It is hard to work from home with a baby. It doesn’t even get easier with toddlers. These kids feel like they own the house and can colonize your laptop when you desperately want to get a job done. How about those that cry and wail just when the inspiration strikes?
Working from home with a baby shouldn’t be that tough. I currently work from home with three kids and can tell you that it is possible.
In this article, I have shared numerous tips + products to help your work-from-home journey easier as a mom.
Can I work from home with a baby?
Yes, you can work from home with a baby, but it might be challenging to keep up with your schedule. I advise creating a rough plan and giving regular breaks for fun so that your child wouldn’t feel left out while you work.
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If your kid is less than 36 months, condition your mind to do a lot of work within short bursts.
It can be pretty challenging to manage these two responsibilities, and you may likely feel overwhelmed doing this. However, with the following great working tips, you will find it easier to work with your kid at home.
What to do when working from home with a baby
- Reconfigure your mind
Motherhood is a significant change; you must be mentally prepared for it. Beyond the raging hormones, postpartum depression, and lack of sleep, staying positive is necessary.
You will mainly derive joy and positivity from your newborn and even when it feels like it’s not coming along, tell yourself that you’ve got to make this work.
Caring for babies is no little responsibility, and there will undoubtedly be points of meltdown, but you must be prepared to overcome them. Joining Facebook groups of work-from-home mothers to know how they get along during this time can help.
- Work while you breastfeed
If you breastfeed your baby, convert the breastfeeding time to work time. Since you need to sit for a while to breastfeed your baby, settle into a chair (sofa, work chair, or wherever you’re comfortable), and keep your laptop close and a big glass of water.
You can get a lot of work done while your baby is sucking.
- Keep flexible work hours
Working from home with a newborn can be pretty relaxing since you have enough time to give your baby love and nurture. However, you’ll only succeed with your work by keeping flexible work hours. This could mean working by 2:00 AM when your baby wakes to feed and sleeping by 9:00 AM.
- Work when they are calmest
The best time to work from home with a baby is while they take a nap. However, if you must work when they are awake, do it when they are calmest.
Babies are usually most calm after a meal or post-nap. At this point, they’ll be content on their own. Use this time to complete any work you have at hand before they need your attention.
Working at home with the baby is most productive after feeding them breakfast. Though the post-nap is good, it’s not compared to the after-meal.
- Use your baby carrier
Baby carriers are lifesavers. They help you keep your baby close if they are not feeding. If you desperately need to type and your baby won’t give you the time, carry them on the carrier and type while standing.
Find some of the most ergonomic baby carriers to use when working from home in the ‘work-from-home baby product’ sub-heading later in this post.
Most kids enjoy being carried around in their carriers. So, wrap your baby around you, place your laptop on an elevated surface, and pace back and forth while typing.
They will quickly fall asleep with this movement and sleep soundly for a while, giving you enough time to do more work.
- Get a baby swing or a bouncer
If you’re wondering what to do when working from home with a baby, putting them in a swing or bouncer is a great idea.
Babies feel highly entertained in their swings. Using a bouncer is also great. Working is a lot easier if you create a playlist that your kid loves, to keep them distracted when in the swing.
- Understand their nap patterns
Babies have regular nap patterns. Of course, this will change as they grow, but most babies usually have two naps a day—one during the mid-morning and another mid-afternoon. Plan your work within this time.
This time is handy for jobs that need a quiet environment. Schedule your calls within this time but remember to keep an open window.
- Use your phone
When working from home with a baby, technology is your friend. Having the Google Doc app on your phone can help you type and adjust numerous schedules and plans when you’re not using your laptop.
Even when your work doesn’t mainly involve typing, several apps make it easy to do various tasks with smartphones.
When using your phone, ensure you put it on mute to prevent it from distracting your baby.
- Eliminate other distractions
If you are working from home with a toddler, you have minimal time on your hands. Spending that time on social media or excessively watching TV makes it more challenging to meet your deadlines.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take breaks when you need to, but watch out for those hidden extra times you spend on social media longer than necessary. Cutting down those times will help you be more productive in your work.
If you find chores most distracting, block out half an hour each day to do them so that you don’t constantly get up to put things in order.
- Maximize your weekends
Preparing your meals and snacks ahead of time will help you maximize your weekends when working from home with a one-year-old.
Most moms prefer to cook on Saturdays or Sundays so that they can be sure they have the lunches and snacks ready for the entire week. That way, they will have more time during the week to do their work.
Another great way to maximize your weekend is to use it to research some perfect indoor activities for your toddler or baby so that you just apply them during the mid-week.
- Get a babysitter
When working from home with a baby, ensure you get a babysitter. This can be pretty challenging if you are low on budget, but it is beneficial to have someone who assists.
Though newborns likely spend most of their days sleeping for the first six weeks, they wake up frequently and still need your attention. A babysitter will attend to the baby, giving you enough time to do your work and meet your deadlines and goals.
When you’re done, you can have all the time in the world for your baby.
- Don’t wait to feel like it
Inspiration rarely comes when we need it. And when handling a newborn, you will have short time lapses where you will need to stop your work quickly and re-engage again. If you can’t get back to work with or without feeling inspired, you will miss out on this time window and find it challenging to achieve your aim.
The most important thing to learn is to re-engage and work even faster because it can be very frustrating to leave your work when you have the flow and then come back not knowing where to start.
To make re-engaging easier for you, jot down some points on a notebook or sticker before getting up from your computer so that when you come back, you don’t need to spend valuable time thinking of where you stopped or how to continue.
- Keep an open mind
Flexibility and creativity are vital when working from home with a baby. You must always have new methods to use the little hours you have at your disposal, and be gentle with yourself if you can’t finish everything or do what you intended perfectly.
