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responding with sensitivity

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  • responding with sensitivity

    we are having trouble with several things. I'm fairly certain we are going through stranger and seperation anxiety. so to help her through this i allow her to interact with the individual from the safety of my arms. the other thing, and i'm not sure if it's connected, is we will not go in the playpen anymore. I don't use it often except when I'm running to the backroom (which is not safe for her), or i'm working at the stove and i don't want to be tripping over her or have something hot hit her. I use it only when daddy is not home but i do need to use it periodidcally. When i do put her in the playpen she instantly starts crying, hitting the side of the play pen, she works herself up so fast that she starts to hiccup in under a min! I don't know what to do. Family tells me i need to ignore her and teach her to go in it, no matter what she does (the harden the heart atitude). that just feels so wrong. what do you other parents think?

  • #2
    Other options for the situation... Instead of her dreaded playpen...maybe a highchair with odd items to play with,
    a exersaucer type thing, a stroller to sit in so she can see you in the back room but be safe.

    Have you tried moving the playpen to another room, near a window etc. She might just be board of it!

    Think creativity! Don't make the playpen 'jail' but a place of new discovery when you have to use it. Wrap up some gifts-her normal toys- and see if she can open them!

    and its totally normal for her to want to be with you!

    Spell checker broken...sorry!


    • #3
      Originally posted by smurfsammy View Post
      Family tells me i need to ignore her and teach her to go in it, no matter what she does (the harden the heart atitude). that just feels so wrong. what do you other parents think?
      i think the one you should practice ignoring is your family, not your baby! if you trek down that road, it won't be long before your child will ignore you. after all, that would be what she has been taught!

      great suggestions, naomi!


      • #4
        I think she will eventually "grow" to like it, but it takes time for her to get mentally ready to the play pen.

        My 1 year old has gone through several items where at the beginning he'll cry and scream and hate it - from a toy telephone that makes new sounds to the bouncer (which we don't use anymore) to the swing (also outgrown)... eventually he'll adapt and then enjoy it for a short while.

        Last edited by momat36; 12-19-2008, 04:20 PM.


        • #5
          I got rid of my playpen when my LO was about 6 months old because he couldn't stand it. When I'm cooking in the kitchen I give him things to play with so he stays occupied and doesn't get under my feet. If he becomes interested in what I'm doing I give him things from where I am at (like a whisk or spatula and a bowl). Usually it keeps him occupied long enough to prepare my meal (15-20 min). If I have to run to a back room I normally scoop him up and take him with me. I'm a single mom so I understand how hard it can be to get things done and to keep your LO occupied. Normally if it is any other chore and they want attention I just give up on the chore until later. Your LO is only a baby once!


          • #6
            We didn't have room for a play-pen, so I had to find other things. We had a Bumbo chair that I would put him in when I was busy - he could watch me cook from a safe distance, and a swing. I think the main thing is to interact with them as much as you can while you are doing other things. Involve them when it is safe (I could put a bowl of water and measuring spoons on the floor when I was in the kitchen cleaning, and Sam would just play - I would say "thanks for helping me wash those!"). I would also (still do this - he's 2 3/4yo) work for 5 minutes and them give him my full attention for 10, work for 5, play for 10.... We also tried tv, but the kid just doesn't like it - go figure (and thank goodness! - what a mistake that could have been!)


            • #7
              I feel your pain - my husband and I created an area we blocked off for DD and she will get bored and feel trapped (I'm assuming!). I discovered that as soon as I put her down in the "forbidden zone" outside of that area she almost always stops crying and starts to explore - of course I have to be right there w/ her so that doesn't solve any issues about getting stuff done though! I find just changing the scenery and/or activity in general can work wonders though - also giving snacks if she is on solids yet. I do find myself giving up frequently though on whatever activity I am doing - it's hard though when it is something that cannot be avoided. Maybe you could block off a safe area of the kitchen so she could feel closer to you and in a novel space? I think what others have said is good too about continuing to talk to her while you're doing what you're doing, also acknowledging her upset feelings - although sometimes I wonder for my DD if this makes things worse b/c she can hear me but I'm not coming right away. But I suppose it's better than ignoring. I also loved the comment about ignoring yor family instead of your baby - believe me I've gotten lots of those "let her cry it out, you can't let her control you!" comments!


              • #8
                feeling your pain here. my 11mo ONLY wants to cuddle and nurse especially in the morning when i'm trying to make, andmore importantly - eat, breakfast. one thing that helps is to pop her into a carrier - i now keep a pouch in the kitchen, and i actually use it every day!
                seems once she hit the crawling/walking/independent movement stage, that need for extra closeness drives her need for me right up the scale.
                It is normal, and it will get better as she gets older, as i learned with dd1. i just try to be patient and show her that i care about her needs, show her the options she has available, and let her choose which she prefers. sometimes that means she rotates several times between carrier, floor and highchair (with carrot sticks, celery sticks, etc), until she finds a happy place, but a happy baby is worth the juggling. and in a few more weeks, she will settle on her favorites more quickly.
                each day that passes, she nears the day when she says, "I don't need you, mama, I can do it myself."