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Gentle Discipline > Blanket-training and alternatives (spinoff)
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 12:56 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia
Yes, we are in agreement that these examples are all too abstract to understand. It's just that I've never expected my children to "stay right here" or "not to go anywhere"...the "burden" of compliance would be upon them, whereas the the responsibility for their well-being and safety should be on me. Not on a blanket or a chalk line.

The burden of their safety and well-being is still on me, but isn't part of healthy child-rearing gradually making them more and more responsible for themselves? So baby starts out being left in a bassinet alone, then on a blanket alone, then in a room alone, then roaming the house with an adult there, then staying home alone for short times, then home alone for longer times, and finally moving out into his own home. It isn't an overnight thing, but the child becomes more and more responsible for himself until he's an adult and completely responsible for himself. At least that's how I see it.

MamaPam's Avatar MamaPam 12:57 AM 04-17-2006
I have read most of the thread so forgive me if this has been asked already but I was wondering what you think of this scenario. I will put a large blanket or beach towel on the floor in the room adjacent to our kitchen and give DD a basket of toys and tell her she can stay within these boundries and play with these toys. I'll do this occasionally while doing non child friendly activities in the kitchen that weren't done while . I can see DD and I can talk to her vs her being unsupervised or unsafely underfoot. She isn't spanked or disciplined if she starts to wander. I just ask her to stay on the blanket and play with "X." For example are you mixing beans in your pot or where's the sheep? Would you consider this approprite? In some ways this is a different scenario then what many of you have been discussing b/c the comprehension of a 22month old is MUCH different then a 6-12 month old. Just curious...

Pam
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 01:05 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
You comply because you have a reason to. You're waiting for the doctor and you need to be present when your name is called or you'll miss the appointment. You choose to wait because it is a necessity in fulfilling your need to see the doctor. A child waiting on a blanket is acting contrary to his/her desire (to get off of the blanket) and for the arbitrary reason that mama has made it a rule.
But you abstain from charging the back room because you've been asked to wait and it's expected of you. Baby stays on the blanket because he's been asked to and it's expected of him. In both cases you are chosing to stay put because it's expected of you without the need for physical restraints.

Quote:
I never actually put ds in a pen or behind gates, so I don't know. I also didn't ask him to stay put because I knew he wasn't ready for it. It's in his nature to want to be where I am (a fact I've relied on to keep him safe) and, when he was so young, not within his ability to heed those sorts of commands. Now, at 5, he can stay put if I really need him to (though such situations are rare because he's learning more about keeping himself safe all the time). It's now age appropriate to ask such a thing for a short time. I just can't agree that it's at all age appropriate to ask the same of a baby.
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?
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 01:19 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madre Piadosa
You've been very articulate and open about how this works in your family and I for one appreciate that.
While I completely UNDERSTAND your point of view- I disagree with it. In my opinion there is no difference between the blanket and any other containment device. (which btw I feel have their place- but not for the free spirit I'm raising now.) Many children have to be "trained" to stay in those devices "happily" too- they also may attempt to get out- or fuss and whine to communicate their desire to be out, then mamas sooth them and "train" them that these devices are an ok place to be. In the end both things are accomplishing the same thing... so although I understand what you are trying to say- we'll have to agree to disagree on whether staying on a blanket or in any device is the same thing.
Okay, I understand your point, and they are similar in that they are both attempts to keep baby in one safe place. And if you believe in letting babies roam free they're probably equally distasteful.

Quote:
I think that in this regard you may have been blessed with easier babies then most. I've never tried to teach my children to stay on a blanket- but I have tried exersaucers and the like. 1 took to it, 1 couldn't handle it due to her disability and the other- like I said he really is such a free spirit. So my hypothetical for you would be what if the infant did protest, cry and scream every time you put them back on the blanket?
They were easier than most regarding blanket-training apparently. They certainly protest when they're being subjected to some indignity, but they do seem to mostly accept stuff that happens--very much like my dh. I don't know what I'll do if the next one has my temperment instead!

I wouldn't keep training a baby who was crying and screaming in protest. If he was crying because he wanted to stay with me, I would just keep him with me. If he was crying because he didn't like his freedom being restricted by the blanket, I would abandon the training and when I needed to go someplace, I would take him up to our room, put him in there, and close the door. I would probably try the blanket-training again later though.

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Thank you for putting so much time and thoughts into your posts- I hope you aren't feeling attacked- it is a different parenting technique- I had never heard of it till people at my church started using Ezzo and Gothard (and being an in home interventionist- I was exposed to many many parenting techniques.)
Dana
I was feeling a bit attacked earlier, but not now--my children's mellowness may have a calming effect on me yet.

