How much out of house time for a 3 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 12-08-2010, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering how much time you spent "out" at playgroups and what not with your 3 year old.  I am having a baby in about 3 weeks and right now, don't want to go out too much.  Part of it is that right now I am sick (again) because someone brought a sick child to a playgroup (again).  We were not this sick when DS was in full time daycare!  I feel like the moms around me just can't be trusted to keep their kids at home if they are sick.  I mean, I get that after several days with a sick kid, you want to get out.  But, your child should not still be coughing and sneezing and wiping snot from their nose when you do decide to be around other kids.

 

Anyway, it is making rethink what our priorities are, especially since I can do some things with him at home now.  Although, today is another movie day because I can barely move because of my size and how I feel :(  I hate movie days, but DS is way too active for me, even when he is sick....

 

Any thoughts or suggestions?


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#2 of 14 Old 12-08-2010, 07:47 AM
 
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Boy, do I understand how you feel! My dd was born this past May, when ds was 2 1/2 yo. The last month of pregnancy for me was harder than the newborn stage, even with toddler ds home with me. We have Thursdays at Waldorf Parent-Child class and then usually have lunch with a friend, so a half-day out. Tuesdays out running errands or meeting another friend and her child to play, another half-day. Other days are home. That's it for our weekly rhythm.  Weekends we may have one day out for lunch with family or other fun outing; some weekends we stay home. We live on a farm, so a drive is involved for most outings, and this is a good reason to limit them. It is a blessing and helps us maintain our rhythm and avoid temptations of joining every little event that comes up! Some weeks we are lucky and friends visit us at home for play or once every couple months we'll have people over for supper and a bonfire or something special like that. The whole family looks forward to these days and ds thrives with this rhythm. After a bit of adjustment when dd was tiny we are back to this schedule and dd just comes right along.

 

eta: And don't worry too much about "movie days". It is a temporary situation and things will be back to normal in a few months or so. Dh has been out of town all week, it's 10 degrees out, so we are having our own movie day today! I don't like it and really strive to have NO movie time, but it keeps me from being crazy mama sometimes!

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#3 of 14 Old 12-08-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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I was pregnant this summer, and heat & exhaustion kept us home/watching movies more than I'd like to admit

 

But hey, YOU'RE PREGNANT! Relax, enjoy this quiet time, and don't let yourself feel guilty.

 

 

My 3 year old is home a lot. One of my biggest peeves is people bringing sick kids out! I get noses can run, but I swear every single time we have a larger play-date my DD ends up sick, or someone there is sick. Right now she has a bad cold/slight fever so we are doing Christmas movies, tea and naps.

 

For out of the house time, this time of year it's hectic.  We have lots of friends over for tree time and baked goods, and lots of opportunities to do fun and exciting holiday things in/around Manhattan. I try to keep "the fun" to a 1-2x per week thing. The other times we are home baking, reading, doing house things, etc.


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#4 of 14 Old 12-08-2010, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, you guys made me feel much better about the movies!  Right now, DS comes with me to a Wed LLL Baby Cafe, Thursday he has preschool, and Fri is a playgroup.  I may try to find something for him to do for Wednesday and not do as many Fri playgroups.  I joined a MOMS club and they seem to have stuff going on ALL the time.  But it seems too much.

 

I guess I am more freaked out because I don't want to go into labor being sick.  I am glad I am not the only one who thinks taking sick kids out is rude to all (including the child) involved.  Blah.

 

I think winter is making me want to slow down as well.  Hopefully, I can get more organized on crafts and what not so DS and I can do more things....


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#5 of 14 Old 12-09-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Climbergirl View Post

I was wondering how much time you spent "out" at playgroups and what not with your 3 year old.  I am having a baby in about 3 weeks and right now, don't want to go out too much.  Part of it is that right now I am sick (again) because someone brought a sick child to a playgroup (again).  We were not this sick when DS was in full time daycare!  I feel like the moms around me just can't be trusted to keep their kids at home if they are sick.  I mean, I get that after several days with a sick kid, you want to get out.  But, your child should not still be coughing and sneezing and wiping snot from their nose when you do decide to be around other kids.

 

Anyway, it is making rethink what our priorities are, especially since I can do some things with him at home now.  Although, today is another movie day because I can barely move because of my size and how I feel :(  I hate movie days, but DS is way too active for me, even when he is sick....

