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  #1  
Old 11-01-2011, 07:40 AM
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Default Vent - Baby Zone

So after reading on here about "baby Zones" I decided to use one. In 22

years of doing childcare in my home I had never done this. But in recent

years I realized that the youngest group of mobile kids was the most

stressful for me and realized why. They dump buckets of toys, and their are

toys I couldn't have out for the older kids because did not want the

older infant or toddler to get them. And of course let's not forget how

that age knocks over what ever the older kids are doing, grabs at it

relentlessly, it is a never ending battle.

So 3 weeks ago I set up a baby zone and put my 12 mth old in there.

She is not walking yet, just a fast crawler. She hates it. She just

stands at the gate screaming/crying for whatever time she is in there.

I feel so mean and have guilt for putting her in there. She has toys, she can

see the kids and me, but she wants out. I am tired of sacraficing the

happiness of 7 kids for the happiness of 1, makes no sense.

Do you think she will ever adjust?
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:43 AM
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yes I do think she will adjust. baby zones are a must have for kids like her that terrorize the big kids. just hang in there. you can make pockets of time where she can come out during the day but never bring her out when she is screaming for that otherwise she will associate crying long and hard enough to getting taken out of baby zone.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
yes I do think she will adjust. baby zones are a must have for kids like her that terrorize the big kids. just hang in there. you can make pockets of time where she can come out during the day but never bring her out when she is screaming for that otherwise she will associate crying long and hard enough to getting taken out of baby zone.



Good advice, thanks very much.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:50 AM
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Yes, I do. I think this is the worst age to introduce it, but it is what it is. If she'd been used to it since she was littler, she'd be fine.. Of course, you can't change that.

Nanny would probably disagree, but I would say sit down with her in their for short periods each day, when she is first put in. The first few times, interact with her and play with her. Each day, gradually reduce your interactions so that she is entertaining herself, but you are still in there.

Taper this down to standing in there, but not interacting at all. Talk to the other kids, etc, but don't engage her. Only talk to her, engage her while she is in the toddler zone, and you are out. IF you have to leave, don't sneak out, just tell her "I am going to help so-and-so, or I am going to the bathroom," etc

Whatever you do, DONT take her out if she is screaming. If you want to take her out (to eat or whatever), then tell her you will take her out when she STOPS crying, and then wait until she does. Or, you could try doing something silly and distracting her to stop crying, then take her out, but I prefer the honest method. I hate tricking kids into complying myself.

I have had to do this with my twins, as they were always screaming when they woke up. I would sit there and say that in a soothing voice until they stopped. Then I would get them out. They caught on fairly quickly that screaming is not necessary.

Those are my ideas...good luck! I still think you are better off with the baby zone than having everyone else's work demolished constantly....
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:05 AM
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She will adjust . I have been using my infant playrooms for most of the time I have been opened.

Usually at 12 months I start integrating them to the main area for several play periods a day. Once they are walking well they spend more and more time with the group each day.

Yes, It would have been easier if she had been born into her "room" as the DCK's are here. It gives them a safe area while still being able to see everything.


My older DCK's still ask to go into theirs to play independently (like building/reading). I must keep extras set up year round for this.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:09 AM
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what would you say the age group for the baby zones is????

i find that the 1-2 yrs stage is the hardest because they are into everything, can reach the toys higher up, pull every book off the shelf and dump every bin out.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:23 AM
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I don't use ' baby zones'. My kids co play.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dEHmom View Post
what would you say the age group for the baby zones is????

i find that the 1-2 yrs stage is the hardest because they are into everything, can reach the toys higher up, pull every book off the shelf and dump every bin out.
IMHO, It depends on how big your zone is . Mine are 6ftx6ft, each, and made of wooden framed half walls. Baby-gates never worked for me...too unstable.

If needed I can re-arrange the room to 4 distinct zones. One set up for each particular age group. It is how I keep my sanity.

I move furniture, toys, and shelving in and out as necessary to accommodate the age group I currently have, YKWIM?

Others may do it completely different and still have the same great results. My group is 12 months-2 years, currently.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:34 AM
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The babies in the play yard want to be on the one/two year old side of the playroom.

The kids on the one/two year old side of the playroom want to be on the preschool (3-5 year old) side of the room.

The preschoolers want to be in the upstairs playroom.

The kids in the upstairs playroom want to be outside.

