question babies and playpens

Melissa - posted on 01/18/2011 ( 39 moms have responded )

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not a debate just need opinions Ive got a 6 month old and 2.5 year old. I was told recently I should have a play pen when babys on the floor (im usually doing housework) my oldest sometimes doesnt look where shes going I yell at her for it and tell she needs to watch out for the baby. I think she just just be more responsible I think it teaches her nothing using a play pen for my little one am I right or wrong I

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Sharon - posted on 01/25/2011

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its a personal choice.

When I was nearby - the baby was on the floor.

If I was in another room, the baby was in a playpen. Why? Because an older sibling were to come running through the room I could block them if I were nearby to keep them from stepping on or falling on the baby who may or may not survive such an accident.

If I'm in another room, I'm not there to teach responsibility now am i?

[deleted account]

Uh Peggy at 2 my son knows not to step onto my 6 month old. He watches out for him and is very responsible for his age with him. So it can be done.

[deleted account]

I think a playpen is a fine idea. I have a 7 month old and a 2 1/2 year old and we run into the same issues. While I agree, your older child does need to learn responsibility, she's also 2. She isn't going to think about everything right before she does it, even when you've yelled or talked or just because she knows you've said it before. She's 2 and it's the nature of the beast to be impulsive. If you're not going to be able to watch the 2 of them together like a hawk while you're doing housework, use a playpen. Save the teaching for times you can be fully attentive. My older daughter tries to feed her snacks to my little one when she thinks I'm not looking. She runs around with our dogs and doesn't pay any attention at all to the baby laying on the floor who just happens to be in her way. She isn't trying to be malicious, she doesn't want to hurt the baby, she just doesn't think ahead to what her actions might mean, and I don't think at 2 that that is something she could fully comprehend. Better safe than sorry.

Rosie - posted on 01/19/2011

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i don't think your right or wrong, lol. sometimes you got to do what you got to do to get things done. there's plenty of time throughout the rest of the day to teach the other one to leave the baby alone. :)

[deleted account]

If you think it might work for you then give it a go.
My children have fallen over and dropped things like toys on my 6 month old a few times now. They are pretty good with him though and it doesn't happen often. I have yelled at them but it's more when my 2.5 year old is about to step on the 6 month old. It gets his attention and then i explain what he almost did.
If you think it might work then, yeah, give it a go.

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Vegemite - posted on 01/25/2011

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I get what your saying Peggy, we can teach kids right and wrong and how to behave and what's safe and what's dangerous but they don't always remember. It's our job to teach them and keep reminding them, kids learn by repetition. It's also our job to take precautions with their safety.

Peggy - posted on 01/25/2011

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I NEVER said children cant be taught!!.. They can be BUT when you are there to watch them to help remind them of things. When the older child is walking/running then you are there to remind them to walk and be careful for the baby... why take a chance the 2 yr old will come running by the baby tripping and falling on them, seriously hurting them. I would rather be safe than sorry. You can teach a 1 yr old to help pick up their toys and to put away their blanket in their cubbie after nap time at school... but not by telling them before they go to sleep but when they wake up by reminding them and showing them hands on. When you are potty training you tell then child to make sure they go on the potty if they need to pee pee but guess what I guarantee you that if you dont take them to the potty and keep reminding them then they will have an accident. You told them so shouldnt they be more responsible to remember?.. NO and why?...Because they are still learning. It is a parents responsibility to keep their children safe NOT putting in on a 2 yr old... and then to yell at them when they do something to the baby. If I felt like I was worried that my 2 yr old might hurt the baby while I clean and not be able to watch my kids then I would be responsibility to keep my child safe while I clean or wait and clean when the baby is taking a nap.

Vegemite - posted on 01/25/2011

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mine are 21 months apart i considered a play pen for this reason and was only going to use it when i was doing housework, making meals, that kind of thing where it's impossible to watch them all the time. I then discovered i could section off some of the living space with furniture and a gate so that worked well. I still had to keep an eye on them though because big brother would throw toys to (at) with good intentions for baby to play with but would sometime hit their mark with too much accuracy and was worried the baby would get hit in the head. So then only soft toys were allowed near the baby. Little ones often do silly things with good intentions, just today the oldest now 3 tried to pick up his 18 month old brother (who now ways the same) and dropped him. When I asked him why he would try to pick his brother up he said "sit down to watch tv" He just wanted to sit down and watch tv with his brother while i made dinner.

[deleted account]

I had a playpen with all of mine but I only used it when I needed to do housework and be out of the room. Otherwise I would just let my babies in the floor. It taught the older ones to watch what they were doing and how they were doing it and it actually got my babies to want to move and get going around the house faster. All of my babies were walking by 9 months except my first. I really think it had something to do with the fact that I had them out on the floor with the rest of us and they naturally wanted to be going/doing what we were. I say you are doing nothing wrong and are actually teaching both children some very good lessons at the same time without realizing it. :)

Kim - posted on 01/20/2011

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Has your 2 yr old sat on the baby yet? That is what someone asked me and I looked at her like she was nuts but a few wks later that is what he did! And I've talked to others whose kids have done it. A 2 yr old does not know how to watch out for a baby, she will probably give her toys that are inappropriate and try to help the baby sit up and things. IMO make sure you can see them at all times or put the baby in a playpen again where you can see her. My son was almost 3 when I had our 2nd and there was no way I trusted him with her and he was a gentle, easy going kid, but they just don't know, they are still little themselves. And at 2 my youngest pulled out a light plug and zapped herself putting it back in in less time than it took me to run to the bathroom. And it was way behind a chair and table. I also worked with 2 yr olds for years, they are just learning what is right and wrong and do a lot of things without thinking.

