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leaving baby to play alone, how long do you leave yours?

(31 Posts)
spanglyflip Tue 15-Mar-16 14:41:05

single mum to a 4 month old

she often seems happy/content being left in her baby gym etc, but I don't like to leave her in it for too long. I think I'm being overly cautious tho, i think my feelings of guilt about her only having me to amuse her are making me take her out of her gym/swing seat/changing mat ages before she's had enough.....i hardly ever let her get to the point where she starts showing signs of being fed up of it cos it makes me feel so guilty when that happens, we've been thru so much already.

this is an issue for me as i have more to do than the usual single mum and i have a debilitating injury that i need to recover from so should i be leaving her longer so i can get on with all this other stuff i need to do for us?????

EatShitDerek Tue 15-Mar-16 14:44:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeanneBattersby Tue 15-Mar-16 14:46:18

All of my babies have hosted baby gyms, bouncy chairs etc. If they had liked them I'd have left them in for as long as they could tolerate it. Not hours, obviously, but certainly for 20 mins stints.

As soon as they can move, you don't really get a minute, so I'd make the most of this phase OP.

LeanneBattersby Tue 15-Mar-16 14:46:39


Sleeplessinmybedroom Tue 15-Mar-16 14:47:35

Make the most of it now while she's comtent, my previously chilled baby who would play for ages on her playmat will now only play unattended for 5 minutes maximum now she's 6 months.

ToastyFingers Tue 15-Mar-16 14:49:01

Babies cry/whinge at the slightest thing, if she's not showing signs of being fed up, leave her be, she's probably enjoying it smile

BoyGirlBoy3 Tue 15-Mar-16 14:54:26

How lovely to have a content baby, make the most of it op, if she is happy, she is happy. Babies let you know loudly, when they are not. I always think it is a treat for a baby to go out for some fresh air each day, so maybe you could do something like that, would some gentle exercise be good for you too, and help you heal. I hope you recover well from your injury, and thrive together.

crusoe16 Tue 15-Mar-16 14:54:54

As as they're not crying! Unfortunately that wasn't long for mine but I wish things had been different!

GrumpyMummy123 Tue 15-Mar-16 14:57:23

If she's happy leave her! I wish my DS was happy to be left playing - was a clingy thing until he hit toddlerhood!
As long as you're keeping an eye and all safe etc make the most of it :-)

spanglyflip Tue 15-Mar-16 14:59:13

thanks so much everyone, i thought i was being paranoid and what u say about making the most of it whilst she's young enough to stay in one place will probabky help me get over some of the guilt. gee whizz i really need to get this injury healed before she gets mobile!!!!!! thanks again xxxx

Birdie85 Tue 15-Mar-16 14:59:14

If she's happy, leave her to it! I think it does them well to give them a little 'me' time to just look at their toys and play by themselves for a bit. I don't know if it is related, but my DS was always left to entertain himself for short periods (up to 20 minutes) from being quite small and has always been happy to entertain himself, he's now 2 and plays with his toys without us constantly having to engage with him. Quite the opposite of some of his play mates!

JuxtapositionRecords Tue 15-Mar-16 15:01:12

She is four months old, still at the beginning of her long journey learning about the world. Everything is exciting and interesting to her - really you don't need to amuse her if she is happy enough sitting in her chair etc. You sound like you are doing great smile

Pinkheart5915 Tue 15-Mar-16 15:02:27

My ds is 6 months and we often leave him on his play mat, in his baby gym for a while while we do things in the house ( cook lunch)
He loves it and his happy and content.

MyBreadIsEggy Tue 15-Mar-16 15:04:20

My DD is 11mo now, and I've found myself using CBeebies as a babysitter way more often than I ever thought I would.....I felt guilty at first, but now when I see her bouncing up and down to the Postman Pat theme tune, smiling and giggling while I fold a basket of clean washing, the guilt is so far away, it's non-existent!

scarednoob Tue 15-Mar-16 15:06:53

Sleepless is right - my DD used to spend up to an hour lying on her gym gurgling and batting at toys.