 

Any thoughts or suggestions?



I'm due next month and have been wondering this too. Right now I don't want to go out but when we stay inside too long my son goes wild. He just got over being sick for over a week and it was dreadful. He got sick from a playdate too and nobody bothered to even mention that the kid was sick. So annoying. He loves being around "friends" so I feel bad when he asks to go play and I don't want to take him. This week we have been out almost every day and it's exhausting. Today I had to run out to the grocery store and now we are home and he is watching bear in the big blue house, it's about the seasons so I don't feel SO bad. Ideally I want to get to the point where he gets to play with friends 1-2x a week, and then have 1 day for errands, and the rest of the week at home with an hour or two of outside play thrown in somewhere. He doesn't do preschool but a friend yesterday offered to pick him up on Fridays if I sign him up for the same class as her daughter so now I'm wondering if I should take her up on that offer. What sort of things do you plan to do with your son? I want to start doing more things with him too and now that babe is almost here I feel bad that I haven't been spending more time baking, painting, exploring etc with him while it was just the two of us.

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#6 of 14 Old 12-09-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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couldnt not reply :) Just had ds on the 3rd

 

First off i dont believe 3 year olds need out of home time, outdoors sure, but errends, play groups, classes no

dd and i did some outside play in the back yard, but even in ca i was cold and uncomfy and huge and with 3 dogs to clean paws when coming in and boots and rain gear etc, most days we didnt even do that. We have a school down the street so we would go to the play ground if I could manage the few steps from home of a walk :)

 

Now that ds is here i am going to try to keep him in doors in house for 6 weeks! its onyl been a week and im ready for a trip to the store or SOMETHING... dh has taken dd out a lot, but ive been home alone with dd and ds 2 days total. yesterday dh came home early, at like 4 and took dd to the park and on a long walk. Today dh is home all day  weeee and they are out now in nature and taking a bus ride to get to nature, for fun. DD has been on the bus twice or something so its a big adventure for her

 

anyway im going to try to get dh to take dd out as much as possible, when ds is 6 weeks we might starting going out into the garden/backyard or for walks, dd has a stroller for her baby too and is looking fwd to walking with our babies. Maybe to the park with ds in stroller or sling. But for the most part we still stay home ALOT and i have no social life and no friends and my social interaction cosists of checking out at whole foods, which i hope to not have to do with ds at all, ill be sending dh on the weekends so ummm yeah its facebook now basically and the kids and dh... but with a regular rythm and activities each day at home it is doable i think... I have things to look fwd to doing each day and the rythm is really important to me, also reading parenting books gives me inspiration.

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#7 of 14 Old 12-09-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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For my family, we are out a bit more than my 3yo needs, because my 5 yo goes crazy if we don't!  I have a phlegmatic 3yo who would be fine with a few times a month playing near or with other kids.  But my sanguine 5yo is very unhappy if he is not around other children, and I remember being the same way as a child.  So, Monday nights the 5yo goes to a Bible memory club (his choice, he loves it) but the 3yo and baby stay home, Tuesdays we drive to get organic milk and stop at the library on the way home, Wednesdays is a large homeschool co-op, Thursdays we stay home, and friday is our Waldorf co-op (just two other families at a home).  We usually just hang out as a family on weekends, but occasionally go to church on Sunday. 

 

All of this to say, you need to balance the needs of all the family members.  And always remember, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  I learned this trying to follow a dogmatic "small children need to be kept at home" approach last year.  I was miserable and ill-tempered; I'm a sanguine!  People energize me!  Then I well up with enthusiasm for life, and am a better mama.  My introvert friends on the other hand, need to say no. 

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#8 of 14 Old 12-09-2010, 07:50 PM
 
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Is there a good waldorf book that has thoughts on this? My 14 month old and I hardly ever leave the house and I was curious about Waldorf's thoughts about this. So far we go to a little music class once a week and do random play dates (maybe one every other week). I'm perfectly happy to be home most the time. We're having another baby in March, so part of me is trying to keep things simple before then. 

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#9 of 14 Old 12-09-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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Monkeyma, this is touched on v lightly in Heaven on Earth.  Basically, the author states that small children do not need to go out much, two or three events per week is plenty for them & I do tend to agree, for most kids.

