Figuring out how to work from home with a baby can be a daunting challenge. We understand that you want to spend quality time with your little one while also making a great living. Today we’ll give you some practical steps on how to do just that. It is our goal to empower and encourage you.
Working from home with a baby is one of the most wonderful experiences a parent can have. Sure there are difficult days and a few obstacles to iron out, but the joy of spending time with your child makes it all worthwhile.
The main challenges are related to time and energy. As a parent, it can be difficult to get adequate sleep, and there are so many things to get done. It can feel as though there are not enough hours in the day. Yet, as soon as your baby gives you a big smile, all other concerns seem to melt away.
So the question becomes, how can we work from home with our baby in the most effective way that allows for baby bonding time and efficient work time? Let’s explore some pro-tips that will help you stay on track.
Ask for Help
Whether you are a single parent or have a supportive partner, it is crucial to ask for help when you work from home with a baby. If you can, call upon your spouse and ask them to share the load. They can help out in the evenings when they get off work, and also on weekends.
Ask them to contribute to household and baby-related tasks like preparing meals, running errands, doing enrichment activities with the baby, paying bills, changing diapers, doing chores, and the like.
Map out who is responsible for what and at what time things need to get done. Knowing what to expect and having the ability to plan out the day can make a big difference in keeping you both sane.
If you have the help of grandma or another adult, don’t hesitate to collaborate with them too. Naturally, most grandparents want to spend more time with their grandkids, and your baby has a lot to gain as well.
As a parent, you need all the help you can get! Caring for a baby is a full-time job, in and of itself. Every little bit, even an hour or two, can make a huge difference!
A Great Nanny Can Do Wonders
Nannies can literally help you keep your health and sanity. As a mother, try not to feel guilty about hiring a nanny. Sometimes as women, we feel like we should be able to do it all.
You may take care of the bills, run most of the errands, provide the cooking, do the chores, and you are also trying to hold down a job while taking care of a baby. You may still be breastfeeding throughout the night, and you’ve had maybe 4 hours of sporadic sleep. Likely you are still eating for two and trying to get the nutrients you need to stay energized. Yet you may still feel exhausted anyway.
It’s normal to be exhausted as a working parent. However, it’s not normal or healthy to try and do it all by yourself. As a devoted mom, feel free to delegate work to others when you can. Besides, your baby wants all the time with you they can get!
A nanny will help take the stress off of you so that you can focus on work. Having four to six hours of uninterrupted work can make all the difference. Pay rates for a nanny range from $15 – $20 per hour. They are worth every penny.
Hiring a nanny will help you give the very best to your baby as you work from home. A nanny’s help will allow you to focus on a few hours of work and even catch up on a little shut-eye. Trying to work and care for your little one while feeling like you’ve been run over by a train is just not sustainable. You want to be able to give your best to both your baby and your work. Allow a nanny to help you.
Invest In a Baby Carrier
There are so many baby-carrying options. There are slings, wraps, and fasten-on holders. Try different ones. Discover which one works best for you and your baby.
If you are a work-from-home father, try strapping your baby onto your chest and work at a stand-up table. This way, you can comfort your baby while you type, make calls, and do other office-related work.
Understandably, our babies want and need to be next to us all the time. They are the ultimate cuddle creatures. They feel the most secure, safe, and loved when they are within your arms. What better way to achieve your goals than to invest in a baby sling or carrier? The great thing about a sling is that it enables you to be close to your baby while having your hands free.
Your baby can even watch what you are doing and feel like they are participating. Have little play toys and teethers nearby to add to your baby’s entertainment. Listed below, we have included popular baby-carrying products.
Other Practical Equipment That Will Assist You
You have deadlines to meet and work that has to get done ASAP. Having the right equipment can make all the difference. Find products for your home office that can help you get your work done while at the same time caring for the needs of your baby. Below we have outlined the essentials you will need to stay organized and sane.
Invest In a Pack N’ Play
You can have your baby right next to you in a playpen while you get some work done, and know that your little one is happy and content.
- Enjoy the backyard more often with the Babymoov Babyni Premium.
- Add some style to your baby gear with this Fisher-Price On-the-Go Baby Dome.
- Grab your laptop and head off to the beach with the Summer Pop ‘n Play. You and your baby can get some sunshine, listen to the seagulls call, and watch the surf with this amazing playpen.
- The Graco Pack ‘n Play Lite Traveler Play Yard is convenient and easy to set up and take down for on-the-go fun.
Find a High Caliber Baby Bouncer
Having a quality bouncer can give your baby lots of entertainment while you take calls, do paperwork, and send a few emails. Check out these bouncers.
Buy a Sturdy Automated Swing
Swings like this one can give you a few free moments to do hands-on tasks. If your baby falls asleep in their swing be sure to move them to their crib. Also, be sure to strap them in securely and make sure the swing you purchase is sturdy and high in quality.
A Word About Safety
As we all know, babies are expensive and need a lot of gear. Even so, always buy the best. Look for high-quality, sturdy construction that is safe and reliable for you and your baby. Even with the best products though, we still need to be proactive and mindful.
Always keep an eye on your baby, even when they are in a pack and play. Sometimes as parents, we may be tempted to get distracted and focus on other things while our child is preoccupied and playing.
Never leave your child alone in a pack and play, bouncer, or swing unattended. Never. Even if you are just going to the bathroom, pick up your child, and take them with you.
Keep your eyes on your child at all times. Even while you work, keep your child within your line of sight. Similarly, always be listening to them and never put on earphones or play music, movies, or podcasts too loudly that you can’t hear them.
Additionally, experts don’t recommend that babies sleep in a swing or bouncer due to the risk of SIDS. If you utilize a swing or bouncer regularly, know that babies should spend less than an hour in them per day. Babies and toddlers that spend too much time in carriers, bouncers, and swings can have delayed motor development.
