Infant & Toddler
updated December 26, 2020

If your children are infant/toddler age, and they are awake, go spend time with them!

If they're sleeping, go take a shower, have a snack, or do something that refreshes and relaxes you.

GET OFF THE COMPUTER. You don't need a curriculum. Be a happy mom. Be a happy dad.


In the Steiner/Waldorf philosophy,

    "preschool children are devoted to their surroundings, living in intense absorption in all that goes on, imitating into their very organs the soul attitudes of the adults who care for them"

    "the ether body [at night] is repeating and developing the previous day's thinking and feelings, which are working into the physical constitution for good or ill"

    (Sleep: An Unobserved Element in Education by Audrey E. McAllen, page 8 and page 11)

In other words, your health affects your child's health. So please take very good care of yourself!!!

Of course, I know some of you are still on the computer, because there are things you have questions about. First, let me say that you should NOT become obsessed with giving your child the perfect start. This is a huge trap that seems to really swallow people up and folks interested in Waldorf are particularly susceptible to it. Just be kind to yourself and do your best.

Having said that, for some tips on childhood development, the home environment, and parenting toddlers, there are some very good books. Here are a few I recommend:

On a budget? I understand completely!

If you're worried about home environment and suitable toys (and how to make them yourself), you want Toymaking with Children.

Toymaking With Children

If your main concern is on establishing rhythms for your day, complete with songs, verses, and stories, get Shea Darian's book and the accompanying CD.

Seven Times the Sun:
Guiding Your Child Through the Rhythms of the Day

In search of finger puppet patterns and playful ideas? You want Around the World with Finger Puppet Animals by Suzanne Down.

If you want to know about child development, parenting, and what-do-I-do-with-my-child and can only afford one book to cover from now until the beginning of school (ages birth to the change of teeth), get Sally Schwizer's book. It's my favorite all-in-one recommendation!

Well, I Wonder:
Childhood in the Modern World: A Handbook for Parents, Carers and Teachers

If you need specific support with breastfeeding I absolutely recommend Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers. My postpartum doula gave me a copy and I would NOT still be breastfeeding at one year without it.

Breastfeeding Made Simple:
Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers

Brooklyn Bamboo Ultra Soft, Hypoallergenic , Organic Nursing Pads Reusable, Washable Multipack, 8 Piece (4 Pair)

If you're looking for a gift for a new mom, a gift for yourself, or a parent book group suggestion that is not about a specific curriculum but about child development and healthy family rhythms, I strongly recommend Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom.

It's written by a pediatric OT. I've used it as a book group book; I know Waldorf schools have as well. It is really wonderful. Inspirational. Not preachy. Full of ideas. And timely. Especially for people to give themselves permission to just let their children go play in their yards!!!!

1001 Ideas for Toddlers and Twos
my fun new project! a list of what we're doing together each day

Other Online Resources - Working with Infants and Toddlers

Waldorf in the Home: Resources for Nourishing Family Life
Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Joyful Toddlers
Faith Collins, Rahima's daughter

Juniper Tree School of Puppetry Arts: Early Childhood Puppetry and Storytelling Training Courses
Suzanne Down
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Simplicity Parenting
Kim John Payne

Love and Logic
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"The Hands That Wait"
a beautiful blog post from Connected Nature

*NEW* 12 Things You Didn't Know Your Toddler Could Do in the Kitchen
blog post from Uno Zwei Tutu

The Original Learning Tower

Favorite Stores for Waldorf Books, Toys & Household Things
blog post

With a new baby again myself, I now have some infant/toddler notes on my blog:

Language Development - Zac

From birth I made up songs to sing to him. The sillier, the better... Just have fun!

My husband and I watched this when our son was five 1/2 months old and we wanted to learn baby sign language:

The only additional signs we learned and have been doing with him are diaper, sister, and dog.

For more, is a really helpful site.

8 months old... he is no longer trying to eat his board books. He is sitting and looking and listening. When we put him down he crawls over and picks one out.

9 months old... Zac is ready and interested in little puppet shows with his animals. So sweet!
Waldorf Finger Puppets / Story Aprons blog post - we are about to dye playsilks for him too.

1001 Ideas for Toddlers and Twos
my fun new project! a list of what we're doing together each day

Toddler Story Time

Some years back I offered a Toddler Story Time at my local library with simple storytelling and a hands-on activity. Here are some notes:

September 18 - The Little Red Hen

October 2 - The Three Bears

    The Three Bears
    by Paul Galdone

    tactile explorations: cotton balls, pompoms, aluminum foil, dissolving packing peanuts in water, pipe cleaners, wooden blocks, floam, tissue paper, toilet paper, sandpaper, etc.

October 23 - First Woman and the Strawberry

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