The age gap between our children is roughly the same, about 2.5 years, so we have always had a newborn and a toddler. In the early weeks when the newborn is breastfeeding frequently, I have found it helpful to be a little bit prepared in terms of entertainment for the toddler. Here are some things that I have found work well for us:
Children’s Playlist On The iPod.
All my children have loved listen to story CDs (audio books). The iPod now makes organising this even easier. I have imported a number of the toddler’s favourites and made a playlist for him. We have a connection from our stereo to which I can simply plug the iPod into and quickly start playing these for him, while I sit and breastfeed our beautiful newborn baby born.
It is always a nice time to read a story to the toddler, while I am seated and breastfeeding the baby.
Telling An Oral Story.
We are not always at home to have books and iPods available to entertain a toddler. I have found making up my own story and telling it to the toddler can amuse them greatly. I like to make the central character of the story the toddler themselves! The story can also have a moral to it – for example two toddlers having difficulty sharing a toy, but finally working out a solution.
Packed Snack Box.
I make the toddler a snack box and water bottle as part of my daily school lunch box routine. We walk to school each morning and upon our return the baby generally needs a breastfeed. The toddler can then access his snack box and have morning tea at the same time as the baby.
There are a number of verbal games that you can play with a toddler while breastfeeding your baby. The great thing about these games are that they can be done anywhere and do not require any preparation:
- I Spy – Modified version. For example, “I spy something red in this room”.
- Singing Nursery Rhymes – Ones that require participation, like saying the animals in Old Macdonald.
- Word Association Game – You say one word and ask the toddler to say what they think, for example I say “big”, toddler can say “small”, I say “yellow”, toddler can say “blue”.
How do you entertain your toddler while breastfeeding?