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So DS is about 11 months old, and is cruising but not walking yet. He's gotten to this awkward point where I have trouble keeping him entertained during the day, especially when we're home for most of the day (as we were today since I have a cold and needed to take it easy as much as possible). I used to just pretty much go about my day, cooking and doing laundry and stuff while he played nearby. I would do some stuff and let him play on his own, then I'd play with him or read him a book or whatever, and then do another task.<br><br>
Now, he gets bored almost instantly- he wants me to be interacting with him 24/7. I love that he's so bright and so social, but I'm getting a little burnt out from being his constant playmate. The main solution has been to get out of the house as much as possible- he needs the stimulation, and when we're around other babies and moms in other settings he's a lot happier and so am I. But some days, like today, we just gotta stay home, and it's soooo frustrating when the instant I stop playing with him he starts this high-pitched squealing. Sometimes if I give it a minute he'll go get a book and start looking through it, but sometimes not. And even when we play together, he's already bored with most of his toys, and I can't just keep buying a new toy every week. He also gets into a lot of mischief when bored, pulling all the toilet paper off the roll and such. He's just so hungry for action, and for new experiences! I can understand that, but man, sometimes mama needs to lie on the couch because her head hurts.<br><br>
Creative suggestions? Stuff to do together would be good...stuff he might like to do on his own while I'm next to him folding laundry would be even better. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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One thing that always kept my boys entertained was water... I had a stepstool I'd bring up to the sink, fill the sink with 4" or so of water, and they would literally spend HOURS playing - give them cups, spoons, etc... yes, it gets water everywhere, but it's WATER! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
I couldn't tell from your post if he's standing well on his own, which of course he'd need to do for this to work... otherwise, coloring, homemade playdoh at the kitchen table, fingerpainting with pudding on the kitchen table, etc. etc....
 

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I have a few fun toys that I use for getting chores done. My baby doesn't care much about her toys, but loves adult everyday items. All of these are supervised play, while you are doing another task in the same room. Most of these require the baby knowing not to put everything in his mouth.<br><br>
~One thing that works for about 20 minutes is a deck of cards.<br>
~Bag of ribbon scraps<br>
~play money<br>
~water time= couple of towels on the rug, baby sits down and I give her a container of water and some cups<br>
~snack time<br>
~sort a bag of mixed beans<br>
~the laundry basket full of clean clothes always gives me about 20 minutes
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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Yeah for this thread!! My daughters 11 months and we're having identical issues. the keyboard keeps her occupied for about 10 minutes maybe, chasing the dog, about 5 minutes..if she's completely bored, playtime in the bathtub always works, she loves the water. oh Mirrors are also awesome, I'll try to think of more stuff, and I'll problably be lurking on this thread, I LOVE the water and cups idea<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I don't think you should be "entertaining" your baby all the time. I think you should set up some baby-safe space and let her explore on her own, and not rush in to "rescue" her from her own boredom so quickly. Remember that she can't get into the toilet paper if the bathroom door is kept closed! That's part of the "baby safe" part.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ruthla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7942921"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think you should be "entertaining" your baby all the time. I think you should set up some baby-safe space and let her explore on her own, and not rush in to "rescue" her from her own boredom so quickly. Remember that she can't get into the toilet paper if the bathroom door is kept closed! That's part of the "baby safe" part.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:
 

