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Blanket-training and alternatives (spinoff) - Page 8

post #141 of 192
OK thanks I do feel a bit confused by this thread.

So you won't do gates. But there are ways to sort of seal off a room. I have a couch that's really easy to move. I would slide it over to block the living-room entrance-way sometimes. That was great because then the baby has the run of the room. The bookshelf was attached to the wall with brackets. And on the lower shelves were all sorts of interesting things. It helps to keep the supply of toys fresh by rotating them frequently. That way the baby never knows what surprise is in store.
I always found with my kids, that if they're interested in things, even at a few months old, they will be occupied for quite some time.
Clearing out the low cupboards in the kitchen and filling them with only things baby can play with/chew on helps while cooking.

I honestly do not see the need for confining baby to a small space. It seems counter to their nature. Your sig. really says it all.
I'm a single mom, and raised two boys past babyhood (and thankfully we're all still in one peice ). It requires so much vigillence regardless of the circumstances. I mean, it's not like you can go soak in a bubblebath because your baby will stay put on a blanket right? (if the answer is "yes" I will have to rethink this whole AP thing ).

Is there an underlying lesson you are attemtping to teach an infant by using this technique? Or is it simply a matter of safety?
post #142 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
We tried to keep small things they could choke on out of the way as much as possible, but of course that wasn't a guarantee. But 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. Our bedroom was completely stripped down to just our bed, baby's bassinet, two dressers with latched drawers, and the closet with the door closed and latched. That was it. It wouldn't have been possible to strip down the entire house that way, especially for the second one when we had to keep him away from all of dd's stuff in addition to our own. We did try to keep poisons and choking hazards out of the way, but I think that just as some of y'all have said you wouldn't rely on blanket-training, I didn't feel like I could rely just on babyproofing. We made it as safe as we could, but I still supervised them all the time and when I couldn't, I needed them to be on the blanket.

Gating the stairs is not an option. Having a gate in my house would be harmful to my mental health.

Yes, I do think that the benefits of blanket-training outweigh the negatives, but I don't agree with y'all about what the negatives are. I don't agree that blanket-training is the same as physical captivity or that it produces learned helplessness or that it's punative or that it's ineffective or that it's harmful to attachment. As I have said, it isn't perfect. I don't like being separated from my children or restricting their freedom. So I was asking about alternatives. But absent a better alternative, I do think that, at least for my children, blanket-training was the least bad option.
I think we are just going to go around in circles here. My next point would be that paper, age-inappropiate toys and books, shoes, tapes, cloth, cotton balls, coasters, and flashlights should be kept up high or behind latched doors, but you would inevitably come up with yet another risk that you didn't mention before. I will simply maintain that if you think there is a potential risk, a risk great enough to train your baby to stay on a blanket, then you have no business whatsoever leaving a mobile baby unattended in that room. None whatsoever. It is simply too dangerous. I apologize for what appears like useless debate and fanning the flames of drama. That is not my style of posting. I only posted b/c I believed you were truly seeking alternatives to blanket training. Many people have posted great alternatives, but you continue to dismiss every last one of them, and I should have realized that before I posted.
post #143 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
OK thanks I do feel a bit confused by this thread.
I'm getting confused by it and it's my thread about my life!

Quote:
So you won't do gates. But there are ways to sort of seal off a room. I have a couch that's really easy to move. I would slide it over to block the living-room entrance-way sometimes. That was great because then the baby has the run of the room. The bookshelf was attached to the wall with brackets. And on the lower shelves were all sorts of interesting things. It helps to keep the supply of toys fresh by rotating them frequently. That way the baby never knows what surprise is in store.
I always found with my kids, that if they're interested in things, even at a few months old, they will be occupied for quite some time.
Those are good ideas. I did rotate the toys and they were pretty well occupied. I kept the couch against the wall so that if they climbed onto the couch they would fall off the short part (the part you sit on) and not the back part (does that make sense?). I would be afraid if I put the couch against the stairs baby would climb onto the couch and fall off the back onto the stairs.