I agree that the Ezzo/Gothard type of training is evil.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 01:21 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaPam
I have read most of the thread so forgive me if this has been asked already but I was wondering what you think of this scenario. I will put a large blanket or beach towel on the floor in the room adjacent to our kitchen and give DD a basket of toys and tell her she can stay within these boundries and play with these toys. I'll do this occasionally while doing non child friendly activities in the kitchen that weren't done while . I can see DD and I can talk to her vs her being unsupervised or unsafely underfoot. She isn't spanked or disciplined if she starts to wander. I just ask her to stay on the blanket and play with "X." For example are you mixing beans in your pot or where's the sheep? Would you consider this approprite? In some ways this is a different scenario then what many of you have been discussing b/c the comprehension of a 22month old is MUCH different then a 6-12 month old. Just curious...

Pam
This is the same thing I did, but most people here seem to believe very firmly that it's wrong.
Jennisee's Avatar Jennisee 01:41 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
If I were in the room with baby, baby was playing on the blanket on the floor, and I needed to leave the room for a brief minute, like to answer the phone or go to the bathroom, I told baby "please stay on the blanket." I never left them alone for more than a few minutes. I don't think they were in that much danger even if they "forgot" their training and left the blanket, which didn't happen. But they were safer on the blanket than roaming free. And when they were a bit older, maybe over 1, I would ask them to stay on the blanket briefly to keep them occupied while I was there in the room, but again, never for very long.
(emphasis mine)

Here is where you completely lose me. In a babyproofed home, WHY is the child safer on the blanket than roaming free? In a babyproofed home, by definition, isn't the child JUST AS safe roaming free than on the blanket--because there are no dangers to get into? What are these "dangers" you're keeping your child from? As others have tried repeatedly to explain, if there are in fact dangers off of the blanket, then no, your house is not "babyproofed." And if your house IS "babyproofed," then there is no need for the blanket. I think it is this (perceived) flaw in your logic that is frustrating other people so much.

I tried to post about my own house back on page 4, but my post was overlooked or ignored. My daughter can explore our babyproofed house, crawl from room to room, and she does not encounter dangers. There are no exposed cords or outlets, no choking hazards at her level, no poisonous houseplants, no valuables she can destroy, nothing of the sort. Instead, she encounters some locked cabinets, some cabinets filled with fun pots and pans and dish towels, shelves of toys, a playhouse, etc. I realize that some people are opposed to babyproofing their homes, but since you do not seem to be opposed to babyproofing, I am having difficulty understanding the need for the blanket in the first place.
Victorian's Avatar Victorian 01:41 AM 04-17-2006
the difference between using a blanket and the excersaucer is that the excersaucer is WITH me. In view. In the physical area.

I think that you are confusing compliance with the ability to understand. Not the same thing.

V.
Dragonfly's Avatar Dragonfly 01:43 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
But you abstain from charging the back room because you've been asked to wait and it's expected of you. Baby stays on the blanket because he's been asked to and it's expected of him. In both cases you are chosing to stay put because it's expected of you without the need for physical restraints.
The difference is that I'm free to leave if I decide that I don't want to wait.

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?
I would say it's evidence that you've taught the baby to ignore his/her impulses, not that you've instilled understanding. IMO, this is a negative, in part because it's contrary to the natural, essential drive to attach (as heartmama explained so eloquently before). Honestly, I think you assign too much ability to reason in the abstract to very young babies. I understand you disagree but, from what I have seen, the evidence doesn't support your theories.

Quote:
The burden of their safety and well-being is still on me, but isn't part of healthy child-rearing gradually making them more and more responsible for themselves? So baby starts out being left in a bassinet alone, then on a blanket alone, then in a room alone, then roaming the house with an adult there, then staying home alone for short times, then home alone for longer times, and finally moving out into his own home. It isn't an overnight thing, but the child becomes more and more responsible for himself until he's an adult and completely responsible for himself. At least that's how I see it.
See, this doesn't seem sequential to me. Probably because I don't believe babies should ever be left alone so it feels to me as though you begin at the extreme, regress to the beginning, and move again along the continuum. If they were meant to be left alone, they'd be equipped with the ability to reason and rationalize and there would be little need for parents. If I were making your list, it would look like this: baby stays in mama's arms (or sling), roams house (and other places) with adult there, stays in home while parent is outside for short times, stays home alone for short time, stays home alone for longer time, flies the coop.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 02:33 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee
(emphasis mine)

Here is where you completely lose me. In a babyproofed home, WHY is the child safer on the blanket than roaming free? In a babyproofed home, by definition, isn't the child JUST AS safe roaming free than on the blanket--because there are no dangers to get into? What are these "dangers" you're keeping your child from? As others have tried repeatedly to explain, if there are in fact dangers off of the blanket, then no, your house is not "babyproofed." And if your house IS "babyproofed," then there is no need for the blanket. I think it is this (perceived) flaw in your logic that is frustrating other people so much.

