My baby doesn't know how to play alone!

Alexis - posted on 08/04/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




My 6 month old baby can't be or play alone not even for 5minutes! Hes used to be always with someone entertaining him! Should I be worried? Even in the future? I can't do phone calls because he doesn't have attention! What can I do


Elfrieda - posted on 08/04/2012




My son had colic and then after that was kind of malnourished, so he had a rough first four months. He had pretty much been constantly carried and talked to for all his waking hours, and he was used to it. So of course he didn't know how to entertain himself. I couldn't even wash the dishes without putting him in his highchair and singing and pushing it back and forth with one foot. Even then, he complained. At around 7 months I realized that this wasn't normal, and that maybe small periods of him being unhappy would be okay, it would help him and me in the long run. So I'd leave him on the floor and talk to him while I folded a load of laundry, even if he cried. I let him spend 3 or 4 minutes a few times each day without me holding or touching him and I was able to get a lot more done. (our house was a disaster because I just had no idea how to deal with him... I thought if he cried I was a bad mom, and so I held him all the time and couldn't get things done very well because I was so tired from holding him and bending over all awkward while wearing the sling.)

Finally he was able to spend about 10 minutes per awake time playing by himself by about 8 months. I was pretty happy about that. Now he's 2.5 and still extremely social, but it's easier because he "helps" me do whatever I'm doing, or sometimes plays for 1/2 hour at a time with his magnetic train or whatever toy he's interested in. I think it's mostly personality at this point, because I think I'm doing pretty well at trying to encourage him to be independent. It's not all bad. Yes, there's a lack of personal space for me, but when we're with other kids he is very in tune with what they're feeling and really likes to share because it makes them happy. He's high in empathy, which is a good thing. Also, he's not clingy, but he doesn't stray far away when we're out, which makes for fewer panicked "Where's the boy?!" moments.

For phone calls, try making faces at him while you talk into the phone, or dance with him on one hip while you chat. Or put it on speakerphone and spin some toys or something that he finds interesting so you can talk without having the phone near your face, distracting him.


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Dove - posted on 08/04/2012




Perfectly normal. If you have a sling/carrier you can keep him in that while you get stuff done.

Jenn - posted on 08/04/2012




It's merely a stage, and not the only time he will go through this. At six months, he is more aware of his surroundings and himself. Just be patient, loving and encouraging. Try to avoid showing frustration with him, it will only make him more anxious. Validate his need for closeness when he goes through these stages and he will emerge a confident, self-assured little boy.

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