At the end of this post, I'll share with you what our baby-roaming days were like. But first I have to address some things that are bugging me or confusing me or weirding me out. It's going to *feel* like I'm trying to catch you or picking on you, but I'm not. I open a window to reply while reading and I pop things into that window that I want to reply to later. I'm not good at coming up with something cohesive, and generally do better simply replying to, or stating my thoughts about, things that were stated.
|I will not have captivity devices in my home. It is just not an option. I am not saying this to be hostile or difficult. I do have my reasons. Even if they were the most perfect parenting devices in the world, I would not be able to tolerate having them in my home or even looking at them.
Having a pen or gate or crib in my house where I could see it would be harmful to my mental health, no matter how sparingly I used it.
Gating the stairs is not an option. Having a gate in my house would be harmful to my mental health.
OK, I'm not the best at saying things in nice ways, so please forgive if this comes out horribly wrong. It sounds like there are some serious, deep-seated things going on in your background, causing you to have such a HUGE reaction to something as benign as a gate. I wonder if *maybe* you might want to look into getting your reaction to a less huge level, just for your sake and perhaps so you don't wind up with kids who push your every single button by taking on lifestyles where they WANT to be behind gates, inside boxes, and so on? (cannot figure out what that lifestyle would be...hmm LOL)
Also, I would imagine that your stairs have banisters which might have vertical bars, and I wonder if you have any sort of balcony from second to first floor...if so, if I saw it, I might wonder HOW that looked much different from a gate to you.
|I would appreciate it if y'all would give me some specific suggestions rather than just "supervise them" or "there's nothing wrong with pens" or something like that.
People have been.
|I don't know what some of you want me to admit--that I really did beat my children into submission and I'm just denying it now? I didn't.
I don't think that's what is behind people's posts. I think we're just confused b/c you aren't seeing what many of us are seeing.
|But if the baby is capable of understanding and complies, how is it not age-appropriate? If I kept putting baby back on the blanket again and again and it showed no signs of working, I would assume that baby was too young to understand or had insufficient impulse control to choose to stay put, so I would give it up. But if baby understands and complies, isn't that evidence that it isn't age-inappropriate?
You are seeing "this worked, that means it's age appropriate and OK!"
I am seeing this as "that lady had some EASY kids, let me tell you." I am also seeing it as "she is NOT recognizing that she's conditioning the kids, that it's the shock collar with the shock being picked up and put back, and that even with a shock collar, many dogs end up just wearing the collar with no batteries in it, no shocks to be had, simply b/c they were trained in their early days."
|most people here seem to believe very firmly that it's wrong.
If that's what you think, you're reading different replies from me, and I've read all of them (in THIS thread). People seem to be trying to show you that the blanket stuff is just as rotten as you see playpens and gates to be.
|The main issue was the oral thing. My babies put *everything* in their mouths.
when I say my kids chewed everything I mean *everything*--paper, toys, books, shoes, tapes, cloth, cotton balls, coasters, flashlights--you name it they tasted it.
I really really REALLY do NOT understand what the problem is with this. OK, well, the cotton balls, yes. Get the cotton balls out of the way, those ARE chokable, or at least suffocatable.
But I don't see the problem. The things we left out were either his things or things we didn't feel would be a problem, and things we didn't mind getting slobbered on.
OK, here's what our early days were like. The later days changed and you'd have issues with what we have blocking off the kitty's room and our kitchen, but leaving kitty in a closed-door room was causing HER some pretty serious mental issues, and DS learned to open the stupid latches on the cabinets in the kitchen.
Early days. All furniture bolted to the wall. Couch up against wall. As DS grew taller and was able to move more, more things got moved up or were put elsewhere (behind closed doors...you should SEE our back room, it's just a disaster with piles of things hastily placed there once we realized DS could reach them).
There are books galore where he can reach them. Hmm. That's about it.
He has always had two shelving units reserved for his stuff.
When we wanted him to not go somewhere, we would put my scrapbooking boxes in the way. They were heavy enough to stay semi-put when he leaned on them, but light enough for me to move around easily.
