Whether you practice RIE, attachment parenting, babywise or no specific parenting method, a safe play area is a necessity while raising your child. In RIE terms, a ‘Yes Space’ is a 100% safe play space where your baby or toddler can play and explore independently. He won’t be hearing ‘NO, don’t touch that!’, or ‘NO, you’re not allowed there!’, etc.
You can relax and observe your toddler while he crawls, explores, and plays freely, without limits, without you being afraid that he will get hurt. The ‘Yes Space’ does not have to be big. So, almost any room in the house is appropriate and can be adapted.
It should contain only objects and toys that are safe for your baby. It should not contain any rigid or sharp edges and corners if your little one is prone to falls.
Our ‘Yes Space’ experience…
We started to ‘build’ our baby’s ‘Yes Space’ when she began to crawl (she was about 6 mo). Because we couldn’t arrange her an entire room, we decided to buy a wooden playard and create, inside it, a ‘Yes Space’ for our baby daughter. We put it in our living room, because it was large enough.
As our baby grew, she started to get up and walk by herself holding the fence. When she became more mobile we also bought an extension for the playard, so she could have more space. We placed the wooden playard on two crawl mats to be sure she wouldn’t get hurt if she fell. Initially, we got her a safe helmet, but we didn’t used it very much. It turned out that our girl learned, very quickly, how to get up, sit back down and keep her balance. Inside the playard we placed her favorite plushies and other toys she enjoys (cubes, cups, balls etc.). Moreover, we also gave her a sensory box, from time to time. We keep them all inside her ‘Yes Space’, in a
At 8 mo, when we observed that our baby was moving more carefully and needed more space to explore, we disassembled the playard and use it as a fence. We enlarged her ‘Yes Space’ to cover (almost) the entire living room. Before this, we covered all our furniture with edge guard and corner bumpers and we made sure that there was none of it she could climb or pull over.
Now she freely enjoys crawling, walking and exploring things in the living room along with her favorite dolls, toys and pillows. All of them are neatly placed, before bedtime, inside a nice pastel storage cabinet. In conclusion, our daughter’s ‘Yes Space’ works out really well, it is 100% safe. However it will, most certainly, need modifications as our baby grows.
Below are some inspiring examples of ‘Yes Spaces’:
Rebecca Shivley Liddell
Lauren Lamkin Grancio
Jennifer Motil Tejada
Tell us about your baby’s ‘Yes Space’! What does it look like? What it contains?