The kids outside want to go to the park.

The kids at the park want to go to the McDonalds play place.

The kids at the McDonalds play place want to go to Chucky Cheese

The kids at Chucky Cheese want to go to Disneyland.

I don't take into consideration WHERE the kids want to be. I know that whatever I offer them they would always prefer more, different, more exciting, more adult, more freedom... just more.

So I put them where "I" want them to be. I make sure that where they are is safe, managable, loaded with age appropriate toys. I makes sure that where they are works for the group.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:34 AM
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I did a reverse baby zone for the big kids. I set up my play yard next to a wall and put the smaller toys in it for the older kids. They can move in and out of it on their own and it keeps the little ones out of their what ever they are playing with. It solved a lot of griping about the little kids tearing their games apart and gave me a place to put the smaller toys that is away for the little ones.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
The babies in the play yard want to be on the one/two year old side of the playroom.

The kids on the one/two year old side of the playroom want to be on the preschool (3-5 year old) side of the room.

The preschoolers want to be in the upstairs playroom.

The kids in the upstairs playroom want to be outside.

The kids outside want to go to the park.

The kids at the park want to go to the McDonalds play place.

The kids at the McDonalds play place want to go to Chucky Cheese

The kids at Chucky Cheese want to go to Disneyland.

I don't take into consideration WHERE the kids want to be. I know that whatever I offer them they would always prefer more, different, more exciting, more adult, more freedom... just more.

So I put them where "I" want them to be. I make sure that where they are is safe, managable, loaded with age appropriate toys. I makes sure that where they are works for the group.
AND IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE.......
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2011, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dEHmom View Post
what would you say the age group for the baby zones is????

i find that the 1-2 yrs stage is the hardest because they are into everything, can reach the toys higher up, pull every book off the shelf and dump every bin out.

Exactly, that is the hardest age for me to have in the general play area.
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2011, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
The babies in the play yard want to be on the one/two year old side of the playroom.

The kids on the one/two year old side of the playroom want to be on the preschool (3-5 year old) side of the room.

The preschoolers want to be in the upstairs playroom.

The kids in the upstairs playroom want to be outside.

The kids outside want to go to the park.

The kids at the park want to go to the McDonalds play place.

The kids at the McDonalds play place want to go to Chucky Cheese

The kids at Chucky Cheese want to go to Disneyland.

I don't take into consideration WHERE the kids want to be. I know that whatever I offer them they would always prefer more, different, more exciting, more adult, more freedom... just more.

So I put them where "I" want them to be. I make sure that where they are is safe, managable, loaded with age appropriate toys. I makes sure that where they are works for the group.


Yep, so true. It is just my guilt eating at me with her.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
The babies in the play yard want to be on the one/two year old side of the playroom.

The kids on the one/two year old side of the playroom want to be on the preschool (3-5 year old) side of the room.

The preschoolers want to be in the upstairs playroom.

The kids in the upstairs playroom want to be outside.

The kids outside want to go to the park.

The kids at the park want to go to the McDonalds play place.

The kids at the McDonalds play place want to go to Chucky Cheese

The kids at Chucky Cheese want to go to Disneyland.
...and I want to be at the beach.

Awesome post...

Honestly, for me, it is about keeping the older kids from injuring the younger kids. Cut and dry. The rest is gravy.

I have heard of way too many femur fractures from older kids tripping over babies thigh and falling knee first into it. I have also read about several older toddlers spinning infants in a exersaucer and fracturing BOTH femurs.

Just too many hazards in keeping infants in the same free-play space as older DCK's for my taste. Maybe I am over-protective.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laundrymom View Post
I don't use ' baby zones'. My kids co play.
That is what mine currently do as well, buuuuuuut, lately I have been feeling a bit like 2ndFamilyDC and think that since my group is really young right now they (well me actually ) might really benefit from zones or age-specific areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
IMHO, It depends on how big your zone is . Mine are 6ftx6ft, each, and made of wooden framed half walls. Baby-gates never worked for me...too unstable. .
So I have one entire room that is 9 ft x 9.5 ft. How many kids ages 12 mos to 22 months can comfortably play in there without seeming to crowded?

In that space now I have a Little Tikes cube climber (the small one) and a table and chairs and the bins and shelves of toddler toys. Everything can be moved, removed and/or rearranged as needed.