Quote:
Clearing out the low cupboards in the kitchen and filling them with only things baby can play with/chew on helps while cooking.
I actually gave up cooking when there wasn't another adult there while they were this age. Sometimes I could wear them in the kitchen and that worked, but once they started wanting to be on the floor it was too much of a hassle to watch them, step over them, and cook at the same time. So I only cooked when dh or someone else could engage them in the living room.

Quote:
I honestly do not see the need for confining baby to a small space. It seems counter to their nature. Your sig. really says it all.
I'm a single mom, and raised two boys past babyhood (and thankfully we're all still in one peice ). It requires so much vigillence regardless of the circumstances. I mean, it's not like you can go soak in a bubblebath because your baby will stay put on a blanket right? (if the answer is "yes" I will have to rethink this whole AP thing ).
Right, I would never leave them on the blanket while I took a bubble bath. Only for a few short minutes at a time. They really did have plenty of time to crawl and explore. And it was a pretty big blanket--bigger than most playpens.

Quote:
Is there an underlying lesson you are attemtping to teach an infant by using this technique? Or is it simply a matter of safety?
It's safety, but one of the reasons I think it's a better alternative to pens/gates, besides theirs and my aversion to them, is that there is learning involved and it's based on a relationship of trust. With a pen he learns that freedom is fleeting, but with blanket-training he learns self-control, following directions, and object permanance. I still freely admit that it's not ideal, because it does restrict their freedom, but so would any alternatives.
post #144 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee
I think we are just going to go around in circles here. My next point would be that paper, age-inappropiate toys and books, shoes, tapes, cloth, cotton balls, coasters, and flashlights should be kept up high or behind latched doors, but you would inevitably come up with yet another risk that you didn't mention before. I will simply maintain that if you think there is a potential risk, a risk great enough to train your baby to stay on a blanket, then you have no business whatsoever leaving a mobile baby unattended in that room. None whatsoever. It is simply too dangerous. I apologize for what appears like useless debate and fanning the flames of drama. That is not my style of posting. I only posted b/c I believed you were truly seeking alternatives to blanket training. Many people have posted great alternatives, but you continue to dismiss every last one of them, and I should have realized that before I posted.

I am looking for alternatives. But how can you eliminate any potential risk? This isn't making sense to me. Granted I'm pretty sleep deprived. But yes even if I put those specific things up there would be other things. That was my point--my babies chewed *everything.*

I am not trying to dismiss people's suggestions. I am not trying to be difficult. But I was asking what I thought were very specific questions. Blanket-training worked for us. I don't believe it's wrong. But since so many people thought it was so wrong, I wanted to know how I could keep a baby safe on the floor for a few minutes when I wasn't right there without the use of pens, gates, or containment devices. But most of the responses were that I shouldn't leave them for even a minute (which I established was not a realistic option) or that I was wrong to be against pens/gates (which I mentioned in the beginning was a non-negotiable) or that blanket-training couldn't possibly work (which it did) or that I must really be punishing them (which I wasn't). So I wasn't trying to dismiss people's suggestions, it just seemed like most people weren't addressing my concerns, just trying to convince me how evil blanket-training is. And I'm not convinced.
post #145 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
I
I still freely admit that it's not ideal, because it does restrict their freedom, but so would any alternatives.
Well of course, because by definition we are discussing the best ways to limit a baby's freedom.

See the reasons you described sound alot like discipline. I (and probably many) parents here do not feel that discipline should be introduced until much later in a baby's development.

If it's solely about safety, then there are literally hundreds of things you can do to make your home safe for the short period of time that your baby is so small.
But it's about more than that. It's about control and discipline. I think you will be hard pressed to find much support for that here. It's just that the approach does not really jive with the philosophies of many Attachement Parents. The first year of a baby's life is so wonderful for me personally because it's absolutely discipline-free. Yay!! You get to just fill them with milk and love a snuggles without worrying about their morals, self-control etc etc. There's PLENTY of time for that later. The basis for the Attachment philosophy is that it actually instills a calm and feeling of trust and safety in the child towards his/her caregiver which will allow the child to explore the world in peace--knowing the caregiver is there as for support and safety. By attemtping to enforce a code of behaviour as strict as 'blanket-training' can potentially be, you can actually undermine a childs trust in his own ability to make judgements, and also his trust in the safety of the environment his parents have created for him.

