How to Get Started with Independent Play for Infants and Toddlers

Independent play can seem impossible or unnecessary to new parents. Separate space is suitable for babies, but it’s best to start early.

In addition to building their confidence, they also learn problem-solving skills, imagination, creativity, and independent playtime.


It provides environments for independent exploration and allows you to explore, analyze, and incur the surrounding environment.

This sets the stage for future quiet and space to do chores without help.

Manage your expectations

Manage your expectations. We mean independent playtime for toddlers and infants.

This doesn’t mean that you should leave the child alone in the play area.

This does not mean that the child can play for hours on end.

Many factors affect the realistic expectation of independent playtime.

We base our expectations on the child’s age, developmental stage, temperament, and other factors. We expect them to be able to play for a certain period alone, with minimal or no support from their parents.

How long can babies play independently?

Although there are yet to be any clear guidelines or recommendations regarding the time babies can play alone, these are some approximate times infants and toddlers can concentrate and keep themselves busy.

Other Factors

Other things to consider when encouraging toddlers and infants to be independent:

Learn the basics: Signs of hunger, thirst, and discomfort such as diaper changes, uncomfortable clothing, or room temperature.

Please take a look at their energy levels. Are they tired, bored, or sleepy? Do they need a hug, or are they looking for someone to hold them for a while?

Have a plan B ready: An alternative toy or activity.

Take note of your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and plan accordingly.

Get Started with Independent Play Time

It’s essential to be realistic about your expectations when you seek independent play. You can help your child concentrate by preparing the environment. Even with all this, you might only be able to see glimpses of independence for a while.

Create a ‘YES Space’

You should also secure the furniture and add plug points. Making a space that allows the child to move freely is possible. A “yes place” should be more than just a baby-proof space. You can use playmats or a playpen if you need to change the location due to changing circumstances. It would help if you allowed your child to touch, feel, and play in the area.

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