Learn the easy way to work from home with a baby
Now, more than ever, moms around the world are enjoying the convenience of working from home.
But how convenient is it, really?
When you’re kids are older, it’s easier to find ways to distract them so you can get your work done and be successful to work from home.
As they gain more independence, they can find ways to entertain themselves during the day.
But, when your little one is, well, little, this is next to impossible. Babies are not genetically wired to keep themselves busy.
After I had my twins, everything fell into place so that I could work from home and take care of them.
I’ll be honest, this was not easy when I first starting to work from home!
But, with trial and error I learned that it took some time and patience to develop a routine that worked for everyone.
So if you’re trying to work from home with a baby, I put together this guide to help you get started.
These tips will help you find the perfect balance between rocking your job and being an awesome mom!
How to Work From Home With a Baby
1. Make a Schedule
The first thing you should do when you are working from home with a baby is to create a schedule.
No, your little one isn’t going to adhere to it as closely as you would like, but it will give you a framework to refer to so you can stay productive during the day.
Babies are unpredictable but, for the most part, they tend to follow the same general routine throughout the day.
Look at when your baby wakes up and when he or she goes down for the night and start there.
You may want to get up earlier in the morning or stay up in the evening to get some work done.
Start blocking out your day from the time you wake up until you want to stop. Don’t worry about scheduling yourself down to the minute – just look at the order in which you want to do things and make sure you schedule time for breaks.
Also, look at what I call the “non-negotiables” such as nap times for your baby and mealtimes for yourself.
If your little one is on a regular feeding schedule, bonus! Add that in too.
For me, I worked hard at getting my twins to sleep at the same time. Other moms of twins may disagree at this structure, but seriously mama, it helped me regroup and just be me!
And, it was during those nap times that I started to work from home.
2. Increase Your Productivity
So it goes without saying that your schedule isn’t going to work perfectly every day.
That’s why it’s important to look at ways that you can increase your productivity when you do sit down to work.
There are a few methods floating around that are super effective, such as the Pomodoro Method, but they’re not going to work when you have to worry about taking care of your baby throughout the day.
Instead, take advantage of the time you do have by working in short bursts and hustling through your work every opportunity you can.
Not only does this help when working around your baby’s schedule but it’s been proven that switching between tasks can help keep your brain active and focused.
So it helps to flip between projects during the day if you can.
This works beautifully with having a schedule but also make sure you are writing a to-do list to keep yourself on track.
3. Work When Your Baby Sleeps
How tempting is it to take a quick snooze while your baby is sleeping? If you absolutely need the rest, take it, but this is a prime time during the day to get some work done.
Plus, getting your baby onto a nap schedule is not impossible, so you’ll know exactly when during the day you can sit down and get some work done!
And, this is exactly what I did when my twins were napping consistently.
In the beginning I had 2 glorious naps to work. This worked out to around 4-5 hours a day.
But, my twins soon dropped their second nap and starting to nap once a day.
This was extremely difficult for me, but I knew I had to make this work.
Pretty soon my twins were napping up to 3 hours a day. Perfect!
I would work three hours during the day and another 2-3 hours when my twins went to bed before 8pm.
4. Work While You Feed Your Baby
If you can manage some one-handed tasks during the day, try to get them done while your baby is eating.
This can be during breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or even while you’re pumping!
These could be simple tasks such as replying to emails making a phone call. Use this opportunity to start crossing things off your to-do list.
However, don’t stress out about getting things done while your little one is eating.
If you can’t manage to work on tasks while doing so, use this opportunity to take a break for yourself. You need to take breathers during the day anyway.
5. Get Dressed in the Morning
This is just an overall great tip for anyone that works from home because it helps you get into a work-focused mindset.
The idea of working from home in your jammies sounds amazing but when it comes to how to work from home with a baby, it’s all about getting your head into the game.
So take some time during your morning routine to put on some clothes before you start your workday.
And it doesn’t have to be work clothes either! I work best in yoga pants and a hoodie!
6. Avoid Distractions While You Are Working
Trust me, there will be moments throughout your day where you will get to sit down and get some work done.
Just don’t waste those precious moments with distractions!
A quick peek on Facebook can turn into minutes of scrolling and a phone call from your friend can become a long conversation.
Avoid the temptation of picking up your phone while you are working.
Keep it nearby but turn off your notifications and place it out of hand’s reach.
Another distraction you should try to avoid is the want of tidying up and doing chores. One of the pitfalls of working from home, especially with a baby, is you are constantly aware of what needs to be done.
If you have to, schedule a few minutes throughout your day to get up and do some housework.
This way, you can return to your work able to focus on being productive!
7. Prepare to be Flexible When You Work from Home with a Baby
As I mentioned before, babies are notoriously unpredictable and they do not understand the importance of sticking to a schedule.
This is why you need to accept that your day is not going to go as planned!
So it’s important to prioritize your to-do list and focus first on the things that need to be done.
That way, if your day goes off the rails, you’ve at least worked on or completed the important things first.
