This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Toddler screen time(12 Posts)
I’m really struggling with guilt and generally feeling stressed. I have a 2.5 year old and a 6 week old baby.
My DS 2.5 is bored at home. He’s clingy when I’m trying to feed the baby. He’s constantly asking for things I’d rather he didn’t have, like his dummy (I would prefer he only had it at night), chocolate, and my phone to watch kids YouTube. It’s turning into a constant battle all day every day and I’m not enjoying life at the moment. He never seems happy unless he’s got my phone. It’s the only thing that keeps him occupied long enough for me to feed and change baby. He doesn’t nap unless we go out in the car but then I have to drag the baby with us and he doesn’t want to go anyway so that’s another argument. I haven’t got the energy for it with not getting enough sleep, tending to both of them at night.
I love him so intensely and I just want the best for him. He’s a sweet little boy who just loves his mummy...and YouTube!!
We haven’t been getting out much because Covid, not seeing family, not going to soft play as he still needs me to play on the equipment and I need to be with baby, not going to park as he screams when we have to come home, not gong for walks in case he runs off and I’m left deciding whether to run after him or stay with baby in pram.
I’d rather not put him in nursery as we’ve come this far without it and I don’t think he’s ready to be away from me, although I think it would be better for him than staying here at home in this environment of bad food, dummy all the time, arguments and far, far too much screen time.
Today we’ve played with a balloon for half an hour, been out in the garden for half an hour he wanted to come in for chocolate, we’ve done some water play but it doesn’t occupy him for long.
My husband is really helpful but works long hours in a demanding job so needs his sleep at night and out all day. He does the baby night shift at weekends but DS will only sleep with me, I’m ok with this though.
Am I worrying too much about the screens?
I love the baby so much but I preferred my life before, I loved all the cuddles from my clingy boy but now I’m starting to feel suffocated by it as I can’t do anything without giving him YouTube, and I hate myself for all of that. Sat here crying feeding the baby.
Sorry if this is all jumbled I’ve just written things as they’ve come to my mind. I just want the best for both kids. Also feeling guilty as baby spends loads of time in Moses basket and not having as much cuddle time as I’d like, and as I gave my son.
Any suggestions or experiences would really help, thank you
Sounds like he just needs a little one on one time. Try and set aside just an hour or so if you can. Why not walk him to the local park or something. Mine loves soft play but no way I'm taking her to those germ factories whilst this is going on. You can go on a nice walk in all weather though. Just wrap up. If you have the money how about getting him a ride on or something to keep his interest and give him something physical to do. Just keep going. It's hard times but there's ways around things and no reason you can't get out the house somewhere xx
Assuming cost isn’t an issue, what’s wrong with nursery a few days or even half days a week? Kids adjust - he might find it hard being without you at first but he’ll likely have loads of fun and actually enjoy it and it will give you a bit of breathing room with the new day
If he is not happy if he doesn’t have your phone, I think that’s a problem to be honest, he is far too young for that (and even if he was older...) I think nursery, even if it is only part time, would be very beneficial, so you have time for yourself and the new baby and you can wean him off screen time little by little.
Don’t get me wrong, my DD has screen time as well, I actually tend not to believe people who say their kids don’t have screen time at all, but what you are describing is a bit too much...and not good for him.
Also, in my opinion, better to let him watch it on a TV than on your phone. The TV is something that it is where it is and sometimes is off and sometimes on, whereas your phone is always available, if not for Youtube he will want it for something else if he feels like he can have your phone whenever he wants.
In terms of cuddle time for the newborn, could you wear them in a sling and then take your toddler out to the park and things? I walked for hours and hours wearing my baby for the first few months. I’ve only got one so don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes, but I’ve seen mothers at the playground with toddlers and newborns in slings
Sorry, I meant to say you could then have the toddler in the buggie, and maybe have a set of reins for if they insist on getting out and walking somewhere you can’t let them free
I have a 6 month old baby and a 2 year and 9 month old, so I have been through similar. We had no parks though and we couldn't do much except out daily walk and the garden.
I would leave baby to sleep and play in the garden with my little boy (March and April wasn't that warm). We would get wrapped up and I would feed on the go-either sat down whilst he was digging or stood up and walking around. We bought some kinetic sand and play doh and we would do that together whilst baby slept.. that would kill 30 mins. I enlisted his help with baby- getting nappies, wipes, clothes when he'd been sick etc. Get him involved with you tidying etc. We also make cupcakes- we cheat with a cake mix, but we have three colours which we make a butter Icing with and we mix to make other colours. Get crayons or paint out with him for 30 mins each day when baby sleeps and alternate these activities.
I started to get pissed off with my kid whingeing when he was bored so I would let him whinge and eventually he'd play with some toys on his own and give up. In reality I cannot entertain him all day every day. It does require you to put up with a bit of whingeing. He does watch a bit of TV usually every day. It's normally blippi or some other learning thing like nursery rhymes etc. In terms of having a pad, I do give him it for an hour sometimes whilst I make dinner. I think variety is key, as long as we have done other things to stimulate etc then I guess it's okay. We also went for walks every day (now we walk to the park-a mile there and a mile back and play for 45 mins to an hour). You'll just have to deal with the tantrum. I always give a five min warning and let him go on two more things before we go. We say bye bye park, see you again one day. The tantrums when leaving do get better.
@SparrowNest toddler in buggy? Noooo sling gives you hands free to walk and tire the little buggers out!!!
I think nursery is the answer, he will easily adjust, learn, play and generally enjoy it - children tend to start nursery from two years old so he is not too young.
I have a 2.5 year old and just enlisted her in nursery ( even though I really didn't want to), but I have another baby due in 6 weeks. She loves nursery! It also gives you a break as it's so hard entertaining and I can't imagine with 2 babies. Nursery is the answer!
I had from age 9 months to just under 2 with mine on adoption leave. She found nursery tough initially but not for long and now at 2.5 I'd say it's really coming into its own. It's getting to the point where I struggle to keep her amused on the 2 days a week I have alone with her as she's getting increasingly more interested in other kids and playing with them. I think at this age the combination of quality time with mum/dad and time at nursery with structure and other kids is perfect x
I agree with the others about nursery . I thought there was no way my toddler ( who was 16 months at the time ) would enjoy nursery but he loves it ! He’s so happy when he’s there and gets excited in the morning to go . I’m currently waiting for baby number 2 to arrive and I have my DS doing 3 mornings a week at nursery and I will keep it that way when baby arrives .
Maybe look into a soft play place that is smaller and more suited for him . I have a few bigger soft play places that I love but I know what you mean about your toddler needing you by his side in those types of places . I have to be there to make sure he doesn’t kill himself 😩🤣
I also have two smaller places we go to that I know I can let him go free in and not worry ! Look for a place like that !!!!!