Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

How long , if at all, do you leave your 23 month old alone?

(54 Posts)
cleoteacher Mon 01-Dec-14 19:22:24

Dh did a stupid thing and left pills within reach of ds , I hadn't realised they were there, when ds was alone and we were upstairs.

Rung nhs direct and was given a long lecture from the nurse about leaning ds on his own for this period of time. She stated he was too young to be on his own for this length of time and made me feel very guilty and like a bad parent.

I am due dd in feb and I must admit I have purposely been leaving ds on his own for slightly longer periods to get him used to being more independent and used to it so that come feb I am able to change dd nappy or put her to bed/nap with some quiet whilst ds plays nicely downstairs and I know he is happy on his own. Or just to go to the toilet and do some jobs upstairs during the day.

So my question is. How long do others leave their nearly 2 year old alone for? How long is an acceptable period of time to leave him?

I should add he is not just left , he is checked on, I call downstairs to check he's ok regularly and listen out for him and if it goes silent tend to go downstairs to see what's going on.

afreshstartplease Mon 01-Dec-14 19:24:06

Dd is 20 months

I'll leave her in the living room with the gate shut while I do jobs but do check on her every few mins

iknowimcoming Mon 01-Dec-14 19:25:51

What period of time did were you upstairs?

FayeFruitLoop Mon 01-Dec-14 19:27:21

Tbh fairly often and prob at least 5 mins or more

But, I do live in a flat and can hear what he is doing in the bedroom even if I'm in the kitchen... It's when he goes quiet that I panic and rush to see what manner of chaos he's scheming... He's pretty good at yelling conversation to me when not misbehaving.

In an ideal world I wouldn't take my eyes off him for a second... But then nothing would get done, and I would go insane I have child proofed over, and over, and over (as he finds new hazards)

fatterface Mon 01-Dec-14 19:29:49

I'd leave mine for 5 minutes or so at that age, but in the knowledge that the room was fairly safe. I'd leave DS2 at 20 months for longer if DS1 aged 5 was in the same room as he would report immediately any bad behaviour grin

I'd leave them to have a shower, or cook dinner, or put clothes away upstairs for example.

LikeSilver Mon 01-Dec-14 19:30:33

Dd is 2.7. I'll leave her for probably 10 minutes while I am loading the washing machine or washing up etc. I would check on her after that (if she hadn't come to see what I was doing which is more likely!).

NoraRobertsismyguiltypleasure Mon 01-Dec-14 19:32:08

I'll happily leave my just 2 year old on her downstairs for 5 mins or so. I know that she can't get into anything dangerous, the worst that would happen would be a bigger mess of toys! We don.t have a big house and I can easily shout down to her.

TwoKidsAndCounting Mon 01-Dec-14 19:33:44

I wouldn't leave mine alone more than 5mins without checking but in that 5 mins they could get up to all sorts. My 23 month old fell off the second step of the bunk beds in a heap on the floor the other day and I'd only just left her for 30 seconds!!

furcoatbigknickers Mon 01-Dec-14 19:34:46

Ds1 is just 2, a few mintues max, hes trouble. Unless dd1 or 2 are watching him. They are 13 and 10. I wouldn't leave him and dd3 5 alone for more than a few mintues, blood might be shed. angry

Littlef00t Mon 01-Dec-14 19:36:13

One of the reasons I bought a video monitor for my dd is because I have a v small kitchen so when she is mobile I'm planning on setting it up in the living room so I can see whats she's up to when I'm making dinner etc.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 01-Dec-14 19:52:35

Never - I keep both DC strapped to me at all times, just to be safe wink

Anyway... I left them for up to five mins or so while I did things like shower, take the bins out - but only when they were in ear shot. More important not to leave things like pills lying around where they can get them - it only takes seconds to get hold of stuff they shouldn't have

dashoflime Mon 01-Dec-14 19:56:53

DS (2.5) will play with his toys quietly for about half an hour. So I leave him to it. This is in his bedroom, behind a baby gate though- so I know he is safe.

Tvseemstobemyhobby Mon 01-Dec-14 20:11:02

My just 2 year old is so much better at playing by herself than DD1 was so I do stuff in the kitchen whilst she's in the lounge/playroom (attached rather than another door off the hallway). I have just realised though that if I'm going upstairs for more than a 30 second grab or drop I take her with me. So I may leave her to play but I'm always in hearing (viewing distance).
How long were you gone?

