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Blanket-training and alternatives (spinoff) - Page 4

post #61 of 192
I don’t really get this thread, I confess. I am someone who never used a playpen because I don’t feel it’s appropriate to confine a young baby/toddler who is supposed to be moving around and exploring their environment. However we did use a gate in between the kitchen and living room. But I didn’t think of this as a “confinement device” – I was always on the same side of the gate as the baby! DS had a large living room where he could move around freely and play with his toys. As for going to the bathroom – he would always rather be taken with me if I was leaving the room, then be left behind to play with something. So that was never an issue for us. I can’t imagine what it would have taken to condition him to not protesting if I left him alone in a room by himself.

I also don’t understand how it is impossible to prevent babies putting small things in their mouths without confining them to a blanket. That is the entire POINT of babyproofing. : You remove/put up high all the small objects in a room. If they are still able to find some small item down at their level and get it in their mouth -- the room was not in fact babyproofed.

Frankly I don’t think teaching baby to stay on a blanket is any different than using a playpen, and I would not use a playpen, no offense to those who do but I don’t like them. Anyway it just baffles me that you’re so opposed to pens/gates but confining to a blanket is a good thing? It’s confinement either way.
post #62 of 192
Or thrice
post #63 of 192
I don't see why everyone's jumping on Brigianna as if she were advocating something bad? Is it because she calls her technique the same as some other members here call a technique that's something completely different and despicable?

It sounds like she's doing what I did, too, namely childproofing hte house as best I could and then tell dd "just stay here with the soft toys while I go pee, okay?" and sometimes she would and I'd be all excited and sometimes she'd toddle after me and maybe try to pull over the lamp on the way. Some of you may know that I"'m a tcs-leaning parent, definitely not into any type of less than gentle discipline and very limited on any form of coercion or manipulation.

The OP seems to work at agreeing on something with her kids, when they seem old enough to understand, she agrees with them to stay in a certain place for a little while, and it seems to work. I don't think she tells them to go on the blanket and then checks on them after having her nails done and eaten her lunch. She's babyproofed the house, but she knows that a kid will always find something to eat or otherwise get in trouble with, so she tries to reduce the risk by doing the thing with the blanket.

Truly, I honestly think the name "blanket training" is the big trigger here, but attacking brigianna's childrearing practices because of it is like rolling your eyes over someone who weans a child at 3yo because he kept biting instead of fighting the nurses who hand out formula after birth.
post #64 of 192
Of course my post was brilliant, but not so good it needs to be said twice
post #65 of 192
I have followed this discussion with curiousity. I have never heard of blanket training. I gotta say, the idea of training a baby to stay on a blanket sounds a heck of a lot more difficult than most of the other alternatives I've seen suggested.

Brigianna, it sounds like you have a genuine concern for keeping your kids safe without the use of "captivity" devices. I can certainly respect that decision. But, as many pps have pointed out, I think this provides a false sense of security. It also, IMO, takes away learning experiences and turns them into rules. IE: If baby crawls toward a (whatever you consider dangerous), instead of making them sit on the blanket, why not use those same repetitive technique ("stay on the blanket") to repeat the safety lesson? "We don't put things in our mouth". We hyper-babyproofed. We removed sharp furniture, anything with glass, cleaned the floor several times a day, nothing within baby's reach that was harmful, gated off the basement and upper stairs, removed dog/cat food and cat litter, chemicals, all utensils and knives out of reach, any heavy pans out of reach. And then, I followed my baby EVERYWHERE he went. I figured this was my job as a parent...I am the responsible one who understands the dangers. It is my job to impart this knowledge to him when he is capable of understanding. As far as showers and going to the bathroom, he went with me everytime...the bathroom was babyproofed too and he could crawl freely. For showers, he sat in a bouncie when he was small and then I let him crawl around while I kept the shower door open, maintaining visual and auditorory contact.

I'm sorry if I've repeated much of the advice given already, but I really feel that what others pp's have suggested are great ways to keep baby out of danger while still allowing him/her to be a baby.

No disrespect intended, Brigianna, I just feel that 8 mos is a bit young to expect that kind of "obedience" out of a child. I think one of the main arguements among parents and "parenting experts" is the true nature of children. Some would argue, as has been said before, that they are merely adults in training and think the training start early and often. Others believe that children have lots of time to grow and learn to make healthy, smart decisions. I believe that we have the responsibility for protecting without expecting too much.
post #66 of 192
I'm confused and distressed by this thread.

