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151668 tn?1239921105

How much time to spend with toddler?

I'm having trouble figuring out exactly how much time I'm supposed to be spending with my 13 month old and what to do with him during the day.
I know that most of my day is, of course, spent with him one on one, but I run out of things to do with him. It's not that I'm not interested in teaching him OR spending time with him in play, but how much is too much (or too little)?

Sometimes, I feel like my entire day is spent with him and I have 10 minutes here and there to jump online or do some cleaning (and usually this is whle he's napping).

He gets mad most of the time when I leave him to play in the living room (even though I can still be seen in the kitchen or office). I can barely use the bathroom without him whining the entire time I'm trying to pee.

I know they need a LOT of attention, but there has GOT to be a line drawn. I feel guilty if I'm not attending to him, but then I feel resentful if he doesn't give me a moment to myself.
I feel like the worst mother! I'm a first time mom, so I really don't know how to break up my day without making it seem LOOOONG. I actually look forward to his nap times. Which lately he doesn't even want to sleep much during the day. He used to take two naps (for a total of 3 to 4 hours) but now he takes ONE nap and I'm lucky if it's for 2 hours. This makes for a terrible evening of crankiness.

I try to get with a mommy group or friend (who has a baby his age) at least twice a week. With the price of gas being what it is, I can't take him to the park or zoo as often as I'd like. And taking him for a walk around the neighborhood daily is out of the question, too, because we live in a newer subdivision that has no shade whatsoever. And it's WAY too hot out there!

I need ways to entertain him indoors more than anything...
Any advice?
6 Responses
293420 tn?1243142938
Hey girl! I definitely have advice for you...get your kiddo addicted to an episode of Barney, as I have. It's the "Airplanes" one and he loves it more than anything! We get home in the afternoons and he hands me the remote so I can turn it on. He'll sit there for the entire 27 minutes and not even blink...it's terrific. It gives me 27 whole minutes to go potty, change, look through the mail, unpack all of our daily junk, make him a little snack, and get dinner started.

I'm giving you a hard time :) I know you've been struggling with your kiddo and everything...good luck finding some time for yourself :) I'll write you back on myspace by tomorrow...I swear it!
154929 tn?1196187738
Sometimes you will just need to ignore him.  It sounds harsh butin reality after a short time he will understand how to play by himself.  And like you said you can see him from the kitchen so you will know if he is yelling if he needs help or just wants attention.  As for going outside...get out in the mornings before it gets to hot....get a little pool with a shade unit on it and play in that to cool him down and my guys at a very young age always loved to be in the sandbox....that way he plays, you have a lawn chair, bench or blanket to sit on to read a magazine but not totally distracted...gives you a break and lets him develop some independence to do things himself.....
Avatar universal
My nephew is the same way with my SIL. She can't do anything with him not whining about wanting to be held or near her. And he will be 2 next month! I actually have to agree I would start ignoring him, I know it can be hard to hear a baby upset and everything, but he has got to learn that you cant focus on him all of the time. What if you tried putting him in the same room as you are that time. Like if you wanted to clean the kitchen or start dinner, put him in a highchair with a toy or a quick snack that way he can be in the same room with you but not "bothering" you.
151668 tn?1239921105
Thanks for the suggestions. I do ignore him to an extent, but I guess I give in once his face is red, his nose is running and I'm scared the neighbors will hear him and think I'm beating him or something! LOL

We did buy him a pool a few days ago (a frog pool where part of it is covered), but suddenly it is 98 degrees outside! South Carolina has the most spontaneous weather! I know a pool is nice and cool, but that's a little too hot to enjoy!
We hope to get him in it closer to the evening.
We also bought him a swing, which he loves!

Anyway, I'm sure we'll work through it...thanks again!
Avatar universal
At that age it can be so hard to find things to keep them busy and happy...my kids are 4 and 2 and I remember spending every waking moment with them...when they hit about 2 or so they were fine playing by themselves for a while, but even to this day if I go to the bathroom, I have to answer a million questions about where I'm going and when I'll be back!  At 13 months, my kids wouldn't stand for me to walk away either...the only saving grace I found was Baby Einstein videos...every evening when I would make dinner I would pop one of those in and it was the only time of day they would let me be! I was so against kids watching TV until I discovered those videos, then I decided it was worth it for that 1/2 hour I got to make dinner ALONE!
Now it's a different story since my 4-year-old won't watch those videos anymore and even my 2-year-old is getting out of them...now they just beg to help me cook dinner!
Good luck!  I don't have a great answer for you, but I know how that is and it can be very frustrating!
547034 tn?1215195572
My 5 year old still won't leave me alone; she is constantly wanting to "Play."  I am a stay at home mom and my husband works from home, so if it isn't me, it's him she's after.  She thinks the world revolves around her and we just can't get her to understand she needs to play by herself sometimes.  She gets these big puppy dog eyes and gives us this look like she just had her whole world taken from her.  It's heartbreaking for us.  We feel quilty and manipulated!  HELP!!!
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