It can feel like you have absolutely no time to yourself when you have a baby – like every time you need to clean something, take a shower, or get some work done they start crying or come searching for you!
You might think the best way to solve this problem is to plan everything around your baby’s naptime. While this is a good plan, there are likely going to be times when you need to get things done while baby is awake.
You don’t have to put your day-to-day activities on hold just because you have a baby! You just need to know how to keep them entertained so you can still go about your day!
Here are some great tips for keeping your little one entertained throughout the day.
While You’re Taking a Shower
Snacks or a Bottle
It’s not a bad idea to plan your showers around baby’s snack time. Sit them in their bouncy seat with a bottle or in front of a tray of snacks and position them within your reach (just in case there’s a meltdown!). That should keep them occupied long enough for you to get squeaky clean!
It might sound crazy to let your toddler play with playdough on the bathroom floor, but it can buy you some serious time. Plus, bathroom floors are designed to be easy to clean! Just make sure you pick up bathmats and get the towels out of reach. You don’t want to have to scrape play dough out of fabric after your relaxing shower.
Special Shower Toy
Have a really fun toy that your little one will love and keep it stashed away until you shower. It will give them a little treat that they look forward to every day and keep them occupied for as long as you’re in the shower because they know it goes “bye-bye” once you’re done!
While You’re Making Dinner
Let Them Be Your Taste-Tester
If your child is old enough to eat the same foods as you, sit them in your highchair while you cook and give them a bite of this or that as you cook. It will keep them out of trouble while you focus on dinner and make them feel like a “grown-up.”
The great thing about letting babies play with Tupperware is the fact that it’s quiet and easy to clean up. Your parents probably let you sit on the floor with a pot and a spoon and bang your little heart out. While that is plenty of fun for little ones, it can be quite headache-inducing! Tupperware can be fun to stack, toss around, and smash together. The best part: they’re not going to break!
Make Them Your Sous Chef
Most toddlers want to feel included in everything you’re doing. If your toddler is always asking “Can I help?” give them a job to do! Ask them to fold paper towels into napkins for each family member, have them toss out veggie scraps for you, let them mix salad ingredients together. Almost every meal has a simple step that can be done by a toddler.
While Working From Home
Give in to Screen Time
It’s important to limit screen time for little ones (and adults!) because too much can be unhealthy. However, you’ve got to do your job so you can provide for your family! That means you might have to be lax about screen time rules while you’re working. An entertaining movie, TV show, or game can keep your child occupied for hours. Just make sure you’re aware of how long they’re using the device and encourage them to take breaks.
Offer a Reward
Sit your toddler down and make a deal with them. Ask them to give you a certain amount of uninterrupted time in exchange for something they don’t get very often. For example, if they’re being particularly difficult one day, you could say you’ll take them to the store and buy them a new toy after work if they’re extra good for the rest of the day. You don’t want to do this too often, but there’s no shame in the bribery game once in a while.
Use a Playpen or Activity Mat
Set up a playpen near your desk and put some cozy blankets and toys in it. This will give your baby the option to play with toys until they’re tired out and then get all cozy for a nap. You just bought yourself a couple hours of interrupted work! Alternatively, a play mat can do the trick, as well. Just put a plush blankie underneath them in case they get tired while playing so they can take a little nap.
Remember You’re Doing Your Best
There’s nothing more important than keeping your family happy, safe, and healthy. Sometimes you’ve just got to tell your friends, boss, or yourself that you have a fussy baby or toddler on your hands, and you need some time to calm them down.
Don’t feel guilty for asking for what you need. And don’t feel guilty for using some methods that might not be educational or productive in any way. Sometimes all you can do is give in and move on. Life isn’t perfect – but that’s what makes it beautiful!
Meaningful Beginnings Can Help
If you find yourself frequently overwhelmed, it might be time to call in the experts. Meaningful Beginnings offers premium childcare services for children aged 0-5. We will keep your little one entertained, educated, fed, and loved all day long while you take care of business.
Give us a call today to schedule a tour (415-941-7965) or ask any questions you have about our daycare center!