6 tips for working at home with a baby
Trying to reply to emails when a small human is constantly demanding your attention doesn’t exactly sound like an ideal working situation, but during these times it is a reality. Many of us will find ourselves trying to complete our workload whilst also trying to nurse our little one or rock them to sleep, which can seem stressful, so here are some tips to help you when working at home with baby:
prepare milk for the day
Whether you’re breastfeeding, bottle feeding or doing a combination of both, there are a few hacks you can introduce to your day to spend less time feeding & prepping.
If you’re breastfeeding, you could try pumping milk as an alternative to breastfeeding directly. Alternatively if you are bottle feeding your baby with formula milk, you can fill the bottles with sterilised and boiled water so that during the day all you need to do is add in your formula. (Always make sure you are following the NHS guidelines when it comes to bottle feeding).
If you’re breastfeeding and not keen on pumping, you can arrange your work area to be breastfeeding-friendly, ensuring you are comfortable and seated during the feed will help. If you need to take calls or video calls and are worried about breastfeeding during that time, just let your colleagues know. You can use a large muslin to discreetly feed if it makes you feel more comfortable.
strap baby on and create a standing desk
Rather than disturbing your workflow by constantly picking up or moving your little one, invest in a carrier or sling and wear your baby throughout the day and work from a standing desk. Standing up is a great way to stay fit and healthy, plus with your little one strapped on, it’s basically your exercise for the day too.
Alternatively you can place them in a sling and sit down with them, but either way means you have your hands free and can continue working with baby close to you.
create a routine
One of the keys to working from home successfully is to create a routine - but we know that it can be easier said than done when you have an unpredictable baby.
Try to create a routine that works around your baby’s nap, sleep and feeding schedule as much as possible. Even though timings are likely to change, you can monitor this daily and even speak with your employer to see if you can do slightly different hours considering the circumstances.
split the duties with your partner
If you have a partner who is also working from home, you can discuss a way to split the responsibilities. Defining who does what and when can really help to keep you focused on the task at hand as you know that your turn to be with your little one isn’t for a few hours.
It will be a little more difficult throughout the day if your partner isn’t working from home as you won’t be able to rely on them. However, discuss how they can support more in the evenings to give you a little me-time.
Hopefully, your employer will understand that this period of time is a tricky one, especially for parents. If you’re worried about anything, it’s worth speaking directly to your boss and being honest about any aspects that you feel might affect how you are working.
don't be too hard on yourself
You should also set expectations for yourself and realise that these circumstances are different from usual work from home days and therefore you might encounter a few more problems.
If there is a day where you struggle to get your normal workload done, don’t be too hard on yourself! Working from home with a baby is tough, so keep reminding yourself that you’re doing your best.