The OP seems to have had no problem training two 8 mo babies to sit on a blanket when she was out of sight range. I find this odd b/c object permanence is shaky at best in the average 8 mo. When Mom is out of sight, Mom is gone from the face of the earth, to most children this age.

So, perhaps they developed object permanence at an abnormally young age. This I believe, is one of the disconnects here. The huge majority of babies will crawl after Mom at this age, unless conditioned by a much stronger method than, "please stay here." Ie: being violently struck and/or frightened into it.

Next: Brigianna admits her dcs had strong oral needs. She was not able to "teach" (condition) them to not put inappropriate things in their mouths for a long long time. Brig, don't you see, most mothers here can not "teach" their kids to stay on a blanket for a similar reason, by merely asking them to? Did you have to say "Please take that out of your mouth" for months and yrs on end (not 2 days)? Did the child object when the object was taken away? Did he find something else to mouth a few minutes later, when he tired of the boring old pacifier you gave as a substitute?

Babies put things in their mouths to explore their world through the senses of taste and touch.

Babies can not be trusted to stay on a blanket b/c of their need to explore their world, as well as for the instinct to be in the same room as their mother, who they see as an extension of themselves.

Now, you say both your kids stubbornly put things in their mouths for a long time, yet both at 8 mos could be trusted after 2 days of mild reproof, to stay on a blanket. Similarly, you say the toddler could be trusted to never touch the baby as well.

Do you not see the average baby can NOT be trusted to stay on a blanket (unless violent methods are used), and the average toddler can NOT be trusted to never touch a baby?

These horrifying "containment devices" you can't even look at (perhaps you were left in them for hours as a baby) are used by the majority of mothers here to keep the baby safe for a few minutes, not to confine it as in a jail for hours at a time. Most babies can't be trusted to stay on blankets. Can you not step out of your own headspace and see that just as you could not trust your child to not mouth everything in sight, so most parents can not trust babies not to crawl off a blanket and onto stairs, or pulling to stand and then falling and clunking their head, etc (name your danger)?

I have to laugh b/c at my current LLL mtgs we have a highly spirited 10 mo who is the fastest crawler in the planet. He sees something and goes for it. You can be sure we use a baby gate on the open doorway of our mtg room to keep him from crawling out to the rest of the library! No way could this active baby be taught in 2 days to stay on a blanket.

And one more thing that has not been addressed is, your kids slept in "bassinets" for 8 mos, I think you said. A bassinet is a containment device. Then they moved to a bed? Alone? Did it have rails? Do you not see the sides of a bassinet as creating a containment device b/c they are woven reeds and not bars?

BTW, my kids outgrew bassinets at 4 mos. Not 8. We mostly co-slept however and I could trust my kids to sleep in the big bed for naps alone, but they would always call to me upon awaking. I understand some babies won't do this. They will crawl off the bed. Other mothers can't let their crawling babies sleep alone in the family bed at this age. I understand this is so, b/c I know all kids are different. They must put the mattress on the floor. I didn't have to but I understand others may have to.

Please step out of your box of personal experience and see that your exp is not typical.
post #67 of 192
Originally Posted by Brigianna
And I do all of those things. But what about when they don't want to come with you and throw a fit when you try to take them away from playing? What about when it's just not practical to carry them with you?
if they are so engaged in their play, it seems much safer and much more respectful to leave them playing, rather than transfer them to the blanket, don't you think?

Originally Posted by Brigianna
It isn't conditioning because, once they've been taught, they're staying on the blanket of their own free will because I've asked them to, not because there's a gate there.
this is ridiculous. they are staying there because they've been conditioned to stay -- they know that leaving the space is futile and because they got used to needing your approval.

what you are have been saying throughout is a very clear illustration of your complete lack of understanding of babies and children's development.
post #68 of 192
I haven't read all the posts yet...just the first page. And since I only have a few minutes I just wanted to respond.

I don't like trapping my children either. I don't use playpens except for when we are in a place where the floor is not a safe environment for them to be on. And even then, I only stick them in there when they want to get down. I don't use bouncy chairs, walkers, saucersizers or whatever they're called, or carseats (except when we are going in the car..I do not leave my baby to just hang out in it all day). In the summer time when I have a napper they sleep on a blanket outside on the ground (with me beside them of course).

