Entertaining a Toddler While Breastfeeding

How to Entertain a Toddler While BreastfeedingIt was the second day of school for my math teacher husband when I went into labor with my second daughter.  He returned to work when she was five days old.  I like my privacy postpartum, and do not enjoy visitors for the first couple of weeks, so it was me, the newborn, and my two year old on that Monday.  How was I going to entertain my toddler, who was adjusting to being a big sister and sharing Mommy with a baby who wanted to nurse every couple of hours for 45 minutes?

I attempted to think of activities to keep my toddler busy and keep her interested for 20-30 minutes at a time that took little to no time on my part to set up.  I relied on the following daily.

  1. Books. My toddler loved running to her room and bringing me book after book to read while I was feeding her sister. 
  2. Lots of coloring books/sticker pads/play-doh.  I learned very quickly that when I was pumping, my toddler wanted to be close to me.  I could put her in her booster seat, give her a coloring sheet and some crayons, and she was good to go for my pumping session.  A friend gave me a reusable sticker pad that my toddler could use at the table without me worrying about stickers being stuck to everything while I was feeding the baby.
  3. Blocks/Puzzles.  These toys encourage my toddler to play independently while I was feeding the baby.  I could supervise her from recliner but did not have to direct her play.
  4. Feeding stuffed animals. My toddler would grab her favorite stuffed animal and sit by me and pretend to feed her while I was feeding the baby.  I got to cuddle both my daughters and my toddler got to be like Mommy.
  5. Swiftering/cleaning/helping Mommy.  I have a small Swifter 360 that is my toddler’s Swifter.  I could give her the Swifter and she could entertain herself for a half an hour or so by cleaning the chairs, paintings, etc. around the house.  Bonus was that she did my dusting for me!
  6.  Screen time.  Although we limit my toddler’s screen time, Daniel Tiger helped me get through some tough days.  I could put an episode on the tablet, and my toddler would be entertained for half a feeding.

If all else fails, selfies!

Becky Nagel is a stay at home mom to an energetic, spirited toddler and a happy, easy going baby from Denver, Colorado.  She enjoys running, hiking, and cooking with her two girls.

 

Tags: Breastfeeding, entertaining toddlers, infants, mom of two, toddlers, two under two

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