Are you having your second baby? Wondering how you’re going to entertain your toddler while you’re breastfeeding your newborn? There’s no doubt it can be tricky, but I’m here to tell you it’s totally possible.
My eldest was 2.5 years old when our second son was born. I had no idea how I was going to cope. I remember worrying myself sick about how I was going to entertain my toddler while breastfeeding my newborn.
But, with some prior planning and a little organisation, we had it down pat in no time.
I thought I’d share the things that worked for me to entertain my toddler while I was breastfeeding my newborn. I hope they help to alleviate some of the stress a newborn baby can bring when you’re still trying to wrangle your toddler.
How to Entertain Your Toddler While Breastfeeding Your Newborn Baby
We filled a box of things that Haze really loved to tinker with. For us, it was all items from Daddy’s shed! Things like pvc fittings, hose fittings, large nuts and bolts and lots of other things I have no idea what they’re called. But do you know what, he absolutely loved it!
He sorted them, put them inside each other, tipped them out, put them back in, role played. It was a big hit!.
Kinetic Sand Box
I created a “small play” world with kinetic sand and some animals and trucks from Kmart. I put it in a plastic tub with a lid. Our couch has flat arms so he was able to sit next to me and play with it on there while I breastfed. It’s actually something that he still plays with today!
Pom Pom Bag
It might sound strange but pom poms were one of his absolute favourite things. And they don’t make any noise, which is a godsend when you’re dealing with a newborn. Haze was able to sort them into colours and textures, throw them, roll them and just have fun. There really is something about pom poms, they became quite the addiction in our house!
The pom poms got a little tricky when the baby started to crawl so we had to make a rule that they were only to be played with on the table once that happened.
Decorate a Giant Cardboard Box
Something else that Haze really enjoyed was sitting inside a large cardboard box and drawing and decorating it with crayons. It became a house, a car and a rocket – it was wonderful to watch his imagination at work!
Make up a snack box at the beginning of the day – or the night before – so that you can easily grab it before you sit down to breastfeed. Maybe even pop on a movie for him to enjoy while he eats. And while you’re at it, make a snack box for you too! It will make sure you’re getting the nutrients and calories you need, without having to think about it.
Read books together
It can be tricky when you’re breastfeeding a newborn, but if you can get your toddler to help you hold the books, that’s always handy. Reading to your toddler is a great way to make them feel included, but it’s also an easy way to introduce your new baby to the joy of reading early too!
Audio Books + Podcasts
When he was tired or just wanted some snuggle time, listening to an audio book together or even nursery rhymes on my phone was a great way to keep him happy. I even found some “kid friendly” podcasts that were quite interesting – a little old for him, maybe, but I’m a big believer in exposing kids to knowledge from an early age. Plus all the talking usually put the baby to sleep!
It meant that I could lie down with my baby and breastfeed and my toddler could snuggle in on the other side of me.
Baby Doll + Pram
We bought Haze his own baby to feed when we had Tex. He had a Miniland doll and a little stroller. We encouraged him to play with and feed his baby when I fed mine. It didn’t always work, but it certainly was a distraction. This is the one we bought him.
We had a wooden kitchen with a toy teaset and I would encourage Haze to go and make mummy a cup of tea or make me some toast etc and he would toddle off to do it and keep bringing it back to me. Imaginary or role play games were always a big hit and this one was great as it kept him busy. He would often go off to the toy room and take 10 minutes to make his “tea and toast” giving me a welcome break.
My boys both play with this little fruit cutting set, but when Tex was a baby it was an absolute godsend! Haze would sit and cut fruit while I fed his brother. We talked about the colours, the names of the fruit, we mixed and matched. Learning through play is so important and this little set gave us so much joy. I don’t even have a photo of him playing with it, but it’s been so so well loved, even by other kids who visit our home!
I hope these tips help you to feed your newborn baby in relative peace. Please share with a friend who might need them too!
About the Author
Kate is the founder of South West Mums, coffee connoisseur, FIFO Wife and Mumma to two boys. She loves to explore and write about life in South West WA, motherhood, business and the effects of FIFO on family life. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook or read more of her blog here.