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I am at the end of my rope with babywearing, gentle discipline

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Dd keeps changing and growing and I can't keep up. I'm fine with spending time playing with her, I don't need to get my apartment spotless, but I do need to have clean dishes and be showered for work, etc., so sometimes she needs to be on my back or off me altogether. But now that she crawls, she gets into everything. I can't turn my back to wash dishes because she'll get into the garbage or find some paper to eat, etc. if she isn't too fussy to play by herself. If I put her on my back, she pulls my hair incessantly. My hair is too short to put in a ponytail or braid, and I could give her a toy, but best case scenario she'll drop it every few minutes. The other day I got so frustrated that I was a little forceful when I grabbed her hands to make her stop pulling, and I finally grabbed a spray bottle of water to use for "discipline." It worked, for the most part, but she's not a dog and doesn't deserve such disrespect.


I would baby proof, but then we're right back where we started--what do I do with dd while I baby proof? Where do I get the funds to buy better storage equipment?


If anyone has any ideas for me or techniques that have worked for others, please share. I want to wear my baby. I want to balance my life better.

post #2 of 10

I'm kind of dealing with similar stuff only mine's walking/running.  I know a lot of folks use baby gates (they also have a freestanding gate thing that you can set up - my parents had that for me & my bro) to cordon off a safe space - I just close doors. But I also have a sacrificial drawer of harmless utensils (spatulas and wooden spoons, etc.) that I un-baby-proof when I need to do dishes.  That way she can get up to no good while I get the dishes done.  A full hamper of dirty clothes works too.  Good distraction and easy enough to clean up later.  I also tie a toy onto a loop on my carrier for her to play with instead of my hair.

And just fyi, we're not super baby-proofed...Really just some sticky latches on the drawers and cabinets with knives and saran wrap (that dd used to open and pull out the whole roll - ach!)

All of these things work maybe 70% of the time, but I have long given up the idea that I will ever get any chores done with proper efficiency.

Good luck!

post #3 of 10
You need a break- and a pack n play!

It sounds like it could be really helpful to ask a friend or a family member to watch her for half a day while you got some personal time (and maybe even baby-proofed a bit). I would run to a consigment store and buy a pack n play asap. If you are frustrated enough to be rougher than you want to be, and use a spray bottle (which, IMO was really more to get her attention, right? You cant really discipline a baby that young, they forget.) then it sounds like you could use a safe place to put her down- at least for the mean time.

What about a Johnny Jump Up or an exersaucer? Sometimes those can be really helpful for a mobile baby to be entertained for a little bit. Bandana or a hat for your hair?
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Dd hates Johnny jump up. I don't have an exersaucer because they are expensive and no one's bought me one. I never thought it was necessary because I was really looking forward to wearing this baby. It makes me so angry that she pulls my hair! I have been able to wrap her arms tightly, but that's not very comfy for me (and possibly not her), plus it's hot, and when I pull my short hair up and put a bandana around my head, it works ok, but I am not willing to leave home looking like that.


I had a playpen, and I gave it to dd's gma to use as a crib while she was babysitting. I always thought they were pointless otherwise, because before a baby is mobile there isn't much of a use and after, they won't like being in a cage. But now that I am having a hard time I asked for it back.


I don't expect to be able to do chores all day long. But some chores need to be done, no way around it, like washing dishes and laundry. I can't do those things without wearing her on my back, especially laundry. And I just feel extremely frustrated that we are not able to enjoy babywearing any longer and get the bonding and cuddling that comes from it.

post #5 of 10

ok, So your DD is about 8 months, right? Are you doing any solids? I know that I got a HUGE amount done by not feeding my DD baby food and doing baby led weaning (BLW) instead. I just popped her in the highchair with several awesome yummy solids and could get some stuff done (in pretty short spurts, but at least it was something, right?). I totally feel you on the excersaucers. They are crazy expensive- new. At our consignment shop, I can usually find one for $10-15.  


Also, I feel bad that you say this:

And I just feel extremely frustrated that we are not able to enjoy babywearing any longer and get the bonding and cuddling that comes from it.


