Little Co-Workers: How to Successfully Work From Home with a Baby

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Working from home on the reg is something that any mama can get used to with a little practice, but add childcare to the mix and it’s a whole different kind of day. Navigating through the most recent series of developments in the world may leave many moms questioning how work is supposed to happen while chasing after/feeding/rocking/changing/calming a baby {and managing regular “life” anxiety to boot}. Luckily, Hoboken Girl has some tips to help keep your sanity intact {as much as it can be right now} while you work from home and take care of your little one.

virtual kids activities online entertainment

Making a Schedule

While the days of “scheduling” anything may be long gone {as most mamas will confirm}, knowing your baby’s approximate daily schedule will help in planning the workday ahead. For example, nap times are likely going to be the most productive times — if there is any way to set up important calls during those snoozefests, go for it. If your baby defies a nap schedule and is somewhat unpredictable {ahem, we have lots of experience here} this can make things a bit more complicated, so do the best you can based on estimation {note: the mute button on your phone will be your best friend while on calls}. 

See More: A Round-Up of Entertainment Around the Web to Enjoy at Home

Be Upfront With  Co-Workers

Explain your current childcare situation to your manager and co-workers ahead of time {a common one for a lot of parents right now, so most people should hopefully be understanding}, and if you need to drive your babe to the nearest parking lot so they will rest while you answer a few work emails, that’s okay too {we may or may not have already tried this}. Also, if you’ve got a partner or spouse working from home, get into a routine where you can both switch on and off — you handle the childcare while your partner gets some things done, and vice versa. It takes a bit of practice, but eventually, you will get into a rhythm. 

Plan Ahead 

When it comes to planning the day, consider your baby’s age {HG’s reference for a “baby” is any little person from 0-12 months old}. The amount of mobility your baby has will determine the activities needed to keep your mini occupied for at least 20-30 minutes {or even more}, so you can focus on a work task and check it off your to-do list. Here are a few tips to try depending on your baby’s age.

Less Mobile Babies {Approximately Three to Six Months}

Hooray for the ability to plant that babe down and know they will stay put, but feedings come pretty close together at this point in a baby’s development, so that can be a challenge. Here are some things that may help:

  •  – Boppy Lounger, Swing, or Infant Rocker: The ability to plop your baby down next to you while working and know they will be comfortable is pretty crucial — hand them a crinkly book, a rattle, a noisemaker, or an activity ball. Anything they can put in their mouth is sure to take up at least 20 minutes of time while you plug away at work.
  • – Activity Mat: Another great place to put the baby and know they will stay put and safely occupied for at least a half-hour {depending on their level of patience}.
  • – Floor Sitter or Sit-Me-Up Seat: As your baby starts to practice sitting, they will enjoy being propped up with a few toys and you will be grateful for the break.

More Mobile Babies {Six Months and  Up}

As the months go by you might find your little troublemaker is getting into just about everything, and the ability to keep them occupied while doing what you need {like eating or making a cup of coffee} may be getting more challenging {but hooray for more spaced out feeding times! Check out some of these helpful tools:

  • – Playpen: The only surefire way to keep your baby contained, at least for a little while. Rotate some fun new toys in there every few days so that the baby is entertained — think musical instruments, pop-up books, toy cars, etc.
  • – High Chair and Meal Time: If the baby is at the stage where they can grab onto some food and munch, that means a break for mama. If they haven’t quite mastered the pincer grip, try a mesh feeder for larger, more slippery items {like bananas} or teething crackers {easy for little hands to hold}. Also, don’t underestimate the power of snacks — the act of using a snack cup is something different and interesting for a baby. Load one up with some dry cereal {or baby’s bite-sized snack of choice} and take a 15-minute mental break.
  • – Bouncer or Activity Seat: Another great way to keep your baby entertained and contained {for the win-win}.
  • – Rolling Walker: This one requires a bit of effort on your part, but a slight push back and forth with your foot can provide a few extra minutes to type up some of those last-minute emails {and yes, this one has been tested}.

Read More: 8 Tips to Successfully Work From Home

General Tips

Here a few extra tips to make the most of while you’re working from home with your little one:

  • – Pre-mix and set up all bottles and food for the day either the night before or in the morning. Or, if your child is on table food, just make a bigger portion of what you are eating and parse some out for mealtimes.
  • – If your little one is old enough, there’s no better time to have them start helping you clean up {throwing blocks into a bag, throwing toys into a bin, etc.} – and it’s also one less thing to do after your babe falls asleep, allowing more time for a much-needed social media zone out.
  • – If you feel comfortable with a little bit of downtime on a laptop, iPad, or the TV {because sometimes ya just need to get things done, no judgement}, here are just some of the many programs that are great for babies:
      • Little Baby Bum {Netflix}
      • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse {Disney +}
      • Sesame Street {HBO NOW}
      • Word Party {Netflix}
      • Bubble Guppies {Nick Jr.}
  • – Accept that not everything is going to get done, the house is not going to be clean, and there may be toys everywhere, that’s ok. You got this, mama!

And if it all just seems too overwhelming at times, we read somewhere {and found it to be true} that just lying on the floor for five minutes and grounding yourself can revitalize you {or at least get you in the headspace of “let’s do this”} for the rest of your day — so take a deep breath, and faceplant — we’ll be right there alongside you {virtually, that is}.

What are some of your tips for working from home with a little one? Let us know in the comments!

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Lauren originally hails from Nutley, NJ but is happy and proud to have called Bayonne her hometown for the past 5 years, where she can always find a beautiful park to walk or run in and a great place to eat. Lauren has a deep appreciation for a good bar, a great glass of red wine, and good food, and often frequents Jersey City for dining, where she worked for 4 years. Now working in NYC, Lauren still gets her Jersey City fix on the weekends or after work, and then goes back to her apartment where she lives with her husband, a Bayonne native, and her awesome kitty, Lola. You can also find her at yoga class in Jersey City or Hoboken, writing, or reading {and continually running out of space for all of her books} in her spare time.


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