If you’re pregnant and have other children, or a homeschooling mama or just juggling life with many little people I want to give you some helpful ways to tackle keeping your children ‘entertained’ whilst breastfeeding/schooling.
Now, depending on your children’s age you may not need to worry. If they can read and write you can simply set them up with a task or the special job of reading/playing with their younger siblings. Make this title very important and allow your older children to feel valued and trusted for this task. Also, explain (over time leading up to and when the new routine has been set up) to the younger ones how much their older brother and sister love them and they are here during this set time of day to help and care for them. Explain clearly and without too many sentences (if younger) what you expect. Section off a room, even place a gate onto a doorway so the children cannot get up to mischief during that time.
Righteo- Touching on the above step… Children cannot succeed in accomplishing correct behaviours if you aren’t first demonstrating them and reiterating what you would like them to do. Starting at a very young age is a wonderful time! Small, easy tasks to help with family life. You may not have older siblings to help out. I will say this, EXPLAIN WHAT YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR TODDLER VERY CLEARLY AND SIMPLY.
This needs to happen during your pregnancy, through all the excited, positive chats about how much baby will love them, how much you need their help, how much your child will love and be gentle toward their new baby sibling… through all these chats you then need to begin stating what you expect. Ask your child for ideas of what to do during this time so they feel like they have created their own routine in a way. The key is always keeping them involved.
When mummy feeds her baby what can you do during that time?
What’s something special you would like to do whilst mummy is nursing?
New Beginnings Before New Baby has Even Arrived: It’s helpful to show your toddler/children photos of when they were breastfed. It’s a very special bond and a time where baby gets all their nutrients to make them strong and healthy. Explain, baby will need to drink lots of milk.
Idea 1: Nursing when mummy is doing so. This could be with a bottle or even a baby station, bathing , dressing, putting into bed. Creating their own routine.
Idea 2: Special books that only come out for this time.
Idea 3: Play Doh and Stickers in a book. Kids love playing with stickers.
Idea 4: Lego/Duplo
Don’t be afraid to put their favourite show on once in a while or to cut mummy guilt, try a children’s documentary. So many right now on Netflix. We love anything with animals and the planet… oh, and under the ocean! Click here for ideas.
Note: You have the advantage here mama to slow your children into a new routine… disclaimer, newborns don’t need absolute silence to feed. They will not become distracted and come off your breast. So, this transition can begin with your children sitting next to you doing their thing. Slowly as baby grows you might move closer to another room, then the new room with the door open… etc.
THINGS TO AVOID:
Outdoor play (until they are older)
Objects they are not allowed to touch within close reach.
Oh mama, I’m laughing out loud at these ones…. I can imagine what you would be walking out to…. You can thank me later.