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How to keep 15 month old safe while gardening???

(21 Posts)
whipstitchandwhiskey Wed 17-Apr-19 21:57:51

I think I may have asked this when DD1 was small but I never found a solution and had about 18 months of neglecting my garden, so asking again to see if anyone has any bright ideas! DD2 is almost 15 months and almost walking. We have a fair sized garden, with tasty gravel, cat & fox poo on the grass, stone steps, tar oozing out of railway sleepers (sounds delightful doesn’t it?!) etc so it’s impossible for me to do any gardening while DD is awake, as she won’t stay on the blanket or in one area of the garden. I often have other jobs to do at naptimes and evenings so I’d really like to be able to get out into the garden with her, play on the blanket then retreat to my borders for 20 mins of gardening every so often. She’s great at playing independently in the house but there’s just too much trouble she can get into in the garden! She’s too young to ‘help’ and doesn’t have the attention span yet. Plus our borders are full of cat poo, bits of glass etc so even that’s not safe.

She doesn’t like being confined to a playpen/buggy/sling/back carrier. Has anyone ever built a fenced off large area with a gate? Like a giant playpen?! Or any other bright ideas? It’s so frustrating! I’m sure I can’t be the only parent who’s had this problem...

Newmumma83 Wed 17-Apr-19 22:00:46

Can partner / friend/ pArebt watch her for a few hours a week to give you a chance?

I am doing a bit in sons naps ... he is younger though so sleeps 3-4 hours ... and haven’t managed wedding yet ... by the time house work / dinner / washing and mowing is done ... I run out of time ( though I hate weeding so not too sad 😂😂

MachineBee Wed 17-Apr-19 22:00:53

I was going to suggest a playpen but see she won’t use one. I think the only things I can suggest is to put up with a ‘natural’ garden this summer and then get her involved next year.

Newmumma83 Wed 17-Apr-19 22:01:29

Or if you have the funds hire a gardener x x

adjsavedmylife Wed 17-Apr-19 22:03:18

We have the summer infant pop and play and it’s a decent size. Not huge but bigger than average.

EssentialHummus Wed 17-Apr-19 22:03:19

Paddling pool with an inch of water once it's warmer? Giant playpen? Baby swing? Sandpit? Sympathies, I have a 19 month old and 800 sq f of stinging nettles...

Orangedaisy Wed 17-Apr-19 22:04:52

We reclassified our garden as a meadow last year when DD2 was similar. The butterflies, insects and wildflowers which came were amazing. I sort of miss them this year now we’re able to look after it better!

Modestandatinybitsexy Wed 17-Apr-19 22:11:29

We repurposed an old dog cage, it was extra large, and when we took all 6 sides apart and tied them together in a ring it gave quite a big area for exploring.

I also used outdoor only toys (Water table, ball pit, play tent) inside the pen so DS had something new to discover.

SeptemberDays Wed 17-Apr-19 22:12:02

I was going to say paddling pool too, maybe as a ball pit til it's warmer, and then a sprinkler too if she's walking by then.

Iggly Wed 17-Apr-19 22:13:39

Get her a special area set up. Mine had a digging area from about 1, plus sandpit etc etc. Plenty of things to keep him occupied. I’d garden in short bursts.

whipstitchandwhiskey Wed 17-Apr-19 22:14:40

I hadn’t thought of getting a swing, EssentialHummus that’s a great idea! Or maybe a very deep paddling pool that she can’t climb out of with balls and toys etc?

I could get a gardener but I really enjoy gardening so don’t really want anyone else to do it! And I’ve got 3 or 4 unfinished projects on the go so I can’t really just leave it, I just need to get on! Next summer will be easier as she’ll have a much better understanding of what’s not allowed/dangerous and will either be keen to help or happy to potter around with her toys.

Off to google swings....

whipstitchandwhiskey Wed 17-Apr-19 22:16:01

...and dog cages!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 17-Apr-19 22:18:48

I wouldn't expect a 15 month old to stay and play on a blanket so I think your expectations are a bit off tbh.

Ds would've wanted to help dig or play in the sand pit but tbh I'd plan to do gardening at nap times if at all possible.

TheCraicDealer Wed 17-Apr-19 22:30:41

A colleague lived on a farm with three under two and made a big pen out of chicken wire- it was, however, the 80's. You need something like this. A few friends have them and they're suitable for outdoor use.

DNeice is 18mos and can play happily on her own for a while but after five or ten minutes she wants someone to interact with, which I think is pretty normal. So I wouldn't expect to getting piles done, even if she's contained safely somewhere.

Iggly Wed 17-Apr-19 22:32:03

Is your partner around? For any big jobs I’d look after the dcs or vice versa.

whipstitchandwhiskey Wed 17-Apr-19 22:33:24

I don’t expect her to really, just wish she would! She will happily sit and play for quite long periods in one area of a room if she has a variety of different toys to go at, but the garden is a different story as there are too many new and exciting things to explore! Which is lovely if the exploring happens with me by her side, not so lovely when she decides to explore the fish blood and bone box as soon as my back is turned...

whipstitchandwhiskey Wed 17-Apr-19 22:33:54

Sorry that was for DameDiazepam

Friedeggsandcustard Wed 17-Apr-19 22:36:13

I sometimes pursuaded mine to play with their toys in a playtent or travel cot... but to be honest I just had to accept it wasn’t done for a year or so. They are 3&5 now and happy to play by themselves or help me by dead heading the dandelions

whipstitchandwhiskey Wed 17-Apr-19 22:40:10

Iggly he works away quite a bit but always watches the DC for a few hours at the weekend so I can get jobs done which is great. However I could probably spend all weekend out there and I’d still have stuff to do. It’s not a beautiful garden by any means. We kept most of the trees and large shrubs but started from scratch with The rest of it and have been doing it very slowly as we get ideas.

whipstitchandwhiskey Wed 17-Apr-19 22:44:54

Friedeggs my 4yo loved collecting dandelions last year!

DrWhy Wed 17-Apr-19 23:45:32

I feel your pain, last year was basically a write off still with DS turning 2 in the September, I only got stuff done when DH had him. This year he’s now 2.5 and far far better at entertaining himself - he’ll spend a while on the trampoline, maybe take an interest in the slide or dig about in the side of the veg bed. He still needs a lot of direction and interaction but can help with easy jobs like digging holes, filling pots with compost, watering, planting big seeds etc. He does tend to do things that aren’t desperately helpful if you aren’t supervising though like shovelling the soil from the veg beds on top of the weeds in the trug or filling the watering cans with stone. Most importantly though he was digging about in a bed last weekend and came to me and said ‘mummy there’s cat poo - yuk’, when I went to look it was covered but he hadn’t touched it at all, just come to tell me so I removed it all and did through hand washing with him so I’m feeling much more confident that he can make safe choices, so hopefully it’s just one year - frustrating though that is.
Thinking about the trampoline though... at 15 months they can’t jump but if you had one of the big netted ones you could zip her in it with a load of toys...?
My DD is now 5 months so I suspect I’m going to have another write off summer next year, I can’t really get the 3 year old to supervise the 1 year old!

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