Friday, February 03, 2006

Pack 'n PLAY

*Disclaimer - this post contains my opinion only. I am not telling you how to raise your child!*

edit: I don't mean to sound like a neglectful mother or anything in this post. I don't just dump my kid in the pack 'n play and ignore her for the day...I only meant to justify its use. If you read regularly you'll know that Daughter is the light of my life and there is no greater joy than holding and playing with her.

I was reading Daring Young Mom today (you should too, she's hilarious and poignant) and she talked about finally putting her infant son in the Pack 'n Play so she could regain some sanity and get work done.

I clearly recall my baby sisters playing in the "playpen" (as they were called in the 70s and 80s) so that my mom could cook dinner, take a shower, breathe, etc. And I use my pack 'n play religiously.
My daughter is just over 9 months old but I have been putting her in there to play since she was really wee. She napped in the bassinet part quite often for the first few months, and when she could sit up I started propping her in there with pillows and some toys. Now she sits perfectly and, as she has shown no inclination to pull herself up, I sit her up in the bassinet and let her play solo. I figure she is learning independent play in a safe environment. If I put her on the floor to play I have to worry about the dog getting too close or Daughter rolling herself somewhere unsafe. I reserve floor time for when she has my undivided attention.

I can tell you honestly that she will sit there playing intently for up to one solid hour (though I don't often leave her in there that long). She is very serious and industrious about her play, moving toys around and talking to them. When she's really into it I hear her whispering, "hoh noh noh noh, hoh noh noh noh." I play music at a low volume all day and sometimes she'll stop playing, look up, and
start bouncing along with the song. It kills me every time.

Anyway, my point is that people shouldn't feel guilty about putting their kids in the pack 'n play. I mean, after all, the thing has "PLAY" right in the name. When I was pregnant all the 'old school'
moms (my mother and her contemporaries) would ask me if I planned to use a playpen. This was the single greatest, most oft-repeated advice I heard from them - that I should embrace the playpen. I admit, I didn't know if I liked it at first. It seemed like I was putting my daughter in a cage or something. But she is perfectly happy in there, she can see me (over the top or through the mesh sides), and most importantly she is safe. Let's be honest - we have ALL reached a point with our babies where we are losing it and need a breather. The pack 'n play is the safest way to contain the child and give the mother a very necessary break.

Sometimes when I'm feeling the stress, I plunk her in there and sit on the couch (like 3 feet away from her) and knit a few rows.

Anyway, that is totally only my 2 cents.

And now, some knitting!

What? This is a knitblog? Sometimes ya' wouldn't know it. I have indeed been plugging away on my wips at night when I'm too tired to sew. My goal, however silly it might be, is to get the 3 projects currently in progress off the needles by the end of the winter games. Husband and I have a truly unhealthy obsession with watching the Olympics so we will surely be glued to the TV for the
next 2 weeks. I am hoping to finish Kinsale, Trellis, and the second plain brown sock. Kinsale just needs the sleeves finished, the neckband knit, and to be seamed. Trellis needs 2 fronts, a collar, and seaming. The second brown sock has about 1/2 of its cuff. I think it might be do-able.

Here's progress on Trellis. I finished the second sleeve last night before bed.

seriously unblocked. and slightly blurry.

I am enjoying this a lot and so far have found no problems with the pattern. It's a simple, quick knit in worsted weight, and I am cabling without a cable needle for the first time. Why? Sheer laziness, folks. I was too lazy when I started this sweater to get up and find the same size dpn (which I prefer for cables) so I went for it and just started cabling without it. Pretty cool method, though for some projects I think I will still need the help of the extra needle.

I biffed on the sleeves and made them a bit shorter than the pattern calls for, but I think they'll be ok for Daughter. I'm hoping they'll block out a little longer. The whole thing is an unblocked mess right now, as evidenced by this sleeve:

much less crappy in real life, I swear

Geez, that garter stitch pulls up like crazy. If I made this again I might sub in seed stitch instead. Oh well, I am hoping for a successful blocking experience. I'll be casting on for the first front piece tonight.

Daughter is down for her morning nap, so it's time to take a shower and head to the sewing machine.


Karen said...

That sweater is TDF. Love everything about it.

I'm with you on the confined space playtime. When both my kids were really little we didn't have a lot of extra space to leave the p n' p up all the time but I often put them in their cribs for safe keeping while I showered or vacuumed and when they were older I would put the baby gate up in their doors for safe play in their rooms. This past summer I bought one of those octagonal shaped play yards to take camping with us and threw an inexpensive piece of carpet underneath it so she wouldn't sit in the dirt. I needed to know that my 18 month old would be safe and not wandering or eating wild berries while we cooked or set up/took down camp. It was great. All the kids wanted to play in there.

I think today's moms are just out of the habit and pack n' plays are considerably smaller than the playpens of the past.

Peter said...

I am new to the blog world and got to you from DYM seems you are all dealing with the same sort of issues. This is going to be fun. Do you knit tutus?

HangerMom said...

I was going to say something similar to Karen. Once your daughter needs a little more space I HIGHLY recommend the playard fence thing (ours is 6 sided, but you can buy add-ons). When I was working from home frequently, I would set it up and my little girl could play in there while I was working. It was wonderful - more space than a p-n-p, but the same safety, and fun for the kids to pull up on once they're that age. I've just started using it occasionaly for my younger girl now, since she's getting so mobil. And we've used it in the backyard with a blanket under it or when camping as well. We even got a "shade attachment" for it so we can set it up outside and have a shady play area for the baby. Pack-n-play time is crucial to sanity!!

Teresa said...

We usually only put our wee one in the pack n play for naps, and when I need to leave the room, and put her someplace safe, but she has been known to crawl to the pack and play and act as if she wants IN to play with the toys, then is quite happy there for at least 20 minutes

Jenn said...

Use that PNP to save your sanity! Don't let anyone make you feel like a bad mom for it either!
Can't wait to see trellis all finished - looks great!