Newborn babies are sweet as can be and worth the wait, but to be frank, exhausting, and you’re not a bad mom for agreeing!
Many new moms who plan on returning to work soon beg the question, “How to work from home with a baby?”
Whether remote work is familiar to you or something new, this post is all about discussing tips and tricks for work-from-home mothers.
It is common for people to work remotely from home in today’s job market. The internet has made it possible for work to be done without the need to be in the office and many companies are taking advantage of this opportunity.
Many companies have created remote work opportunities so employees can easily adjust their work schedule when needed or take short breaks during long days sitting by the computer and attending Zoom calls.
So with this flexibility, what are the best ways to work remotely while taking care of your baby?
- Practice Adaptability
- Seek Balance
- Use Baby Gear
- Frequently Asked Questions
Newborn babies are unpredictable, and unpredictability requires adaptability. There are ways to be flexible and adjust on the fly without feeling like your life has become a whirlwind of chaos.
Take Advantage of Your Baby’s Sleep Time
If you’re a work-from-home mom, “nap while the baby naps” isn’t the best advice.
Instead, tackle your heftiest tasks while the baby sleeps, as this is the time you’ll have the least amount of distractions.
Medical professionals acknowledge that most newborns have no set sleep schedule. They generally sleep eight to nine hours per day, eight hours per night, and wake up every few hours because they are hungry.
Now, I know it’s not that simple. Changing dirty diapers, pumping, burping, bonding with the baby, and other household tasks take up a large portion of that sleep time.
However, you can do your best to create the right environment in which your baby falls asleep faster (e.g. playing soothing music).
Also, experts suggest some babies get accustomed to falling asleep in their parent’s arms. So it is better to hold them while they are sleepy and then put them to bed before they fall asleep.
Create To-Do Lists
I highly recommend creating a to-do list that is as un-overwhelming as possible.
Rather than planning to complete ten tasks during the day, prioritize one. But if that’s the case, why even create a to-do list?
Studies show that people that write out a plan perform better than those who don’t.
Additionally, keeping a running list of tasks will give you some control of your schedule, help you prioritize your workload, and allow you to break massive to-dos into smaller ones.
It’s a given that some work assignments are more demanding than others. This is where working around your baby’s sleeping and eating times comes into play!
There are a lot of to-do apps you could download onto your phone or if you prefer pen and paper, that often works even better.
Don’t Feel Guilty for Nurturing Your Newborn
Balancing nurturing your baby and completing work tasks can feel overwhelming, but you shouldn’t feel guilty for taking the time out of your workday to attend to your child.
Everyone at work would understand the need to look after the kid, especially since remote working is becoming more normal than unusual.
Research shows that responding to your child’s desires for comfort is crucial to their development as it teaches them to foster healthy relationships and express emotion.
Not to mention, the more content your baby is, the calmer they are, and the more work you can get done.
Many moms ask, “How can I keep my baby quiet while working from home?”
My first recommendation is to plan on doing the tasks that require no interruptions when the baby is occupied or asleep.
However, soothing a newborn feels impossible some days, so don’t be ashamed to embrace the mantra–desperate times call for desperate measures.
If you need to put your baby in the car and drive around the neighborhood a few times while you make some hands-free calls, so be it.
If you need to load your baby up into their stroller so you can walk around the block while you talk on the phone, then do it.
Most mothers are master multitaskers for a reason, and you will get the hang of it! Being a mother requires changing diapers, cleaning bottles, pumping, breastfeeding, and so much more. Learning which duties you can multitask with is key to maximizing your workload.
For instance, a wearable electric breast pump will allow you to work on the computer while pumping. Many breastfeeding moms have also found success researching or reviewing work materials while nursing.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and get creative. You know your baby better than anyone, so do what works without apology.
Technology is one of the most popular answers to, “How do I manage WFH with my baby?” Babies keep you moving, so having access to work in various spots throughout your home is crucial.
