If you find yourself working from home with a toddler or baby then you have come to the right place. I will be reviewing everything you need to know about working remotely while caring for toddlers or babies.
In this post, I will go over an ideal working from home with a toddler schedule and how to smartly manage time blocks for completing your work. Also included, is a comprehensive list of how to entertain a toddler while you work.
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Can You Work From Home With A Baby Or Toddler?
The first question you need to ask yourself is if you think you will be able to work from home while caring for a baby or a toddler. Some things to consider that can help determine how smoothly this arrangement will go include:
- How many children will be home while you are working?
- Do you have your baby or toddler on a schedule?
- Does your toddler nap?
- How flexible are the hours at your job?
- How many hours per week will you work?
- Does your child do well playing independently?
When looking at the list above, the less children you will be caring for combined with a good schedule and your toddler’s ability to be independent would make working at home easier.
If your job is part time with flexible hours, this will be much easier than a full time job with set hours.
Regarding the question of whether you can work from home with a toddler or a baby, answer the questions above. See how you feel after answering them.
If you are feeling completely overwhelmed, then maybe working from home with a toddler isn’t in the cards. On the other hand, you might be feeling it will be tough, but you can make it work. Or, maybe you even think it won’t even be that difficult (if so, please let me know in the comments because I find this hard to imagine).
If you are in the latter two situations then working from home with a baby or toddler seems like it could work out well!
Working From Home Without Childcare
Okay, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and work from home with a toddler or baby. Or, maybe you are here because it’s 2020 and we are currently living through a worldwide pandemic and you have no choice.
Either way, how can you make this work?
Here are some working from home items you will want to consider getting to make life a little bit easier.
For the working from home parent:
Need an afternoon pick me up? I love drinking iced coffee in the afternoons and cannot say enough good things about this delicious iced coffee maker.
If you don’t already have a single cup coffee maker, it might be worth getting. For fun, I thought I would share my favorite dark roast coffees with you too. If you like dark roast coffee, they might be worth a try.
- Starbucks French Roast K Cups
- Peet’s Coffee Major Dickinson’s Blend K Cups
- Folgers Black Silk K Cups
- Dark roast ground coffee from Starbucks, Peet’s, or Trader Joe’s
And, last but not least, you will want to consider if it makes sense to get a pair of nice headphones with a microphone. If you will be required to make phone calls or attend remote meetings this is probably a good investment.
For your toddler:
When you need as much quiet time as possible to work, this is the time to pull out the Amazon fire tablet for your toddler. You could also get some toddler headphones so you don’t need to hear the background noise.
More to come on toys and activities to keep your toddler entertained below.
For a baby:
Lastly, don’t forget a video baby monitor, so you know when your child is up for the day and to monitor nap time.
Looking for our list of working from home with a toddler or baby must haves in one place? Check out the list on our Amazon storefront.
How To Setup Your Work From Home Space With Kids
There are a few things to consider when setting up your workspace. You will want to find an area in your house that can be quiet when needed, but you can also watch or monitor your kids.
For instance, I set up shop in my dining room because it’s an area that’s not as open to the rest of my house. But, I can still keep track of what the kids are doing while I work.
Something else that’s useful is to have a playroom or play area for your toddler. Have it gated off, so you know your child is safe while playing in there.
Lastly, you will want to make sure your work space is comfortable. You will be spending a lot of hours at your home office. It’s definitely worth investing in a nice chair and desk (if needed). Just make sure you really think through the ideal setup for your desk space and that is also somewhat kid friendly.
Example Working From Home With A Toddler Schedule
Now that you have some ideas of how to set up your working environment while watching a toddler or baby, let’s review an example working from home with a toddler schedule.
Working From Home With A Toddler Schedule Example – 1 nap
- 6am: Wake up and work before your toddler is up for the day
- 8am: Toddler wakes up, gets dressed, eats breakfast
- 9am: Toddler plays while you work
- 10am: TV or tablet time for your toddler while you work – check out the best toddler shows on Netflix
- 11am: Do a physical activity with your toddler – got outside, dance, jump around, etc.
