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Is it okay to leave my baby on the floor to play by himself?

He's on a clean blanket, he's surrounded by toys, and I am sitting behind him on the couch. I know it's okay, I just feel bad anyway like I should be singing and playing with him 100% of the time. I know he needs this time but I feel like I'm neglecting him!


Asked by Anonymous at 8:17 AM on Jan. 15, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (12)
  • You, and he, will be happier if he learns how to play without someone else initiating it. It will help him be creative and independent.

    Answer by Bmat at 8:27 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • I know how you feel! But as long as you're right there and your baby is happy and safe, don't beat yourself up about it.

    Answer by Mrs.BAT at 8:19 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • (OP Here) I forgot to mention that he is 5 months old and sitting up by himself. He is definitely interested in his toys, he just wants me to be down there too and I think he needs to entertain himself some of the time!

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:19 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • Babies need tummy time and mommies need breaks. A win-win solution.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 8:19 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • Lol I never felt guilty about it till I made a cafe mom and a lot of moms on here had posted comments about how only lazy moms would use a Bumba chair and that they hold their kids... weeellll I've come to the conclusion they must we super moms or something because I have chores to do like wash bottles, fold laundry, etc. and I can't do those with my baby in my arms. I've tried a carrier... not happening. I've come to the conclusion that I'm not to worried about what other people think because what works best for me and my baby is letting her play on the floor, in a bouncer, or with other toys while I clean, pickup, or just sit down and relax!

    Answer by dtetz at 8:36 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • Don't feel guilty, soon you'll miss the mommy time. My youngest daughter is 1 and has been walking since she was 9 months....yes...into EVERYTHING. Thankfully she has her older sister (who will be 5)...but still....I'm always chasing after her.

    Answer by Lacey1012 at 8:51 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • Yes it's okay. I did that with my DD and now at 8 months everyone is amazed how well behaved she is because when we go somewhere (someone's house) she can sit on the floor and entertain herself with toys. You are doing nothing wrong, they need their time to play and you need your time as well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:14 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • If you don't do that, it will be way too hard for you to get anything done and it will be hard for your child to ever be apart from you. Come school or daycare, you would be much worse off in the separation department than most mothers and children. It encourages him to learn how to engage himself and also builds up his imagination.

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 10:20 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • Your baby needs to learn how to play independently. I did the same for my baby girl, she is 10 months, plays well by herself, with others, and with us.

    Dont stress it. Mom's need time to breathe. Your ok.

    Answer by ZoeKatsMom at 11:08 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • I know just how you feel. I remember talking about this at my new mom's group when my son was a few months old--how I felt guilty if I didn't spend every possible moment interacting with him and keeping him mentally stimulated. But as vital as interaction is, babies absolutely do need time to explore their worlds on their own, too. And it's also completely valid for mommy to get a break once in awhile! If you know your baby's in a safe spot (away from anything dangerous, on the floor so he can't fall, etc.), then enjoy your few minutes of downtime. And you probably won't get much more than a few minutes at a time, so relish it! :)

    Answer by Mamastheword at 1:42 PM on Jan. 15, 2009