I tried to post about my own house back on page 4, but my post was overlooked or ignored. My daughter can explore our babyproofed house, crawl from room to room, and she does not encounter dangers. There are no exposed cords or outlets, no choking hazards at her level, no poisonous houseplants, no valuables she can destroy, nothing of the sort. Instead, she encounters some locked cabinets, some cabinets filled with fun pots and pans and dish towels, shelves of toys, a playhouse, etc. I realize that some people are opposed to babyproofing their homes, but since you do not seem to be opposed to babyproofing, I am having difficulty understanding the need for the blanket in the first place.
Sorry, I missed your first post. My house is babyproofed in the way that you mention except for the gates. There are no exposed outlets, chemicals, sharp objects, etc. So baby wouldn't be in danger from any of those things. The main issue was the oral thing. My babies put *everything* in their mouths. When I was right there I could try to teach them, distract them, redirect them to things they could chew, take things away, etc. But if I was away even for a minute I knew that anything they got their hands on would go in their mouths. Now our bedroom was completely stripped of all stuff, so I could leave them briefly unattended in there, but I don't think I could completely strip the entire downstairs of all stuff. There was also the stairs. They did learn how to climb the stairs safely, but there was a period before they learned when the stairs were a danger to them. Those were the only specific things, but also just the hazards of life--babyproofing reduces risk; it doesn't eliminate it. So even though they weren't in very much danger roaming free, they were safer on the blanket.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 02:39 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Victorian
the difference between using a blanket and the excersaucer is that the excersaucer is WITH me. In view. In the physical area.
Okay, it seems like that works for you. But the saucer is not an option for me.

Quote:
I think that you are confusing compliance with the ability to understand. Not the same thing.

V.
Not exactly the same thing, and the kids probably didn't understand *why* I wanted them to stay on the blanket, but they understood that I did and they complied. Of course a person can choose not to comply with a request even if he understands it, but I don't see how he can comply without understanding (understanding the request, I mean, not necessarily why).
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 02:54 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
The difference is that I'm free to leave if I decide that I don't want to wait.
Right, and a lot of the time the babies were free to come with me if they didn't want to stay on the blanket. 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.

Quote:
I would say it's evidence that you've taught the baby to ignore his/her impulses, not that you've instilled understanding. IMO, this is a negative, in part because it's contrary to the natural, essential drive to attach (as heartmama explained so eloquently before). Honestly, I think you assign too much ability to reason in the abstract to very young babies. I understand you disagree but, from what I have seen, the evidence doesn't support your theories.
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. And unlike a generic request like "stay here" or "don't get into trouble," a specific request like "stay on the blanket" doesn't require much abstract reasoning. If they were capable of abstract reasoning I wouldn't need the blanket in the first place because they would know to keep themselves safe. Blanket-training is for before abstract reasoning.