Setting up your work on multiple devices is one of the most practical ways to accomplish this. For instance, if you need to rock your baby to sleep, you may be able to complete minuscule tasks from your phone while doing so.
Dictation is another helpful tool. Perhaps a majority of your day requires writing or sending emails. Speaking into your phone as you care for your baby can save you a lot of time. Get your ideas down, then go back and perfect them when you’re free.
Practicing balance will help you remain happy and healthy for the baby and plant the roots of happiness in them. There are only so many hours in a day, which is why it’s important to allocate some time for yourself as well as find ways not to feel overwhelmed. Here are a few ways you can do that.
Join a Support Group
Surrounding yourself with parents experiencing the same struggles can drastically improve your coping abilities. Here are a few ways support groups help:
- Reduce feelings of isolation
- Reduce anxiety, stress, and fatigue
- Provide practical advice and solutions
- Give you a space to healthily and openly express challenges
- Supply you with a community of help
Your support group doesn’t always have to be in-person. There are a lot of online communities where not only will you be able to find advice from other moms, but also give you an opportunity to ask questions.
Schedule Some Alone Time
Studies show that alone time improves creative output, concentration, and productivity, all of which are beneficial to your workday.
Most importantly, spending time alone can improve how you interact with others.
So, take some time for yourself each day. It could be an hour in the morning before the baby wakes up or after they’ve gone to bed at night. During this time, do something that brings you joy. Read a book, work on a hobby, work out, or take a hot bath.
Asking for help from your partner, family, or a babysitter will drastically improve your mood.
The old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” might be a cliche but rings true.
Being a working mom requires close to 100 hours on average per week, which translates to roughly the same as having 2.5 full-time jobs.
Of course, parenting is much more rewarding than a 9 to 5 job, but it’s also more exhausting.
If your partner works from home, too, consider breaking your workdays into shifts.
For instance, mom may work for one hour while dad takes care of the baby. Once that hour is up, you guys switch! Take caution–breastfeeding can complicate this.
Many breastfeeding moms suggest pumping during your allotted work time so that dad can bottle-feed without interrupting you.
If you don’t have a partner who works from home, consider employing an in-home babysitter or nanny for at least a portion of your workday.
This will allow you to get work done, eliminate worry, and still bond with your newborn baby because they’ll be in the next room!
Be Transparent With Your Workplace
While it may seem apparent that your newborn baby takes priority over your work, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate that to your employer.
After all, how is your boss supposed to support you if you don’t tell them how? Let your boss know you have no alternative form of childcare and may need a lighter workload or flexible working hours.
You could also block your calendar during certain times and inform your boss and colleagues not to schedule over those blocks.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, more employers are willing to support new parents to reduce turnover in an already disheartening job market.
Use Baby Gear
Can you work from home and look after a child? Baby gear says absolutely! Here are a few work from home baby products you’ll appreciate as a work-from-home mom.
Baby Carrier Wrap
If you’re wondering how to work from home with a newborn, I have three words for you — baby carrier wrap! Your baby spent nine months listening to your heartbeat, so it’s no surprise being close to your heart calms them.
Wrapping them in a baby carrier and standing at a desk or the kitchen counter to work is one of the most effective ways to keep both of you relaxed. What better remedy is there for a stressful day than snuggling with your sweet baby? It’s also a practical way to fulfill some of the developmental bonding your newborn desires.
Baby Swings and Bassinets
Once you realize even newborn babies become heavy after a while, switch from the wrap to a swing or bassinet. These accessories allow you to place them in the room with you as you work and keep a close eye on them. Most moms find success in swaddling their newborns before laying them in the swing or bassinet.
White Noise Machine
If your baby has trouble resting as you work, try running a white noise machine. One study found that 80 percent of babies fell into a peaceful slumber after hearing a mere five minutes of white noise. You may even opt for a white noise machine that imitates a heartbeat, as it is similar to what your baby heard while in the womb.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have questions, you’re not alone! Let’s address some common questions I hear all the time.