Between nap refusals, cluster-feeding, and diaper blowouts, there are going to be days where your schedule goes straight out the window.
Take a deep breath and pay attention to your priorities.
This happened a lot with my schedule with twins.
There were many days my twins didn’t nap for three hours and only napped for 45 mintues!
Other times, my twins wanted to be outside all day!
While that was awesome, I had to let go of finding time to work from home.
8. Use a Baby Carrier and/or Bassinet
There aren’t many babies out there that are perfectly content to be left alone during their waking hours – and your job may not accommodate one-handedness!
This is where a baby carrier and bassinet come in handy.
When you’re wearing your baby, they feel snug and secure and are more likely to stay settled down during the day. This also frees up both of your hands!
You should also consider putting a bassinet in your workspace.
These small beds are portable, comfortable, and allow your little one to rest knowing that you are nearby.
It can also help during nap times where you can be quick to soothe your waking baby before their sleep is complete.
9. Use Your Phone
Just not for Facebook! There are so many productivity and work apps you can install on your phone to make your day of work easier.
For instance, if you’re a writer like me, having Google Docs on your phone can be a lifesaver.
While you’re feeding, rocking, or just holding your baby, you can quickly hop on to jot down ideas.
Also, look for voice-to-text apps so you can dictate your thoughts and ideas into text.
Then, when you’re back at your desk, part of your work is already done!
You can also easily take phone or video calls. Just make sure you have a mute button!
The last thing you need is your baby loudly announcing their dissatisfaction in the middle of a call or meeting.
10. Hire a Babysitter
I know one of the major benefits of working from home is not having to pay for childcare.
However, there may be days where you really need to sit down and focus for extended periods of time.
On these days, consider hiring a babysitter!
You can have someone come to your home or drop your little one off with someone else for the day. This can be a professional babysitter, a friend, or a family member.
This doesn’t have to be a regular thing but you will definitely appreciate the days when you can sit down and focus solely on your work.
11. Tag-Team With Your Partner
If you’re fortunate to have your partner home as well, work out a way you can tag-team responsibilities.
For instance, maybe you can take care of the baby in the morning and switch off with your partner in the afternoon.
Or you can take turns feeding, changing diapers, putting your baby down for naps, etc.
Ultimately, both parents are responsible for the care of a baby but laying everything out in a schedule can help you both stay productive since you will know exactly who is doing what and when they are doing it.
12. Burn the Midnight Oil
I did talk about deciding whether you want to get up early or stay up late when it comes to how to work from home with a baby.
The one benefit of staying up late is that, hopefully, everything is done for the day and you can give your work more attention.
However, be careful not to stay up too late and burn yourself out.
I like to use this quiet time in the evenings to finish up whatever I couldn’t get done during the day. It’s not the time to start projects that will take hours to complete.
If you’re not a morning person, this may be an ideal way for you to stay on top of your work.
13. Take Time For Yourself
Despite what you may think, there is always time in the day to take care of yourself.
If you don’t prioritize self-care while working from home with a baby, you will burn out.
I suggest taking at least 5 minutes during your day to do something you enjoy.
This may not seem like a lot of time but these little breaks will make the world of difference.
You can read a book, enjoy a cup of tea, stretch, or even let yourself browse Facebook for a bit – whatever makes you feel calm and relaxed.
The weekends are a great time to take care of yourself as well.
Take a bath on Sunday night, go out Saturday evening – you may be a mom to a small baby, but you still deserve some time for yourself!
In the beginning of my work from home adventure, I would work 7 days a week. But I soon couldn’t handle that anymore and the next year I set clear time frames M-F.
Trust me, your clients will understand if you can’t take that Zoom call on Saturday morning!
14. Plan Your Meals
Speaking of taking care of yourself, you also have to make sure you are properly nourished.
Your baby’s menu is simple but you have to make sure you are eating as well.
Trust me, I know what it’s like to sit down at my computer and plug away at work only to realize at the end of the day I hadn’t eaten a thing!
Take some time on the weekends or in the evenings to plan out your meals.
You can even use meal planning apps too!
Make extra food at dinnertime so you can quickly reheat leftovers for lunch.
Try to focus on healthy meals made with fresh ingredients which will not only benefit your physical health but give you more energy and clarity throughout the day.
15. Don’t Feel Guilty!
As a parent to a baby, you’re going to quickly learn that there are not enough hours in a day!
Don’t feel bad if you can’t accomplish all the goals you’ve set out during the day.
How to work from home with a baby is all about adjusting.
The first few weeks of doing this are not going to be perfect and you’ll find yourself changing the way you do things to make it work.
Out of all these tips I’ve given you, the two most important ones are to prioritize your tasks and be flexible. The rest will eventually fall into place!
You Got This, Mama!
Working from home is probably a dream come true that can quickly turn into a nightmare as you try to navigate your new routine with your baby.
But don’t lose hope! There are moms all over the world getting it done and you can too!
Now I want to know: How do you work from home with a baby?
Do you have any tips to share?
Drop them in the comments below and don’t forget to pin!