baby activities, children

Working from home while taking care of your baby or baby

If you work from home, you may be wondering how you can keep your kids entertained while staying productive.

It’s possible to work from home while looking after your young children, but you may find it helpful to create a rough schedule and plan some fun indoor activities in advance so you have the supplies you’ll need on hand. Taking care of a baby (or babies) under 36 months means you’re more likely to get the bulk of your work done in short batches, so you’ll need to prioritize with this in mind.

To help you juggle responsibilities, we’ve put together some great tips on working from home while taking care of your kids. It may seem overwhelming at times, but you will eventually get to grips with it!

How to stay productive while working from home

Here are some tips for working from home with a child or children under 3 years old:

Work while your baby sleeps. Take advantage of your children’s naps to tackle the most pressing tasks. If your children have a fairly predictable bedtime routine, you may be able to take some important phone calls or focus on a project during this time. Working before they wake up or after they go to sleep is also a good idea, especially if your job allows for this kind of flexibility.

Share tasks. If you and your partner are at home, you may want to take turns feeding or playing with your children while the other one gets a chance to work. With the “Shift” procedure, you can get things done while your kids are being looked after.

Plan your day and week as best you can. Decide when you will wake up and what you will do each day. Having a plan and to-do list will help you focus on the most important items and not get distracted.

Working while breastfeeding or pumping. If you’re breastfeeding, you may want to use a hands-free breast pump so you can catch up on work or make a phone call. If you are breastfeeding, you may be able to answer phone calls or read reports while you do so.

Workwear. You may find it helpful to dress professionally to make you feel “on the job” during work hours, and then dress more casually in the evenings. This also helps divide the day and may help you get into the mindset of work and play. On the other hand, you may want to take advantage of the opportunity to work from home by wearing casual clothes that make you comfortable.

Work while your children play. You may be able to get short batches of work done while your children are busy. If possible, the kind of work you are trying to do while your children are playing should be the kind that can be interrupted, as your children are likely to try to get your attention.

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• Take advantage of the weekend. For example, you may want to cook on Saturdays or Sundays so that you have lunches and snacks ready to serve for the next week. Another good option for the weekend is to find some indoor activities for your little one so you don’t get stuck in the middle of the week.

• Eliminate other sources of distraction. You have a lot of work to do with your little one. If you can, remove other “time-wasting sources” such as social media. There are apps you can use that block your access to social media during business hours for example. It can also be helpful to set aside a half hour a day to do chores so that you don’t always want to get up and leave things before they’re done.

• Be realistic. You may need to be more flexible in the way you work and be more creative in how you use the hours available to you. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do everything, or you can’t do everything perfectly – no one can! A reasonable working mother’s goal is to be efficient and productive, which you can do by trying some of the tips in this article.

Take time for yourself, if you can. It’s normal to get bored if you’ve been working from home for a long time while taking care of your baby, too. If you can, during a daytime nap or just as your kids are sleeping, take some time to do something for yourself like watch a TV show, take a shower, or do some exercise.

Read on for specific tips on working with a newborn, older child, or toddler at home.

Work from home with your new baby

Your newborn will likely sleep three to four hours throughout the day, so you may be able to get consistent working hours during his daytime sleep. Keep in mind that you’ll also be getting up to feed the baby, even if you share this task with your partner, so be prepared to feel groggy during the day.

While you work, you may want to place your newborn in a baby carrier, a baby carrier, or roll him up so the newborn can feel close to you while they get the job done.

Although not essential, the cot can be useful for the parent who works at home, as it can easily be moved to be next to your desk or table, allowing you to stay close to your newborn while you work.

Of course, if your home space allows, you can also move your little one’s crib from room to room. Keep in mind that for your baby’s safety, he should only sleep in his crib or cot.

Keep productive while looking after an older child

Since your baby will want to be near you, and you need to keep an eye on him, put some toys on the play mat or in the playpen right next to you. This way, you may be able to get some work done while your little one plays with you.

If your child enjoys it and if you have one, he can also spend short periods in a baby swing, glider or rocking chair. This way, you may be able to find some peace and quiet to work while your child enjoys himself.

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Your child will likely take two naps a day – one in the middle of the morning and one in the middle of the afternoon – so take advantage of these opportunities to get some work done.

Working from home while caring for a young child (1 to 3 years old)

Working from home with a young child has its advantages and disadvantages. The plus is that your child may be able to entertain himself for short periods and may take one or two naps a day, during which you can work. The challenge is that when your child gets up, he may want more of your attention.

It’s okay to expect your older child to be able to entertain himself for sometimes short periods of time. You may need to be firm in telling him that he has toys to play with and that he should play quietly for the next 30 minutes. To help your child understand that independent playtime has an end in sight, consider setting a timer on your phone or microwave. Reassure him that once the time is up, you will be able to take a break and spend some time with him – like playing his favorite game or reading some books. Remember that independent play and the ability to use his imagination and stave off boredom is an important skill to learn.

To help support their individual play, create a safe space for your child to play in, perhaps a completely safe living room for children and allow them to play freely in that area while you work in close proximity (at the kitchen table or dining room table).

You can reward your child after playing well on his own by praising him and showing interest in what he is doing

Another option is to have your older child set up his ‘workstation’ for you at the other end of the table. It could be that he’s busy “working” on a drawing, while you’re busy writing emails, for example. You can tell him that he’s a big kid now and that you two will be working for 30 minutes before you can take a break together.

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