There may even be times when your newborn needs constant stimulation or may even have some health challenges that need your attention. This could make it more challenging to work while the child is awake, and you may need to limit your work time to their naps. Accept the situation peacefully, and care for your newborn with your heart.
Remember that it is challenging to keep up with schedules as a work-from-home mom with a baby, so appreciate yourself for trying.
- Ensure everything is within reach
You will have enough time to concentrate on your task if everything you need for your job and your newborn is within reach. Have a nursing pillow handy, alongside a pack-n-play, trashcan, blankets, tissues, and the swing.
- Always expects the worst-case scenario
Don’t entirely depend on your newborn’s sleeping schedule for your work. The worst-case scenario can happen, and they stay awake longer than you expect, interrupting your work time.
So, when expecting some hours of quiet from your baby, get a backup nanny that could help you put things together if the baby wakes up earlier than usual.
Working from home with a newborn
Compared to working with an older baby or toddler, working from home with a newborn is easier. Most newborns sleep at a stretch within three to four hours, giving you enough time to focus on the work you have at hand and get daytime sleep. You will only need to stop and feed them when they wake.
When your newborn is awake, they will want to be close to you. That’s where you would benefit from a sling, wrap, or baby carrier. You will also benefit more if you have a movable bassinet that can help you push your baby around.
However, working from home with a newborn can still be challenging because you may still feel groggy during the day for the first few months after birth. Get a helper or your partner to help you with some work.
Work-from-home jobs for moms with babies
As a work-from-home mom, you need highly flexible jobs to enable you to care for your baby even when you don’t have child care. Some of these jobs include:
- Online teaching
If you are handling a newborn, you can set your schedule when you suspect your kid will be taking a nap or when your babysitter comes around.
- Translation jobs
Translation jobs are highly flexible, and you can work whenever you choose; just ensure you meet the deadlines.
- Freelance writing or proofreading
Freelance writing and proofreading are other flexible jobs to do from home. Even without prior experience, you can do entry-level freelance jobs and find clients on Upwork, Fiverr, freelancer.com, Guru, etc.
- Selling on Etsy
Are you a crafting mom? Sell your crafts on Etsy while you take the time at home to care for your baby. Make bath bombs, holiday wreaths, cookies, or any other product and sell on the platform.
If you are a fashionista and enjoy choosing clothes for people, you can work with StitchFix. You’ll use people’s fashion profiles to create boxes for them. Find more information about this on the StitchFix website.
Work-from-home call center with a baby
Call center jobs are great ideas for stay-at-home moms, but work from home call center jobs can be very demanding, and you must always be on your best behavior when on the phone with clients and customers. It can be pretty challenging to maintain this behavior when you have a newborn. There will always be background noise, and there will be times you have to drop your phone and run off to your baby.
Juggling childcare and call center jobs has never been an easy thing. It can be harder if your child is under 36 months.
Only consider call center work-from-home jobs if you have childcare you can trust with your baby. Since you will likely be working on shift, they can help when you are on duty. Still, this is not the ideal job for a mom handling a newborn.
Working from home baby products
Of course, many products are designed to make it easier for work-from-home moms to enjoy their duty. They include:
- Baby carriers
Not all the big carriers are ergonomic for working from home. You must get one that supports your baby’s hips, pelvis, and spine while you work. You should also use one that doesn’t strain your spine as you’ll be wearing it for extended periods.
These are some of the most ergonomic baby carriers to consider.
- Video baby monitor
Avoid running to your baby’s room when there is nothing wrong. Use a video baby monitor to see when your baby is turning, crying, or simply awake waiting for you to pick her up.
Check out these great video baby monitors from Amazon.
- Breast pump
As a breastfeeding mom, you have enough time to work when breastfeeding your baby. However, having an electric breast pump that helps extract milk from one breast while feeding the child on the other will maximize your work time.
Buy any of these electric breast pumps from Amazon.
- Hands-free pumping bra
You will need your hands for work while pumping or feeding your baby, and this hands-free pumping bras will prevent you from holding the bottles while pumping.
Try any of these great hands-free pumping bras from Amazon.
- Baby swing and bouncer
Babies love swings and bouncers and will quietly stay there while you work. Some swings come with bouncers, and it can be cost-effective to get them. However, remember to get one with removable fabric seats so you can wash it if the baby poops on it.
Try any of these lovely ones from Amazon.
Is it illegal to work from home with a baby?
It is not illegal to work from home with a baby. Working from home with a babysitter can make the job easier for you, but it is not illegal to work from home without childcare.
How do I get anything done with the baby?
Some practical ways of doing things around the house with the baby are doing as much as you can while they sleep. When they are awake, carry them in a baby carrier while you work, hire a sitter or ask people to come over and help.
How do I keep my baby occupied when working from home?
Give your baby play objects while they sit around. Some ways of doing this include hanging new items on the activity gym, packing plastic cups in different arrangements around them or putting in some craft poms or cotton balls in your kitchen whisk. Allow them to figure out how to get the balls out. Monitor them while they play.
Is a call center work-from-home job suitable for parents?
A part-time call center work-from-home job is suitable for parents if you are not handling little kids at home. However, if you are working at home with kids, then you should reconsider the idea. But with child care, it is easy to do the job.
Consider taking your kids to a different place or staying in a room where noise cannot penetrate to do the work. Remember, your primary responsibility as a call agent is to satisfy customers, and you will be connecting with customers throughout your work time.
The most important thing you should do for yourself while working from home with a baby is to lower your standards. You likely won’t get everything done, so there’s no need to beat yourself up.
Also, remember to take enough rest to have the energy to meet the daily demands of a work from home mom. If you have older kids, check out our post on working from home with kids.
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