 

For us, we did go all over the place a lot during the summer & it was usually grand!  But now it is time for an inhale and we stay home mostly.  My mother is v ill right now, so we do spend a lot of time at her house, but otherwise we have church, parent/child class, and library story time.  I also babysit a friend's young daughter one morning per week & this is great for us b/c dd1 gets to play w/out having to leave the house :)  For us, this is PLENTY.  I do miss many of my mom friends & we are dropping library time anyway, so I may start doing one play date per week instead.  I belong to 2 groups, so there would be lots to choose from even if I pick the same day per week.  We also sometimes go out on an evening or weekend to visit family or to the mall or what have you.

 

SO, in summary, yes, I do think it is appropriate to cultivate an inviting home environment where you all *want* to spend time and avoid much of the hassle of going out to play places all the time, esp w/ a young baby in tow.  When you start to get antsy, that is when you go out.  We are social, we do need to visit each other :)  My girls and I always find lots and lots to do at home to fill our days :D


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#10 of 14 Old 12-11-2010, 06:54 PM
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we have one outing a week to playgroup for our 2 yr old.

 

otherwise, we just stay close to home. he does do errands with his dad in the afternoon (such as going grocery shopping) which might also include time for him to go to "baby town" which is his word for the playground. this typically happens about twice a week.

 

i also make sure that DS gets outside every day for at least 20 minutes, and optimally, for at least 2 hours. we mostly go to the open spaces near us where he can wander around and pick flowers and run to-and-fro and dig a hole.

 

in the coming weeks, i am looking forward to: building two gates for the little yard in front of our apartment; planting that little garden out with flowers; and building a small sand box for DS to use in this garden space (that i can also keep protected from cats!). this will give us an outdoor space to play that is close and comfortable, without really having to worry about him running off. it will be enclosed, and he'll have plenty of things to do and explore in that space. :) even though it's small. 

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#11 of 14 Old 12-13-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Climbergirl View Post

 I mean, I get that after several days with a sick kid, you want to get out.  But, your child should not still be coughing and sneezing and wiping snot from their nose when you do decide to be around other kids.

 

I've been through this ... um, sorry but ... slightly anal stage too. You get over it. My son gets sick a lot - coughs and coughs and has a runny nose for weeks but is not contagious. The looks I get when he barks out a cough in public are priceless! He's pretty good at covering with his sleeve now. But seriously, yes it is a hard one, but actually they're often most contagious generally when the symptoms are not obvious anyway and then the first few days. You know when you get that feeling of a sore throat but no other symptoms? I think it is cruel to quarantine them beyond what is reasonable - if they are sick sick as in sore throat/fever/unwell and uncomfortable then absolutely, the first thought should be to keep them home and get them well and avoid spreading it if possible. But these things are picked up anywhere and everywhere, it's a mighty difficult thing to control. Just wait and see what it's like with two... I think it is really difficult as a mum to make a judgement sometimes though - once we had a visitor with a child who was "teething" about four days before we went overseas on a very long haul trip. I had kept my then 4 year old away from pre-kindy precisely to avoid him getting sick. Lo and behold both children came down with a nasty virus two days out from travelling and we had the trip from hell - I think there was more to it than teething! In hindsight we should have cancelled, it was a total disaster. I struggled a while, thinking if only the mum had been more upfront before they came over I would have asked them to stay away. I think it's pointless to blame people, children get sick. It could have been from anywhere - child or adult. (And the number of adults who go around sick...!).

 

On the other hand I would be more concerned about the baby (whooping cough) - if there is whooping cough going around (and often these communities don't vaccinate so just be aware of that) then it's advisable to keep a young baby away (and maybe think about vaccinating the adults around - yourselves, grandparents maybe...). It's a hard call.

