How To Successfully Work From Home With a Baby

How To Successfully Work From Home With a Baby

Caring for a baby is hard work. Pair that with all you have to do during the workday, and it can feel close to impossible to be productive and get things done in a timely manner. You need to do your job to bring money home, but what do you do if caring for them makes it hard to work at times? To help prevent any more undue stress, let’s look at a few strategies to help you successfully work from home with a baby.

Communicate With Your Employer

Your employer likely already knows you’ve had a baby. Regardless of whether your employer or supervisor is a parent, they should understand that taking care of a child isn’t easy and requires much of your time. Keep an open line of communication with your employer and let them know when things are becoming difficult. If you don’t keep them posted, they can’t give you the help and accommodations you might need.

Expect the Unexpected

As a parent, you have to learn how to be flexible, especially when you work from home with a child. Learning how to be flexible and take challenges as they come is the key here. Letting yourself get worked up or disappointed when things don’t go to plan will potentially cause unnecessary heartache. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done, but it is a good mentality to practice.

Trade Duties Throughout the Day

If you have a partner who also works from home, or has different shifts than you, trading off baby duties is essential. This will give you blocks of time where you can focus on bigger tasks. If you have to make a schedule, chore wheel, or calendar to maximize free-time productivity, do it! Whatever you need to facilitate your success should be your priority. After all, even though you need to stay flexible, you should still have a rough plan in place.

Make Your Office a Safe Space

When you have time away from the baby, you should take a moment to release tension and reset. Try to make your office space as relaxing as possible. As a parent, you need to be able to set aside time for yourself. Even if you have just a particularly relaxing chair in your office corner, it will help you transition smoothly from child-rearing to working. Take the opportunity to decorate and accommodate your office as much as you want—you’ll thank yourself later.

Set a Solid Routine

You and your baby’s schedule will be unique and won’t necessarily match everyone else’s, but it can help you keep track of your baby’s needs and plan accordingly. We use the term schedule pretty loosely here, but babies tend to develop a particular sleep pattern, so use that to your advantage. Try to plan bigger tasks for when they’re asleep and smaller tasks for when they’re awake. Fortunately, babies tend to sleep around 14 to 17 hours a day for long periods, so working around their sleep schedule can be very practical.

You can speed up the routine development by establishing a bedtime early on. You can do this by bathing your baby, putting on their special sleep-time pajamas, singing them a lullaby, and putting them down to sleep—whatever works for you both!

As for an eating routine, your baby will likely develop one rather quickly. Once you establish a sleeping and eating routine, it becomes much easier to watch for your baby’s cues and give them what they need before they start to get fussy. Plus, planning your tasks around their schedule helps avoid the possibility of feeling randomly interrupted or dysregulated by a cranky baby.

However, it’s important to note that your baby’s routine might change as they age, so don’t be surprised if they suddenly start taking fewer naps. Remember, the idea is to roll with the changes and adapt to your baby’s needs.

Have a Playpen in the Office

If your baby is of the age where they can entertain themselves and waddle around a playpen, put one next to your desk or keep one in sight. An entertained baby is typically a distracted, happy, and content one. While you’re busy, they’ll stay busy too. Just make sure to include only baby-safe toys that don’t require your supervision.

Use a Wrap

If your baby can’t yet walk or waddle, wearing them is your next best option. If you use a wrap, you can move around freely, and your baby gets that precious skin-to-skin contact. This makes it easier to meet their needs fast and give them a quick meal when they get fussy.

Also, babies tend to sleep easier and longer when they feel safe, and nowhere feels safer for them than when they’re with their guardians. If wearing your baby helps them sleep longer, take advantage of that! Next time you have a big task, wrap them up tight around nap time and give them their favorite pacifier so you have some extra time to get things done.

Consider Hiring Help

It truly takes a village to raise a child, so child-rearing is even harder when you don’t have any help. While many people don’t have the resources to hire a babysitter every day, that doesn’t mean you can’t hire one occasionally. If you have a day where you need to put your nose to the grind or you’re booked with meetings, consider calling up a babysitter beforehand to help you out.

Keep a Detailed To-Do List

Working from home with a baby means there is a lot you need to do. While you’re switching back and forth from parent to worker-bee mode, you’re bound to forget things. Consider keeping a detailed list of what you need to get done that day, and maybe keep a journal nearby to jot down your thoughts. You’ll forget things all the time, so you’ll be doing yourself a great favor if you take a moment to write the important stuff down.

Hopefully, these tips and strategies will help make working from home with a baby a little easier. Remember that life happens, and it’s rare for things to go 100 percent to plan. If mistakes occur or things go awry, you’re not a bad parent or a bad employee. You can never go wrong with doing the best that you can and taking the hurdles in stride.

How To Successfully Work From Home With a Baby

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