Activities For Your Toddler While Breastfeeding
When I was pregnant with my second daughter ( read about my first trimester experience here), I was petrified of breastfeeding. Not so much the feeding itself but in a “what the hell do I do with my toddler” kind of way. And while it has definitely not been easy, it has worked out. So I thought I’d share my tips, tricks and advice on the activities I use with my toddler to entertain her while breastfeeding!
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It’s no secret that having two little ones around is crazy at the best of times. But when you have a two year old and are attempting to breastfeed around the clock, it pushes even further into crazy territory!
The truth is, I ended up feeling really guilty while I breastfed my newborn because it meant I was basically ignoring my toddler. Which also meant that she pretty much rampaged around the house creating chaos in everything the touched.
Even better was the fact that my newborn liked to cluster feed…
However, we eventually found a system (well, activities) to keep us both a bit more sane while breastfeeding.
Instead of just allowing baby bear to do whatever she pleased (or opting for the ever easy cartoon option), I came up with certain activities for her to do while breastfeeding her sister. A lot of these activities were in a special box that I’d bring out just before I fed. Since she was only “allowed” to play with them while I was feeding, they seemed special to her.
Other activities we simply things she loved doing that I encouraged. Regardless, having a system and a plan in place for feedings ended up making things much easier.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Creating an activity bin for your toddler specifically for breastfeeding helps keep you both sane! #momhack” quote=”Creating an activity bin for your toddler specifically for breast feeding helps keep you both sane! #momhack“]
Keep in mind though that you still have kids… Meaning, just because you have a system doesn’t mean it doesn’t easily go to shit 😉 There were times when little cub got ripped off of me because baby bear got an automatic car stuck in her hair (with the wheels still turning). Or proceeded to pee on the floor. Or decided she needed something specific THAT INSTANT.
Activities made it easier but there were, and always are, insane moments while breasfeeding.
Baby bear had a special coloring book that was only brought out at feeding time. Obviously she colored at other times but this was the only time she could use this specific one.
Again, we have specific puzzles only used during feeding time.
I liked to use noise puzzles for this as she enjoys them more. We also practiced making the noises together and I’d ask her questions while she did the puzzles.
Noodle Craft While Breastfeeding
This one was courtesy of my sister in law and I thanked her a million times for it! Take big penne noodles and dye them. Then, give your toddler some pipe cleaner and have them thread the noodle onto the pipe cleaner to make bracelets. My daughter LOVED this one and proceeded to make everyone she knew a bracelet.
If baby bear is in a calm mood, I have her grab her favorite books and sit beside me. We read together and she gets to turn the pages. Some days, she just wants to snuggle- and I love it! Even better if you have a breastfeeding book for your toddler to read!
Baby bear loves to stack.. obsessively. So I got a few different kinds of stacking cups/blocks and I rotate which ones go in her feeding bin. These wooden ones are her favorite and we chat about colors while she does them.
Taking Care Of Dolly While Breastfeeding
And when all else fails, baby bear is pretty good if you tell her dolly needs something! Truly, she is obsessed. She has her own baby care bin with diapers, wipes and clothes and will proceed to dress her baby, tell me she’s poopy, undress, change and re-dress. This “activity” though is really done all the time and not just while I’m breastfeeding 😛
It’s easy to get sucked into the TV trap when you’re breast feeding- and with good reason. It keeps your toddler distracted and quiet. For me personally, if I relied on cartoons baby bear would be watching six hours of paw patrol every day 😛 Which is why the feeding box was created.
Don’t Forget To Pin These Activities!
The truth is, keeping your toddler entertained without resorting to television while you breast feed isn’t easy. But it is better for them. These activities are simple, easy to implement and effective. They help make your life easier and stimulate your toddler while you breast feed.