the table.
I start with wiping their hands. Then, I will gently tap the top of their hands and hold the washcloth out in front of them, they will place their hand on the towel to be wiped. After, we move to the next hand. Lastly, I will wipe down their face and let them know I am doing that before I start. They don’t particularly like this part of the process but do know to expect it.
If they are still content being in their high chair I have them observe while I clear the dishes, wipe down the table, and clean the floor.
Diaper changes – pulling wipes, holding diaper, standing diaper changes.
Diaper changes have become more challenging in the sense that the twins are rolling, twisting, and just generally don’t want to lay on their backs. Now that they have mastered the pulling-to-stand movement, we have started implementing portions of a standing diaper change. This seems to make the process much more successful.
They are also able to participate in other ways like pulling wipes out and holding their diaper or their clothes. I find these small actions really help them to stay more engaged in the process, it gives them a purpose. Truthfully, they just want to explore anything and everything. So I like to offer them things to hold and explore while they are getting their diaper changed.
“Presentation” with Toys
Some Montessori toys have very clear purposes, like the object permanence box. With this box, you drop the ball through the hole in the top and it comes out the little door. Another one is the egg in cup. You can take the egg out of the cup or you can place the egg in the cup. By no means have the boys refined these skills to actually do those things. They mostly explore with each object itself. However, I can give them a 5-second presentation about how the toy works. I simply say, “Watch” and then I dramatically hold the ball over the hole of the object permanence box and drop it into the hole. The sound it makes instantly attracts them to want to grab the ball and try it on their own.
I will also use a similar process when pouring them a glass of water during a meal time. I have a small pitcher, and clear glass cups so that the boys can see what is being poured into their cups. We use sign language to sign for water, then I will pour the water from the pitcher into their cup, they always watch this happen. I’m aware to move very slowly and not speak while I am doing the thing, but just before or after. If I am speaking while pouring the water they may be more drawn to me and my voice than the thing I want to show them.
All of these mini-presentations are being absorbed by their incredible little brains!
Moving at Their Pace
I think one thing that can be overlooked but is such a powerful way to implement Montessori in our homes is by moving slowly. I know this can be hard, and I am guilty of moving too quickly. But finding a few moments of the day where we take things at the pace of our child.
I like to do this when it is time for naps, allowing them to climb the stairs at whatever pace they want. Allowing them to take the moment to notice the rungs of the railing, the dent in the wall, or whatever it is they find interesting. They notice these small details and find them interesting to explore. We can allow them that time and space to take in all of the aspects of their environment.