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how do you manage soft play areas with two?(16 Posts)
How does anyone manage going to a soft play area with a 2yo and a baby? Trying to think of things to occupy ds1 seeing as the weather is nippy and wet and the last few weeks have been a bit boring for him since ds2 arrived and I'm adjusting to having two!
The soft play near us has a toddler area but ds1 would prefer to run riot around the main play bit with the big slides and climbing frames. Is it possible to do this with two considering one is a new born?!
Running around should be able to carry new born or in sling. If he's likely to dive on the big equipment before you can grab him and need rescuing then try go with a friend with a baby same age? Or no kids! Least you can safely off load baby while you climb.
I tried it when I had a 17 month old and a tiny baby. It was Hell on earth so I didn't bother again until dd was at least 2! Ds kept running off or trying to escape and dd kept crying/pooing/being sick.
Are there any baby & toddler groups nearby that you could attend?
I think with a newborn it's ok as you can just stick the baby in a sling. But now my youngest is 18mo and they both run off in separate directions, I don't actually go to soft play (the big ones anyway) unless I have a second person. My local leisure centr has a really small soft play room, where you can still see both at the same time, so we 're lucky to be able to use this, although obviously it's busy on rainy days!
I admit I go with someone else (and their toddler) and both of us field all three kids! I don't think I'd want to go myself and DD1 is pretty independent. You still run the risk that they'll need you to run in after them which can't really be done with a baby.
Thanks for your replies and advice.
I was thinking a sling but know ds1 will head straight for the big slides! We don't have any smallish soft plays near by and he enjoys the main okay area instead of the smaller toddler bit where I could sit in with baby and watch!
I think I'll get someone to come along and watch baby while I can chase after ds1.. I was wondering how it would work when they're both older but baby isn't walking yet.. What happens then!
I'm going to look in to toddler groups near by, I took ds1 to loads of baby toddler stuff up untill a few months a go so should look in to it again!
Really? I go to soft play with the 2 month old and 21 month old and just let her go and play. Admittedly we go with friends but adults sit at the bottom of the slide at a a table and the children all 21-26 months just go off and play. Occasionally one of us will go have a look abut if we haven't seen 1 of them in a while bit the consensus is. It's soft, they're safe and they can't escape.
Oh and if I go on my own then the same counts eldest goes off to play j sit with the baby and occasionally I'll go see if I ca spit her if she isn't galloping up and down the slide near me.
I just let them get on with it. I don't think I've ever actually been on any of the apparatus at soft play, surely the point is to sit and relax whilst the DC let off some steam? I've always got an eye on them though and know where they are, but on the whole the only reason I take them is so I can relax!
Just let your older one go off and explore, I think it's vital for them to be able to play without being watched
helicoptered over the whole time.
Thanks shady and iguess, I think it's each to their own whether you let them go off and play on their own, when I say our soft play area is big I mean it's big enough that the main bit is for 4 year olds unless supervised with an adult, I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on him from outside the play area or quickly check what he's up to and there's no seating area near the play area/slides, they are all out of the way in the cafe.
Thanks for replies though
I am talking mid week when it's the toddler session so not too busy.
I don't take my almost 2 year old and my 5 month old to soft play on my own. Even just one other person makes all the difference, someone to keep an eye on one whist you change the other. My ds just can't be left to play really-he'd be rummaging in someone's change bag or reaching at tables! Toddler groups are different though as I know people there so it's much easier.
When mine were younger there was always a member of staff who was happy to climb up and help if a child got into difficulty. Does this not happen anymore?
I just let my 2 year old go. Never would have before second child, but needs must and he's really happy with it. Course it's easier if there's another mum there too, who can keep an eye if you do need to dive in. But actually was surprised how happy and independent he was when we first went in our own
Pick your soft play carefully - there are some around here that are great for certain age ranges and crap for others - I've gone to different ones selectively according to the age combination I had at the time (I have 11 months between mine).
If it was busy the eldest was briefed to stay on the toddler area - but she was naturally very cautious anyway so that worked out OK for that time. I also used to go at quieter times so the eldest could get full use of the playframe.
Gets easier as the eldest gets toward 3 and starts to understand general rules of behaviour anyway by the way - it's a bit of a short term crap patch.
Nowadays (mine are 2 and 3) I just let them go - the 2 year old is such a good climber I swear she's part mountain goat and the 3 year old's really grown in confidence and generally has acquired a group of followers within five minutes that she promptly declares her Best Friends Ever... I just make sure I know which area both have headed in to keep supervising them and sit between them and any areas they could get up to mischief in (the toilets).
Generally other parents are really helpful and will chip in and hold baby or mount a rescue mission if needed to if they see you're juggling a small age gap!
18 months between mine and we've been going to soft play since dd2 was newborn. The first time dd1 went down the slide I was in the middle of a bf so watched with horror as she slid down with a big grin. She was fine and now they're 2 and 3 they go off and play together happily. Whilst I can't bear parents who ignore their dc at soft play the helicopter parents crowding on the playframe are just as bad. Generally 'soft' play is the best time to let them get on it and discover what they can do for themselves!
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