Independent play — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Independent play

is anyone's LO playing independently yet? My LO won't play by herself at all. Not even 5 minutes. How do you encourage this? I'm not expecting her to play by herself for an hour but even 10 minutes would be nice! 

Re: Independent play

  • My LO will play by himself most mornings - usually right after he wakes up (after cuddles, diaper change, etc). I usually take the opportunity to make coffee and wash bottles from the night before and by the time I'm done (10 minutes at most) he's usually moved to at least playing in the kitchen if not standing right next to me demanding attention. 

    He does go to daycare though where I imagine there is lots of independent play - or at least not constant 1 on 1 attention. 

    Im obviously not an expert but I'd say let her get into her favorite toy and then say something like "mommy is going to get something from the bedroom I will be right back" and then walk away for a few seconds. Then when that goes well, gradually increase the time you are gone for. Maybe once she knows you won't be gone long and will come right back she will be more willing to stay put. Just an idea
    JanuarysBaby1
  • I'm not sure if ours is "independent" play, but in the mornings or while I'm cooking dinner she will play with her toys on her own, but she runs into wherever I am and plays then leaves and plays on her own then back to me etc. Some days she clingier than others but she has days where she plays alone. Id just wait for a moment shes focussed in something then slowly leave. See if that works.   
    JanuarysBaby1
  • My LO is an adventurer! If she's in a good mood will dash off into her room to play with a few toys we have set up in there in her own and I have to keep checking in her to make sure she's not getting into trouble. But while I'm cooking dinner and she's hungry and tired she gets really clingy.  
    JanuarysBaby1
  • kodariahkodariah
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited January 2017
    My LO is really good playing independently. I have to be in the same room as he is, but he finds toys and checks them out and then moves on to the next toy. He will play by himself for like 30 min. For us it happened after christmas and his birthday when he got lots new toys at once. I have them organized in his playroom and everyday we pull different ones out to the living room to play with so he doesn't get board with his toys. Also i will sit down with him and show him how to play with a toy, then have him do it before I walk alway and then he will continue to play with it by himself. I don't know if I really encouraged it or if it was just him gaining independence? Sorry I can't be more helpful it's hard to get anything done when your LO wants attention all the time.
    JanuarysBaby1
  • Mine is also good at it.  I think daycare helped, but I also give him lots of opportunity to entertain himself.  Right now, he's taking everything out of his toybox and then putting it all back in.  
    JanuarysBaby1
  • I think that may be my problem, I have every single one of her toys in the living room which is where she plays. Like literally every corner is stacked with toys. Maybe I should alternate toys? Take some out and put new ones in? She could be bored with them. Thanks ladies! 
  • I think that may be my problem, I have every single one of her toys in the living room which is where she plays. Like literally every corner is stacked with toys. Maybe I should alternate toys? Take some out and put new ones in? She could be bored with them. Thanks ladies! 
    Mine gets bored with them. I alternate. I let her play in our bedroom and hers without me (we have it well proofed). She loves wondering and exploring 
  • cali1710 said:
    I think that may be my problem, I have every single one of her toys in the living room which is where she plays. Like literally every corner is stacked with toys. Maybe I should alternate toys? Take some out and put new ones in? She could be bored with them. Thanks ladies! 
    Mine gets bored with them. I alternate. I let her play in our bedroom and hers without me (we have it well proofed). She loves wondering and exploring 
    I just started to do this too! After xmas and then her bday it was like there were so many toys in our living room that she was over whelmed and didn't play with anything. We put a few in her room and then I put a bunch away in her closet and set a reminder alert in my phone for every two weeks to rotate toys. 
  • Sporadically throughout the day ten minutes here 5 minutes there. I defiantly have to be in the same room though. When we had the flu I just flopped on the floor of the play room and set him down. He fussed a bit, maybe for a minute or two. After he realized I was pretty much an inanimate lump. He started to hit his drum and rummage around in his blocks and what not. I watched him try to use his stacker. He was fed, clean, rested and, realized he was not alone. I think he started to play independently out of boredom. It was nice because I was dying. Novelty, I think is the main kicker for independent play. It can definitely help stretch the attention span. Yesterday he pulled some socks from the pile of laundry on the floor, which is normally up in a basket out of reach and got his sisters play pots and pans. He was quite happy by himself for 20 min. While I washed the dishes. He was only a few feet way though. But that's definitely not everyday.
  • Mine has always been pretty independent. For the most part he wants to play on his own, but will occasionally bring me a toy to show me. He wants it back immediately and he's off again. The downside to this is that he often finds all the things he can get into that he isn't supposed to. Every time I think I have baby proofed everything in our living room he proves me wrong... again...
    cali1710
  • @cricket99 that is my problem to. He's so busy he finds stuff I thought he couldn't get to and he climbs on everything!!!
  • We got really lucky when we stumbled on this house. Our house has 2 family rooms, so we turned one into a play room. It has gates securing both sides, and is well proofed. It has nothing "grown up." Alphabet floor mats, ride on toys, a pool ball pit with slide, and everything obnoxiously noisy. Both of my toddlers enjoy playing in there, but Brynlee is the only one to play in there alone. Usually I can convince her to pay long enough for me to cook or load the washing machine. Sometimes, I'm lucky though and she will play for around 20 minutes!
    JanuarysBaby1
  • LO is somewhat good at playing independently for a couple minutes at a time. I think she could do more if I trusted she wouldn't hurt herself. I just can't seem to babyproof everything in the house, she always finds some new way of getting into things she shouldn't. Plus she likes to play with the cats and I don't like to leave them alone together. The cats are super sweet with her, but I know at some point they're going to have enough of LO. If I'm at least in the same room, I can sit on the couch for a bit which is nice; I can watch her and smile and she hands me stuff. We're trying to turn our basement into a play room, so maybe that can eventually be fully babyproofed. Making sure that everything is all cleaned up each night so that LO can come in and mess everything up again is definitely worth a couple minutes of independent play though. :) 
    JanuarysBaby1
  • She is so clingy lately. I don't know what it is. Her molars are coming through so I'm not sure if that's it. But independent play seems like it's not going to happen any time soon. I can't even go to the bathroom without her flipping out. Hopefully it's just a phase! 
  • We have a play area with a gate, and he goes in on his own now and will chill for a long time. But that's the only place his toys are.
    JanuarysBaby1
  • kaym6kaym6
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited January 2017
    @JanuarysBaby1 we're working on 4 molars at once over here and he's SO clingy! It's gotten a lot better now that they're all through the gums somewhat so that definitely could be contributing! My son is prob average at independent play unless it's something he isn't supposed to have then he's content if I never return or find him lol 
    JanuarysBaby1fishee333nackie
  •  I think I have the opposite problem of a lot of you here! LO is TOO independent. She would seriously play by herself all day long if I let her. I get on the floor to play with her, and I keep her attention for only about five minutes at a time...then she's off by herself to do her own thing. The only time she gets clingy and won't let me out of her sight is when it's close to nap time. Sometimes I wish she needed me more!
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