If what you're saying in this thread is completely accurate-- you allow the child the freedom to leave the blanket and roam or follow you, you mostly bring the child with you, you have your house baby-proofed, you simply ask the child to stay on the blanket and without fuss the child does so and is happy to--than I don't see why you need an alternative.
post #146 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
I am looking for alternatives. But how can you eliminate any potential risk?
You can't. Nobody can. Having kids is terrifying.

Quote:
I am not trying to dismiss people's suggestions. I am not trying to be difficult. But I was asking what I thought were very specific questions.
I think you can get a lot of tips without mentioning the "blanket training" angle. You can start threads addressing your specific concerns. I also suggest seeking some type of counselling to address the gate/playpen phobia you're experienceing. That must be really debillitating sometimes and you deserve to be freed of what must be a difficult burden. It would also really increase your options . Gates rock.
post #147 of 192
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.


Quote:
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.


Quote:
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.



Quote:
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.



Quote:
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."



Quote:
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.



Quote:
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"...).
post #148 of 192
Quote:
I wanted to know how I could keep a baby safe on the floor for a few minutes when I wasn't right there without the use of pens, gates, or containment devices.
Last post, and then I swear I'm going to bed. IMO, if the room is as "babyproofed" as you say it is, then the room itself is as safe as the blanket, meaning that the blanket has no added benefit. There is no danger in the baby crawling to a shelf and chewing on a block. If the room IS dangerous enough to require the confining of a child to a blanket, then the child should not be left alone in that room. I really do not understand what part of this you are disagreeing with.

Ok, I'll try to be less theory-based and talk about my own experience. When my DD was learning to crawl at 10 months, we babyproofed the living room first and then the rest of the downstairs. I would sometimes leave her in the living room while I quickly did something elsewhere downstairs--get a drink of water in the kitchen, hit the start button on the washer, grab the cordless phone I'd left in the bathroom. I was always within earshot of my daughter and could be back in the living room in under five seconds. (From your description, this sounds about like your situation as well?) But because I feel that I have removed all imminent dangers from the living room, I did not care if she crawled to the bookshelf and chewed on a toy, crawled to the sliding glass door to look out, crawled to the couch to pull up, because there were no exposed outlets, no choking hazards, no sharp edges, no valuables that could be destroyed. (Yes, I could come up with some very far-fetched risks b/c that is just life--a clock falling off the wall, a lamp short-circuiting and shooting out sparks, a neighborhood kid hitting a baseball through the window--but I do not believe that there are any imminent risks.) Again, I am have been trying to understand why you are not comfortable with this, and I haven't been able to wrap my mind around it. I don't think what you are doing (as you describe it) is "evil," but I do see an alternative b/c I have used that alternative myself.
post #149 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
Well of course, because by definition we are discussing the best ways to limit a baby's freedom.
Thank you so much for getting my point on that. Really.

Quote:
See the reasons you described sound alot like discipline. I (and probably many) parents here do not feel that discipline should be introduced until much later in a baby's development.

If it's solely about safety, then there are literally hundreds of things you can do to make your home safe for the short period of time that your baby is so small.
But it's about more than that. It's about control and discipline. I think you will be hard pressed to find much support for that here. It's just that the approach does not really jive with the philosophies of many Attachement Parents. The first year of a baby's life is so wonderful for me personally because it's absolutely discipline-free. Yay!! You get to just fill them with milk and love a snuggles without worrying about their morals, self-control etc etc. There's PLENTY of time for that later. The basis for the Attachment philosophy is that it actually instills a calm and feeling of trust and safety in the child towards his/her caregiver which will allow the child to explore the world in peace--knowing the caregiver is there as for support and safety. By attemtping to enforce a code of behaviour as strict as 'blanket-training' can potentially be, you can actually undermine a childs trust in his own ability to make judgements, and also his trust in the safety of the environment his parents have created for him.
Well, I don't agree that ap means not practicing discipline when they're little. Discipline means learning, and I believe that babies learn from birth. They learn about their environment and about people and about nature. They learn that when you drop things, they fall, and when you bang things together, it makes noise. They learn that when they cry mama will pick them up, and when they're hungry mama will feed them. I don't think you can *stop* a baby from learning. So I don't think that there's an age when discipline starts, because it's a lifelong process.

