With a toddler and a breastfeeding baby in the house, life can be harried. Even the downtimes when you need to breastfeed the baby might not be restful and relaxing if you have a toddler demanding attention. It's helpful to keep your toddler busy with special activities while breastfeeding so you can ensure that you're taking care of both children.
Choose a spot for breastfeeding that is big enough to accommodate everyone comfortably. The couch or an oversize chair is an ideal spot to situate the baby on one side and the toddler on the other side. While you snuggle, you might read books, sing songs, tell stories or engage with your toddler while she plays with small toys, suggests the Kellymom website. By focusing on quiet play while the baby eats, you can give your older child positive attention.
Save a few nutritious snacks for your toddler that you serve while baby eats. Perhaps cereal, fruit snacks, or crackers will keep your little one quietly entertained during breastfeeding. You might even try counting little pieces as she puts them in her mouth for simple counting practice that can give your youngster a head start in learning. Ensure that the snacks you serve aren't too messy to avoid accidents while your hands are occupied.
Just because you're immobilized with a breastfeeding baby does not mean you can't entertain your toddler. Play Simon Says with your toddler, suggesting that she jump, hop, walk backward and walk around in a circle. You might try I Spy or I'm Thinking of... to stay engaged with your toddler while breastfeeding. Encourage your toddler to think of objects to have you guess what he's thinking, too.
Toddlers can be surprisingly helpful while you're stuck on the couch. If your toddler needs some focus, try asking her to help you with something. Running to get a burp cloth or a diaper might seem insignificant to you, but not to a toddler. By involving your toddler in baby care, you help your child feel important and necessary, advises Robin Barker, author of "The Mighty Toddler."
- Kellymom: Tips for Juggling a Newborn and Toddler
- The Mighty Toddler; Robin Barker
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