Author Topic: How long should I let him play by himself?  (Read 1166 times)

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Offline MamaGleixner

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How long should I let him play by himself?
« on: March 16, 2007, 18:48:23 pm »
I was wondering in the 1.5 hours of activity time, how much should be on his own and how much should I be playing with him?  I know he has to learn to play by himself, but I always feel a little guilty when I put him under his gym and leave him to play.  He seems fine with it though...

Right now I 'play' with him for about an hour (this includes diaper change etc) and let him be on his own for  about 30 min (changing him from one thing if he's getting bored) is 30 min too long?  He's 3.5 mos old. 

Also, I was wondering if while he is under his gym that I could have his baby Einstein Mozart CD going at the same time or is that too much going on at once? 

I keep it pretty quiet in the house so I think he should start getting used to background noise?
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Offline *Mona*

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Re: How long should I let him play by himself?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2007, 19:28:12 pm »
hi

I'd say if he's fine playing on his own, definitely let him be. it's wonderful he's capable of playing by himself for 30 minutes at 3,5 mos old!
and background noise is a very good idea too- he needs to get used to everyday house noises etc. IMO.

you're doing great :)
Monika
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Offline peeta

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Re: How long should I let him play by himself?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2007, 19:03:49 pm »
30 minutes is fine IMO...my DD did that a lot. I used to let her play check on her and play with her a bit-then go back...back and forth etc...I would also unload the dishwasher, do laundry etc... that helps with the background noise.  GL sounds like you're doing great!

Offline NikkiSurrey

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Re: How long should I let him play by himself?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 15:22:36 pm »
Hi there

May I chime in here please?  I was about to post the exact same question.  My LO is 4 months this coming weekend.  He is also great at playing on his own.

A lot of the time I do have to be careful about how long he has toys dangling in his face, as he can get overstimulated which makes it a lot harder for him to go off for a nap.  He is very lively and squeals/chats/gurgles to himself at all volumes (which is very amusing to watch!).

He is also a short napper and the more hyped he is before a nap, the more 'strongly' he wakes up and more upset he'll be (have been posting on the short naps support thread).

Fact is, I often leave him to play on his own for over an hour, partly because I can and partly because often I am so exhausted that I have nothing more to give him during A time since the tears (his) from the short naps are so wearing to deal with.  Also, sometimes the best way to get him off to sleep for a nap is to let him finish activity time in his cot (he has plenty to amuse him in there) - if I can time it right and don't start that too late - as he is pretty good at winding down himself.  I gradually remove the toys as I notice that he's starting to slow down, so he doesn't continue to get too distracted by them (though again sometimes it helps him to have something with a teether on the end that he can chew on in a distracted way).  This wind down in the cot can take up to 1/2 hour and I've found it's better if I don't go in too often during that, as it 'stirs him up' again.

Throughout the A period I check on him frequently but ultimately I do feel guilty that I'm not spending more time with him.

He is a very happy boy, laughs spontaneously and is quite sociable.  I feel incredibly grateful that he is so independent; it balances out the stress from the short naps.

I guess my variation on the question is, how frequently should I move him to different places (eg play mat to bouncy chair to cot) to find a balance between boredom and overstimulation, as he rarely lets me know himself.  Also, how much time should I be spending with him to be fair to him and ensure that he retains a sociable side to his personality?

Guess I should also mention that we always have cuddles and little games on my lap just after feeding (I am mix feeding) - maybe about 5 mins.

Would appreciate any advice and hope you don't mind me gatecrashing this one.

Thanks
Nikki
x
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Offline MamaGleixner

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Re: How long should I let him play by himself?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 18:17:45 pm »
no gatecrashing here!  The wonderful thing about this site is that everyone is welcome, and most of us have the same questions!!

There are some mornings when I say to Nicolas "Mama is too tired to play with you a lot today, I just don't have it in me" - just to somehow give him a heads up  :)   I agree that sitting by the crib is exhausting, but I try and remind myself that in itself is time with him.  They feel our love and our energy by us being with them.

I'm not sure how often you should move him - I had the same question myself, but decided to go with my gut and watch to see if he gives me cues as to when he's bored.  So far I haven't really figured it out...  sorry, I'm not much help to you there.

Do you ever wonder if they get sick of being on their back?!  My LO will fuss when he's in his bouncy seat, but if I put him on his back on his mat he's fine.  Then of course he's on his back sleeping.  I guess that should be my answer (that he seems fine)  but I feel like he's on his back too much.  I do tummy time with him, but he's not at the stage where he will stay there very long.

Wouldn't it be nice if all the voices/questions would stop rambling around in our heads and just be carefree about everything?!


 :D :D
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frustratedmommy

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Re: How long should I let him play by himself?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 18:45:06 pm »
I think you gals are doing a great job teaching your babes independent play...As long as you are providing cuddles and mommy time (which you've said you are!) They are great....

Some babies will cry and/or become listless when they feel abandoned...but from the sounds of it your babes are playing, cooing and being responded to when they are asking! Good job Mommy's! :-*

Offline NikkiSurrey

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Re: How long should I let him play by himself?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2007, 14:28:17 pm »
Hi there

Thanks very much for the reassurance, and the quick reply (and apologies for the delay in my acknowledgement).

MamaGleixner,
Do you ever wonder if they get sick of being on their back?!  My LO will fuss when he's in his bouncy seat, but if I put him on his back on his mat he's fine.  Then of course he's on his back sleeping.  I guess that should be my answer (that he seems fine)  but I feel like he's on his back too much.  I do tummy time with him, but he's not at the stage where he will stay there very long.
 :D :D
...exactly the same for me, although all of a sudden Luka can stand it on his tummy for a little longer - hopefully soon he'll be happy enough to play on his tummy as well.  I guess sometimes I have to let things happen...I am a bit of a control freak!

Cheers
Nikki
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Offline MamaGleixner

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Re: How long should I let him play by himself?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2007, 14:53:39 pm »
I think all BW mommies are a bit of a control freaks, but I can only speak for myself!
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