Now she's 6 months, she rolls onto her face and gets stuck and yelps nonstop; yells for attention; yells to be picked up and cuddled... Make the most of it!!

curren Tue 15-Mar-16 15:15:51

With my ds it was about 3 minutes as that is all he would do with out screaming.

With dd until she protested, which was a good while longer.

They let you know if they aren't happy

BoffinMum Tue 15-Mar-16 15:20:53

Until they start complaining about it is the right period of time.

It is important to give them the space to do their own thing and you do not have to be chief entertainer all the time.

They are pre-programmed to know how long to do this for wink

Quietlifenotonyournelly Tue 15-Mar-16 15:29:38

As pp have said, make the most of this time.
My DS is 13 months old now and I can't even go to the loo without him following me (bungalow).

eatsleephockeyrepeat Tue 15-Mar-16 16:07:04

I have an eight month old and decided early on if he aint grizzlin', I aint touching him! Revolutionised my day.

If it makes you feel better tell yourself you never know when they might be right on the cusp of a cognitive or developmental breakthrough. Babies need to do the same thing over and over and over in order to realise things about the world - I tell myself if I move him too soon he might miss out on that penny drop moment he's been building up to all day; "so, if I bash the toy it swings out of the way... and then it comes back?? Madness".

Guilt = GONE.

Artandco Tue 15-Mar-16 16:14:58

She will be fine. There's a very big difference between leaving them half an hour whilst you do stuff, and leaving 24:7 every day.

At 4 months I worked from home. Mine would happily lay on a blanket near me and play under gym, or listen to music we had on, or just watch. I would work 30-45mins whilst they occupied themselves. That a few times, plus nap times meant I could easily fit in 5 hrs work a day with them around. In between we would do various things in and out the house

cathpip Tue 15-Mar-16 16:15:56

Dc1 I could leave for around 20 minutes, dc2 and 3 happily played all day, dc4 on the other hand has made it his sole mission in life to never be put down during daylight hours ever, or he will scream. Enjoy it while it lasts op!

LovelyBranches Tue 15-Mar-16 16:17:24

I think that entertaining yourself is a skill to be learned. My 16 month old DS has never really watched tv. He's had to learn to play with his toys and is brilliant at playing on his own. I have loved playing games with him and facilitating his play but I also recognise that he doesn't need me to do that all the time to get the most out of his toys. He is now at the stage where he will run up to his room and play with his toys without me being in the same room or floor.

FireflyGirl Tue 15-Mar-16 16:18:26

Independent play is good for them. They need teaching how to play by themselves, if you Google it there are lots of articles. The younger they start to learn, the better.

You've nothing to feel guilty about - you're not neglecting her by leaving her to her own playtime, you're teaching her to entertain herself.

Junosmum Tue 15-Mar-16 16:27:28

DS is 10 weeks and won't do more than 10/15 mins in his play gym or bouncer chair so I leave him until he gets fed up and furiously run around getting housework done (or having a cup of tea hands free). He does like his swing chair, and will do 20minutes in that, and I let him. Not much longer though as it keeps him in the 'chin in chest' position a bit too much for my liking. If he'd go 30mins in his play gym I'd love that though!

As long as you spend time interacting with her every day then don't worry, she'll let you know when she's bored.

DS spends hours in his sling every day, as he likes it and it allows me to get things done, go for a walk, sit hands free. when he wants out he lets me know and I take him out.

Katedotness1963 Tue 15-Mar-16 16:52:05

The eldest was like a limpit, if he wasn't attached or being held by one of us he was screaming. He also hardly slept. How we have so many sleeping baby pictures I cannot figure out, perhaps we took them to prove he did actually sleep at some point.

Second child would have liked to be a limpit also. Unfortunately for him he had a toddler brother. I could talk the eldest into "reading" to his little brother while they lay together on a playmat, so it gave me a few minutes to do stuff.

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