When play groups and play dates are geared exclusively towards older children, you will need to make a decision about whether or not it is a good idea for your baby to accompany you and your preschooler.
Before you call a sitter or leave Baby with Grandma for the afternoon, find out the answers to such questions as:
- Will plenty of other moms (with free hands) be available in case your older child needs immediate assistance?
- Will kids play in a confined area that allows you to keep a watchful eye on all the action?
- Is there a safe spot for your baby to crawl or toddle without fear of being run over by an over-exuberant preschooler?
It’s fine to have a play date or two reserved for big kids only, but the bottom line for the bulk of your children’s social activities, should be to make sure kids of all ages can play, have fun, and be safe, according to Dr. Susan Newman, PhD, parenting expert and author of Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day. “If you ever feel you baby isn’t welcome, form your own play group which includes preschoolers as well as younger siblings,” she recommends.
Take Your Big Kid to the Movies—Let Baby Wait for the DVD
With many movie theaters now offering family-friendly show times—more lights left on in the theater, lower volume levels so little ones can nap, and no usher taps you on the shoulder if you need to change a dirty diaper mid-film—it’s never been easier to see the latest flicks with your kids. So while you can take an infant or young toddler to the movies, should Baby tag along when you want to treat your preschooler to the current cartoon blockbuster?