We won’t mince words: figuring out how to work from home with a baby can feel like an impossible task.
When your baby finally goes to sleep, it’s never when you’d hoped.
And all you want for this quiet moment is some basic self-care—say, brushing your teeth.
Work/life balance has gone out the window, and it can sometimes feel like you’re doing work and parenting all wrong.
But there is hope!
For one, women are reporting better chances of advancement in their jobs as a result of working from home.
So, knowing that this all comes with some major ups and downs, let’s begin at the beginning.
In this article: 📝
- How do you work from home with a newborn?
- How do I keep my baby occupied while working from home?
- Tips for working from home with a baby
How do you work from home with a newborn?
You and your baby are brand new to this.
So firstly, be kind to yourself.
And then, mix and match the following tips as needed.
Build a schedule (sort of)
While it’s true that babies don’t are probably not too concerned with your work schedule, you can still loosely lay out your priorities for the week.
Aim to treat work goals like ever-shifting targets.
Keep a daily, weekly, and monthly task list.
As tasks become priority, move them to the top of the list.
Tasks at the bottom of the list are okay to push to next week.
Whether you work for yourself or someone else, communicate your needs, and be clear with boundaries.
If this means writing a firmly-worded email to yourself, do it.
Work while they sleep
If this isn’t as easy as it sounds, take heart—you’re not alone.
The only certainty here is that there’s no certainty here.
All you can do is roll with it.
Aim to get started on important tasks once they’re asleep, but try not to despair when the work gets cut short after ten minutes.
One option is to set small, manageable goals.
If you plan for five to ten minutes of solid work, a longer stint will be a bonus.
How do I keep my baby occupied while working from home?
Once your baby is a little older, you can begin to invest in some activities to keep them captivated (maybe).
A baby jumper, or baby bouncer, is a one-stop-shop for keeping your baby active and entertained.
Basically, it’s a seat attached to a frame with a bungee cord.
Choices range from super simple to downright palatial—bells, whistles, you name it—and can be set up right next to your workstation.
There are some words of caution here.
Your baby must be able to hold their neck and head steady before they get into a jumper.
And although you have a lot going on right now, the word from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to supervise your baby whenever they’re in a baby jumper. It’s also not a good idea to let them sleep in a jumper or stay in it for too long.
And then, if you’re looking for some other awesome toys to keep them occupied, try this list of cool toys and these fun activities.
Tips for working from home with a baby
Working from home with a baby is just… hard. Read on for some little things you can do to help lighten the load.
1. Reach out
Community is everything. Connect with other mamas in your hood, either online or via your local library or community center.
After the newborn phase, you can try to organize ‘split shifts’ with fellow mamas.
Think of these like playdates, only for babies.
Schedule a weekly time to drop off your baby for a couple of hours, and return the favor later in the week.
Voilà! Everybody gets their solid chunk of allotted work time.
2. Make weekends count
Meal prep, laundry, the weekly shower…
Given that work and life are more blurred than balanced right now, try to plan one small adventure on the weekends.
It can be very simple, but something different to look forward to.
Baby and mama class at the local pool, visit a bird sanctuary, coffee walks with a friend.
Try to stick to these plans—a change of scenery can make all the difference.
3. Keep a journal
Take some time at the end of each week to jot down your thoughts and feelings.
What worked this week? What didn’t?
Write down even minor wins.
You’re exhausted, and it can be tricky to have any perspective outside of right now.
Keeping track of successes and struggles can help you keep calm, and notice useful patterns.
4. Streamline your set-up
A few strategic upgrades to your WFH set up can help make your days a little smoother. Some ideas:
- Sync your devices. When you need to move away from the computer (all the time), you can still use your free hand to check emails or make notes on your phone.
- Place charging stations in key spots, so you’ve got power during that unexpectedly long feeding session.
- Use wireless headphones. Keep one in your ear, and one charging.
5. Take breaks
A walk around the block, to the corner store, down the hall—do what you can.
It’s bonding time for you and your baby, and a break from the eat/sleep/cry/repeat routine.
6. Experiment with the baby carrier
A baby carrier or backpack can work wonders, allowing you to work while your little one sleeps.
Baby stays close, and your hands are free.
Our Peanut mamas love the Hemp collection by Baby Tula—cosy, comfy, and eco-friendly!
7. Track their sleep schedule
Somewhere between three and eight months, you might begin to track your baby’s sleep schedule.
Next week might not look anything like this week, but keeping track can help give you a sense of control.
In the hard moments, realize that things change with babies from moment to moment, from day to day.
So, next week will likely be a totally different thing.
And remember, there’s no one way to do this.
Find those little things that help you cope, and roll with it as best you can.
All the best, mama.