Any tips for gardening with a baby?(24 Posts)
We moved last year, into a project house, and spent most of the year renovating the inside, barely even maintaining the tired garden. Then along came our daughter and I cannot work out how I will ever find the time to even maintain the garden let alone make the changes I want to!
I'm a keen gardener and really want to get stuck in, but baby (5 months) doesn't nap for any more than 30 minutes at a time!
Any handy hints from those that have been there? Is it possible to bend with baby in a carrier? Or do I just need to pop her in the pram and hope she doesn't start bawling when I am covered in mud? Back up is to only do it when my husband or mum is there to look after baby.
I popped DS2 into his pram in the garden around nap time knowing he'd fall asleep. I tried to do as much as I could before he woke up. It wasn't easy. It took a long time but it was easier dealing with DS2 then DS1 who was 3 and insisted on 'helping'.
Hehe, yeah I perhaps need to plan in advance for the "helping" stage and add something specifically for her to dig! Next nice weather day I'll give it a go with her in the pram and see what I can get done.
At 5 months on a dry day I'd suggest a blanket down for her to roll about on. Also gardening gloves so you can easily pull off and pick her up with clean hands.
I was a single mum for the first 6 years and loved my evenings pottering in the garden in the summer when the kids were in bed, not long till light evenings!
I put DD in her pram when she was small, and a playpen when she was a bit bigger (it was summer by then)
Stick under the washing line, so they can gaze up at the washing while you get on withnstuff. (Obviously not facing the sun...)
Mine used to really enjoy watching the washing!! And the fresh air is great.
Under the washing line is a genius idea! The only success I’ve had has been to try to time it for when she is due a sleep. Put her in the pram and walk round the block until she falls asleep and then do as mush as I can, it’s never as long as I hope. I agree though, she’s easier than the 2.5 year old who wants to ‘help’!
Gloves are a good shout. I have DD (18 months). Last summer I borrowed the neighbours’ dog to entertain her while I got on with the weeding .
I love gardening but found I couldn’t do it with a baby. 0-3m he was too little and whingy and got cold easily. At 3m he started to roll so wouldn’t stay on a blanket and whinged if I left him in a playpen. The parasol kept the sun off but kept blowing over! And if I’d forgotten a tool or something that was the end of it because I couldn’t leave him unsupervised while I fetched the spade etc. The only time I got to do anything was if we went for a walk and he dozed off in the pram, so when we got home I could garden until he woke up. Or if someone babysat for a couple of hours.
I survived the year by growing things in pots, the main garden was sadly neglected. Now he’s 1 I can finally manage a bit of gardening by sticking him in his high chair and keeping him entertained by talking and showing him what I’m doing. An hour is about the maximum he’ll tolerate and I still can’t leave him unsupervised so I need to have everything out and ready.
Take the jumperoo/bouncy chair out in to the garden? Assuming you have grass to put it down on.
When ds was unwell and unable to go out for a walk on a lovely day a few weeks ago, I popped him in the travel cot with some toys and his dressing gown on him while I pottered around the garden, he was happy as Larry for about an hour just being outside looking around and me chatting away to him.
They pick tea with babies in Sri Lanka - I'm not suggesting this is right, but we can be very impractical when it comes to babies here, sit them in the pushchair or strap them to your back
I used the baby Bjorne in the garden at that age.
He went in it awake and would fall asleep in it and then when he woke happily bounce himself around a bit more.
It’s harder now he’s 21 months and wants to taste each stone and ‘help’
I used to just lay him down on blanket to roll about near to whatever I was doing. Mine are older now but we laid the whole lawn with turf including prep. We used to do it in the evening when baby was asleep! Bring in the lighter evenings!. I did nearly drop DD out of sling thing whilst digging potato's! I used a back carrier whilst mowing the lawn. It's definitely doable and I look back at those years at home with them when they were little fondly! . As long as they can't eat anything too terrible I reckon just let them roll about. Mind you I think dirt is good for them
Get someone to drill holes into a wheelbarrow and attach reins to it!!
I remember having a monumental argument with my husband because he wanted to crack on with the garden when dts were tiny. Sometimes you have to accept your limitations and some things have to wait!
I'm so glad you have asked this question op because now that the weather is starting to get nicer I'm really looking forward to gardening but would love some tips too. Today I put 9mo DD on a picnic blanket near where I worked and she amused herself for short periods with her toys. Not sure what I'll do when she's more on the move though.
Jumperoo is a good idea but I never like putting her in it for long periods because I worry about the strain on her hips.
My son used to love being in his bouncy chair or his pram watching. When he was sitting on his own he went in a play pen. When he was immobile I just put a thick blanket down and his play mat.
Babywearing was handy for when I mowed the lawns or trimmed the hedge (with shears, not an electric hedge cutter ).
Gardening is a great sensory experience for them: the sounds, smells, textures etc. Even holding baby in your arms dead-heading the plants and looking at the colours is great.
Next year you can experience the joys of preventing stones/soil/sticks/worms being eaten so enjoy it this year!
I did quite a big garden job with ds in his jumperoo in the garden.
My mum has photos of me sitting in a laundry basket with some toys while she did her gardening
My mum used to leave us in a travel cot type thing in the garden in the shade whilst she got on with stuff. She did also do gardening at or after midnight when we were all in bed too
If it's a nice dry day I used to put ds2 in a baby bouncer (the old fashioned sort) or on a picnic blanket, under a tree, and either hang washing out or the ribbons in the tree for him to look at. Bubble machine works well. Used a travel cot when he was more mobile. Tip a load of ball pit balls in and he had a whale of a time throwing them out.
We moved into a project house one month before ds was born, it is so difficult to do anything and I ended up hating the house as I never had time to make it nice to be in.
I used to put ds in the pram and do as others have said wear gloves so you can take them off and pick up the baby. In the summer (Ds was 1) I pretty much took the whole house outside, bouncy chair/activity gym, blanket, toys, play tent, ball pool, nappies, wipes and tried to do as much as I could with any spare time, mainly weeding and pruning to stop it getting out of control. My son is nearly 3 and in nursery for a few days now and things are much easier he doesn't help in the garden he doesn't like mud, sand or water and tantrums if I even try and do gardening so when he's at nursery that is the only chance I get. I think as long as you can control the weeds then it'll survive. When my partner was home we'd do the hedging, I didn't want to risk injury! We did plenty of midnight painting. It's hard work but you'll get there.
Thanks for all your advice. Now I just need to wait for it to stop raining (which feels like it may never happen!) and test out baby in the bouncer chair. I also spotted a wind spinner thing at the garden centre... Not the type of thing I'd usually go for, but she may enjoy watching it spin in the wind!
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