• What a blessing. And I’m sure it’s nice that they have each other to play with too. Having an only child (for now – only a few more months to go without a sibling) has some serious challenges!

  1. woah..My kids all played very well independently and I never had to think about otherwise. Great tips that I am sure will come in handy for a lot of people, even people that do have kids playing well independently!

  2. Fantastic tips! My kids are pretty independent but setting a timer or letting them know that I’ll play with them after I’ve finished my task is important to them and me.

    Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup and hope you join us again this weekend! New linkup starts at 8pm EST tonight. Pinning to our linkup board.

  3. Jane

    I’ve been a nanny for many years and I’m all for the edible incentives. Most people say that it teaches bad habits but I haven’t seen that happen and think it’s a load of hogwash 😀 I’m sending this page link to a friend, who could definitely benefit from your wisdom. On a side note: Did you get those social media icons from a plugin or did you make them yourself? I love them 😀 I’m new to blogging and haven’t quite figured that part out yet.

    • I downloaded the images from a website that was offering them for free, then uploaded them to the sidebar.

      And yeah, I don’t mind edible incentives and some limited bribes now and then. We try to not overload with sugar but now and then it really does help! 🙂

  4. Jen

    Thank you for this post! Such helpful, specific advice. My daughter is *super* extroverted and I’m *super* introverted. It is a challenge! Her baby sister is 5 months old now. I cannot wait until she is old enough to play with her older sister, haha.

    Did your son ever have trouble sleeping at night because he doesn’t like being alone? We are really struggling with that aspect right now.

    • Jen, this one cried himself to sleep every night until we started him on melatonin at age 4. I’m not a huge fan of crying-it-out but after rocking, nursing, cuddling, stories – the reality was that he just hated being alone. Co-sleeping didn’t work though because if we were in the room, he wouldn’t settle down to sleep either. So we had to just let him figure it out. It’s so much better now (he’s six) but he still needs a drink and calls us back in there a few times before settling, which is so annoying!!!

      As far as baby sister being able to play, we have another little one too. He’s 15 months now and while they don’t “play together” – they engage in parallel play and that’s enough of a distraction for Ezra that he’s not in my hair as much.

  5. […] Yes, just yes. The article went on to give ideas about how to teach babies and toddlers to play independently in a safe environment. This is something that I failed to do as a young mother (at least failed to do consistently), and that (combined with Ezra’s personality combined with too-early introduction of TV usage), has created this almost-5-year-old child who, among with other issues, hates being alone and has awful independent play skills. […]

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