But discipline isn't the same as control. I'm not trying to control my kids except in the bare minimum way needed to keep them safe. I believe in non-coerciveness, but I don't think this is a realistic option for babies, as you pointed out, we have to limit their freedom, and the only issue is the most respectful way to do so. I didn't blanket-train my kids to control them.

Quote:
If what you're saying in this thread is completely accurate-- you allow the child the freedom to leave the blanket and roam or follow you, you mostly bring the child with you, you have your house baby-proofed, you simply ask the child to stay on the blanket and without fuss the child does so and is happy to--than I don't see why you need an alternative
.

I didn't think I did need one, but the people on the other thread were so emphatic that blanket-training is wrong that I wanted to see what the suggested alternatives were. And I am keeping an open mind. One of the things that this thread has made me think about is that maybe I have an exaggerated sense of the risk of a free-roaming baby in a babyproofed room for a brief time. I had always assumed that babyproofing was not sufficient, but I'm reconsidering that.
post #150 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
And I am keeping an open mind. One of the things that this thread has made me think about is that maybe I have an exaggerated sense of the risk of a free-roaming baby in a babyproofed room for a brief time. I had always assumed that babyproofing was not sufficient, but I'm reconsidering that.
That's really cool.

Do you think you'd be willing to look at the issues you have with gates? What if one of your kids decides to grow up and be a professional gate-maker. Or just developes a fascination with gates and fences? Stranger things have happened.
post #151 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
You can't. Nobody can. Having kids is terrifying.
Yes, it is.


Quote:
I think you can get a lot of tips without mentioning the "blanket training" angle. You can start threads addressing your specific concerns. I also suggest seeking some type of counselling to address the gate/playpen phobia you're experienceing. That must be really debillitating sometimes and you deserve to be freed of what must be a difficult burden. It would also really increase your options . Gates rock.
Well, I don't really believe in counselling (see earlier references to my skepticism about psychology). And it's not really about gates or playpens but symbols of captivity, and it's based on my own experiences. It's not that debillitating though. But I really do appreciate your concern.
post #152 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyeilis
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.





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.
Those things are not symbols of captivity. And I wouldn't mind if my kids choose lifestyles that involved gates or boxes; I just don't want to look at them.

eta: Also, my aversion to symbols of captivity and my aversion to keeping children in containment devices are two separate issues. I don't have any moral problem with gates per se, so it wouldn't bother me if my kids chose a gated lifestyle (although I'm also not sure what that would be).

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People have been.
And I've been responding as best I can.

Quote:
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.
I've been trying to see what y'all are seeing, but honestly it's a bit difficult to rationally evaluate constructive criticism when you're being compared to child-torture fetishists and electrical dog collars.

Quote:
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."
Maybe my kids were easy, but I wasn't trying to say that blanket-training would work for everyone, just that it worked for us. I don't think I'm conditioning my kids, but teaching them. And I am still not getting how the method I used for blanket-training is any different from the method other people use for things like teaching a child not to run into the street, etc. And being shocked with a collar is a punishment intended to cause pain to the dog. My kids didn't mind being blanket-trained. And I still do not believe that the theory of animal conditioning applies to humans, at least in the same simplistic way.


Quote:
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.
Many people did suggest that they thought blanket-training was wrong, but, anyway, I understood the point about it being the same as pens and gates, and I tried to explain why I don't see it that way. I do understand why people think they're no different though.

Quote:
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.
It wasn't so much the stuff getting slobbered on (well maybe for the books) as much as the germs issue. I tried to keep a relatively sanitary house, but that doesn't do much good when baby's chewing on shoes.

I'll respond to the rest of your post in a little bit.
post #153 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyeilis
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.
So far this doesn't sound different from my house.

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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.
That sounds like a good idea.

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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.
This confuses me a little--what kind of play mat are you talking about? Something that hangs from the ceiling and baby plays with it like a mobile?

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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...
Yeah I have a pretty good idea of what kids can do when there are no adults around... and in my kids' case, my presence doesn't even seem to stop them. But that's why I never left them alone for any length of time in those early days. They actually get along pretty well now, but I occasionally have to intervene.


