Working from home can be a daunting challenge to adjust to on your own, but it’s even harder to do with a baby.
Whether you’re trying to work around an infant or toddler, it’s no secret that you must have a strategy to get the job done.
While this article is intended primarily for new moms to work from home, if you’re a new dad working from home, I hope you’ll find these tips helpful as well.
Needless to say, here are 10 of the best tips on how to work from home with a baby.
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Use Nap Time
You may want to use your nap time to rest, but this is your golden hour. If your child is still young, they will probably lots of naps every day.
Newborns tend to have fewer naps and often sleep longer as they get older.
Use the times when your child is sleeping to tackle as much as possible. Try to plan out what you will do for each nap once your child has a bedtime routine.
If your baby’s schedule doesn’t break, then work as quickly as possible each time he sleeps.
It is certainly difficult to plan with a baby, but having some ideas of what needs to be done can be helpful.
If you have a to-do list, you can waste some of that precious nap time trying to figure out what needs to be done. That way, you can focus on the things that matter most in between distractions.
Try to create to-do lists and batch similar tasks together. This helps get you “into the zone” without sacrificing your focus repeatedly when doing random quests.
Email is done along with other drafting work, bookkeeping with other data entry jobs, etc.
Happy kids are calm kids
You might think it’s impossible to work while the baby is awake… it’s not! Again, you just need to be strategic.
If you need to work during waking hours, try to work after eating or napping.
Usually, babies are most satisfied during these times! After they feel rested or full, they are more likely to play alone with toys.
Try to do short sprints during this time and then focus fully on the baby.
Use a hands-free breast pump
If you’re currently breastfeeding or nursing, you know it’s a full-time job.
Try using a hands-free breast pump so you can pump when your hands are free. There are also cordless and hands-free breast pump options on the market today!
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, try to find a supportive pillow to keep you and your baby comfortable.
If you’re resting your baby on a pillow, you can free at least one hand to continue a phone call or mouse task.
Use a service provider
Sometimes, babies just want to be held. When you have work to do but your baby is fussy, use a baby bassinet.
Service providers are becoming super popular for this reason.
Swaddle your baby in, set up your workstation, and rock back and forth as you type. It will put your baby to sleep.
If your baby doesn’t like being in a bassinet, you can use a baby recliner such as a dock-a-tot or a swing to keep them by your side.
They can be a lifesaver when you need your hands free.
Be sure to supervise your baby while in these recliners for safety purposes.
Download the app
Working from home often requires certain software for calls, meetings, or data entry. You can download apps like Zoom and Google Docs to your phone.
In this way, you can quickly jump on the phone while feeding more conveniently.
If it feels right, you can also use apps designed for learning games for young children.
These apps can get you through a brief period where you need your baby entertained and safe while you’re in an important business meeting.
Work before you wake up
This tip is consistent with the nap time tip. Working while your child sleeps is very important.
Working out before your child wakes up in the morning can be really beneficial if you don’t have a time allotted. This way, you can get some work done while the house is quiet.
If you’re not an early morning person, you can also work after your kids go to bed at night. This will also allow you to have some uninterrupted work time.
It may not be ideal, but you are right for the job where you have the time.
Prepare in advance
Weekends are definitely a time to relax. However, some things that can be useful are being prepared in advance to ensure a smooth work week.
If you can take a moment to plan out your week and prep some meals and snacks, you’ll spend less time in your workday stopping to do these things.
This also ensures that you will replenish your body and not just eat yellowfish and leftover noodles for lunch three nights ago.
If you can make some quick meals to warm up in the microwave or crock pot, it will be a time saver for you later.
When a kid is tapping on your leg wanting you to watch them jump up and down, it might really just be a squeal to get attention.
Sometimes, if you can stop for a little break, giving them five minutes undivided will satisfy their need.
Regularly take short breaks to play, join an activity, or even just take your baby for a walk.
It will help you clear your mind and focus again when you return to the computer.
It’s good for both you and your baby.
Letting go of my guilt
Feeling guilty is something every mom seems to struggle with.
You feel guilty for not giving your child enough attention, but at the same time, you also feel guilty for not giving your career the effort it needs. Try (as much as you can) to let go of the guilt.
Being a work-from-home mom is hard, but so is being at work and leaving your kids behind.
Let go of high expectations of yourself, do what you can and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Frequently asked Questions:
How do I complete it all?
The simple answer is you don’t.
Trying to keep your house clean, take care of your baby, do your job, and still have time to shower is a lot to manage.
Try following short increments or in small intervals that you have while your child has fun.
Try to plan your day as best you can, grouping equal tasks together, sprinting (not running a marathon) and doing intense work while your baby sleeps.
If you can afford it, hire someone to help you clean the house or babysit for a few hours so you can devote your undivided attention.
It took a village, remember?
How can I make working from home easier?
The best way to make working from home easier is to create a system. There is a fixed system that you use for each routine of the day.
Creating a simple workflow (or checklist) of what you need to do can help make it a mindless task.
Think of checking your to-do list in a certain order instead of thinking “what happens next?”
Also, setting boundaries can help. Working non-stop is the recipe for a dedicated mom! It’s really hard when you can’t just leave the office and forget about work until the next day.
If you can set boundaries for yourself, then you may find yourself a little less stressed.
How can I relate to my spouse?
Your spouse is your life partner. You don’t have to do this alone. Ask for help.
If your spouse is home with you during the day, schedule a time when you work and your spouse looks after the baby. Rotate the viewing hours of the day.
If your spouse is at work during the day, maybe ask them to babysit for a while after you get home so you can finish your work.
Ask your spouse to put the baby to bed for the night or help you clean up after dinner.
Final thoughts on how to work from home with a baby
You are doing very well. Working from home with a baby is certainly not easy, but seeing your baby in those precious early moments is worth it.
Try some of these tips to make it a little easier, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You’ve got this!