Week 40: Introducing the Pikler Triangle

I know, I used this for the Week 40 Coffee Digest. Apparently this is the only actual picture I took of Ambrose and Cow Peril. I’ll take an updated picture tomorrow to show the progress.

I’ll keep this short, because it’s almost 9 p.m. and I’m exhausted because someone in this house hasn’t slept well the past two nights. Teething, man. It’s not for the faint of heart.

But! The big thing these days is MOBILITY (set that in blinking marquee lights in your head, please) as Grandpa and Grandma came to discover during their FaceTime session with Ambrose on Sunday. He is a kid who has places to go and won’t let anything or anyone stand in his way. Including me. One of his favorite activities these days, actually, is climbing all over Mt. Mama.

Ambrose hasn’t been the fastest dude mobility-wise, but he seems to be catching up. Within a single weekend he started both pulling up to standing and crawling. The pulling up I attribute to one thing: cow peril.

Yes, cow peril. You see that wooden contraption? That’s a Pikler Triangle. I guess it was developed based off of Dr. Emmi Pikler’s philosophy of infant development based on her observations? As far as I can tell? Dr. Pikler believed that children don’t need help achieving milestones — that they’ll reach them on their own, through their own initiative. The eight principles (linked above) are sort of ridiculously challenging for parents: slow down, don’t multitask around your child, don’t put your child into any position they can’t get into themselves*.

While I believe the principles have a lot of good in them, I’m not a 100% all-out adherent or anything. Ambrose went to physical therapy and learned to sit months ago. He still doesn’t get himself into the sitting position on his own, but at least now he can easily get out of it.

That said, the Pikler Triangle is one thing I’m a fan of. I had Grandpa Shantz build it for Ambrose using this tutorial (although you can buy it on Etsy, etc), and he wasn’t interested in it for the longest time…until I finally used my noggin and put a toy at the top. The idea behind the triangle is that babies can climb before they can walk. And indeed! It was incredible to watch Ambrose finally, finally shuffle up to the triangle, grab onto the bottom rung, and start walking himself up with his hands.

Now, a week later, he’ll climb up even without a toy motivating him — though he still does love retrieving things from the top rungs. It’s slightly annoying to have to get him down when he’s supposed to be napping (see: floor bed) but all in all I’m very glad he’s finally somewhat interested in standing. He’s even sort of kind of started trying to push his foot up on the bottom rung to climb. Yikes!

And what do I do when Ambrose can’t get back down? Because that is a very real thing. Amy over at Midwest Montessori has a great approach I’ve tried to adopt: I make sure I’m close by and watch his frustration while reassuring him that he can get down on his own. Yes, I’ve had to help him down, but recently he’s been figuring out how to drop to his knees on his own.

I’m looking forward to seeing Ambrose explore the Pikler Triangle even more as he becomes more and more mobile. It’s such a fun, open-ended structure that the possibilities for it are endless.

*I don’t know if this is proper grammar but WordPress wants me to write it that way so, I guess I will.


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