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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.
I put mine in the bassinet for this purpose, which I guess isn't that different.


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******
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.
I'm not really understanding this--did having the zipper open mean that he could get out?

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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"...).
Poor kitty. Fortunately we haven't had to deal with the animal issue.



This was a clear explanation of how you dealt with various issues. Thanks.
post #154 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee
Last post, and then I swear I'm going to bed. IMO, if the room is as "babyproofed" as you say it is, then the room itself is as safe as the blanket, meaning that the blanket has no added benefit. There is no danger in the baby crawling to a shelf and chewing on a block. If the room IS dangerous enough to require the confining of a child to a blanket, then the child should not be left alone in that room. I really do not understand what part of this you are disagreeing with.

Ok, I'll try to be less theory-based and talk about my own experience. When my DD was learning to crawl at 10 months, we babyproofed the living room first and then the rest of the downstairs. I would sometimes leave her in the living room while I quickly did something elsewhere downstairs--get a drink of water in the kitchen, hit the start button on the washer, grab the cordless phone I'd left in the bathroom. I was always within earshot of my daughter and could be back in the living room in under five seconds. (From your description, this sounds about like your situation as well?) But because I feel that I have removed all imminent dangers from the living room, I did not care if she crawled to the bookshelf and chewed on a toy, crawled to the sliding glass door to look out, crawled to the couch to pull up, because there were no exposed outlets, no choking hazards, no sharp edges, no valuables that could be destroyed. (Yes, I could come up with some very far-fetched risks b/c that is just life--a clock falling off the wall, a lamp short-circuiting and shooting out sparks, a neighborhood kid hitting a baseball through the window--but I do not believe that there are any imminent risks.) Again, I am have been trying to understand why you are not comfortable with this, and I haven't been able to wrap my mind around it. I don't think what you are doing (as you describe it) is "evil," but I do see an alternative b/c I have used that alternative myself.
That makes sense. I wasn't really concerned about things like a clock falling off the wall, lamp shooting sparks, etc. because those are things that could just as easily happen to baby on the blanket or happen with me right there.

I think maybe we are talking past each other about babyproofing and the purpose of the blanket. It wasn't that there was all this dangerous stuff lying around that baby could get in to if not confined to the blanket. But I do still think the blanket is safer because it's a smaller area, the only things on the blanket are things baby can chew on, and it's a defined place. The downstairs of our house doesn't have the rooms separated by doors except for the laundry room and the bathroom, so letting baby roam free in the living room would also be letting baby roam free in the kitchen, the dining area, and the stairs. I'm not trying to be nit-picky, I'm really not. But it would seem to me that the blanket would have to be safer. Maybe not as much safer as I'd thought though.
post #155 of 192
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by mamajama
That's really cool.

Do you think you'd be willing to look at the issues you have with gates? What if one of your kids decides to grow up and be a professional gate-maker. Or just developes a fascination with gates and fences? Stranger things have happened.
I'm thinking I must have really come across as obsessed with gates in this thread. Interestingly enough I don't have a problem with fences. Our backyard has a fence. I wouldn't mind if one of my kids became a gate-maker as long as I didn't have to look at the gates.
post #156 of 192

I have been following both threads...

And I just don't understand....how is a gate any different than a door? If you use a door to close off the laundry room to prevent your child from accessing a dangerous area, why not use a gate to block off the VERY dangerous stairs? If you refer to it as a door would it make a difference? If you get the kind of gate that swings open like a door and locks shut like a door, would that help? I just don't see how a gate is the same kind of containment device as a crib or playpen. You can make the safe, childproof zone as large as you want -- with room to roam and explore -- with the use of a gate. That option isn't available with a crib/playpen. So I don't see how both those items can fall under the same category of "containment device". Frankly, the only way I am going to get past your issue with gates is if you stop using the interior doors in your home. I don't mean to sound snarky, but I am just blown away by this whole thread. There seems to be a major disconnect going on, just some inconsistencies, logically speaking, that make me think you really want the mamas here to agree with your method more than you want some rational alternatives.
post #157 of 192
I guess the only thing I have to add to this thread is that in the same way that your children didn't seem to mind staying on the blanket, my DS seemed to sincerely like his jumper, saucer, and even his pack n play for the short periods of time I put him in them (to pee, or cook dinner, etc.). Once he started walking, though, he did protest the pack n play (and had outgrown other things), so that went away, for good. I never forced him into it. I also didn't use them for hours on end, just when I needed to be hands free for a few minutes.