 

If someone offers to take your 3 yo out then jump at the opportunity. I don't think they need out and about activites, but three year olds definitely need out of doors time every day, preferably at least twice a day - easier said than done with a newborn. I ended up just having to let DS1 out into the garden and be unsupervised at times. Frequent checks on him of course but couldn't be out with him all the time. They can get so bored when you spend almost all your time feeding and trying to get bub to sleep. If they don't have an outlet, then you'll hear about it. Going for a walk with bub in sling while still really little is a real goodie. Later, in pram, if not sleeping in sling (like mine). Also, those walker bikes are absolutely fabulous - my son at 5 still rides his e.g. http://www.likeabikeaus.com/ They LOVE the independence and it takes the pressure off them "walking" (and then wanting to be carried back). Playgroup worked for me for the first three months and then bub got difficult to put down to sleep in a sling and it was just tiring and I stopped enjoying it, which filtered through to DS1. I should have said yes to the offers of taking him while I styed home with bub. Play dates at yours is a good option, though it doesn't get you out. Going out to a park and having a picnic there can work with a littlie. You can sit and feed while your eldest plays. It is hard not to go for the easy option - i.e. activities which keep the child busy over ones that really nurture their development. Try to do a bit of both for a while if it gets too much. Ah, it's a juggle - some people manage really well though. I think a lot depends on how bub sleeps.

 

Good luck with finding the balance that fits your family.

 

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#12 of 14 Old 12-13-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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My two year old son participates in a playgroup for three hours two days a week. He also runs errands with us. Aside from that, we stick around the house a lot.

 

On a related note, we take a somewhat laid-back approach to illness in our playgroup. It's only six kids and sd mamas are all close friends, so our policy is that if the child is ill and is not feeling well, then they should stay home. But if a child has a runny nose and seems fine otherwise, or else has had a cough that is no longer contagious, then we are fine with the child attending playgroup.

 

I believe that childhood exposure to bacteria and viruses is healthy and necessary to their development. My son is a robust little kid and I would like him to gain immunity to the childhood diseases like chicken pox for which I have chosen to forgo vaccination. I'm not particularly concerned if he drinks from the same cup as another child - it's little different than sharing toys and then rubbing eyes or noses. We as parents aren't going to know all the time what germs and viruses our child or any other child is carrying and could potentially be transmitting.  I think playgroups are very healthy thing for their immune systems in the long run in that regard. I am due with #2 in April and so would feel differently if a mama just decided to send her child to playgroup with something like whooping cough. When one of our kids is exhibiting symptoms of an illness that could potentially cause us to miss work or worse, jeopardize the health of an immune-compromised family member like an elderly caregiver or a young child, we have a policy that a call is put into each of the mamas leaving the decision to her whether she wants to hold her child from group that day or whether we as a group ask that mama to stay home with her child.


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#13 of 14 Old 12-16-2010, 09:21 AM
 
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I have a very social 3yo who thrives on playing with other children every day, so we're out a lot.  If it were up to ds1, we'd be out all day every day, but I limit things to just one activity a day.  Mondays we meet up with a friend to play, Tuesdays ds1 has school (8:30am-noon), Wednesdays we do our shopping for the week, Thursdays are school again, Fridays ds1 has gymnastics.  On the weekends we do things as a family like go out for breakfast, or go to the library, etc.

 

It was always my plan to homeschool ds1, but I'm starting to question that since he adores being out all the time.  I'm very much an introvert so it's exhausting for me.  I could easily stay home for weeks.  Needless to say, we're looking into putting ds1 in our local Waldorf school for K.


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#14 of 14 Old 01-04-2011, 08:29 PM
 
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On playdates: My 3.5 yo DS does gymnastics once a week and we go through phases of nothing else at all, all the way to seeing kids everyday (homeschool center, playground, neighbors out in their yard ,etc.)  He's fine either way.

 

On illness:  We keep DS home when he is sick.  Yes, we'd like not to share, but mostly it is so he can heal.  We're sick this week for the first time in months, and its a rough one--we rareley get more than a (unnoticed by anyone else) stuffy nose--not even runny nose.  But this time it's a bad cough all around.  I know if we keep up our daily schedule of out and about we won't heal as quickly, so we rest.  Today I cooked 2 meals and did dishes, and 2 loads of laundry, otherwise I was on the laptop in bed while DS listened to stories on CD or played games, puzzles, etc by himself in the room I was in or next door. 

 

I really believe that in addition to weaker immune systems (not talking about everyone) due to sub-optimal nutrition, rest, etc. a lot of people (especially kids) have these symptoms, especially coughs, because they don't rest long enough to heal.  My kid is almost 4 and has never had a cough as long as this one--he just hit 7 days and it seems to be just about done.  Usually, if he even coughs at all, it is for 1-2 days. 

 

We follow Ayurveda, and they believe that activity during a cold makes the cold move into the chest and set up house. I believe it too!

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