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Yo-yo Baby
May 16, 2008 10:30 am | by

You might have noticed that I have not been around to post much lately.

I place the entire blame on my now- eight month old who is going through a few new developmental stages that make using a computer fairly difficult. And even now she is trying her best to climb all over my laptop.

A couple of weeks ago she hit what we call around here the Yo-yo Stage. She had mastered crawling and sitting and was enjoying playing with toys much more. She was a much happier baby now that she could choose what to do and where to go, so you would think that it would be easier now to get something done. But you would be wrong.

I have heard it out of the mouths of many mothers: “My baby is perfectly happy playing and is completely ignoring me, so I try to go and do something and he freaks out.”

This is the Yo-yo Stage. The independence of mobility combines with the start of separation anxiety. Baby will seem to be perfectly content playing on the floor, oblivious that you are around, but if you try and go do something baby lets you know that you are expected to stay right where you were.

Do you have a yo-yo baby?

Try this experiment. Sit on the floor while your baby plays with toys. After baby is happily playing, move about three feet further away but stay on the floor. Baby will probably come over to you for a moment or two, then go back to the toys, then come back to you and then back to the toys. He may alternate every few moments. This is where we get the yo-yo idea. Back and forth, back and forth, as he gets older he may wander farther and stay away a little longer, gradually building his independence from you and security that you will still be around when he needs reassurance.

That is all well and good for baby’s development, but I still have other work to get done. There are dishes to wash, laundry to do, and I am sure you can name a dozen other things you need to get done on top of that. So how is a parent or caregiver supposed to get through this stage when baby is alternately ignoring and desperate for mommy?

Solution: Toys + Baby Carriers

A couple of things make this time easier for me. First, I place a small batch of toys in places I need to work through the house. There is a little pile in the laundry room, a little pile in my bedroom, and a little pile in the kitchen and I move the baby with me where ever I go. Second, I break out every carrier I own and make heavy use of them.

I use my baby carriers a lot when baby is tiny, but then they are mostly used for outings for a few months. All of the sudden though, they are invaluable again. I have always been a ring sling devotee. I love my Maya Wrap and it will probably always be my favorite because it is so fast and easy to get on and off. I can do it one handed while holding a baby, which makes it great for use on the run. The Moby Wrap is wonderful for new babies, but even now it is great for needing to carry her when she really needs a nap. She is snuggled in so close that she just conks right out even now at 8 months. But the one that is coming in really handy right now is my Meh Dai. (There are several options for this kind of carrier – Ellaroo Mei Tai and Maya Tie are just a few) This one holds Lily a little more securely on my front than a ring sling, but is nearly as easy to put on, although I do have to put the baby down to get it started. There are also more structured carriers that use clips instead of ties but are similar in makeup to the Mei Tai style. These include the Beco and the Ergo carrier. These and the Mei Tai can also be used as a back carrier, which I am also loving right now. I would never get to do anything but sit on the floor if it weren’t for having a couple different baby carriers right now!

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  • Jenny said...
    May 17, 2008 at 2:18 am

    I am going through the same thing with my teething almost-one-year-old! I love the Ellaroo Mei Tai. Don’t know what I’d do without it and the Moby.

  • mama2reese said...
    May 17, 2008 at 1:49 am

    What you call the Yo-yo we often call the Sunflower effect in Child Care – you are the base and as the child becomes more aware of the interesting world around you she has to go off and comes back to “touch base”.

    Children are so oddly amazing 🙂