Learning about your new baby and how to nurse can be challenging enough, but also dealing with a busy toddler AND nursing a newborn? Well, that is when the Mom Superpowers really show. But as we all know, even superheroes have secrets and sidekicks. Our postpartum doulas are your sidekicks, and we are here to share some of our favorite ways to occupy a busy toddler while nursing a newborn!
All The Snacks
Toddlers loves snacks, especially those really delicious ones that only come out on special occasions. Well, this is a special occasion. Having special snacks that your toddler can only have while baby is nursing can be helpful to keep your toddler calm and quiet for a few minutes!
(And we won't judge you on the health factor of snacks)
Similar Meal Times
While this is not always possible, maybe try to coordinate meal times with toddler and newborn so everyone is eating at the same time. Even if it just happens once a day, meal times are usually a time when toddlers are stationary!
Let Them Feed Their Own Baby
Toddlers love to do the same things as Moms. While it can be frustrating sometimes, this time, we are using it to our advantage. Giving your toddler a doll that he or she can also “nurse” while you are nursing your newborn can be fun for everyone!
A Favorite (Hands Free) Activity
You know your older baby best. What does he or she love? At this age, reading books is usually a favorite, so maybe your toddler can be big helper by turning the pages of his or her favorite book while you read. Or maybe there are special toys that only come out during breastfeeding sessions. Maybe she can drive her trucks on the special Mom track (your legs). Or maybe he can draw with the special markers a picture for you and baby. Whatever it is, make sure you stress that it is extra special and can only be done while baby is eating.
Especially while it is summer, setting up a water table, sink, or even the bathtub with some toys can occupy any toddler for hours. While it may mean you have to clean up a little more after, it does mean that your toddler isn’t tearing apart your entire house, just your sink or bathroom area! Plus that totally counts as their bath for the day!
We always say that our postpartum doulas are doulas for the entire family. So while you are quietly nursing your newborn, our doulas can be playing with and take care of your older baby. With our professional help, you don’t have to worry about having a bigger mess than you started with to deal with after baby eats, or that your toddler will be running around naked in the backyard (but, let’s be real, they still might because toddlers do weird things). The best part of having a postpartum doula? After you feed your newborn, your doula can burp and get the baby to sleep while you play with your toddler for a few minutes!
What tricks helped you for caring for a toddler and newborn? Share in the comments!