Hello and thanks for visiting my site. I think that every parent wants to, above all else, keep their child safe right? Of course, we do, and that takes many forms. From making sure we cover sharp corners and putting up stair gates, to checking on them when they go to sleep at night to make sure they’re ok.
But as they get a little older, you find you cannot wrap them up in cotton wool forever. That they will explore and play, and occasionally have the odd mishap. To that end I thought I would cover off a topic that all parents of a baby or toddler will experience at some point.
And that is how to keep your baby safe around older children. It’s fair to say whether your baby has older siblings who are still young themselves or if you take your little one to park or soft play centre, your baby or toddler is going to be exposed, albeit perfectly innocently to other bigger older kids, who are still too young to understand JUST how fragile a baby is, and will be too busy tearing about being young kids themselves to take much notice of them, until they collide or inadvertently hurt them that is.
So I have 2 boys at home, Kayden who is 5 and Keaton who is 15 months. Keaton has just started walking and that means he WANTS to walk anywhere and everywhere he can. Simply trying to hold him on my lap if he doesn’t want it is no longer an option. Kayden is typical 5 year old, he wants to play, run about and show all the new things he has learnt at school each day.
He is a good boy, but when he is playing in the same room as his younger brother he can sometimes forget he is that much bigger and older. I mean he is aware of this, but he is still too young himself to realise how fragile his little brother is. That’s the point I would stress here. Kids will always be kids themselves, and you just can’t leave them unsupervised. Educate them so they learn to aware of their surroundings and always get them in the habit of picking up their toys after themselves, which good to do a way but especially when they could leave choking hazards on the growing for their baby sibling.
So keep them supervised when playing together and keep if their play time gets a bit too much for your baby, just remove your youngest from the situation. Other than that enjoy your kids playing together, as it’s a joy to watch.
So when your baby is old enough to be crawling around, you probably want to let them go and explore a new and fun environment. Whether that is to the park or the local soft play centre, it’s a great way for your baby to learn and interact with a whole different setting. But there is going to be lots of other kids of varying ages that will be enjoying to area too.
Now if this is an indoor play area then they will probably have a specific area just for baby’s or under 2s like our local soft play centre. Keep your baby in here for the most part as it will just be less of a headache. But if this is not the case then I would suggest finding an area where you can entertain your bay and preferably keep you between baby and other kids.
When I take my boys to play Kayden will run off and quite quickly find some kids his age to play with. Now he is one of the older boys, and I am reminding him to be careful around the other smaller kids! And as for Keaton I keep him close to me at all times, if some other kids are near him playing nicely, that’s fine, after all I want him to interact and be confident around other kids, but there is nothing wrong with gently letting the 4 and 5 year olds know there is a baby near them.
Again constant supervision and a lot of patience needed here, lol.
Not if your child is a baby obviously, but when your child is 2-3 and walking and running about, letting them go and play with kids their OWN age is fine, providing they are in eye and ear shot at all times. Again it is better if possible to keep them with kids their own age in an area with kids their own age that is ideal.
But don’t let them disappear anywhere you can’t see them, not even for a moment, as I still have trouble understanding how someone so small can move so quickly when they have a mind too, and if the park or indoor area is busy, you will get that band feeling in your stomach you get when you can’t see you child, even if only for a few moments. And we have all experienced that feeling right? Certainly if you are a parent of toddlers or young children.
Also, if your out in the park especially, remember to not have your head in your smart phone for more than a few seconds at a time, as again if you take your eyes off a kid with capability to run, you will lose sight of them. Personally when I go to the park with my kids, I perch on the top of a little hilly mound and I have a 360 degree view of the park. By now my eldest knows not to go out of the park perimeter fence under ANY circumstances. If other parents don’t mind their kids coming and going, that’s up to them but surely we know the world we live in right?
Keep your kids in sight and teach them to never go off with strangers, ever. Should be obvious, but it takes repetition to drill a message into them sometimes. If they are still very young, just stay with them and play together, it will avoid accidents later lol!
So one of the challenges for parents when we take our kids to any area with many other children, many of whom are a little older and bigger, is that our little ones don’t always understand why we are being so protective of them. After all they want to go off and play, and the other kids who are on the climbing frame, or climbing up the ladder the slide look like fun. Most will even be super friendly, like kids are.
But you need to gently explain that the kids can run faster and are bigger, so can do more things than them. And they won’t slow down for their little friend. But tell your child not to be sad as they will also be big enough to do more cool stuff when they grow a bit more.
And in the meantime there are other kids their own age to play with, or they can have a great time with mum and dad. They might be a bit upset but they will get over it pretty quickly as toddlers and young kids do.
So to sum it up, there is nothing new or ground breaking here, but just a reminder that supervision and diligence is the key here. Enjoy taking your kids out and seeing them grow, as I said, you can’t wrap them in cotton wool forever. As they get bigger and more confident, they will be more capable of doing more exciting new things, and then they will be ‘the bigger kid’, and you will be telling them to be more careful around the younger boys and girls.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, and if you have any comments or feedback please feel free to leave it for me below, and I will get back to you soon for sure.
Thanks so much,