Remember, that like you said in the first post, your DD is changing constantly. It wont be long before you hit a different spell entirely (most babies have momma separation anxiety around 9 months) and you may find that your babe loves being in the sling and being next to you. My 2 year old still loves to be worn and cuddled when she is sleepy. So, don't rule out babywearing too early :)

post #6 of 10

You might do some reading on the RIE approach. I'm not sure I agree w/everything they say, but I like a lot of it. A big part is allowing your baby the time and space to explore in a safe space w/o interruption and that even if they're slightly frustrated w/something it doesn't mean we need to come to their rescue immediately-they like the satisfaction of getting unstuck or figuring something out or grasping for something that is just beyond their reach, just like we don't necessarily want someone to rescue us from something we know we can figure out, ya know? And it helps them build up the time they can stay focused on one task, and feel successful and capable, which is so helpful as they grow up. It also allows you time to get some stuff done. Then you can babywear when you're out and about and when she's fussy or just needing more closeness.

There's a YouTube Channel w/lots of videos plus an awesome blog.





This is a great RIE overview


post #7 of 10

Hi.  Sorry to hear you're having a tough time.  I have two little ones that are everywhere now.


I agree, I'm not a huge fan of the "cage", play pen ... however, I broke down and ended up having one.  I really don't abuse it though.  The kids are placed in there for their safety like for those moments I must turn my back.


I also agree with another poster ... don't give up on baby wearing too soon.  Mine are getting close to that two year mark and I still love wearing them.  I can still wear them front or back in our Action Baby Carrier.  I hope your little one will quit pulling your hair!


Best wishes!!!

post #8 of 10

I have a 9 month old and I've found that a balance between letting her explore the world in her own way and wearing her is the only way I get stuff done. We have most of the kitchen cupboards babyproofed, except a couple I let her get into like tupperware. She spends a lot of time taking stuff out and looking at it. I know it seems like you don't even have time to babyproof, but I had to just buckle down and do it on and off during her naps. She will also sit in her high chair with bits of food right in the kitchen door way where she can see me and eat and play with a sippy of water. For some reason she ADORES standing and eating food, so I put some of those little melt in your mouth rice puffs on a shelf at her level and she just does her thing while I do dishes. Do you have one area you can really focus on babyproofing? We have our living room pretty much 100% safe and her bedroom. I can close the gate and leave her there long enough to go switch the laundry and such. We also babyproofed the drawers in the bathroom, and when I need to shower I put up the trash can and give her some bath toys to play with. I just had to get creative with our space, and accept that certain areas that I want to be totally safe for her won't look as nice or be as functional :-) No advice on the hair pulling. That seems to be a fact of life.

post #9 of 10

Totally feel your frustration. My first and second boys are 15 months apart, then #3 came two years after #2 so for a while, I had a ton of little boys running around and getting into everything.


What worked the most for me was to gate off the kitchen. We just had to. The main living area was a "safe" place for babies, so I could let them play nearby while I cooked or did dishes. I hold and wear my babies a LOT but sometimes I just really needed a little space. I also sometimes used the pack n play, to set them in while I took a shower real quick. I hated doing that, but with the hours their dad worked, sometimes I just had to (my mom laughed, play pen right outside the bathroom with the door open. She says I'd have put it in there if I could...she's probably right).


I like the highchair idea, especially when you're in the kitchen washing dishes or something. She can watch what you're doing and still be a part of what's going on, without pulling your hair. Some yummy foods or even just pour a little water on the tray for her to play with (my kids loved this, not a lot, just enough to smear around and splash)


Right now, I have a 2 1/2 month old and those three boys are ages 6-9, they are a huge help to me. But I absolutely remember those days!

post #10 of 10

I agree with having "sacrificial" drawers! I sometimes make a "get into it" box for my son. I get a box, and just put a bunch of safe junk in it: wooden spoons, clean sponges, a pillowcase, some baby books, a plastic dish. I close the box and put it in the middle of the room and put my son down not quite beside it. He'll crawl up to it, figure out how to open it, and play with the junk while I do a load of dishes. It only works for a few minutes and then you need to come up with something else!

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