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Props - when are they ok to use?

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  • Props - when are they ok to use?

    I'm a first time mom who is trying very hard to practise AP. I'm new at it and trying to educate myself as much as I can. So I'm wondering;

    DS rarely naps by himself (in the bed, I mean) so we usually hold him/wear him or nap with him during the day. This makes it very difficult to get anything done so I find myself forced to use all the dreaded props that take him away from me.

    DH works fulltime but is on shift work which is nice because he is home a lot during the days too. That definitely helps. But I'm having a hard-time balancing baby, home, myself without using things like the exersaucer/jolly jumper/baby rocking chair ect. And now that he's more active (he does not like to be still!) but not yet sitting by himself or crawling - it's difficult. Not to mention the reading I've been doing about these things being bad for their development???

    When I shower - I usually put DS in the exersaucer in the bathroom with me and when blow drying my hair/makeup usually in the jolly jumper in the bathroom doorway. It takes me forever to get ready on the days when I'm alone because I don't like doing these things back to back because I hate propping him in something by himself. I shower with the door open most of the time and talk to him and sit on the floor in front of the jumper to communicate/play with him.

    I find myself feeling guilty but also find that I don't have anytime to myself sometimes to get these things done - let alone cook dinner/laundry ect.

    How do you balance days by yourself with LO's? How do I stop feeling guilty and that sometimes it's ok to leave him play by himself?

  • #2
    you are the only one that can decide that balance for yourself. it sounds like you have all the necessary information to make a sound judgment. i wish i could tell you, "30 min. a day and no more", but your family is unique and so is mine. what works for you may not work for me. but i can tell you that mommy guilt only works to tear you down and steal your joy. cut yourself a break and realize that you are doing the best that you can.

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    • #3
      Remember,
      even if you are not physically touching him because you are washing dishes or cleaning the toilet... If you are still talking to and interacting with him you still get some imaginary 'points'.

      Alone in a contraption with no connection all day would be lonely for a little guy. Do your stuff, but take holding, cuddling, silliness breaks.

      Moderation, flexibility, connection.... and go easy on yourself

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      • #4
        HI Luvsunflower, you sound just like me and have been posting all the things i am thinking ,feeling and questions i have !! so you are not alone

        xxx

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        • #5
          I used these things for the same type of uses, ie when it was not safe to wear them. I dont think a child should be left in them for unlimited time, or when they are crying. My kids personally loved the johnny jump up and saucer,I never had a bouncie seat but someone lent one to me and they both hated it. I did use a swing for them if they fell asleep in the sling and I wanted to transfer them so I could spend time with the other child, etc.

          Go with your mommy gut!!

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          • #6
            I remember when my first was a baby, and feeling this exact same way! How can I be an AP parent and still put him down? Don't have to be touching him or interacting with him 24/7?

            When he was about 6 months old, I posted on an AP board I was part of at the time about how I was struggling with this, and someone replied, "I can't imagine it's very much fun for the baby to have someone in his face 24/7, either! Babies need to explore and learn on their own for a bit, and have their own downtime."

            It's now seven years later, but that response resonated with me so much I still remember it. Because of it, I gave myself permission to take a breather.

            I gave myself permission to put him in the bouncer while I showered and got ready in the mornings. I gave myself permission to let him play with some toys and books while I checked my email. I gave myself permission to play with empty tupperware containers while I made dinner.

            When my daughter was born three years later, I was much better about finding that balance. She automatically went into the bouncer while I showered. She was in the exersaucer while I cooked dinner. She and her big brother played while I did laundry.

            Cut yourself some slack! The fact that you're concerned about this shows what a great mom you are!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mahogny View Post
              "I can't imagine it's very much fun for the baby to have someone in his face 24/7, either! Babies need to explore and learn on their own for a bit, and have their own downtime."
              that's terrific advice! i've read about how sometimes babies actually need a break from the constant movement of being in a sling. their bodies need a rest, too.

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              • #8
                Ditto to all of the above.
                You are doing a great job! I am alone here with my husband. We have no family so when Ronnie was younger, I would cook while he was in a saucer too.

                Hugs mama!

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                • #9
                  When my DS was an infant I'd put him in a bouncy chair or exersaucer WHENEVER he was willing (not screaming). And I didn't feel bad about it AT ALL. Probably because he hardly ever wanted to go in one of them and I was really grateful for the break when he would. With him I didn't feel like it was possible to overuse these types of props because he would not let me.

                  My DD on the other hand is much more complacent and would sit in these types of things happily. With her I really enjoyed being able to have a shower that lasted longer than 3 minutes and to get some chores done without always trying to juggle a baby. But, with her, I felt I had to make sure I limited her time in them. I felt she could be easily trained to just stay in them and miss out on a lot of crucial mamma/baby interaction.

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                  • #10
                    I just want to thank all of you for your wonderful replies, support and good advice. I know deep down I don't overuse these tools at all - they have their place in moderation. Some days they get used more than others and some days not at all. And he's getting so much better at letting me know when he actually wants to play in them. He LOVES his jumper too and we have so much fun together when he does go in it - I do find they offer him a bit of freedom to explore out of my arms too.

                    Paxmamma - What you said "mommy guilt only works to tear you down and steal your joy" really resonated with me last night - I haven't had a chance to respond yet - very busy day (swim class, storytime at library and dinner at friends!!). But I've been thinking about it all day and you're so very right. That will stay with me for a very long time and it's such great advice. Some days I spend so much time worrying about mommy guilt and it's such a WASTE of time and energy. So thank you for putting that into perspective for me.

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                    • #11
                      no problem! i need the reminder myself!

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