Additionally, you want to avoid having your baby make a sleep association with the swing or bouncer in place of their crib. Otherwise, your baby may not want to sleep in their bed at night. The safest place for a sleeping baby is on their back and in their crib.
Play Sing-Along Songs and Stories for Your Baby
As your child plays with their toys, why not turn on some fun sing-along songs and classic stories to give them loads of joy. This way your baby can learn and sing while you work from home.
You can sing along too. In fact, the more you play and sing along with your child the more they will enjoy the music activity.
When you participate, your child will come to love those songs because they will remember singing them with you.
Examples of Free-to-Listen Music on YouTube
- The Hound + The Fox – “You Are My Sunshine”
- Ella Jenkins “Who Fed the Chickens?”
- Raffi “Baby Beluga”
- Charlotte Diamond “Each of Us is a Flower”
- Pete Seeger “This Land is Your Land”
Here Are a Few Websites That Sell Sing-Along Songs for Small Children
- Ella Jenkins
- Wee Sing Classic Line, Learning Through Music
- Wee Sing for Baby
- Smithsonian Folkways Camp Songs
- Joey’s Songs
While your child is happily playing beside you and listening to their favorite story or song, you can get some work done. As an added bonus, you will feel delighted that your child is happy and content.
You can rest easy that your baby is getting the very best in life. They get to learn, be entertained, be next to you, and you can make a living while doing it.
Rotate Your Baby’s Toys
Babies are in need of constant mental enrichment They need to see beautiful colors, hear lovely songs, and have a myriad of toys to play with.
A baby’s brain is growing fast and they can often get bored very fast. You can have a bazillion toys, but your little one may still get bored. With this in mind, how do we keep our little baby explorer satiated in their quest for new experiences?
One solution is remembering this old saying, “What’s old is new.” This definitely applies to babies and even older kids. Many parents have found that if they regularly remove some toys from their baby’s collection, put them away for a week or two, and then reintroduce the toy, their baby is more likely to enjoy the toy.
In fact, you can have a regular toy rotation system. Have two or three small boxes of toys. Bring out the first box for your child to play with. When after a few days they seem to get bored, remove the first box and bring out the second box of toys.
Another way to do it is if you see that your child is getting bored with a particular toy, remove it, and bring in a “new” toy that was hidden away in storage. Store away that “old hat” toy for a couple of weeks, then re-introduce it.
If your child has truly lost interest in a toy, even after not seeing it for a few weeks or months, then you know it’s time to donate it.
Nutrition and Health
As parents, we are often busy taking care of everyone else and we think about ourselves last. Remember to consider your own needs. Give yourself permission to rest.
Stay in shape, work out when you can, meditate, and take time for yourself. You can only be as good as the amount of energy you have.
Make sure you are getting optimal nutrition and speak to your doctor about any supplements you may need to take, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Supplements like a quality B-Complex can do wonders for your energy. Even a serving of liver can boost energy, as it has an anti-fatigue factor in it. Be sure to avoid sugar and processed foods too. Bad foods can sabotage your energy levels.
Make sure you are getting adequate vitamin D from natural sunshine, daily. Vitamin D is both a hormone and vital nutrient. It affects multiple systems in the body, including mood, metabolism, and energy.
If you are still tired all the time, talk to your doctor about getting a lab workup.
Create a Serene and Enjoyable Environment
Trying to balance work and parental responsibilities can be stressful. To offset this, create an atmosphere you love and enjoy. You can do this by playing your favorite tunes and putting on mood-boosting songs.
You can also occasionally move your work area to a more enjoyable spot. Working from home doesn’t mean you have to stay in your home. You can “work from home” almost anywhere with your baby!
For instance, why not pack a picnic, grab your laptop, and go to the park with your little one. While your little one is preoccupied with the sights and sounds of nature, you can get in a few keystrokes. You’ll benefit too. The fresh air, sunshine, and the elements of nature have restorative properties.
Take time to be mindful. As you wash dishes, tidy up the house, and prepare meals, take the time to enjoy what you are doing. Your little one will grow up fast and you want to enjoy this time with them. Have an attitude of appreciation and thankfulness. This positive outlook will sustain you and bring serenity to you both.
Other Practical Solutions
- Go over your day the night before. Strategize, prioritize, and think about what needs to be accomplished. Plan to do the most essential tasks first. In this way, when you wake up in the morning, you won’t waste time wondering what needs to be done. You can simply start and pick up right where you left off.
- Utilize meal times: Babies tend to be the most content when they wake up and have just had breakfast. In fact, let your child play with their food and enjoy breakfast time while you answer a few emails.
- Schedule calls and crucial work during nap times. Naptime is when you will want to get the bulk of your work done. Babies under 12 months will tend to take two naps per day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Each nap can be 1 – 2 hours.
- Wake up extra early. If possible, try to utilize a few hours in the morning before your little one gets up. These dedicated hours can really allow you to focus and get ahead in your work.
- Do chores while your child is awake. Let them accompany you, help you, and be a part of what you are doing.
- Try to get your baby used to work sounds. For instance, phones ringing, typing, paper rustling, and the like. This way, if they nap near you, these sounds will not bother them.
- Let your employer, co-workers, and clients know that you are taking care of your baby. This transparency will help them better understand your situation, and they will tend to be more supportive also.
Give Yourself a Little Grace
Working from home is not going to be perfect. There will be interruptions. There will be unforeseen surprises. Admittedly, there may be days when you just do not feel your best.
Just do what you can and get through one day at a time. Try to keep things as simplified as possible. Your little one will only be little for a short while.
They grow up fast, so take this time to enjoy every special moment with them while you can. Remember, with each passing day things will get easier. Plus, you will get normal sleep again too. We promise.