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When my child gets bored and needs my attention but I need to get stuff done, I put her in the mei tai and carry her along with me!<br><br>
I don't think your child needs you to entertain him so much as interact with him, if that makes sense. Just being in the same room while he explores, so you're within his sight should be fine.<br><br>
Our one year old loves these things:<br><br>
Balls<br>
Little foamy/rubbery cars<br>
Wooden puzzles<br>
Blocks<br>
Pots and pans<br>
Plastic bowls/cups<br>
Turn a laundry basket upside down and let him bang on it!<br>
Remote Controls with the batteries taken out<br>
Stackable stuff<br>
Silk scarves<br>
Stuffed animals<br>
Heavy cardstock flashcards<br>
and last but certainly not least: BOARD BOOKS<br><br>
Books, books, books!<br><br>
I put her in the playpen and stick her on the porch when I work in the yard. I carry her around the house with me when I clean. I spread a quilt on the floor and fold laundry while she bangs on things.<br><br>
There's so much you can do that's interacting with your child but not entertaining him, necessarily -- just being there, in his presence, so he knows you're there can be enough.<br><br>
HTH and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mom2005</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7942802"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have a few fun toys that I use for getting chores done. My baby doesn't care much about her toys, but loves adult everyday items. All of these are supervised play, while you are doing another task in the same room. Most of these require the baby knowing not to put everything in his mouth.<br><br>
~One thing that works for about 20 minutes is a deck of cards.<br>
~Bag of ribbon scraps<br>
~play money<br>
~water time= couple of towels on the rug, baby sits down and I give her a container of water and some cups<br>
~snack time<br>
~sort a bag of mixed beans<br>
~the laundry basket full of clean clothes always gives me about 20 minutes</div>
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These are great, thank you!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mom2bja</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7941848"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One thing that always kept my boys entertained was water... I had a stepstool I'd bring up to the sink, fill the sink with 4" or so of water, and they would literally spend HOURS playing - give them cups, spoons, etc... yes, it gets water everywhere, but it's WATER! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
I couldn't tell from your post if he's standing well on his own, which of course he'd need to do for this to work... otherwise, coloring, homemade playdoh at the kitchen table, fingerpainting with pudding on the kitchen table, etc. etc....</div>
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I think he's a bit shaky for a step stool, but I could fill a large pot with water and let him splash toys in that while I cook. Thanks! Part of my challenge is that my kitchen is tiny- no room for a kitchen table. He can play on the floor though.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ruthla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7942921"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think you should be "entertaining" your baby all the time. I think you should set up some baby-safe space and let her explore on her own, and not rush in to "rescue" her from her own boredom so quickly. Remember that she can't get into the toilet paper if the bathroom door is kept closed! That's part of the "baby safe" part.</div>
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Wow, I can close the bathroom door and that will keep my baby out? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
Of course I keep the door closed when he's wandering around- I started that after he got obsessed with sticking his hands in the toilet, actually. He goes for the toilet paper when I need to bring him into the bathroom with me so I can use the toilet, put my hair up, etc.<br><br>
Maybe I didn't go into enough detail to make this clear...my point was that he used to be able to entertain himself really well, and I definitely want to encourage him to do so. But it's like he's just OVER everything we have in the house. We fenced off the living room using babygates, and that area is babyproofed, so it's like a giant playpen. He was thrilled with it for a few months, and I could be in there with him doing other things while he played. But now he's like, "OK, I'm bored with that, played with that twice already, that's lame....hm, let's see if I can pull these books down off the shelf. No? Don't want me to do that? OK NOW WHAT??" and the squealing starts.<br><br>
I definitely don't want to be the court jester, dancing around in front of a passive baby audience. I figure I might as well stick him in front of the TV in that case. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> But I do think that just like it's my job to feed and clothe him, it's also my job to keep him mentally stimulated- whether that means actively working on it with him, or providing him with the means to do his own learning. I mean, it's not like he can be like "Hey mom...I'm sick of watching you fold laundry. I'm going to take the car and go to the park and feed the duckies." He does need my help from time to time! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nighten</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7943931"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When my child gets bored and needs my attention but I need to get stuff done, I put her in the mei tai and carry her along with me!<br><br>
I don't think your child needs you to entertain him so much as interact with him, if that makes sense. Just being in the same room while he explores, so you're within his sight should be fine.<br><br>
Our one year old loves these things:<br><br>
Balls<br>
Little foamy/rubbery cars<br>
Wooden puzzles<br>
Blocks<br>
Pots and pans<br>
Plastic bowls/cups<br>
Turn a laundry basket upside down and let him bang on it!<br>
Remote Controls with the batteries taken out<br>
Stackable stuff<br>
Silk scarves<br>
Stuffed animals<br>
Heavy cardstock flashcards<br>
and last but certainly not least: BOARD BOOKS<br><br>
Books, books, books!<br><br>
I put her in the playpen and stick her on the porch when I work in the yard. I carry her around the house with me when I clean. I spread a quilt on the floor and fold laundry while she bangs on things.<br><br>
There's so much you can do that's interacting with your child but not entertaining him, necessarily -- just being there, in his presence, so he knows you're there can be enough.<br><br>
HTH and good luck!</div>
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I do put him in the ergo sometimes, but unless he's sleepy he's just not cool with that anymore. I think some of this might come down to temperament. I have a VERY physically active little guy who hates to be confined. If I put him in a playpen while I worked outside, he would go apesh*t in about 30 seconds.<br><br>
Sometimes just knowing I'm there is enough for him. Sometimes it's not. Hence, I'm looking for more stuff for him to do!<br><br>
I might be overthinking this whole thing...it might just be that he's going through a clingy phase and will get out of it. I do think I need to change up the activities and materials a bit though. A lot of what we have might just be too young for him now.<br><br>
Anyway, thanks, ladies! I've got a lot of great ideas to start with here...and keep them coming if you think of more!<br><br>
One thing I may also try is making a "playhouse" out of a big box. He loves to swing doors, so if he had a little house he could go in and out of and close and open the door, I bet he'd be psyched.
 

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If the weather's warm, could you take him outside to play? Maybe he's got cabin fever. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
And I just thought of this: sometimes my little one does better with just one or two things -- we have a big Sassy soft box we keep her toys in, and she'll pull everything out, then acts like she's bored. But if I let her pick out one or two things then she seems fine sometimes. Maybe it's like an overstimulation thing, not just boredom? I don't know. Wish I could be more help.
 

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Great thread!!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ruthla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7942921"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think you should be "entertaining" your baby all the time. I think you should set up some baby-safe space and let her explore on her own, and not rush in to "rescue" her from her own boredom so quickly. Remember that she can't get into the toilet paper if the bathroom door is kept closed! That's part of the "baby safe" part.</div>
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THANK YOU!! This comment made me feel so much better. I just posted yesterday about my high-maintenance 9-month-old. I made her that way-- I don't really leave her alone, ever. If I do, I feel terrible, like I'm neglecting her. I left her alone a little while yesterday and I felt so guilty-- so this comment made me feel so much better. I know this seems silly, but thank you, I needed that!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 
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