Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Trying to garden with a baby

The weather has been beautiful, and we have a lovely new garden which needs some attention. Harry has a sandpit to play in, his own gardening tools to help out, and he is quite content to play in the garden while I get on with a bit of weeding and tidying. He is fascinated by a new bird feeder that I've hung up, and we're looking forward to shortly planting some seeds.

But at the moment, all our garden activity has to take place while Mia is sleeping. She does still have two longish naps during the day, so that gives us a bit of time, but as soon as she wakes up I have to come into the house because I just don't know what to do with her in the garden. She's not walking, and it's too wet and muddy for her to crawl about on the grass. She wouldn't sit still if I set her up on a blanket, and I wouldn't get away with strapping her into a pushchair or putting her in a playpen. When I put her in the summerhouse with some toys she screams and tries to crawl out, which means she'll end up headfirst down the steps. She's not tall enough or stable enough yet to stand up against the sides of the sandpit or our water table.

It's really frustrating, because I'd love for us all to be out in the fresh air enjoying the sunshine together but I just can't think of a good way to occupy a baby outside unless it's going for a walk with the pushchair. Perhaps it will be easier in the summer when the grass is dry enough for her to crawl on, or perhaps she will be walking by then anyway and then I'll feel happier letting her wander about. Does anyone have any ideas for involving a baby in garden activities?

8 comments:

  1. It is a difficult stage but it won't be long until she is on her feet and toddling about with you. Otherwise you just have to let her crawl and deal with the grubbiness later.

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    1. I'm just worried that she'll start eating mud! You're right, it won't be long before she's walking about, hopefully only a couple of months.

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  2. I'm in exactly the same predicament as you. My son is crawling and pulling himself up, but letting him roam about outside is a no, no at the moment because of the muddiness.

    I'm not really a gardner, but if the girls go outside to play he is quite happy to sit in his buggy and watch his sisters. I'm lucky in that sense. My girls wouldn't have had any of it.

    Like you say, before we know it they'll be toddling about, my son is already trying to take his first steps. I really don't know where the time is going. Looks like both our babies will be walking my the time the weather gets warmer.

    Brilliant timing I say. : )

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    1. Yes it will be perfect if she's walking for the summer, especially if she can manage it before I go back to work at the beginning of July! She's only just pulling up though so we're a little way off yet.

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  3. ...me 3! Oli loves playing in the scrub area we have at the top of the garden where his older brother has made a den but Little Miss Red is only 10 mths so we're in the same boat...I have taken the Baby Einstein outside on the patio which she enjoys and plan to pick up an old baby walker from ebay when she's bored of being static so she can get about.

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    1. The baby walker is a really good idea, because then they can move about without getting dirty!

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  4. I had this dilemma last year, we bought a waterproof picnic blanket and I set her up with some toys, she also LOVED her paddling pool which you can fill with balls instead of water until the weather warms up, although to be honest not much gardening got done last year, but at least I got to be out in the sunshine!

    We have a two level garden (grass at the top, patio at the bottom) so this year's difficulty is that my daughter keeps trying to do kamikaze dives onto the patio. Even trying to hang the washing out is a bit of a mission!

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    1. I really like the idea of the paddling pool, we bought a simple one at the end of last summer which we've not used yet and I could easily blow it up for her to sit in with some toys. She probably wouldn't stay in it for long but it might keep her busy for a bit.

      Sounds like you're going to have a few bumps until she learns about steps!

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