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  • 6 Tips to Encourage Independent Play in Babies

    Encourage Independent Play in BabiesAs much as we love our kids, at some point we have to put them down just so we can get some things done. It’s also good for their health and development if they spend some time occupying themselves. After all, you can’t be by their side their entire life. If you think your baby is ready to starting playing independently, here are some tips.

    1. Meet all baby’s needs first. It’s tough to expect a baby to try something new if something is bothering him. Before asking he play by himself, make sure he’s not hungry, thirty, wet or tried. He should be just coming off a nap so his mind is fresh.

    2. Change environments. Your baby can’t complain to be bored like a toddler, but if he’s staring at toys or his play mat uninterested, try switching rooms. If you give him something new to do, he’ll likely start playing again.

    3. Provide open-ended toys. Some toys (like game sets) have very specific ways of playing with them and you can’t really deviate. But toys like blocks, play houses, dress up clothes and art supplies offer endless possibilities and your baby won’t become bored so quickly.

    4. Make sure you are providing attention. You’ll find it hard to get your baby to play independently if he is starved for attention. Make sure you are giving undivided attention several times a day so he always feels it’s available from you.

    5. Stop by often. When your baby is playing independently, stop by every few minutes to jump in on the action. Do this especially when he begins to seem unsettled. Each time you step away, stay away a few minutes longer. This will teach him that solo play time is safe and mom/dad is always near.

    6. Give a quick how-to. Your baby might not be aware that he can play with toys by himself if you’ve always done it with him. Show him how to bang his piano or bounce a ball. This will encourage him to try.

    7. Make toys easily available. We love a tidy, organized home, but it doesn’t do your kids any good if they can’t access their toys. Keep them low and in containers kids can access whenever they want. Will this mean you’ll have rooms strewn with toys? Yes, probably, but it’s good for their development.

    8. Encourage their favorites. If your child shows an interest in a particular toy or topic (like birds or outer space), make sure there are plenty of play options that relate. Your child is likely to play by himself if he’s really interested.

    luxe floor pillowGuest Blog by Cindy Perry, Inventor of the pello, Luxe Floor Pillows

    Cindy, a Texas girl, put herself through college working at a children’s library and sewing at night. When she met her husband and had her two boys, she decided to stay home to care for them while designing window treatments and bedding.

    When Cindy’s first son was learning to sit up, he would always fall through the pillows she set around him, hit his head, and cry. Besides, setting her child down on the hardwood floors on just a blanket always seemed so cold. Using her years of sewing and design skills, Cindy took inspiration from a woman in her breastfeeding class and got to work. With some scrap fabric and a few tweaks, pello was born! pello is a luxefloor pillow that helps children feel safe, warm and protected.

    For more information, visit mypello.com.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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