Sooo, this seems to be about:
-Your perception that any physical containment device as inherently evil, but an imaginary enforced boundary not being the same....
AND
-Your children seemed to not be bothered by staying on the blanket. But mine wasn't bothered by playing in his playpen for a couple minutes.

This kind of reminds me of another thread here regarding ""it's OK [NOT] to spank your child when they're in danger"......the one example is with them touching a stove. My response is if they get burned by a stove, yes, it will hurt, but it is an inanimate object that they have no emotional attachment or love for, so there is no resentment or sad feeligns towards it. BUT, if the parent hits them because they got too close to the stove, there is that confusion that a person who loves them is also hurting them....

I'm not saying that you're hurting your children, but to me any potential frustration of futility of a physical barrier that the child doesn't have any emotional attachment to is way different (and in my opinion, 'better' ) than an arbitrary, imaginary barrier imposed just by mom repeatedly placing them back on the blanket until they give up and stop trying to crawl away. To me, it's the same as the difference between DS beign frustrated that he can't reach something that is out of his reach physically, versus him being frustrated *with me* that he can reach something but I'm not letting him have it. That, to me, is what babyproofing is all about, so that you don't have to say 'no' a whole lot....I dunno, just my opinion.

Since you are totally against any kind of containment device, then I guess what you did with your kids was an OK option. I still wouldn't do it, for many of the reasons other posters outlined before me.

I also have to agree that even though you're saying you're open to other options, so far almost every option that has been presented to you hasn't been an option for you for one reason or another, based on the beliefs you've given on the thread...so at this point, I don't think there IS another option for you other than what you did. But, that also does not mean that I agree with what you're doing.
post #158 of 192
I haven't read the whole thread yet, so forgive me if this has been said, but...

The problem I have with this isn't the picking up baby and putting him back on the blanket--to me that's not much different than what went on when I trained my toddler to stay away from the road by picking her up a zillion times, saying "No street." It's that you are training a young baby to do something utterly unnatural--to stay put and not explore or follow mama--and that you are making that happen not through an external control, such as a gate or playpen, but by making the BABY responsible for not exploring. And then I feel like that is going to lead to a baby/toddler/child who tends to be passive or hesitant about exploring his/her world....because sometimes I'm rewarded for that and sometimes mama wants that, and might it not be better to just sit here?
post #159 of 192
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
And after I stopped training them they were free to disobey my request and roam free while I was gone, but they chose not to, just as you choose to wait in the office. And this is still different from physical captivity.
I get the feeling that we're just going to have to agree to disagree. I could go on pointing out distinctions all day but it wouldn't get us anywhere.

I will say that once you've taught your babies that trying to escape from the blanket is fruitless, I think it's disingenous to say staying on the blanket is an exercise of free will.


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I did teach them to ignore their impulses, as I hope we all try to teach them to ignore their impulses with things like putting things in their mouths, running into the street, etc.
You're teaching them to ignore their impulse to follow you which, IMO, is counter-productive to safety and attachment.

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Blanket-training is for before abstract reasoning.
I get that you believe this, yet you're also saying that they're staying on the blanket as an exercise of free will. Such an exercise would be contrary to instinct for babies, though, so the only reason this would be true is if they were actually reasoning their way into staying on the blanket (as opposed to just responding to conditioning).

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Both of mine slept alone in a bassinet from birth so they were alone then, but of course I was right there in the room.
I think it's a fallacy here to compare being alone in sleep and being alone while awake.
post #160 of 192
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Originally Posted by mamajama
The first year of a baby's life is so wonderful for me personally because it's absolutely discipline-free. Yay!! You get to just fill them with milk and love a snuggles without worrying about their morals, self-control etc etc.
You just made me want another baby.
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