The short answer is most likely: DON'T BE. It’s time we ditch the guilt when it comes to the amount of playtime spent with our babies, but if you do worry, you’re not alone. A recent survey with Fisher-Price reveals 66% of parents are anxious that they’re not playing enough with children, but luckily the experts disagree.
Even as our babies seem to have jam-packed schedules, what they really need is a balance between child-led play time and playtime with an adult.
A simple way to strike a good balance is to help your baby start playing independently. This is a skill they won’t fully master until well into toddlerhood, but here are two ways to make it part of your daily play routine.
Follow the leader
While sitting with your baby and a variety of toys, allow him to choose a toy to play with. If he is scooting or rolling around, make sure he is in a safe space, but give him room to explore. You don’t have to engage with him or the toy, but being present will allow you to join his play if he invites you by handing you a toy.
If you feel comfortable that your baby is in a safe space with enough to entertain himself, treat yourself to a cup of coffee for a few minutes. Stay in the same room, keeping a watchful eye on your baby and staying off your phone will allow you to still be present, but at a distance.
The principles of child-led play and observation are closely aligned with Montessori philosophy. Seeing what interests your baby has at a given time will help you be more prepared for purposeful play the next time you plan an activity. But until then, take it slow and show them you are present - that is all they need.
Start the development journey with MonkiBox. Montessori-inspired toys designed to give your child the best start.