Talk

Advanced search

anyone else have a baby/toddler who cant play on their own?

(18 Posts)
may08 Fri 06-Feb-09 13:08:46

Hi ya, My DS is 16 months and has always been quite grumpy from the start. He has always screamed when he wakes from a nap and gets very frustrated and crys when he is bored or cant do something. Because of this I have always sat on the floor with him and played when at home and then as soon as he starts to get whingy/crying I go out. I've got in such a habit of spending most of the day out of the house that now the weather is bad and I cant go out as much I'm finding it really difficult being indoors. Its so silly but even spending 1 hour on my own with him sends me into panic because I know within 10mins he will be crying at me. I've tried putting his toys down and sitting on the sofa and letting him play but it doesnt last more than 5mins! I guess I've created this situation myself but dont know how to teach him to amuse himself.
Its a bit easier now that he can walk, but am I expecting too much from him? He is only 16months old and cant tell me what he wants! Its just that I cant help but compare him to other children of the same age who seem so content to be home for several hours at a time.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 06-Feb-09 13:11:15

That's entirely normal my dear - it took DD till she was two to even START playing on her own.

CatIsSleepy Fri 06-Feb-09 13:14:18

agree with wmmc- think he's still a little young
dd was 2ish before she got into playing on her own for extended periods.
it's frustating though-especially if you have stuff to do...

may08 Fri 06-Feb-09 13:17:11

I was obviously expecting too much! Thanks

whomovedmychocolate Fri 06-Feb-09 20:48:57

Apologies I was probably a bit abrupt - two children jumping on me at the time - stop putting yourself under such a lot of pressure - it's okay for kids to be bored now and then - you don't have to make everything about enrichment. Both DD and DS quite regularly just sit on the floor and play with stuff anything in fact. Or they 'help' me with the housework. In DS's case that means sucking on a (mostly clean) duster, in DD's in effectually flicking a feather duster about while saying 'spider eeek' a lot grin.

Put him next to you, so he can see you, and do whatever you have to, talking to him regularly and gradually extend the time you spend focusing away from him. Or sing while you are in the next room so he knows you are still there. I found playing peek a boo helped teach DD about object permanence (when mummy isn't in sight it doesn't mean she's disappeared from existence).

Good luck - it does get better

firststeps Fri 06-Feb-09 20:53:07

hi may08, DS1 is 3.1 and played on his own for the first time last week grin, DS2 however is a different kettle of fish and aged 14 months will happily look at a board book/play with some pegs for 10 minutes at a time on his own. They are all different. I sympathise with you though it is so frustrating, and there is only so much time you can spend playing with them isn't there.

bohemianbint Fri 06-Feb-09 20:55:38

DS was the same, he's better now he's 2 and a half, but still very demanding.

Have you tried soft play when the weather's rubbish? I found that helped when DS was quite young, because he's so physical. Tired him out too. grin Hated the idea of it before I first went though.

Nontoxic Fri 06-Feb-09 20:58:28

Wmmc speaks much wisdom. Babies feel wierd and freaked out when we're hovering over them, constantly trying to entertain (speaking as someone who did exactly this with the pfb, progressively less with the other two - but still too much focused attention!)

The best thing for them, imo, is to be joining in with your work, chatting and singing - by emulating you they will learn how to 'be' a real person, and at some point start to devise their own 'tasks' to do.

And you'll benefit from a tidier house!

Lilyloo Fri 06-Feb-09 21:02:28

I had same thing with ds (6) he was always very demanding and still now finds it hard to 'play' and set up games of his own. He will do the computer etc but struggles to invent games.
DD (4) has always been very good at entertaining herself , actually if ds ever does free play it is usually intiated by dd. She was always Quite aN easy baby too.

Have yet to find out about dd2 but she is as high demand as ds hmm

They are all very different i guess!

whomovedmychocolate Fri 06-Feb-09 21:02:38

nontoxic - <contemplates crusted piles of spilled washing up liquid and very wet floor after DD's attempts at washing up> You will probably benefit from a tidier house wink

We also play 'hide and go seek' where DD hides and I mumsnet and eventually go find her grin

hellymelly Fri 06-Feb-09 21:06:53

My dd who is just 21 months doesn't play on her own and her big sister didn't either until about three really,even now she much prefers to play with me and little sister and doesn't play alone for long (she is four) I remember going to a friend's house and her son who was about 18m was quite happy to play alone and would potter about with his cars etc,he always had done,I think its partly temperment.Do fun play with him,painting and dough making and the like.One of those indoor/outdoor plastic play table sand pits might be good,you can fill them with water or sand or lentils and they will happily play while you cook or drink tea.Mine love the one we have.Also a play cooker,he is just about getting to the age he might like that.

hellymelly Fri 06-Feb-09 21:06:57

My dd who is just 21 months doesn't play on her own and her big sister didn't either until about three really,even now she much prefers to play with me and little sister and doesn't play alone for long (she is four) I remember going to a friend's house and her son who was about 18m was quite happy to play alone and would potter about with his cars etc,he always had done,I think its partly temperment.Do fun play with him,painting and dough making and the like.One of those indoor/outdoor plastic play table sand pits might be good,you can fill them with water or sand or lentils and they will happily play while you cook or drink tea.Mine love the one we have.Also a play cooker,he is just about getting to the age he might like that.

Nontoxic Fri 06-Feb-09 21:17:18

That last post made me think : maybe his toys are too young for him now. 'Real' things, like a toy buggy, cookery stuff, his own cleaning implements, might motivate him to branch out a bit and lose some of his frustration.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 06-Feb-09 21:23:45

Oh god yes. Both my kids have had a pet spoon! Seriously they love real things - if you stick a child over the age of nine months on the kitchen floor with pans and spoons depending on their age they will:

(1) Gum them
(2) Bash them
(3) Pretend to cook
(4) Put them on their heads

But the point is, while they are having fun doing this - you can cook!

Nontoxic Fri 06-Feb-09 21:45:25

I used to give them a few bowls of dried pasta and a wooden spoon and saucepan - standing on a chair next to me while cooking. Makes loads of mess but fosters true contentment and satisfaction at a 'job' well done.

whomovedmychocolate Fri 06-Feb-09 22:12:53

They are also quite good at making 'breadcrumbs for the birds' - stale bread - bowl - on floor or newspapers. That can keep them busy for ages - especially if they are trying to hide the fact they are scoffing the bread (excellent for problem eaters). wink

DD 'cleans' the bathroom tiles with a sponge while giving herself a bath while I bathe DS.

See, it's not lazy parenting, it's enrichment honest wink

blueshoes Fri 06-Feb-09 22:17:36

may, your ds sounds just like my dcs - the screaming when waking, whinging, quick fuse, walking on egg shells.

Just wanted to echo those who said different babies are different. Your ds will get better at it - with dd, it was when she was 4 and content to watch DVD/TV, drawing soon followed and now she is a breeze to be around at home. Ds 2 is still a nightmare but at least he has dd to distract him part of the time.

This too shall pass ... you are doing great.

Nontoxic Fri 06-Feb-09 22:21:35

They also love spray bottles filled with water and a cloth to wipe whatever it is they're 'cleaning' ie kitchen cupboards, floor etc.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now