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What do you DO with your babe?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My 11 month old is no longer content to hang out in her high chair or PnP while I wash dishes or do laundry. I'm not comfortable letting her wander through the house like she wants - and if I put the gate up, "trapping" her in a safe zone, she just stands at the gate and screams.

She's fine "loose" while I'm there to supervise but as much as I want to, I can't play all day... she sleeps in our bed so nap times are either on my chest or if she's in bed, then I sit next to her (I can fold clothes and stuff then, it's not too bad) but I can't do laundry, etc.

She won't go in a sling or carrier, HATES it. She wants to be FREEEEEEEEE.

(half vent/half begging for help - haven't washed dishes in 3 days, and I'm early preggo and the smell is making me crazy)
post #2 of 13
When I am in the kitchen, I take out some tupperware and wooden spoons and let DS play. You could put up the gate so it locks both of you in so she can't escape.

Laundry, I set him near a pile of clean clothes or an empty laundry basket, he like to play with them.

both ways he is still *with* me but I can get what I need to done.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by akind1 View Post
When I am in the kitchen, I take out some tupperware and wooden spoons and let DS play. You could put up the gate so it locks both of you in so she can't escape.

Laundry, I set him near a pile of clean clothes or an empty laundry basket, he like to play with them.

both ways he is still *with* me but I can get what I need to done.
This is exactly to the letter what I was going to suggest. I would let her copy you - give something relevant to what your'e doing and let her do it on the floor near you.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'll try that! I should sweep first - DS (5) fixed himself cheerios for breakfast - you can imagine what my floor looks like!

Thanks!
post #5 of 13
I second the "copying". DD was helping me load and unload the utensil bin from the dishwasher at that age - no knives of course! She'd help fold the laundry - which consisted of her throwing clothes around She would wash plastic dishes at the sink while I washed dishes, stirred water and flour and food coloring while DH cooked, and would "sweep" the floor while I vacuumed and swept. I also gave her a rag for her to mop the floor with - she actually liked to clean the cupboard doors more than mop

Let her mimic you as much as possible. Even stacking wood by the driveway - she'd load up her sled (yes, this was in the summer!) and laugh hysterically while DH strained to pull it from the pile over to the stacks, then had fun un loading it by throwing the pieces into a pile by the stacks. I wish she had been as helpful with the gardening as she trampled a lot of our transplanted seedlings, but now that she's older - 22 months - she's better about not stepping on the plants and helping DH pull weeds.

Even though I did all this stuff, I still felt at the time, and still do, that I don't get anything done during the day. I count myself lucky if I get one thing done a day. I've always told DH that if the house doesn't look any worse when he gets home, that means that I've been picking up messes all day. Hugs, mama, and remember, if she mimics you, that means when she's older, she can't say "I don't know how" when you ask her to do the laundry or wash the dishes!
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by triana1326 View Post
..if the house doesn't look any worse when he gets home, that means that I've been picking up messes all day.
So true!

I also remember from DS's infancy that making the most minimum of a "schedule" for myself helped give the days some kind of order. Working through a day with intention seems to lesson the focus on the fussiness. I think it's exhausting to have the day revolve around a crying kid. Although that's the reality, it's nice to trick myself into thinking I'm the one creating the momentum for the day. KWIM?
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I tried it - trapped us in the kitchen together and just let her roam. She found my tupperware cabinet and rearranged it for me. Then she started a game where she'd run to the gate, watch her brother playing in the living room and scream his name till he looked up, then RUN over to me and try to pull my pants down. I have no idea why but it cracked us all up. I got all the dishes done!!!!!! 3 days worth! (no dishwasher!)

Laundry room is outside so still no luck there but she can chill in the PnP for 3 minutes with big brudder entertaining her while I move clothes.
post #8 of 13
Good suggestions from the PP's. However, for me and my "I NEED TO BE FREEEE" toddler, I had to babyproof the entire house (at least the living room and kitchen) or else I couldn't get anything done. He NEVER tolerated a PnP or any other contraption.. wanted to explore EVERYTHING.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Our house is pretty toddler friendly - livingroom and ktichen, then a long hallway with the bathroom and 2 bedrooms off that. I put the gate between the ktichen and the living room and close all the doors down the hallway, and she's got the whole kitchen and hallway to wander. There are no outlets in the hallway and all the ones in the kitchen are at counter level, so it's pretty safe. I just have sweep up legos, crayons, cheerios and other boy-detritus hourly and we're good!

I was trapping her in the hall ( we called it the dog run LOL) but she got bored with that pretty quick.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by triana1326 View Post
I've always told DH that if the house doesn't look any worse when he gets home, that means that I've been picking up messes all day.
What a great way to look at housework! Sometimes I feel like I got nothing accomplished but I actually did a lot if you look at it that way!
post #11 of 13
DS (10mo) will play on his own for a good hour, going between the living room and his room, finding things to get in to along the way. Our house is pretty big but all one level, so I can fold a few pieces of clothing, stick my head out of the laundry room and see him working on a toy. And then run by him with a stack of clothes (he finds me running absolutely hysterical) to put away. I can only do dishes in the first hour that he's awake in the morning, when he's truly independent and doesn't realize I'm not there. Once the morning nap comes and goes, he "needs" me for the rest of the day.

And truth be told, most of the time if he's awake, we're together. And then I'm mad crazy lady when he's napping.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TnMsMama View Post
she sleeps in our bed so nap times are either on my chest or if she's in bed, then I sit next to her (I can fold clothes and stuff then, it's not too bad) but I can't do laundry, etc.
I was wondering if there's any way you could find a safe place for her to nap where you could leave her and have some free time for yourself. Our DS, who's much younger, only 2.5 mo, also sleeps in our bed. But he's not mobile enough yet for it to be an issue during naps, I just use these baby bumper thingys to keep him in one place while he naps and I can leave him there. But once he outgrows them and gets more mobile we'll definitely have to find another naptime place, maybe a crib or little mattress on the floor....even though he'll still be sleeping in our bed at night.
post #13 of 13
I have a very small house, so I just baby proofed it and put a gate in the kitchen. I still keep an eye on her, because she gets into stuff sometimes. I have most of her toys in a basket, she enjoys taking them out and then trying to sit in the basket. That keeps her occupied for awhile. She also has books on her own shelf. She enjoys taking the cds out of the rack as well, which drives DH crazy, but is one of her fave occupations. I put her on the bed for naps, and then check on her often. She always lets out a cry or makes a noise when she wakes up, and she doesn't fall off, she has learned to stay away from the edges. But I still put pillows around her when she is sleeping in case she rolls over. I used to put her on the floor, but she didn't like it and always woke up sooner. I am currently teaching her how to get out of the bed by herself, which could be a good or bad thing!!
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