I have 3 kids (2 boys and 1 girl) who are 18 months old and one dcb who is 13 months.


I have been thinking about doing this during free play time since my littles are doing nothing but dump, destroy, repeat.... Normally, they are pretty good about putting things aways but the real problem is a 2.5 year old boy I have who will act like the older kids when in their presence but in the presence of his sister (18 months) he is awful....talking baby talk, dumping things, refusing to pick up, "pretend crying" etc..... If available, he will stick to her like glue and it is starting to wear on not only me but her as well. She is a very independent kid and pretty quick for her age, but I think her brother has figured out that if you act like the baby, you will get the attention he feels the baby sister is getting.

I really want him to integrate with the older boys I have who are 3 and 4. I know he can do it because the days his sister is absent, he is a dream kid but as soon as she is back, he regresses.

Any one have any advice about this?

OP, I don't mean to hijack your thread but I feel EXACTLY like you lately and would love to hear more from providers who use baby/toddler zones.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:59 AM
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Just last night I was thinking of doing a separate area for my 18 months and younger. They are only 2 of them but the older 2-3 seem to keep taking their toys and running around them and just being way more rough than my <18 months can handle.

I didn't want to "jail" the younger ones, but after reading this thread, I am becoming more convinced that I will try this. I have a great area for it... hmmmmmm

Thank you all once again for the thoughts, ideas, experience and questions so I can learn from you!
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:03 AM
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So I have one entire room that is 9 ft x 9.5 ft. How many kids ages 12 mos to 22 months can comfortably play in there without seeming to crowded?
I wish I had an answer for you. I don't get to make that choice, so I have never tried any other arrangements. Here the answer would be 1.3 kids.

I am required to have 35 sq ft usable (unobstructed) space, per child and All children must be in the same room. (yes, she pulls out the tape measure every time)

So, legally, the ONLY way I am allowed to give them individual play areas is the 36 sq ft. room (to allow room for toys) with half walls. Then I must have a 216 sq ft GROUP area, in the same room, as well. It was the only legal "loophole" I found to make my infant safety plan work here.

It can be tricky to do withing regs.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:09 AM
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so for those of you have have separate areas for the infants, but use your home for daycare, and not a "daycare only" space, are these infant areas easily converted for daycare/non daycare times?

Like if I created this infant area zone in my living room, would it be something you would say could easily be taken down and put back up on a daily basis, or is it more complex? i don't want to create a ton more work for myself, and we rarely have kids in daycare here until 9-12 months of age.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:25 AM
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I have used a baby zone, more often than not I use co-play strategies. I also have the kiddos doing different activities if needed (ie, a little to excitment for indoor play lol). I may have them read, color, write, do lessons, play doh, cars, etc. I have a seperate area for the older ones(daycare only space) and that works best here for when they want to play or build towers, etc. I even have a playyard indoors and out. Most of the time the younger ones free play out of it and the older ones want to play IN it LOL. It's fine... it works great here. The younger ones play in it, too. I just adjust the toys to whatever age group works there.

When I used my home space for daycare shared, I had a play yard indoors, a pack and play, carriers, etc. The older kiddos got to play with the towers and blocks, and such when the younger ones were engaged in some sort of activity. The also did those things while the morning nappers slept.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:04 AM
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Default Baby zone age?

What age do you put inside the baby zone? I have half and half. Half older kids who can play nicely and half younger and not so great with playing nicely kids. They are not infants. Curious as to what age you put in the 'baby zone'.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:11 PM
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What age do you put inside the baby zone? I have half and half. Half older kids who can play nicely and half younger and not so great with playing nicely kids. They are not infants. Curious as to what age you put in the 'baby zone'.
From birth until they can hold their own....
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:02 PM
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My only little has a separate play area than my olders 3-4.5.

The little is only 18 months old and he knows that he is only allowed in the preschool room when I am in there. FOr example only during circle time, dancing, and reading.

The older kids have to walk through the little ones space to get to the rest room, but they don't get to use the toys in their.

I will teach the little on tuesday and thursday and off and on for about 10 minutes at a time about 3 or 4 times a day. Otherwise he self entertains.

The other days that he is here I allow the more gentle kids to come play with him for a short period of time and then back to self entertain.

This way he is not always alone, and I am not stressing out about him getting hurt by the bigs or choking on a preschool item....

I started him a few months back and it took me about 3 weeks to get him used to it....
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