Having a new baby is tough. Having a new baby when you also have toddlers? A challenge meant for superheroes. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Here are our tricks and tips for nursing a new baby with toddlers in tow. Think of it as a survival guide–and remember, you’ve got this!
Use a Nursing Basket
It’s easy to just hand your toddler a phone or other electronic device to keep them busy when you’re feeding that new baby. Easy…but it can make for a lot of mom guilt. Our solution for keeping your toddler out of trouble while you tend to new baby brother or sister is to create a nursing basket. This is simply a basket or other container filled with some special items that will hold your toddler’s attention. This way, your toddler is busy doing something constructive, and you can focus on feeding your new baby while knowing that your older kiddo is happy and occupied.
Nursing Basket Items
Here are our favorite non-electronic nursing basket items for toddlers:
- Healthy, non-perishable snacks that aren’t messy and can be eaten with minimal supervision
- Mess-free markers (like Color Wonder) and coloring booklets
- Small board books they can flip through themselves or have you read to them (You’ll have them memorized in no time!)
- Large piece puzzles
- Stickers and a pad of paper
- A stuffed animal or doll that can be their “baby” (Many kids love imitating you by taking care of their own baby)
- Small toys wrapped up (Think inexpensive but exciting, like matchbox cars)
Pro tip: Put a couple of water bottles in there too. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to nurse and realizing your water bottle is across the room.
Using a nursing basket is one of our favorite ways to manage nursing a new baby with toddlers in tow. But in order for it to be effective, it’s a good idea to keep the nursing basket out of reach and only bring it out when it’s time for the baby to nurse. That way it stays exciting for your toddler! You can also rotate the items in there so they seem new and different, or create a couple different baskets and grab a different one each time.
Nurse Baby While Your Toddler is Distracted
You can also mix things up by using a fun activity for your toddler during nursing time. If the items in the nursing basket are starting to pall, or if your kiddo is easily distracted, you can try activities that can be done while your toddler is strapped into a high chair nearby. Things like play dough and finger painting are almost always a hit.
Use Nursing Time to Chat with Your Toddler
Of course, there may be times you forget the nursing basket or are out of the house when you’re nursing. One of our favorite way to keep toddlers engaged during this time is just to talk to them. Our kids love being asked questions like, “What does a duck say?” or “What’s your favorite color?” Simple questions like these are great for younger toddlers. Not to mention they help with those language acquisition skills! For little ones who are a bit older, pre-school type questions that engage their imagination are perfect. Like, “If you could have any animal in the world as your pet, what would you choose?” or “What do you think you’re going to dream about tonight?”
Other Things to Consider as You’re Nursing a New Baby with Toddlers in Tow
Childproof! Even with all your best efforts to keep them entertained, kiddos are curious and love to explore. You never know what they might decide to get into while you’re distracted, so make sure your home is childproofed so there’s less stress while you’re taking care of your little ones.
Embrace the chaos. We know, it’s tough to do while you’re in the middle of it. But this time of newborns and toddlers will pass so quickly, and believe it or not, you will miss these days!
Take pictures. Some of the most precious moments in life are the ones we take for granted because they happen every day. But this is only one stage of life, and the things that feel routine now will one day be filled with nostalgia. So don’t let those moments get away! Take pictures, or ask someone to take them for you, so you can remember these precious times with your baby.
Breastfeeding Photo Session with Toddlers
We loved the opportunity to help this family capture the beauty and chaos of nursing a new baby with toddlers in tow. They have a 3-year-old son, 18-month-old daughter, and brand new baby boy. We made their breastfeeding photo session a family event and focused on documenting the organic and love-filled interactions that happen naturally. It was such a gorgeous session, and proof that the many aspects of motherhood and family life–the laughter, the tears, the kisses, the messes, and all the rest of it–are not mutually exclusive. It’s all beautiful, and it’s all your story.
Boise, Idaho Motherhood and Nursing Photography Sessions
At Glean & Co, we specialize in creating luxury artwork out of “real-life” sessions. So please don’t feel that you have to reach a certain stage of motherhood (or a certain level of having-it-together) in order to create beautiful images of you and your family. Every part of your motherhood story is beautiful, and it deserves to be captured with images you can treasure forever. From designing your session to helping you create custom artwork from your images, Glean & Co is here to help you cherish your own unique journey every step of the way.
If you’d like to learn more about breastfeeding photo sessions and motherhood photography, check out our blog posts detailing these special sessions in action. You can schedule your own session directly online, or book a consultation. We’ll be more than happy to walk you through the details.