Bonnie - posted on 01/20/2011

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We rarely used our playpen and our kids are 21 months apart. They got hurt in many other ways other then being stepped on or tripped over.

Charlie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Yep my two year old knows to be careful around Harry , he was taught as soon as he came home but is naturally gentle with him anyway .

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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Im with Julianne, I think she can be taught simple things at this age Ive herad this also from someone with 4 kids and who runs a daycare the same thing. I did ask the question with regards to the baby but with other things I definately think they can be taught I did teach her to be nice to my animals it takes a while but they learn, they like to hug animals or other children way too tight or pick them up etc but she knows better now she knows there will be consiquence sif shes nasty to the cats or the dog or any of the other animals. thanks Julianne I am glad I am doing the right thing in teaching her with the baby

Jenn - posted on 01/19/2011

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I had a play pen that got hardly any use - my kids didn't like to be in there for long.

Stifler's - posted on 01/19/2011

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I thought I was mad trying to teach Logan to pack his blocks away hahaha. He's only 1 but I'm like SEE SEE WE PUT THE BLOCKS IN THE BOX and he will do it as long as I do it.

Peggy - posted on 01/19/2011

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To not beat up the cat is not a responsibility that is being taught to be caring.. the same as teaching children to use "soft touches". And to learn safety is also different than responsibilities. I do agree you can teach children not to do dangerous things...try having a classroom with 14 2yr olds and some of them liked to stand on the table and it became a "monkey see, monkey do"... YES we did a lot of repeating ourselves thru the day. It is a parent/caregivers responsibility to keep children safe and not put that on a child. YES teach them to be careful but if you cant be there to watch and supervise then you need to do what you need to do to protect them... which means put the baby in a playpen, stroller, swing ect until you can be there to watch. Why take a chance that something awful could happen while you are cleaning when you could prevent it?

[deleted account]

Well i also taught her to watch out for the cat and not beat her up. That is responsibility. You can teach a child that young not to do something dangerous, I didn't baby proof at all, she doesn't go near outlets or lean/bang on the windows, she stays away from doors so she doesn't get hit when someones coming in. Its not easy by any means, but you can teach a child not to do dangerous things. They are never too young to start learning safety. As parents thats our job, to teach them to be responsible and safe in their environment. Teaching a child to be cautious of their sibling is VERY important to teach, no matter how young. I do agree yelling at a child does not teach them, calm calculated discussions they can understand is what teaches them.

Peggy - posted on 01/19/2011

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There is a different between being responsible and having self-help skills.. and a BIG difference of cleaning up toys and not stepping on or tripping over a baby laying on the floor... kids get into the moment and not look into the future of "what could happen". I ran a classroom for 2 yr old's (14 of them). And yes they are capable of things but there is way too much pressure on a child to be responsible.. as a parent that is your job. And to tell at her?.. NO.. she is 2... if you yell all the time it will become your "normal voice" to them and they learn to tone it out.

[deleted account]

umm....children at 2.5 years old can be responsible...Some children you can not teach them responsibility at that age. Every child is different. Gabby is a year and she already cleans up her toys when shes done with them. She can be in her room for a while by herself too, she actually prefers to play alone sometimes. Children are more intelligent then some people give them credit for. I am sure if you persistently tell your 2 year old to not do something, then she will eventually not do it. Every time she goes near the baby, tell her to be gentle and to watch out for her, not to hurt her and i know its repetitive, but it works. Yelling doesn't work for a child that young. IT doesn't register as you telling them something. The best way to get through to a baby, is to talk gentle and slow so they understand.

Peggy - posted on 01/19/2011

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she is ONLY 2 1/2 year old and your expecting her to be "responsible"? Children at that age have NO concept of what can happen, yes you tell her she can hurt the baby BUT do you seriously think she gets it?.. if that was the case you would NEVER have to worry about her being out in the front yard alone and not run out in the road or go with a stranger. So you are asking if you are wrong..YES!! I am not saying keep your baby in a playpen 24/7. I am not a fan of playpens unless its for a short period of time to keep a child safe while I need to do something that I can not keep my eyes on my child. I have a 16 yr old, and 8 yr old and now 3 1/2 months pregnant with my 3rd. When you can watch them and make sure your oldest doesn't step on the little one or run them over with their toys then the baby should be on the floor playing and exploring.

