Baby-Led Play Foundations

Unit 28: Recruiting Family and Friends During Playtime

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You might already have a really great balance with your partner, with other family members, or with other caregivers when it comes to taking care of your baby and trading off play sessions. 

However, a lot of the parents that I work with haven’t quite figured out this balance. It’s super common for me to see stay-at-home parents or working parents who are doing 90% or more of the day-to-day tasks with their baby from putting them to bed, to diaper changes, to baths, to always being the person to play and engage with their baby.

So let’s take a few minutes to talk about why it’s important for other people to play with your baby and a few things to keep in mind as you recruit some help and pull in your partner, family, or other caregivers during playtime.

WHY IS IT BENEFICAL FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO PLAY WITH OUR BABIES?

It’s important for you to be able to take break and focus on alone time and you want to give your baby the change to develop secure attachments with as many caregivers as possible.

WHAT IF MY BABY ONLY WANTS ME?

Try doing a dual play session with you and the other person and then slowly fade away. Also, try to create as frequent opportunities for your baby to connect and bond with each caregiver.

WHAT IF OTHER PEOPLE AREN’T PLAYING WITH MY BABY THE WAY I WANT THEM TO?

1. Talk about the non-negotiables.

2. Share the information and tips you’re learning.

3. Know that it’s okay to be flexible to promote their bonding.

WHAT IF I’M HAVING A HARD TIME ASKING FOR HELP OR FEEL GUILTING TAKING BREAK FROM MY BABY?

Remember that there’s nothing to feel guilty about as you find time to rest and fill your cup too and try to ask for help with something every day as practice.

ASSIGNMENT: REFLECT ON HOW EASY OR HOW HARD IT IS FOR YOU TO RECRUIT OTHER PEOPLE TO PLAY WITH YOUR BABY.

1. Does your partner connect and play with your baby for at least a few minutes every day? If not, how can you talk to each other to prioritize this and make time for this every day?

2. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or need a break, who can you turn to for help and how you can promote their bond with your baby?

3. What are a few of the biggest ah-ha moments you’ve had during this course and how can you share these with your partner or other people helping to care for your baby to get everyone on the same page about the importance of play?

If you’d like some extra support or extra brainstorming on how to recruit other people to play with your baby, send me an email and we can talk through this in more depth and talk more specifically to what you’re seeing in your family. 

COMING NEXT: RECOGNIZING WHEN YOUR BABY IS DONE WITH PLAYTIME

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