Abstract

Objective. One purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the work done by mothers as they manage the spaces and objects of the home to support the development of infants and toddlers at play.

Method. Eighteen mother–infant dyads participated in the study. Data were collected via monthly in-home videotaping of infants and monthly interviews with mothers, from 1 to 18 months of infant age. Data were analyzed with a grounded theory approach and computer-assisted video and text analysis.

Results. The results describe the everyday tasks of mothers of infants and toddlers, such as selecting commercial toys and household objects for play, positioning infants for play, maintaining and making play objects available, furnishing the home with child care equipment, controlling infant access to the spaces of the home, and monitoring for safety.

Conclusion. This description contributes to our understanding of maternal work, infant and toddler development in context, co-occupations, and the neglected spatial dimension of occupation.

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