Problem with those boxes is that he learned to pull up on them, and therefore learned to pull up on something unstable, which DIRECTLY led to his Chinese acrobatic moves he now does with his little chairs...
He was pulling himself to stand on things I would have thought it impossible, before he could sit himself up without help.
His first xmas, when he was about 6 months old, we had the tree out, but surrounded it with the boxes I keep the ornaments in. They were mostly empty, but he didn't have the skills to move them in a meaningful enough manner so as to reach anything. Plus, I was in the room, and could redirect him.
Sometimes he wanted to look at his play mat. So I'd get it out and hang the little dangly things from it, and he would be happy as a clam, pulling those things down to put in his mouth (I thought one of those days he'd let go after pulllllling it so hard, and the whole mat would go reverse bungeeing up to the ceiling, but he's a strong dude and never let go accidentally). Once he discovered the joys of that play mat, I could actually leave the room! I could go pee, I could go into kitty's room to feed her or post on the computer (that was long before I moved the 'puter into the living room!) or stretch my weary back.
But I checked up on him often. OK, editing here b/c that sounds awful! I don't mean "oh I'd go post for hours but check on him every ten minutes." Rather, if I was doing something other than peeing, I'd just let him have his time that he was enjoying (when he was enjoying it), and not bug him by reappearing to play.
I wonder. Did you ever watch your kids when they didn't know you were watching? Because I watched my boy. And he WANTED to be on the play mat, he willingly and happily, without me EVER putting him *back* on it once he'd rolled off, and yet still, he'd move off it then move back, within a very short amount of time. If I hadn't been watching, I'd have thought he'd been on it the whole time. And I would have been sooooooo wrong.
Gotta tell ya. I'm the oldest of five, and we were all pretty nicely raised. There were some issues with our moms' and dad's marriages and some alcohol stuff, but all in all we were raised fairly gently. And I find the whole *trust the older kids to not mess with the younger kids* bit, well, laughable, really. Did you come from a large family? Don't you know what kids get up to when parents aren't looking? I was a really GOOD oldest kid, too, but I know I messed with my brother when our mom wasn't looking...
Oh, when DS was itty bitty and wouldn't let me out of his sight, I put him in his plushy Baby Papasan while I took a shower, and I sang to him the entire time. We just had the clear shower-liner so he could see me, or at least my outline. Besides the car seat, the papasan was the only bit of babygear we got. OK well there was a bath seat thing, but he screamed and screamed in it, so we abandoned it after trying two times in different circumstances (once in the kitchen sink, once in the bathtub hoping it was a air-from-window problem the first time). Other than that, it was the only gear we had.
Once he got older we expanded a bit. I think playpens are a bit silly, not the least b/c they are raised up off the ground and therefore have a weight limit. But we saw this interesting octagonal one that FIL insisted on buying us, with camping in mind, and it actually has a zippered opening on the side, and it sits on the ground rather than with the seating area up in the air.. We tried it a couple times, with the zippered opening open, and he was OK wiht it, but it ultimately turned into a really good toy-storage area.
But the gates that we have now, they work (however, they are giving his toes a good workout and physical conditioning b/c he's working on climbing them). Kitty had to be in an open room, and she will NOT be in the room with DS. She developed some issues and had a huge open wound for something like a year, that she would lick open every day. After two big doses of antibiotics, some herbal tincture from a holistic veterinarian, lots of washing with special soap to reduce itching and various other things, it finally took approx 4 months of a collar to prevent her from licking, to clear it up, yay! Yay at it clearing, not at the months. Anyway, I'm sure you can see that I dind't want DS to have open access to an open wound on any creature. And I didn't want him in her water or food or litter, partially b/c I don't want him eating that (barely want kitty to eat that nasty food!), but also b/c he would have upset her and she deserved to be protected from him.
As for the kitchen, well, the attempts at vaulting the gate are increasing, and we have to find those magnetic locks soon, so we can take the gate down. It worked for awhile...doesn't look like a prison, though, looks more like a concrete fence I saw at a Chinese gardens, with interesting shapes in it (DS would say "all the better for climbing up, my dear"...).