How much time should you spend playing with your baby?

Ireland
December 30, 2006 4:23am CST
Hi! I'm REALLY confused, and would appreciate any advice! I have a wonderful one year old girl, whom I absolutely adore. I love her to bits, but I often wonder if I spend enough time playing with her. I do make time to play with her each day, and I read to her before bedtime. Other than that I have short 'playing sessions' where if she is bored I try and get her started on playing with another toy. I know I spend quite a lot of time on the computer, but it is with her, and I talk to her while I am doing it. The computer is pretty much my only 'indulgence' and 'me time', and I really think I do need it or I would go mad. Although I do feel guilty whenever I'm not actually playing with my daughter! My hubby works, and I have no other family here to help out so I never have a babysitter. I know it sounds here like I am trying to justify spending time on the computer, but I'm just trying to explain my situation. I do give my baby masses and masses of cuddles, and talk to her a lot, and generally she seems quite happy playing on her own. We also go once a week to a play group, and I try and take her out quite often to feed the ducks, go shopping in town etc. Do you think what I'm doing is okay, or do you think I should be spending more time actually playing with her?
5 people like this
10 responses
• United States
30 Dec 06
I think that as long as she is fed, changed, safe, and loved it is okay to spend some time on the computer. If you were negleting your child it would be a problem. I do the same thing in my household. My kids are properly attended to, but I do need some me time and since I work away from home and then have the kids to take care of I do take time on my own do stuff online. But usually the whole time one or both of my children are in the same room within sight playing. My daughters six so she is okay to go play alone in her room if she wishes also. My son is two and into everything right now so I still have to keep an eye on him! As long as your baby is heathly and smart don't worry!
2 people like this
• Ireland
30 Dec 06
Thanks Sarahlee! I really appreciate your response! I think that what you say is probably very true. My girl seems like a very happy, secure little girl, and she's starting to speak and doing all the 'normal' developmental things they're supposed to for her age, so I suppose she is okay! I suppose it's natural as a first time Mom to worry about almost everything! I really appreciate your response and your reassurance!
2 people like this
• United States
1 Jan 07
No problem. I'm glad that what I had to say helped you some! You time is ALWAYS important so you don't loose it with the kids! (did I mention that before? haha) Keep up the good work mommy! And yes first time moms are allowed to worry! You wouldn't be a good mommy if you didn't!
1 person likes this
@ricknkae (1726)
• United States
6 Feb 07
I think what you are doing is good. You spend time with her but you need time for you as well because if you don't feel good your baby will feel it (they are very good at that, they feel stress, anger, sadness ... even us sometimes don't notice it) as long as you keep some exclusive baby-you time and the rest of her needs is being taken care of, there is no problem. Plus she needs to learn to be on her own a little too because that is part of her future life. So don't feel guilty at all ! I am with you ...
2 people like this
• Ireland
8 Feb 07
Thanks Ricknkae for your very reassuring words!
1 person likes this
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
6 Jan 07
A child who learns how to play on thier own, is generally better off in the end. Many times, mothers think we need to give our children our undivided attention all day long, every day to meet thier needs, but that simply isn't true. And honeslty, many times we do them a huge disservice by never allowing them to learn how to entertain themselves. She will let you know if she needs more time with you. Is she very clingy? DOes she always whine for your attention? if not, chances are, she's fine and actually better off that her mother is taking some time for herself, so that when you do spend time with her you are refreshed and happier.
2 people like this
• Ireland
6 Jan 07
Thanks very much for your response - it is very reassuring and I appreciate it! Yes I think you are right that children do need to learn to entertain themselves. I think it's a very important thing for a person to be able to feel happy with their own company. She sometimes is a bit whiney, but then at those times I do give her more 'mommy' time.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jan 07
My first born is 15 months old & I am pregnant with my third. I too cuddled & showered him with 24/7 attention. But 10 weeks ago I got pregnant & began feeling sluggish. Then shortly after that the morning sickness hit really bad again. Spending big chunks of time over the toilet I felt like I was nglecting him. Until I came out of the bathroom & there he was, in his room, playing & smiling all by himself. I knew then he would be happy during playtime without mommy. So I started getting more done around the house & spendng more time online. So my rule of thumb with my son is if he's ok playing w/o mommy - let him have his time & mommy can have hers! :)
2 people like this
• Ireland
5 Jan 07
Thanks so much for your response sexysilver! Very reassuring - I appreciate it! :)
1 person likes this
@birthlady (5613)
• United States
4 Jan 07
I think you are fine, as long as your daughter is content playing at your side, let her! I've 3 adult children, all babies have different needs. Some are "lap" babies, and want constant physical contact and interaction. Others are more independant, and content to play as long as you are within eyesight. My middle child has always been the independant personality, and ever since he was born he was content to be held when he wanted, but also allowed his own space! He's 25 now, and still this way! As long as your baby isn't crying for you, let her play while you have your time online!
• Ireland
5 Jan 07
Thanks Birthlady! I really appreciate your comments - very reassuring! btw I LOVE your term 'lap babies'! :)
1 person likes this
@lonewolfnan (4367)
• Canada
2 Jan 07
I do not believe you can spend too much time with your child.As long as the child is having normal growth relationships with others and you are not "smothering her"(allowing her her personal space and a chance to develope her intersts),then it sounds good to me.
• Ireland
3 Jan 07
Thanks lonewolfnan. Yes I definately agree with you.
1 person likes this
@ljcapps (1927)
• United States
7 Feb 07
I think you're doing just fine. As long as that little girl seems happy, well, at that age, they are happy. Plus, you giving her some "alone" time also, will help with her imagination. And keep your frazzled nerves down. I'd stop worrying about it if i were you. That's called Parental guilt, and you'll have plenty of it for when she hits teen years. Personally, our son is 4, has a wonderful imagination, only child, and gets lots of love, but likes his time to play in his room too. And we're storing up that guilt for later. :)
1 person likes this
• Ireland
8 Feb 07
lol - yes I suppose I'll have enough Parental Guilt later lol! Thanks for responding and reassuring me! Yes i do agree that 'alone play' time is VERY important for the imagination!
1 person likes this
@Rosy001 (363)
• South Africa
5 Jan 07
I too feel the same at times. I always feel like i dont spend enough time with my little one. Don't think one should feel guilty though cos i'm sure you do your best and you do not neglect her. I for one wish my lil one could be with me throughout the day the whole day but then, what happens to 'me'? it's important to have time for yourself. Don't worry too much, it's normal and fine what you doing for yourself and your lil one....
1 person likes this
• Ireland
5 Jan 07
Thanks Rosy... I appreciate that!:)
1 person likes this
@perugu (5281)
• India
30 Dec 06
hi,i usually spend 4 hours a day.morning and evening 2 hours wach...i never get bore when play with my baby...
1 person likes this
• Ireland
30 Dec 06
Hi Perugu - thanks for responding! It's really great that you spend so much time with your baby! Like you I never get bored playing with mine - I love it! I just think that I am a saner parent in the long run if I have a little bit of 'me time' as well.
1 person likes this
• India
30 Dec 06
what ever time u spend with your kids....... is always insufficient......... u cannot decide on how much is sufficient for ur children........ kids are GOD's gift and you cannot ask for time to spend on the gift given to u by GOD.........
• Ireland
30 Dec 06
Thanks for responding puri-paneet. Do you not think though that seeing your time with your kids as always being insufficient not matter what you do is a bit of a self-defeating way of looking at things?
2 people like this