Laura - posted on 01/19/2011

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I tried a play pen/pack and play with my oldest but he started climbing out of it before he could walk. The only time I ever used it with my 2 year old is for sleeping and camping. We had a jumperoo that both of my boys loved. It kept them busy and let them stand up which they always wanted to do too.

Bonnie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Katherine, I was thinking the same about a cot. The only cots I knew of before COM was the small extra beds you can ask for at a hotel that fold up lol. I thought about it and I was like, there is no way mothers would put their babies in those lol. Then I realised that other areas around the world have different words and meanings for things.

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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Tina I hated being judged as a young mum. I did everything right but thats not good enough when your 18

Tina - posted on 01/19/2011

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i think that you are doing the right thing by making your older daughter watch out for baby! as the oldest of 5 kids, my sister is 11 months younger than me and when she was a week, she was in my spot so i dragged her by the arm how was i to know better i was not even one yet. my mom taught me and my other sibs the importance of being careful with the new baby! (eventually i did get my payback from my sis, she would come up and bite me just for the fun of biting me.) any how i believe that if you were to put the baby in a playpen, bouncer, swing, all the time, you would not be teaching your 2 year old to be nice. it would teach her oh if im mean to my sister/brother then mommy will put him/her "up". also babies need to be on the floor. i am a young mom i was 18 when my daughter was born and i was constantly prejudged. people would say things like make sure you give her floor time just because you are young you are a mom and should do whats right for her. ok my baby was always on the floor. she didnt like the playpen, she did like the swing but only for short amounts of time unless she was asleep. anyway i guess my finalized advice is keep doing what youre doing and your older lady will learn to watch out. :) good luck momma

Stifler's - posted on 01/19/2011

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I know right someone referred to a playpen as like a thing in Australia we would call a porta cot and I think a pack and play is what I'd call a porta cot too.

Katherine - posted on 01/19/2011

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@ Emma, when I first came on here and heard people were putting their kids in "cots", I thought "Oh my God they're going to roll out!" This was before I knew what a cot was lol. I was thinking of a cot, you know an extra bed. For adults.

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2011

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I thoght the swing was fantastic its the only thing she would sleep in as a newborn but I had to move it out as it just takes up too much room and I like to keep a tidy house

Stifler's - posted on 01/18/2011

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I was talking about a square gated area thing that is like 2m square or so. That's what I call a playpen lol

Katherine - posted on 01/18/2011

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I used a pack n' play for my daughters, but it's different than a playard. I think a playard is actually better. There is more room to move. Are you talking about the gated area? Some people have different meanings for different things.

Charlie - posted on 01/18/2011

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I've personally never used one for either of my children , I don't think it is wrong or right you just have to assess the need based on your own child and area in use .

[deleted account]

I unintentionally trained gabby to stay out of things with my play pen...lol
Every time she did something more than once when i told her not to, i would put her in the play pen until i was finished doing what i was doing. Now shes got the run of the house and she always listens to me when i tell her not to do something, I don't need the play pen anymore.

Stifler's - posted on 01/18/2011

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I have a playpen and I only have one kid. It's good for keeping them out of mischief when you want to do something you don't want them getting into.

Bonnie - posted on 01/18/2011

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I also say neither right or wrong. We had a playpen and rarely used it. My kids didn't really care to be kept in it. I would just baby proof as much as possible and maybe try to keep you 6 month old and possibly your 2.5 year old in the room that you are in. I know it isn't easy to keep your home baby proofed, especially if you have kids like mine. They figured how to get into things even with latches on them lol.

Nicole - posted on 01/18/2011

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Playpens are really useful. I had one for both kids.

I think that it is important to teach your two year old to be gentle with your baby. You can get down and play with them and use this as a teaching time, then if you need to get busy the playpen can keep the children separated.

Good luck

Melissa - posted on 01/18/2011

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thanks thats a good idea. When she is carrying on as toddlers do I get down at her level tell her she needs to settle dwn and listen to me then I explain why she cant do something or whatever it is that is upsetting her. My little one is not yet crawling but she does nt allow me to spend much time working anyhow as she usually wants company especialy if she sees me walking past to put washing away. My house was child proofed when my toddler was litle but no longer outlet plugs have been taken out child locks on cupboards are broken or hve been removed because of the eldst knowing how to use them now so that must be as there are things that shouldlnt be in cupboards now for a litle baby I just havent got my butt into gear yet to sort all that out.

Amie - posted on 01/18/2011

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I did both. It really depended on the toddler's mood that day. I always made sure to remind them beforehand to watch out for the baby. If they couldn't pay attention long enough for that, baby went in the playpen.

I agree with Sara that it really doesn't help to just yell and not explain calmly. When you talk to a child, they're more apt to listen to you. When you yell, especially if it's done often, they start tuning you and it (whatever you're trying to teach them) is lost to them.

[deleted account]

Neither right nor wrong. Personally though, I'd be more worried about your 6 month old starting to crawl and getting into things. Unless of course, you've taken other measures to ensure his safety (outlet plugs, no chemicals down low, obvious stuff). I would also suggest that you take some time to explain to your two year old that she needs to be careful when the baby is on the floor, instead of yelling in the heat of the moment.

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