Before Beach Baby was born, I had visions of Beach Girl and I snuggling on the couch, reading books while I nursed. After Beach Baby was born, though, Beach Girl didn’t have any interest in doing that more than once a day… if that. In fact, she preferred to take advantage of the time when I was tied up on the couch to get into whatever mischief she could. Thus, this list was born. Here are my favorite toddler activities while mommy is nursing baby:
1. Snack time! Beach Girl loved getting to have her own snack on the couch while she snuggled me and Beach Baby nursed.
2. Hair time – Toddler lies on the couch with her head on the Boppy so mommy can play with her hair. I’ve tried to get her to play with my hair, but no luck so far!
3. Reading books… If she’ll let you! The books that worked best for us were Walter Wickham’s “Can You See What I See?” series. These books worked especially well because we could put the book on the couch and go a long time between turning pages while Beach Girl searched each page, leaving my hands free for nursing.
4. Cooking – Beach Girl loved to “cook” food for me in her play kitchen and to serve it to me while I was on the couch.
5. Driving cars/trains – Mommy’s legs make great bridges, roads, and tunnels!
6. “If you’re happy and you know it”
7. Puzzles – Bonus points for the fact that you can’t help, so the toddler has the chance to figure it out without any hands-on help.
8. Baby doll – Beach Girl loved to pretend to nurse her own baby doll, change her diaper, etc. It seemed like having a specific task to work on is what entertained her best.
9. Doctor – A nursing mommy and baby are great patients!
10. Stickers – There’s no way we could have done anything like scissors or glue while I was nursing, but stickers worked wonderfully.
As Beach Baby has gotten to the stage where she is nursing less and is more easily distracted, these don’t apply for us as much anymore. But, they were super helpful activities when we needed them, so I wanted to share them with you.
How about you? Are you the idyllic picture of snuggling a toddler and nursing? Any other ideas for how to entertain a toddler while you’re otherwise tied up?