How do I work from home with a newborn and toddler?
A pressing question seems to be, “How to work from home with a newborn and toddler?” Or maybe, you only have a toddler! Regardless, being a work-from-home parent is challenging.
You’ll find that many of the tips above are relevant to toddlers, as well. However, here are a few additional ways to navigate working from home while caring for your toddler:
- Take advantage of early mornings: Begin waking up a few hours before your toddler does so you can get your most demanding tasks out of the way.
- Strategic screen time: The American Academy of Pediatrics says children two to five years old can safely consume one hour of television per day. Consider granting this time to your toddler during the workday. You can even reward them with it for good behavior. If you also have a newborn, implement screen time when your newborn is calmest, like right after feed time. Doing so will provide you time to “work-run.”
- Embrace activities: Playtime is crucial to young children’s physical and mental development. However, if you have a toddler, you know they usually want you to join their play! That’s why many work-from-home moms set up an area in their office where their toddlers can play “work.” This allows you to spend time with your child while completing tasks.
What jobs can I do from home with a baby?
With over two-thirds of the workforce converting to remote work, working from home with a newborn is more realistic than ever. However, some roles are more demanding than others. See a list of popular work-from-home jobs amongst moms below:
- Freelancing: Freelancers are self-employed and not committed to any entity. While they have deadlines to meet, they also build their schedules. Most skills can be sold through freelancing, including writing, photography, bookkeeping, proofreading, and more! The most popular resource to find freelance work is Upwork.
- Transcribing: Transcribing is typing out words you hear from audio. It’s an excellent choice for people with great attention to detail and grammar skills. Most positions have flexible hours that allow you to work at your own pace.
- Tutoring: Build your schedule! Much like online work, online school and tutoring are more popular than ever. If you have subject matter expertise and like helping others, this might be a great fit. Most of tutoring these days is done remotely with the help of Zoom and virtual whiteboards.
- Selling on Etsy: If you consider yourself creative, make an Etsy account. Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage items. You can sell anything from home decor to clothes, to accessories. You can even sell printables on the app!
- Virtual Assistant: A virtual assistant provides administrative support to clients remotely. Most work requiring a virtual assistant can be done from home with a newborn. This job is also great for moms because it allows a very flexible schedule.
Can I get paid to be a stay-at-home mom?
As mentioned above, being a mom is more demanding than two full-time jobs. It’s no surprise many moms wonder, “How can I get paid for taking care of my baby?” Unless you have a child with a disability, there is no pay for being a stay-at-home mom. However, there are a few effortless gigs you can take up to earn some extra cash.
- Rent out baby equipment: Newborns grow out of their baby stuff in the blink of an eye. That’s why many parents have begun renting gear! If you have baby equipment you’re not using, consider renting it out. There’s an abundance of websites to list on (e.g. BabyQuip).
- Sell your photos: If you’re into snapping pictures and good at it, you can sell them on various free apps. Most bloggers look for quality photos to include in their posts creating an opportunity for moms like us to sell photos online.
- Rent out your car: You can make a decent amount of money renting out your vehicle when you’re not using it. Just be sure to rent it out through a secure app, such as Turo.
- Be a storage host: If you have an unused room in your house, you can rent it out as a storage spot for people. There are plenty of apps to help you facilitate this securely (e.g. Neighbor).
Learning to manage working from home with your baby takes patience and practice!
While I hope this article has been helpful to your transition, my best advice is to embrace flexibility. Every baby and every mom is different, so what works for one parent may not work for the next. Utilize the resources and tips above, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Congratulations on your new addition, mom hero!
Being a work-from-home mom is hard, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. It may feel like an endless series of trial and error, but you will get into the groove of it. When you do, keep doing what works and pass your new-gained knowledge onto other moms.
Hi – I’m Alina and I am a soon to be mom going through the journey of becoming a parent. I am a writer at heart and I love sharing about pregnancy tips and other busy mom hacks.