Working from home with a toddler is very challenging. As you're on a roll busy trying to hit a target, the baby may start crying because he needs a diaper change, feeding, or just wants to sleep. And by the time you're done making the precious one comfortable and happy, not only are you tired but also can't seem to concentrate. But with all that in mind, you can still make working at home with a newborn work for you by doing the following:
Make use of the weekends
Use the weekend to do the laundry, grocery shop, and meal prep in bulk for the coming weekdays. You can store the food in the refrigerator, and all you will have to do during the week is to warm it before serving. Also, use this downtime to create a rough schedule that clearly spells out what you'll have to do each day in the week ahead.
It might be challenging to stick to the plan, but having an idea of what you'll be doing in the coming week is better than winging it. That's a recipe for disaster! Doing all this will help you have a freer week where you can efficiently juggle both the baby care and work.
Work while the newborn naps
Since newborns tend to sleep a lot-taking 3 or more naps a day, you can use this time to tick off an item from your to-do-list. This can work quite well for you, especially if you've created a sleep routine for the baby, and know the times when they usually take a nap. So, if you haven't yet worked out a sleep routine for your newborn, there's no better time to start than now.
Share the workload
If you're lucky to have your partner also working from home, then you should divide the workload to make working from home with a toddler manageable. Take turns to change diapers, play with the baby, and feed the baby (if you're bottle-feeding) while the other partner works. Doing this can enable you to efficiently work without worrying about the newborn's needs.
Multitask a bit
Although multitasking is frowned upon because it wanes your concentration and leads to shoddy work, it can work in this incidence. Because one of the activities you'll be doing while you multitask requires less concentration. As you breastfeed your baby or pump her milk with a hands-free pump, you can make all the necessary calls or continue working on your project.
Have everything within hand's reach
Whenever you set up a place for working, ensure it has all the necessities for your newborn baby too. Keep things like a trash can, tissues, carrier, blanket, and boppy-pillow within reach to avoid wasting time moving to go get them for the baby instead of working or multitasking like earlier stated.
Make use of an infant carrier
At times, your newborn's sleep routine may fail to work no matter what you do, yet you still have to work. To manage the situation, put your baby in a carrier and work while standing at a counter. Just keep rocking on your feet to lull the baby to sleep, and be able to type in peace.
Work while the baby plays
Babies are content to play on their own after a feed or nap when re-energized. So, put your baby in a bassinet near you and let a rotating hanging toy keep them entertained. Then, quickly catch up on your work during this time before they desire your attention.
Go with the flow
You might have a rough schedule for what you have to accomplish in a day, but with the unpredictability of babies, it can be difficult to follow that to the letter. Just do what you can and leave the rest for the next day. Otherwise, if you keep worrying over things you can't change, you might give yourself an ulcer.
Work different hours
If your work schedule is flexible, you could opt to work early in the morning before the baby wakes up. Or if you work best at night, put the tiny bundle of joy to sleep early, and enjoy working without any interruptions. Figure out what hours work for you and try to stick to that schedule.
Get rid of distractions
Since the process of working with newborn babies is tough, avoid any distractions that can further complicate it. Maximize the little time you have to work away from feeding, playing, and doing other chores, you need to remove all online distractions. Block specific apps, websites, and any other thing that can distract you while working on your phone or computer.
Take advantage of remote working apps
Not only do these apps make working from home with a toddler easier, but they also help you spend more time with your newborn. Just as you might already be using apps like Zoom and Skype to make calls and attend meetings, use other apps like Slack if you work in a team.
To keep up-to-date with what the team is doing and avoid duplicated work, share thoughts, and ideas. You can also use Dragon Dictation to help you type your work on the computer as reading it out, and afterward, just edit it before emailing it.
Outsource what you can
If it's possible to outsource some of your work and you can also afford to, then don't hesitate to do so. Because there are as many outsourcing platforms online as talented freelancers that you'll not fail to find one for your task. For example, you can get someone to edit your work, manage your social media platforms, and even type out the work for you.
Carve out time for yourself
You might think that you need to take advantage of all the time you get away from caring for the baby and doing other chores to focus on office work. But that's a fast road to you burning out. Remember all work and no play makes you dull. So always create some me time for you to unwind and recharge your brain - watch your favorite TV shows while the baby naps, exercise, or pamper yourself with a bubble bath.
Ask for help from family and friends
Your parents from both sides are often delighted to babysit their grandkids and spoil them a bit (or rather a lot). So, if it's safe for them to travel during these dire times or if they actually live nearby, request them to come help you out, especially in the first few months when you're trying to work out a schedule that works for both you and the baby.
Hire a babysitter
If your parents and friends are unable to help, you'll have to find a reliable babysitter or nanny. Take all applicants through a rigorous interview process before hiring the best-suited one - one you can trust to take care of your little one while you concentrate for long periods on reaching your goals.
Curb the guilt
Obviously, working from home with a toddler will mean often spending less time with your baby. Yet, the whole idea behind deciding to work was because you wanted to spend more time with your little one. Instead of guilt-tripping yourself, accept the situation and make sure you maximize all the times you get to spend with him.
Although working with newborn babies can be trying, you can stay on top of the situation with the above tips. Try them!