Little Bug is currently at 49 minutes of Independent Play! I’ve decided we can shoot for the 60 minute goal I had at the beginning but then cut it back to 45 minutes because I didn’t think she could do 60 minutes.
Now that she is almost 18 months (don’t get me started on that!), I think she’s ready for 1 hour of daily Independent Play.
Here are some key tips to making IP work (that I have learned through experience!):
- The Timer is your best friend. Set it and don’t come back until it goes off. When IP was a sob session for Little Bug when we first started doing this, she quickly learned the timer – not her dramatic sobs – would bring Mama back and end IP. The only cry I pay any attention too now is an “I’m hurt” cry. I go in and attend to the “boo boo” and then leave again saying, “Mama will be back when the timer goes off. Have fun playing with your toys!” Overall, IP time is actually spent playing! Dramatic crying at the door is a thing of the past!
- Music! I turn on a Children’s CD and it plays the entire time. Little Bug loves music and I think she really enjoys having the music on as she plays.
- Rotate toys! I rotate the toys she plays with during IP every month or so. This way things are always new and exciting for her.
I still have more Babywise posts coming! I haven’t had time to write them out yet, but it is moving up on the to-do list so you’ll start seeing some more soon.