Does anyone else feel this way? Re: baby interaction and play — The Bump
Babies: 9 - 12 Months

Does anyone else feel this way? Re: baby interaction and play

Hi mamas!

I'm new to the boards, although I've been lurking since early pregnancy. I am a SAHM to a 10 month old little girl.

Ever since she was very young, I've been obsessing about whether or not I interact with her enough, whether I'm enjoying everything enough, if I'm talking to her enough, etc. etc. We do lots together - go for walks, sing silly songs, go to the library, read, the park, baby sign language, the zoo - but I'm always worried that it's somehow not measuring up.  
All the baby books say - talk to your baby! sing to your baby! point things out! explain what you're doing! and I DO do this, but do I need to do it constantly? Is it OK to just have silence throughout the day? I do housework all day (otherwise it would never get done!), but am I allowed to read, watch a show, or work on personal projects occasionally (while supervising her, obviously!)? She's very independent and can entertain herself for quite some time alone, but I feel so guilty if I'm not talking to her. For example, she's currently on her playmat as I type this (she should be asleep, but decided that wasn't happening tonight ;)). 

Am I a terrible mom or am I overthinking this? How can I find balance? How much independent play is OK?

Also, if you feel this way or have felt this way in the past, can you PLEASE message me? I need to talk to someone who understands. Thanks :) 

Re: Does anyone else feel this way? Re: baby interaction and play

  • Personally, I think that sounds fine. Of course you should interact with your baby, but there's also something to be said for them learning to play on their own and entertain themselves.
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  • I made it a point to keep my son constantly constantly engaged when he was an infant. He’s now 3 and can hardly be alone even for a minute. 
    My daughter is almost a year old, and we decided if she was alone and happy, we’d focus on the “happy.” She is very independent and enjoys (and demands) being alone, quite a bit.

    I don’t know how much of this is their natural personalities and how much is our parenting. But I think if you’re baby is happy alone, it’s a good thing. They’ll convey their needs.
  • I wonder this same thing every day! I find a lot of comfort though from a parenting book that I started to read during pregnancy which has since shaped my parenting outlook. Check out Baby Knows Best. It's a fantastically research based book that sets the foundation for an entire parenting style really, called RIE. If you love in a bigger city, I hear there are even independent play groups centered around this idea (but we love in a small town). Basically it says children benefit tons from supervised independent play, and it sounds like that's exactly what you're giving your daughter when you let her do her own thing while you do yours. 
    Keep on momming!
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