Two Under 2

Do you have a "schedule" for entertaining the older while nursing?

So I am stressing a little about how to keep my soon to be 19 month old entertained while I nurse my infant.  I remember when DD1 was nursing in the beginning, it could take 30-45 minutes at a time.  How am I going to keep her out of trouble for that long, multiple times a day?! My husband usually leaves early and gets home late so that's not really any help.  If there are things I can do now to prepare her for those stretches of time without me being right on her, please share!  

 We have a P&P in the living room so I could use that some but definitely not every time I don't think if I'm being realistic.  We also don't do TV except maybe when I get a shower....so maybe 15 minutes a day. 

 Do you find yourself on a "distraction routine" for your toddler with each nursing session?  I want to plan ahead with some high interest stuff she'll like if I can. 

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Re: Do you have a "schedule" for entertaining the older while nursing?

  • Haven't had #2 yet but DD loves for me to read the same 10 books 100x a day.  Does your son like books??


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  • sosophsosoph
    2500 Comments 250 Answers Third Anniversary 25 Love Its
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    I tried to feed the baby while dh had breakfast with the toddler so she started the day with some undivided attention (which maybe won't work for you). In the early days, I set us up in a different room each time where she could play and there were a few things I could do one-handed. I was trying to avoid monotony for her so she wouldn't feel I was always feeding the baby in the glider and unable to play with her. So, we'd be in the nursery, her room, the living room. And, I would feed the baby while she ate lunch.I had a few new toys at the ready in case I'd need ot pull them out, but never really did

    I also got us out of the house every morning. I nurse on demand, in theory, but with 2 sometimes I would squeeze in a feeding if the toddler was occupied rather than wait. 

  • We ended up watching more tv than usual, but also I'd try to break out a toy she hasn't seen in awhile just before I started nursing. She also was really into her kitchen at that time so I would ask her to make me soup or whatever I could think of....I often ended up with a lap full of "food" but it kept her entertained!
    Emmerson 3/23/10 Asher 2/7/12 Baby boy due 10/17/13
  • Yes she likes books but doesn't have the patience for me to really read to her.  SHe wants to flip pages too fast and gets mad if I want to finish reading.  Instead I've tried helping her find things on each page.  

     The moving room to room idea sounds pretty good... 

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  • I pumped so it's a little different but I had to do it very frequently for a long time since my supply would tank easily.  I had a pack n play where I put ball pit balls.  I would put her in that with different books and toys.  She was pretty happy there.  I would also just make sure the room is super baby proofed and try to contain him to the room you are.  If he acts up, de latch baby and deal with behavior. 
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  • When I was nursing DS 2 I tried reading, coloring or sitting and watching something special with DS in the first few months. DS2 is almost 5 mo now and my oldest will play near by. When I'm desperate or he's not cooperating he gets to hang out in the play yard for a few minutes. There are baby toys and stuff inside, so he's not bored.


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  • DS1 was just over 2 when DS2 arrived, so this might not be quite the same, but we did a lot of nursing while reading books in the early days. It took a few days to get DS1 to figure out how to hold the books so I could see them too, and also how to turn the pages (i.e. what does "forward" mean, and how were we going to signal that it was time), which would be easier to teach BEFORE the new baby arrives... but that was really how we got through the 'two hands needed' constant nursing of the early days. It gets way easier once you get to the point of having a hand free while nursing, too. Get loads of new exciting books from the library every week so your daughter can leaf through them even if she doesn't like for you to read them. Sometimes older kid nonfiction books (or even adult coffetable books) on topics that interest him are a big hit with my 18 month old - he just loves to look at pictures.

     I think it helps the older kid not resent the younger one if you can engage them during the epic feeding sessions. If your kid doesn't like reading, duplo or coloring or imaginative play also work great - especially if you put those toys away at other times and only get them out for nursing. They can also do stuff like fetch you a burp cloth or other things that you set out at their height (water bottle, baby care log, etc).

    It got harder when DS2 started getting super distractable at circa 5-6 months, but by then DS1 had gotten really into audiobooks (the library is your friend!), and I also got out the duplo bin and left him in a babyproofed room while I retreated to the bedroom to nurse. Happily, nursing was less frequent and also less long by that point!

  • NNGnomeNNGnome
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    I was planning on trying to feed using my baby carrier as much as possible, so I am still hands free to read or play with DS #1, has anyone tried this successfully?

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  • I've seen an idea for this on Pinterest!  "Nursing Box". Basically a shoe box, plastic storage box, whatever, filled with a few books, quiet activities for the older sibling to play with only when mom was nursing the younger baby. Not going to work 100% of the time but it's a nice idea.


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