The goal of a baby jail is to keep your baby safe and confined to a specific location once they are mobile. People have different concepts of what constitutes a baby jail. Some parents have their kids strapped into their car seats, others put them in an extra saucer and let them bounce away. A crib or pack 'n play could also be used to contain active children safely. I've seen child gates put in doors to keep babies in their nurseries, or gates used to quarantine children to certain safe rooms. We chose to purchase an octagon shaped Superyard.
The super yard was purchased to keep Manni confined in a safe place with a number of her toys for entertainment but allow her the freedom to see Mommy and/or Daddy in the room. We the parents would be able to be productive with the freedom of being able to use both of our hands at the same time while having the piece of mind that the baby was safe and secure. This of course was all in theory.
When we first setup the pen upstairs Manni enjoyed her new surroundings and even used the walls of the play pen to practice pulling herself up.
During the day I moved the jail to the basement. This is what the safe zone looks like when setup downstairs for our baby Manni.
It looks great right? Yea Manni loved it too for about six minutes until she realized that I was being productive on the couch and that she wasn't able to crawl freely. She became unbelievable annoying and by annoying I mean she wouldn't stop crying. Tears and tears and ugly face and red eyebrows and snot and total meltdown. Mind you this complete breakdown is all happening no more than six inches from me by a baby surrounded by toys.
I'm the tough parent. I don't fold under the cuteness and heartache of a few tears. I wasn't taking her out of her jail because that would defeat the purpose of buying the walls to begin with. I knew that if I let her out due to her crying that she would have won the battle and would gain the upper hand in the child-parent tug of war for authority. Her crying and screaming would not sway my decision to keep her in the safe area. She would not be granted the freedom to crawl anywhere she wanted, no siree!
So the baby jail gained a new occupant.
I know. Pathetic.
Trivia question - what's more exciting that all the toys in the world?
Answer - Whatever Daddy is playing with.
Working in baby jail is difficult but can be feasible in small spurts. We got into a rhythm and had a nice thing going until the dog got jealous that he wasn't involved in our baby jail party. He whined and whined and paced back and forth. He licked the sides and circled and his whine turned into a shrill.
It was unbelievably annoying.
Enough was enough.
This had to stop!
And then there were three.
For the record we do have a whole house.
So the baby and the dog played. In the baby jail. With me inside too. All three in one little octagon with 400 baby toys.