5 Reasons to Put Baby Down

How to give yourself a baby-holding break.

5 Reasons to Put Baby Down

*We’ve partnered with Skip Hop to help give you a hand with your baby this holiday season.

The holiday season is in full swing, and we bet you’ve got your hands full...literally, with your baby. Between visitors, parties and holiday socializing, it can be overwhelming to put your baby down, especially if you have some attachment parenting tendencies. I kind of fell into attachment parenting myself—I loved the idea of keeping my daughter close all the time and the concept of the “fourth trimester” made a lot of sense to me. But I’m your classic Type-A person who wants to do everything exactly right… so I didn’t put my daughter down. Ever. For like, a year. And especially not during the holidays.


Let’s face it: there are times when mama needs a break. You can’t hold your baby ALL the time. What no one’s willing to tell you is that they get sick of us sometimes too. Here are five ways that parent and baby will benefit from a little time apart.

1. They do have other family, you know.

Your family members may have traveled far to see you this holiday season, and they’re itching for the chance to play with your little one. Putting them down doesn’t mean leaving them without someone to lavish them with lots of love and attention. Besides, which is better: hanging out with Grandma, or hanging out with an unshowered, angry woman that’s been up cleaning the house since 3 a.m.?

2. You might be able to cook with one arm, but it’s not safe.

Every parent develops the miraculous ability to cook, work and change diapers with just one hand, but it’s definitely not the fastest or the easiest way to get a meal on the table. It’s also not that safe—I burn myself enough cooking with both hands, and even in a carrier it’s not exactly easy to prep your holiday dinner while peering over someone’s head. Even worse, you might spill your wine.

3. They’ll develop skills sooner.

I remember being concerned that my daughter was taking forever to learn to crawl, but I soon realized that had less to do with her development and more to do with the fact that I never put her on the floor. Nowadays there’s a whole range of toys dedicated to helping baby develop their fine and gross motor skills. If you’re worried about baby getting themselves into trouble, a stationary play station like the Skip*Hop Explore & More Activity Center is perfect. Designed in collaboration with a pediatrician, the table (and toys) support playing and learning, with details like a Discovery Window that teaches cause and effect by letting baby see their feet while they play. The Activity Center converts to keep up with your little one’s developing skills, keeping them safe and entertained while you do what you’ve gotta do.

4. They’ll make friends.

I got to witness the cutest moment when my daughter, newly up and moving on two feet, got to play with another toddler. They chased each other around the room, banged on the air conditioning unit, played hide-and-seek (yes, really!) and hid under tables. I’ve never seen her have so much fun, and afterwards, she slept so hard. Total win. And there’s better time for your baby to make baby friends than at a holiday party.

5. That’s the whole point of attachment parenting.

Contrary to popular practice, attachment parenting is not about wearing your child until they’re thirty. The goal of attachment parenting is to promote secure attachment between parent and child by teaching them that they can always count on you to take care of their needs. The ultimate sign of a secure attachment, according to Mary Ainsworth, the psychologist credited with developing attachment theory, is when the child feels comfortable exploring on their own, checking in with their parent occasionally for reassurance. So put your baby down every once in awhile, and let them enjoy their independence. It’s a sign that you’re doing something right—and don’t worry, they’ll always come back.

Want the cool Skip Hop Explore & More Activity Center pictured here? Headover to and save up to 30% thru Sunday, December 11, PLUS receive a FREE gift with your purchase over $40.

*This post was sponsored by Skip Hop. Photography by Jonica Moore Studios for Well Rounded.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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