Quote:
See, this doesn't seem sequential to me. Probably because I don't believe babies should ever be left alone so it feels to me as though you begin at the extreme, regress to the beginning, and move again along the continuum. If they were meant to be left alone, they'd be equipped with the ability to reason and rationalize and there would be little need for parents. If I were making your list, it would look like this: baby stays in mama's arms (or sling), roams house (and other places) with adult there, stays in home while parent is outside for short times, stays home alone for short time, stays home alone for longer time, flies the coop.
Of course babies aren't meant to be left alone for long periods of time, but they can be left alone for brief periods. 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. Then gradually I let them sleep while I was in another room, then blanket-training, and now they both freely roam the house except for the younger one in the laundry room and certain select circumstances. But I agree that babies should mostly be carried or worn, and mine were. I was just listing the increasing amount of time and space they could be left alone.
Jennisee's Avatar Jennisee 03:02 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Sorry, I missed your first post. My house is babyproofed in the way that you mention except for the gates. There are no exposed outlets, chemicals, sharp objects, etc. So baby wouldn't be in danger from any of those things. The main issue was the oral thing. My babies put *everything* in their mouths. When I was right there I could try to teach them, distract them, redirect them to things they could chew, take things away, etc. But if I was away even for a minute I knew that anything they got their hands on would go in their mouths. Now our bedroom was completely stripped of all stuff, so I could leave them briefly unattended in there, but I don't think I could completely strip the entire downstairs of all stuff. There was also the stairs. They did learn how to climb the stairs safely, but there was a period before they learned when the stairs were a danger to them. Those were the only specific things, but also just the hazards of life--babyproofing reduces risk; it doesn't eliminate it. So even though they weren't in very much danger roaming free, they were safer on the blanket.
I am truly trying to understand, but I still don't get it. What things is the baby putting in his/her mouth that you object to? If your home is "babyproofed," there is nothing dangerous out for the baby to chew on, right? I am looking around my living room, and I see nothing that I would object to my daughter putting in her mouth. Can you give some specific examples and explain why you are unable or unwilling to simply put these things away? I'm also wondering what these "hazards of life" are? And what do you mean by a "stripped down" bedroom, and why are you unable or unwilling to repeat that state elsewhere in the house? And can you explain why you are unwilling to gate even the stairs? I swear that I am not trying to be obtuse, but I really am puzzled as to what these dangers are that are so great that you are willing to blanket train a child. As others have said, there seem to be so many easier--and more attached--alternatives. If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that your home is well babyproofed and there are miniscule risks, yet you still think the negatives of training a baby to a blanket are outweighed by the benefits of avoiding these mimiscule risks. If this is correct, then I guess I'm dumbfounded and don't really know what else to say.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 03:37 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee
I am truly trying to understand, but I still don't get it. What things is the baby putting in his/her mouth that you object to? If your home is "babyproofed," there is nothing dangerous out for the baby to chew on, right? I am looking around my living room, and I see nothing that I would object to my daughter putting in her mouth. Can you give some specific examples and explain why you are unable or unwilling to simply put these things away? I'm also wondering what these "hazards of life" are? And what do you mean by a "stripped down" bedroom, and why are you unable or unwilling to repeat that state elsewhere in the house? And can you explain why you are unwilling to gate even the stairs? I swear that I am not trying to be obtuse, but I really an puzzled as to what these dangers are that are so great that you are willing to blanket train a child. As others have said, there seem to be so many easier--and more attached--alternatives. If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that your home is well babyproofed and there are miniscule risks, yet you still think the negatives of training a baby to a blanket are outweighed by the benefits of avoiding these mimiscule risks. If this is correct, then I guess I'm dumbfounded.
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.
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 03:42 AM 04-17-2006
From what I've gathered Brigianna, it sounds almost as if you've adopted the term "blanket training" for simply asking your kids to play on the blanket, and they happen to like it so they do.
I don't think that's what "blanket training" means.
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 03:45 AM 04-17-2006
also, be careful. It seems that one could derive a false sense of security from such a practice. You cannot depend on a baby to show the self restraint required to NOT move off the blanket to grab a shiny bead. So no matter how much they may enjoy the time they spend on the blanket (which is an interesting trait for sure) make sure that the area around them is safe, and their access to stairs etc. is thwarted somehow.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 03:47 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
From what I've gathered Brigianna, it sounds almost as if you've adopted the term "blanket training" for simply asking your kids to play on the blanket, and they happen to like it so they do.
I don't think that's what "blanket training" means.
As I understand it "blanket-training" means training or teaching a child to stay on a blanket when asked. I didn't even know about the other kind of blanket-training until I read about it here.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 03:50 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
also, be careful. It seems that one could derive a false sense of security from such a practice. You cannot depend on a baby to show the self restraint required to NOT move off the blanket to grab a shiny bead. So no matter how much they may enjoy the time they spend on the blanket (which is an interesting trait for sure) make sure that the area around them is safe, and their access to stairs etc. is thwarted somehow.
I do try to keep the area around them safe, but the blanket-training did work well for us. I'm not sure about the stairs.
Viola's Avatar Viola 04:15 AM 04-17-2006
I do a combination of 1 and 4. Probably more 4 than 1.
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 04:21 AM 04-17-2006
so I'm not really getting it. You're looking for alternatives for something you no longer do anyway?
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 04:25 AM 04-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama
so I'm not really getting it. You're looking for alternatives for something you no longer do anyway?
For the next one . My 2 have outgrown the blanket-training stage; they're 6 and 3.
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 04:36 AM 04-17-2006
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?
Jennisee's Avatar Jennisee 04:57 AM 04-17-2006
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.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 04:59 AM 04-17-2006
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.

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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.

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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.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 05:10 AM 04-17-2006
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.
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 05:19 AM 04-17-2006
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.
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 05:27 AM 04-17-2006
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.
mollyeilis's Avatar mollyeilis 05:36 AM 04-17-2006
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"...).
Jennisee's Avatar Jennisee 05:41 AM 04-17-2006
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.
Brigianna's Avatar Brigianna 05:45 AM 04-17-2006
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.
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 05:51 AM 04-17-2006
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.
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