Ikea Smaland - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 06-16-2009, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are planning an Ikea run soon. This is the first time we will have gone there since DS has potty trained. He has often asked, in the past, to go into Smaland (their children's play area, parents drop them off there while they shop), and DH is keen for him to do so. I'm still a bit apprehensive. Has anyone used Smaland? I'm asking in the tribal areas because the Ikea I will visit is located here... so specific experiences would be appreciated. For the record DS is in "preschool" full-time while I WOH and is an outgoing, independent boy.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#2 of 16 Old 06-16-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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From what I've been told by local moms, I wouldn't put my child in there.

My son had fun shopping in Ikea. Especially the kids area.

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#3 of 16 Old 06-16-2009, 09:53 PM
 
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It really depends..
If it's busy and there are a lot of kids in there, then no way.
We have let our son go a few times- when there was only one or two other children there- and we had talked to both female workers enough to feel comfortable leaving him there for that short time (they were both the grandmotherly type). They gave us a pager in case they needed to get ahold of us.
I do admit to coming back and peeking in, just to see if things were still okay & he was having a blast.
So- I think it just depends on the vibe you get from the place.
Initially, I was completely against the idea. But I warmed up to it after checking it out and seeing how much fun ds had in that 45 minutes or so.
It's really such a short period of time- but if I had asked ds to shop with me for those 45 minutes, it would have been torture for him. He hates to shop

edited to add: we've only had experience with the New Haven location

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#4 of 16 Old 06-16-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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I remember going when I was a kid I actually cried when I was too tall for the ball pit! I dunno, I can't wait until DD is old enough to go in, and I can get some shopping done.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#5 of 16 Old 06-17-2009, 09:09 AM
 
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Initially, I wouldn't leave ds there, but we had to go to the store quite often while redoing some rooms so eventually I let him. As I walked around one area I looked in to see how he was doing, I heard one of the workers yell at my son! One of the kids was crying, and ds asked the adult what was wrong? The worker snapped "Its NONE of YOUR business! Just go play!" I was irate, and immediately said something to her as I was taking my son out. We had some words, she initially denied anything then admitted what she had done. I said something like "you were trusted with these kids to keep an eye on them and make sure they are safe, not to scare them and act as though they are a bother to you. Maybe you should think if this is really where you want to be..."
After awhile I thought about it and asked to speak to a supervisor, who was very appropriate and apologetic. But- my son won't be going back in there. And, I have seen that same girl still there...( fyi- ds was 5)
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#6 of 16 Old 06-17-2009, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterOfKali View Post
My son had fun shopping in Ikea. Especially the kids area.
yeah, we've been before and he's generally enjoyed the store and the kid's rooms upstairs. Just wondering if I should let hime go in if he asks.

For those with bad experiences--Was it the New Haven Ikea or the Stoughton one? We'd be hitting New Haven on this trip.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#7 of 16 Old 06-17-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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The bad experiences I've been told about were all at Stoughton.

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#8 of 16 Old 06-17-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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My dds (8 and 3) have really enjoyed the one in New Haven. We have only had positive experiences and they are usually disappointed to have to leave when the 45 min is up.
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#9 of 16 Old 06-18-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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My girls (5&7) love the New Haven one. I've never hesitated to let them stay -- from about age 3 onwards, but then, they're old enough to tattle and to take care of themselves and really just need an adult to tell them to stop standing on the table or shoving balls down their shirts and pretending they have breasts or whatever mischief they get into. My sense is that if there is a problem, you'll be notified immediately.
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#10 of 16 Old 06-19-2009, 01:39 AM
 
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My older three beg to go back so they can play in the ballpit. Both times we went was to the Stoughton one during the week and I had no issues (my kids pretty much take care of themselves). The two reasons I have not been back is I have to entertain my 2 year old while they are in there and there is a TV loft with a Disney movie usually showing (which is where they spend half their time). I have no issues with Disney movies but if I am going to drop them at a play area, I want them to play not watch TV.
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#11 of 16 Old 06-19-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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Our bad experience was at Stoughton. Ds is very assertive and can handle himself confidently, but honestly I don't think small children can be expected to deal with overbearing and/or rude adults in any situation on their own. My son won't go near the place now
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#12 of 16 Old 06-20-2009, 07:10 AM
 
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The only IKEA I've ever been to is the one in Stoughton. My kids (8 and 6) absolutely love Smaland. They are always so disappointed when they have to leave. I check in once or twice and they are always well taken care of, the people there seem warm, caring, professional. My kids have never reported anyone being mean or yelling.

I don't usually leave my kids with anyone I don't know, but they beg me to go to Smaland.

Take care!

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#13 of 16 Old 06-21-2009, 07:57 AM
 
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My kids love the Smaland in New Haven and we've never had a bad experience there.

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#14 of 16 Old 06-21-2009, 11:34 AM
 
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The New Haven, CT, one is great. DD loves it there. The staff is friendly and helpful and professional. They go over the emergency exit route and plan with me every time we check in so if there were an emergency, I would know right where to go to find dd, and their security measures for making sure the right child leaves with the right adult seem sound. I checked it out before letting her go the first time and it was clean and safe for littles. DS has maybe 1/8" to go before he's tall enough to get in and he's so excited. I was sad he couldn't go in last time, but I really can't fault them for following the rules to a T. I like that better than them being sloppy about the rules, you know?
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#15 of 16 Old 06-23-2009, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Op here-ds loved it and it was great to shop without distractions .

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#16 of 16 Old 06-24-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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We actually went yesterday to the Stoughton IKEA and dropped off my 4yo for the first time (3yo not quite ready yet....my call not his!). It looked clean, DS had fun, but transitioned back out just fine. They were very strictly observing a small childorker ratio which also helped put me at ease. We had to wait five minutes until one child was picked up before DS was allowed in. All the workers there knew Ds's name when I got him and he reported having a 'good chat' with a 'big boy', no negative reports. All in all a good experience. There's a 45-minute time limit, which is great....no abandoned kiddos.

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