After one babysitting session of a combo of trying to hold Kana in arms and let him lay on the floor, he ended up with oatmeal all over his head..somehow from me while I tried to clean up the youngest boy and hold Kana. And he had a couple narrow misses of becoming a baby pancake on the floor. So my solution so far has been to take a walker with me so he can be in an upright position (his favorite) and he can see what the other kids are doing (another favorite) AND I can easily move him to keep him near me rather than try to grow eyes in the back of my head to see if anyone is trying to feed him anything. I've told the youngest that Kana doesn't eat yet and he always says ok, but he also often tries to share with Kana. He's a really sweet kid. So Kana spends the time in the walker some, in arms some and in the carrier when he goes to sleep...and I'll babysit any where from 3 to 6 hours each time. When the youngest takes his nap, I just put Kana on the floor and am next to him while interacting with the older girl.
So, my new concern is that Kana is starting to learn how to manipulate the walker pretty well and I think forward motion is coming soon. I read so much about walkers being dangeous. There are no steps at their house for him to fall down but I've read the wheels can get stuck on stuff and the whole thing can fall. I can't quite see how since it is so wide, but apparently it happens. I originally didn't want him to stay on the floor because we had a couple close calls where it looked like he was going to get fallen/stepped/jumped on and I didn't want to set anyone up for that type of situation. Now I'm afraid to have him on the floor because there are so many small toys for him to grab in an instant. And I don't want to constantly frustrate him by "restarting" him after he works so hard at rolling to where he wants to get to. He is very content going from walker to arms and back...it's my fear that is making me question if we can still do it that way. I thought briefly of trying to get my hands on a playpen, but I can't see that working for him because he understandably wants to be in the middle of it all...and I want him in the middle of it all too.
So far I have thought of two things. I wonder if those rubber things you can put under chair legs might work to prevent the walker from moving (BUT, he knows it moves and now gets frustrated when he can't move it...not much though, I might not be too late to make it stationary. But then I can't just roll him along with me.). The other thought is to just become really intensive with the carriers at home and hope he starts to like them in a different way, his opinion is pretty strong on it though and I can't see it changing but maybe I need to try new positions or something. I'm not feeling too hot about either of those ideas.
The walker seemed like the perfect solution. He was with me, in his favorite position, he had some toys to chew on and he had a bit of a buffer so he wasn't overwhelmed with the other kids, plus the safety of not being squashed or choking. The thought of him using it to get around though really feels weird and I think we are really close to forward movement. He's been pushing himself backwards here and there, he mostly just hangs out or stands up and down on tiptoes. But maybe I'm just being paranoid because of what I've read. I'm all for using tools in moderation and in this case it keeps us connected, but I don't want to be unsafe.
Can you help me figure this one out?