Baby Too Independent?

Updated on July 30, 2007
J.A. asks from North Wales, PA
4 answers

In my living room, we have a [what we call] a "No No Zone". This is an area where our baby can do anything she wants without hearing us say "No, don't touch that" or "No, stay over here". In this area she plays very well. She can play with her toys and crawl under things and jump around all by herself for hours. I am always in this place with her and will play with her as well. But, after a while of playing with me, she turns around and goes off by herself for an extended period of time (i.e. at least 30 minutes).

I feel like a bad mom sometimes wondering if my baby gets enough stimulation. She is a very social baby, but at home, she enjoys playing alone. Is this okay? Should I intentionally interrupt those large blocks of time to play with her? Does she know that I am there with her even though she is playing alone?


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answers from Philadelphia on

That private play time is significant to her development. This is not only great for her independence, but also her intellectual development. It is during self engrossed play and exploration that we all learn. It's no different than when an adult gets a new software program or stereo and just fidgets with it for hours to understand it. She's just showing off her intelligence and love for learning!

Also, your child's ability and comfort with playing off by herself is indicative of the bond the two of you have. This may seem contradictory, but children who are secure that mom is there are often less fearful about leaving mom for a while.

So be proud of your bond with your little genius and make use of that free time!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I say you are extremely fortunate that your daughter is independent and will play alone for that long. Take advantage of that time to do some things for you, read a magazine, do a crossword, relax some.... Babies change and she could decide next month that she wants to be clingy and wants constant attention.

If you have more children she could also change a lot when they come along.

Enjoy, they grow up so fast.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Hi J.,
You are doing a great job! Your daughter is definitely getting an advantage by being allowed to explore.
As a former Montessori teacher, I've noticed that children these days get too much structured stimulation and attention. What children need is the freedom to be independent and explore. That's how they learn--through playful exploration. People think that more activities their children are in the better, but that is not true. We wonder why there is an uprise of behavior problems, attention problems, etc. Children need to have uninterupted time to play by themselves. They will build their attention span by doing things they want to do, uninterupted, unstructured. They will learn the rest later when they go off to school.
Sorry for my extended message, I just feel so strongly about this! Look for yourself about Maria Montessori and her philosophy on how children will most likely change the way you parent and how you think of your child in the world. I know there are publications out there that are books specifically for parents to incorporate into home life...I just can't think of any off the top of my head.
Anyway, all that to say--your daughter is perfectly normal, and the fact that she doesn't NEED you to show her how to play is wonderful.
Good luck to you-how awesome you have a special place just for her. Let me know if you want more info or tips...I love this topic-it's my passion!!
Take care,



answers from Philadelphia on

my daughter is 6 months old, she loves to play by herself, she's always exploring everything she shouldn't! i read in one of the baby books, that it's good for them to play alone, my daughter is crawling, and she's even starting to stand at 6 months! My daughter is social too, we are also involved in a playgroup,there are a lot of mommy and me playgroups in my area, I was also thinking of signing her up for gymboree in the fall, I think that will be a lot of stimulation

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