- 11:30am: Lunch – check out this list of the best leak proof sippy cups for toddlers
- Noon: Naptime
- 2:30pm: Toddler wakes up, has a snack, then plays while you work
- 3:30pm: Toddler watches TV while you finish up work for the day
- 4pm: Done with work
This is just one example of what a working from home with a toddler schedule could look like.
As you can see there are large blocks of time built in when you will be able to get work done without being distracted, such as before your toddler wakes up and at nap time
On the other hand, accomplishing work while your toddler is awake will be more challenging. Plan for frequent interruptions. And, definitely check out our post on how to get a toddler to listen.
Keep reading below for some ideas on ways to entertain your toddler while you are working that do not include electronics.
Example Working Home From With A Baby Schedule
After the newborn phase, babies take 2 to 3 naps per day. In this example schedule I will use 2 naps as the basis for the working from home schedule. In fact, in the early toddler years, toddlers might still be taking 2 naps a day too. I know my kids were.
- 6am: Wake up and work before your baby is up for the day
- 8am: Baby wakes up, gets dressed, eats breakfast / has bottle
- 9am: Baby plays while you work
- 10am: Baby has bottle then takes a nap
- 11:30am: Baby wakes up from nap, time for a bottle and lunch
- 12:30pm: Baby plays while you work
- 2pm: Baby has a bottle then takes a nap
- 3:30-4pm: Toddler wakes up and you are done with work for the day
In the working from home with a baby schedule, you actually have three larger chunks of time to accomplish work because there are two naps, plus the time before your baby wakes up in the morning.
The toughest part of the day will be after lunch time and before the second nap time.
Optimizing Your Working From Home With A Toddler Schedule
As mentioned, you will notice in the example schedules above that there are parts of the day where you have large chunks of time. For example, waking up before your toddler and during nap time.
When you plan out your day, these are the times to get things done that require more concentration. Things like writing a report or analyzing data. Maybe you can try to schedule meetings or phone calls during nap time.
What about the times when your toddler is playing, while you “work”? These are good times to do quick tasks, like reading and responding to emails.
If you are able to plan out your day in a smart way around your toddler’s schedule, then it will help working from home with a toddler go much more smoothly.
How To Entertain Your Toddler While You Work
What are some things you can do to keep your toddler busy while you work? This is no easy task, but I will say it’s good to have a few different options because your toddler’s attention span is short.
Here is a BIG list of ideas for entertaining your toddler. Some of these could work for a baby too.
Sensory Bins / Bags
Another idea is to make rainbow rice, then you can use this to make up a sensory bin or to use for sorting.
No Mess Painting
I do not suggest letting your kids doing anything too messy while you are trying to work. You will notice the list of activities does not contain anything overly messy.
Play-Doh & Moon Sand
I definitely recommend getting a variety of puzzles for toddlers. It’s just another thing you can have them do. And, it’s educational.
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Grab your FREE printable indoor scavenger hunt ideas with four different ideas.
This will require a little bit more involvement from you. But, it’s still fun for your toddler and will keep them busy for a while.
Having a lot of different activities that you can cycle through will go a long way in entertaining your toddler while you work.
Maybe one day you give your child a sensory bin and the next day you pull out Play-doh and puzzles. Then, the third day you have a new sensory bin that your child didn’t play with on day 1.
So, it’s not just about having different toddler activities. It’s also about having multiple options of certain activities, where possible.
I’m know this list seems like a lot of work just to assemble all of the activities. But, don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. You can work towards assembling them slowly. After a few weeks, you will have what you need.
Outdoor Toddler Activities While You Work
If you want your toddler to work off some energy, consider bringing your laptop outside and working from there while your toddler plays.
You Got This!
Now that you’ve read through a typical working from home with a toddler schedule, and have some ideas for entertaining your toddler while you work. Do you think it’s doable?
Of course, it’s not going to be easy. Toddlers have short attention spans and they don’t care if you are on an important phone call when they need something.
But, if you are able to plan out your day around the blocks of time before your toddler wakes up and at nap time, then you can make it work.
And, don’t forget all the at home toddler activity ideas you now have to keep your toddler busy. If you want the list of things you need when working from home with a toddler or baby all in one place, you can find it here.
Good luck on your adventure of working from home with a toddler or baby, you got this!