What do I do to make sure that they're safe? Well, supervision is a big one. I do keep toddlers with me most of the time because I feel it's better for their development and my sanity. If I need them to be entertained for a moment or two while I turn my attention to something else I'll give them a fun activity - like dumping out all the markers. I childproof the best I can, but there are cords around the computers, there is a filing cabinet that they could get hurt on if they played with, there are cats that may bite or scratch if provoked enough, there is a piano that can be climbed. I try to teach them that cords are dangerous, cats need to be treated gently, the filing cabinet is only for daddy, and the dining room chairs are much more fun to climb than the piano.

Honestly, for a really young baby nothing beats supervision. A young child has to be put in situations where he can explore and sometimes encounter things that he can't do because that's how he learns about the world around him. When he goes for the cords under the computer desk instead of veiwing it in a negative way because he was getting into stuff I thought it was a good thing because it was a learning op. I would tell him that cords were dangerous and move him. If you figure there is probably a certain number of times you're going to have to tell your child that before they 'get' it (whether that's 10 or 10,000) you're one step closer to your goal that they learn that cords are dangerous each time you do it.

I don't like the idea of a young baby not being allowed to explore his environment, whether it's because he's strapped into an infant seat on the living room floor or because he's been trained to sit on a blanket until he's taken off.

I also don't like the idea of training my children and try not to do it in anyway.

I do want to add though, with my two youngest I've taught the others that the blanket is the baby's space and only their hands are allowed. I've also taught them how to touch the baby nicely. This prevents the baby from being trampled and still allows them to explore. But I would never tell my baby that he had to stay on that blanket.

I don't mean to make the op feel bad. I think it's great you're looking for other alternatives. I hope you got some.
post #69 of 192
The OP seems to work at agreeing on something with her kids, when they seem old enough to understand, she agrees with them to stay in a certain place for a little while, and it seems to work.
Simonee you mentioned you were a TCS leaning parent.

How do you view the training process? You don't think it involves coercion? The op described her process this way: Beginning at about 8 months, the baby is put on the blanket during short training sessions. Mama says "Please stay on the blanket". The baby crawls off, and is put back on the blanket. She mentioned that the babies would frown and try to crawl off several times. She put them back on repeating the command until they remained there.

It's not the name that I objected too.
post #70 of 192
It may not be the name that's objected to by some, but those of us who are familiar with Gothard's teachings- the name conjors up some horrible awful images. I can't find the link but "blanket training" is a term coined by him to describe putting an infant on a blanket- swatting the edges of that blanket with a wooden spoon (which by this age the infant should be very familiar with ) and using that wooden spoon to swat the infant as they leave the blanket repeatedly. I cannot get that image out of my head while discussing this topic. If you truly believe you are doing something right and nessesary- then you may want to call it something else.
post #71 of 192
I missed this- such a long thread....
As far as alternatives- I do a combination of closing doors- (creating a pen- yes I know- but a big one)- babyproofing and supervision. And to answer the argument about being able to take care of other children I have 5 under 18 in my home. I manage to care for all of them while providing heavy supervision for my toddler- so it is possible!

Can you give a concrete example?
Sure- when I am not actively watching my youngest (age 18 months now)- for whatever reason, homework with bigger kids, cooking dinner, playing on the computer...: we make sure the doors are closed around the living / computer room. The hallway has a regular door- the entrance to the family room has accordian doors- which I use a child lock to close. That leaves a space about 500 square feet. In that room I have all of his toys, sofas, our tv and computers. Everything is child proof and the big kids (19, 14, 13, 8, and 6) are not allowed to bring their toys into these two rooms. If I close the doors the older children know to close them behind them if they come into this room. He is never left in their alone. If during the day I have to leave the area- mail, laundry, bathroom- I tell him I'm leaving and he runs to be held. Really there is no toy or activity he would rather do then leave with me- so I am not dragging him away from something. If during the afternoon or evening I go cook etc, and I don't feel its safe for him to be with me- I ask a bigger kid to play with him, or my husband. Most of the time while cooking etc in the evening- my dh will carry him and they will watch me.
The closed off space is used to help children with homework, they sit at the computer desk if they need direct supervision, (6 year old) or bring problems to me and sit in the kitchen or their own room.
Now just to add another concrete example as a sinngle mama I lived in a condo that was only 700 square feet. I closed the bedroom and bathroom doors, put latches on everything in the kitchen and did the same thing when I had a 5, 2 and 1 year old. It was easier back then, cause the home was smaller- but it still works today.
post #72 of 192
DaryLLL, great point about the basinette. Your whole post made a lot of sense.
post #73 of 192
Thx, Snowy. It turned out so long, I just assumed no one would read it.
post #74 of 192
There is a strong association between blanket training and punitive teachers like Gary Ezzo and the Pearls.

