I’ve heard stories of magical children who wake up and occupy themselves solo before their parents come in to get them each morning. Does this sound like a fairy tale to anyone else? Certainly it’s never been the case for my son!
But Veronika has shown herself capable of waking up and chatting with her stuffed animals for about 30 minutes before she grows restless enough to call out for me. Right now, this collection of “friends” is the only thing in her crib at night.
I hoped the addition of a few small toys might stretch our mornings even longer! So before she went to sleep, I chose a few toys with specific criteria:
- They had to be soft, in case she rolled onto them in the night
- They had to be quiet, so they wouldn’t disturb anyone else while she played
- They had to lend themselves to solo play, meaning items she can keep busy with all by herself without growing frustrated or needing assistance.
To wit, I used a ribbon toy expressly designed for busy solo play. I also added a fabric book with lots of flaps and textural elements, and a few small bug toys that she really enjoys, like a butterfly and ladybug. I tucked these into the corner of the crib. Here was hoping…
She noticed them as she lay down to sleep. Uh oh, now I worried they would keep her awake! But luckily she settled right down. In the morning, I peeked at her in the monitor. Ladybug and butterfly were in her hands!
It was hard to tell if she had kept busy with the book and ribbon toy. Both were moved from where I had left them, but I wasn’t sure if she had really played or just tossed them.
Either way, I intend to keep this up! The plan is to mix up the toys once a week or so to keep things fresh. Does your toddler keep busy solo in the crib in the morning? Please share any tricks in the comments!