I've heard that babies should learn to play independently, but I'd shoved this thought aside, thinking moms just try to enforce this so they can get some downtime. I had no problem providing hours upon hours of entertainment until Carter was ready for personal space.
But the other day, I came across an entire article in my American Baby magazine about how babies who play by themselves develop confidence in themselves and strong creativity. It even went as far as to say thatsolitary play is crucial to brain development. Crucial? You know me - I was immediately on board.
I grabbed a handful of toys, "Carter, sit nicely and play by yourself."
But it wasn't that simple. Carter whines. Constantly. He even whines when he's just woken up from a nap and his stomach is full. He might sit and consider one of his toys for 30 seconds or so, but then he's back to whining.
I returned to that article. At the bottom of the page, it suggested toys that will inhibit creativity and independent play: non-motorized cars and blocks. Within 24 hours I was at Target scoping out the toy aisle. Since when does a little toy car set you back $3? Expensive or not, I'm a mommy on a mission - my baby now has 5 new little
plastic cars and a heap of 50 wooden blocks.
He's in love with those blocks. The cars are less of a hit, but I think he likes them. But there's one thing I came across accidentally that trumps the new blocks and cars and silences the whining for 10 minutes at a time --Mothers of 7 month olds everywhere, stop what you're doing!-- I handed Carter a wet burp cloth, he's a pig in mud.
Now we just have to get the independent sleep thing worked out, and this baby is set for life.