FreeButtonBee Mon 01-Dec-14 20:11:22

God, for seconds. But I have 22 mo twins so the opportunity for trouble is multipled hugely. They may be in the room next to me occupied but I will pop my head round the door every minute or so. Will leave them in their room while I run the bath or Im the spare room while I pop in and out of other rooms eg putting laundry away but out of sight for minimal time and will shout to them often as well

cleoteacher Mon 01-Dec-14 22:50:36

It was between 20 mins and half and hour which I guess is the time it would take to have a shower or get dressed like other posters have said they do.

Generally, though it seems that's too long to most people. I just wondered how the hell I will ever get dd to nap or go to bed without leaving ds for that amount of time. He's always happy when I leave him. If he cries and doesn't stop after few mins I always go back down. Crayons etc are removed and doors to other rooms and stair gates are shut so he can't get up to too much mischief.

DixieNormas Mon 01-Dec-14 22:53:46

21 month old ds4 only for a couple of mins if he's not in the play pen. No way could I leave him for 20 mins

CalpolOnToast Mon 01-Dec-14 22:58:27

Have a 21 month old DS and would only leave him downstairs while I have a wee or take DH tea. It's child proofed in that sharp, dangerous and precious things are inaccessible but there's still a table, bookshelves and windowsill for him to climb

dreamingbohemian Mon 01-Dec-14 23:00:38

A lot of people will tell you that's too long but every child is different. I could leave my 2 year old that long but we had a small flat, everything was childproofed and he was pretty sedate (not the jumping off shelves type).

I would maybe keep it to 10-15 minutes and just be really anal about childproofing. Also don't let him cry for a few minutes -- it's not necessary when you're just trying to get him used to the idea.

DixieNormas Mon 01-Dec-14 23:01:51

As for when the other baby comes, ds3 was 22 months when ds4 was born. One or the other had to come with me as I couldn't leave them alone together.

The baby napped in the living room in the day and until we went to bed at night, so leaving ds3 on his own to put the baby to bed wasn't an issue. By the time ds3 was 2.4 he could be left alone for longer and I had the playpen so could leave them in a room together.

Ds3 will be 4 in March but I still wouldn't leave him alone for half an hour, he would be climbing on the kitchen work tops and alsorts

fatterface Mon 01-Dec-14 23:04:40

20-30 minutes is too long imo without checking on them/being in hearing (unless as dashoflime says in a safe room with a baby gate). If the baby sleeps in a cot still you can safely leave her to go to sleep rather than a roaming 2 year old.

If I have a shower and get dressed it is 5-10 minutes of showering, checking on children, then 5-10 minutes of getting dressed rather than being out of sight/hearing for 20 minutes.

DixieNormas Mon 01-Dec-14 23:08:09

I think one of the main issues is dh leaving pills within reach

wiltingfast Mon 01-Dec-14 23:08:12

To be honest, I can't imagine you really leave him alone for 20m?! Unless your house is huge? Mine would never amuse themselves for me at that age, always come looking. Even now if we're all in the house, there's no way they'd leave me alone for 20m!!!!

Anyway perhaps you have a v self reliant child but if you're about the house he's not really alone imo and I wouldn't worry about it. My 3yo sat down on the escalator the other day and caused a minor pile up and I was right beside her....

minipie Mon 01-Dec-14 23:50:45

I leave dd in next door room... up to 20 minutes (if she goes quet will check on her but can usually hear her pottering around and chattering)

I would leave her in downstairs room while I go upstairs ... up to 5 minutes, usually less, and only in safe room which she can't leave (but there's still potential for her to hurt herself eg climbing on/falling off furniture)

i am hoping dc2 will nap in the buggy in the hall like dc1 did, and I'll have a change mat etc downstairs. So not too much need to go upstairs.

Shower - DD currently comes in the bathroom with me/DH. Baby will have to be in cot with mobile I guess. Or baby in bathroom and DD in cot looking at books.

hoppingmad Tue 02-Dec-14 00:16:26

I couldn't leave dt's (slightly older than your dc) that long - they'd either kill each other or plot mischief together. Dts would be fine on his own though, he gets very involved with his cars and could play by himself without noticing I was gone, dtg is the mischief maker.

Generally they just follow me around 'helping'. It's so nice, I get things done in twice the time confused

HonestLie Tue 02-Dec-14 00:16:44

I have a small flat so DD would just wander off and do her own thing but I could always hear her and I was always accessible to her. I think that's too long on different floors of the house tbh. Were you checking on him?

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