I think that is enough not to have it advocated on a gentle parenting board.

Confining a baby and limiting their exploration is not good for their development.

Generally, parents need to employ negative reinforcement to keep them on the blanket making a playpen (something I never owned) sort of like a fenced in yard, and blanket training like the invisible fence.

I'm wondering what sort of shock to the collar is an acceptable means of delivering the usually negative reinforcement to keep a baby passively on a blanket.

post #75 of 192
Do you release your baby from her "Stay" on the blanket when you come back in the room? Do you say OK! and snap your fingers?
post #76 of 192
Perhaps you wave your want and say, "Expectro=patronis"

post #77 of 192
Originally Posted by heartmama
Simonee you mentioned you were a TCS leaning parent.

How do you view the training process? You don't think it involves coercion? The op described her process this way: Beginning at about 8 months, the baby is put on the blanket during short training sessions. Mama says "Please stay on the blanket". The baby crawls off, and is put back on the blanket. She mentioned that the babies would frown and try to crawl off several times. She put them back on repeating the command until they remained there.

It's not the name that I objected too.
I think she didn't repeat till they stayed, she said she did it a few times and they stayed. If not, she wouldn't have done it for a while. Her kids didn't deal well with the in-the-mouth stuff, so she doesn't "trust" them with small objects; since hte blanket works, she chooses that one. That's why DaryLLL's argument, sound as it may seem, is not relevant; it's like she tries to "catch" the OP on something. LIke the "object permanence" argument, as if that's relevant for the blanket time but not for play pens or other things used by parents that several PP's know and like.

I dunno, to me this thread is about a woman sharing something that worked for her. I "taught" my dd that a certain place in one of our rooms felt safe to me, and that's where she sat when I peed or put the laundry in the dryer when it was wet out. She would pretty much hang out there for a few minutes; not every time but often enough that it felt safe to me. Maybe this experience colored my perception of "training", because I see the OP doing pretty much the same thing. And that's not coercion, no; my dd didn't "have" to stay somewhere; but I liked it and she generally did.

I never used any type of containment (except car seats and stairs/window gates, very limited) on my children.

sorry gotta go ds wants playtime.

and sorry Ireally didn't know that the term "blanket time" has so many bad association. I had only read it in gossipy relation to a few notoriously fundie parents here; didn't know it came with a "philosophy" . Looks like the OP chose a bad term for her strategy.
post #78 of 192
Simonee I'm refering to the other thread. She said she "began training at 8 months" and that even if the baby frowned and tried to leave the blanket, he was put back on it. This training continued until she felt sure the baby understood he could not leave the blanket when asked to stay there. At one point she said that training "began" at 8 months to clarify that they did not understand in the beginning what was expected, but eventually made the association that when she instructed them to stay on the blanket, they were not leave it. So I think I'm a bit confused. How would a baby protest if not by frowning and trying to get off the blanket? If you put him back, then he is not "free to leave" as your daughter is? You seem to be comparing two very different examples, and saying they are similiar since one aspect in similiar. Sure, I would say to ds "Will you wait here for mommy?" if I thought it was necessary to ask, and of course, he was free to disagree with that. This would be a TCS or consensual exchange, and I *think* it's what you are saying you did in your home? This is completely different than saying "please stay here" and then, if he chooses not too, repeatedly putting him back "there" until he stays.

And I don't want to pick on the OP by delving into this. I don't think she's doing something shocking or abusive. I just think there are better ways to support attachment and keep the baby safe.
post #79 of 192
I don't think it helps to be this sarcastic towards the OP. I don't agree with her blanket training. Why get her feeling defensive and "stuck" having to justify her idea's, which is what a person will do if they are compared to something worse? Who wants to be compared to using a shock collar? I think I'd be really freaked out if I was doing what I thought was gentle, realized maybe it wasn't, and then was compared to some truly abusive and dangerous things. If change depends on accepting that view of herself, I don't think the OP would have any desire to change. I wouldn't.
post #80 of 192
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by heartmama
I think "completely safe" is an individual perception. For me, it meant having a space that was easy to assess visually with a glance. Even knowing it was baby proofed, I always took a careful look around the area if I was stepping out of the room, just as a matter of habit. I did this when I was in the room occassionally too, if I felt the need. (I want to say here that every accident ds had, he had standing right beside me. Sigh.). Knowing he was in that oral stage (and he was), I never had him out of my sight for more than a minute~the time it takes for a quite bathroom trip or to grab the phone~Heaven forbid he did find something, it would take him several minutes to really choke, and I think I had an internal "timer" that reset whenever he was out of my sight (regardless of who walked, or crawled, away), and it never failed me. After a minute I had to get him back in sight, for my own peace of mind. I think this changed when he was about 2 and a half or 3. At that point we had a little system that has evolved over the years, where I call out "Beep" and he says "Beep beep!" which is a nice way to reassure yourself when they get " too quiet", that they are not having a problem or stuck or choking or anything else a parent can suddenly fear has happened. He does this to me too. Sometimes I would here a "Beep!" and I'd call out "Beep beep!" from wherever I was in the house. He really liked that!

