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Tips on how to keep your toddler entertained while breastfeeding the baby



To mothers with more than one child, breastfeeding the baby can be hard to manage when you have another child fighting for your attention.  Here are a few tips on how you can keep your toddler entertained both at home and away, while breastfeeding. 

  1. Plan your day according to your baby's breastfeeding schedule.  If at all possible, plan a feeding to coincide with your toddler's nap.  This way they don't miss you and you can have some uninterrupted time with your baby.  
  2. Pick out a few of your toddler's favorite books and keep them in a special place to bring out for when feeding time.  Read the books while your toddler cuddles up next to you.  Not only will it keep them occupied, but they get to share in the bonding experience too.  Need a new special book for breastfeeding time?  Try The Wild Book Store in Noblesville for a unique selection.
  3. Buy a video of their favorite show and watch it together while you breastfeed.  Since the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that children should not be watching a lot of television, this gives you a chance to have them watch a show in a controlled setting, for a short length of time, and you can discuss the show together.  Dora the Explorer has always been a favorite in my house and my children and I learned beginning Spanish together. Vamanos!  
  4. Before heading out, prepare a little goodie bag for your toddler with some toys they haven't played with in awhile, some Color Wonder markers and paper, and some snacks.  Bring the bag out when you have a secure location for you to nurse.  Try to find somewhere that you can contain your toddler so that you don't have to worry about chasing them anywhere, like a family room.  If they get bored with your bag, play the game I Spy ("I spy something with my little eye that!") or make up silly riddles.  
  5. Keep the lanolin that you don't use for your toddler's chapped lips or hands.  Lanolin will protect their skin, like it does yours, and does't have a bad taste.  I especially used it for my babies chapped fingers in the winter.  We still use Lansinoh lanolin in our home even though I haven't nursed in a year!

And, of course, keep explaining to your toddler why you are breastfeeding.  Explaining it will usually make them feel part of it all.  Remember to praise your child when they do a great job behaving and also when you can tell they are really trying.  In most cases, this will be the first time something imortant is expected of them.  And, when things don't go your way and your toddler unrolls the whole roll of paper towels as you sit helpless to stop it, take a deep breath and know that this too, will pass.  

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