Did you have older children also at the time? If so, did you just make sure that their stuff stayed out of the common area?
No, he's the first. So experienced advice will have to come from someone else. I will say though, I think the above approach would still work. I think most families have to do something like this with a baby in the house, and older siblings learn to keep lego's and other small things in their own room. But that is where the visual assessment comes into play~I wouldn't ever assume the other children remembered~and if I keep the common area free of clutter, I should be able to see at a glance if the baby is safe. I would probably be doing this kind of re assessment regularly when I was in the room too, if I had other children running in and out.

I think you will agree blanket training doesn't offer any protection from this either. An older child can just as easily drop a lego on the blanket with the baby, as they can drop it anywhere else in the room.

Neither house had bedrooms or bathrooms in sight of the common area. In one house they were off a hallway. In the other, the bedrooms were off the common area, and the bathrooms were accessible only through the bedrooms. The kitchen had a view in both houses, which did help. It was possible for the baby to follow me anywhere though, because all the homes were single level.

Are you talking about a two story home? I need an example of how it wouldn't be possible for the toddling baby to find you. If it's a two story home, I'd set up "camp" on the ground floor, gate the stairs, and wait until the baby was asleep or in an agreeable mood to come along, before I'd spend a period of time up there.
That makes sense. I do like your system, but I'm not sure whether it would work for us. We have a 2-story house, upstairs is bedrooms, the bathroom, a work room, and a storage room; downstairs is the living room, kitchen, dining area, 1/2 bath, and laundry room. The storage room and the laundry room are the "unsafe stuff" areas and the doors to those rooms are kept shut and latched. Right now I am teaching my dd to do laundry and one of the things I'm impressing upon her is to close and latch the door after her because there's still things in there that would hurt her little brother. I wouldn't bring a child under about 4 into the laundry room because even if I'm right there, I'm distracted with loading clothes and measuring soap and whatnot, so I'm not carefully supervising (this is from experience).

I don't leave a child alone in the downstairs while I'm in the upstairs until about 22 months when they get past the oral stage. So with blanket-training, baby is on the blanket in the living room while I'm somewhere downstairs, or baby is on the blanket upstairs while I'm upstairs, or baby is roaming free in our bedroom. We always let them roam free in our room because they slept in there until they moved from the bassinet to a bed. And of course once they started crawling they could crawl out of the bassinet and roam free while we were asleep. So we just didn't keep *any* stuff in our room and we kept the door closed at night. I guess it would have been an option to take baby into our room and lock him in there, but there still would have been the fit-throwing issue.

When ds was being blanket-trained, dd was turning 4, so she could understand that no stuff except baby toys went on baby’s blanket, so that wasn’t really a problem.

Do you always ask the baby if they prefer to go with you? I think it's a good idea in any event.
Sometimes I did, after they were verbal. But not always.

I think it would be possible for you to change the way you present the blanket so that it isn't coercive, if you really need something to leave them "with" while you step out of the room. Try getting something like a soft lambswool blanket, and securing toys and things around the edge. See if you can create an air of magic and a familiar routine with it.Maybe have a song that starts when you bring out the cuddly blanket, that you continue to sing while you walk out of the room. The baby could get used to expecting a surprise re appearance and silly end to the song. It could be something like singing about cuddle cuddle up with the sheep, some kind of song that gets his attention on the blanket, so that he is choosing to sit and play there. I don't know, but if all your children are extremely mellow and laid back, why not try approaching it this way?
That is a really good idea. I did give them baby toys on the blanket and tried to make it fun for them, but the song is a really good idea. The only problem would be that he might think I was "talking" to him and wanted him to follow me. But I'll have to remember to try that.
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