When I was pregnant with G friends and family would ask me what I was most nervous about with having two babes two and under. Without hesitation, I would always tell them that I was concerned about how A was going to handle the time that I had to spend nursing. I just kept picturing her getting frustrated because she wasn’t getting all of my attention anymore, or worst-case scenario being destructive. It’s tough to leap across the room to stop a rogue toddler when you have a baby attached to you.
I remember in the early days with A I used to spend hours pinned under my grumpy baby, who was only happy when she was nursing. To be honest, I loved this time. It made me feel like I could handle this whole mom thing. My baby needed something and I could give it to her and calm her down. We would hunker down on the couch and I would binge on The Office and Gilmore Girls for what felt like the hundredth time while she cluster fed. I knew that this time around I wouldn’t have the luxury of tuning out the rest of the world while I nursed my newborn. This time there would be a toddler who wouldn’t give a hoot about what her sister needed.
Thankfully, right from the get go G has been the most efficient feeder; done in 5 minutes, maybe 10, but that’s usually on days where she’s clingy from a cold or teething. While she is speedy, she does eat quite often and even during those quick meals, A can still get in herself into trouble. It turns out that the solution is a nursing activity box! The idea is simple and it has worked so well in our home. The box comes out only when I’m nursing, but I’ll admit that it stays out a bit longer because 5 minutes usually isn’t long enough for A!
Here is a list of 5 things to put in your nursing activity box:
- Stickers – What toddler doesn’t love stickers? They’ll be all over your house but you’ll have a happy toddler.
- Play-Doh – Again what toddler doesn’t love Play-Doh? A loves making Play-Doh cookies. While Pay-Doh is great, I finally understand why mom banned Play-Doh from her fully carpeted home. Keep this stuff on a hard surface that is easy to clean and away from carpet!
- Colouring Book and Crayons – If it’s a colouring book with characters from Frozen, A will colour for up to 15-20 minutes and in toddler time that’s like a whole hour!
- Doll or Small Stuffed Animal – A loves her babies and she will often take care of them while I’m taking care of baby sister
- Board Books – Board books have been great for us because A will “read” them to herself or she will sit beside me while I nurse her sister and we can have story time together.
If you’re interested in this idea, make the Dollar Store your best friend. Seriously. Everything on the list above can be found there and so much more. In addition to the staple pieces listed above, I add other toys and activities that I switch up every 4-6 weeks. Using the Dollar Store makes this affordable and there are always fun seasonal things to be found. Funky Canada Day sun glasses. Check. Light up Easter eggs. Check. Disney’s Frozen everything. Check. And everything else you never knew you needed for your toddler.
The nursing activity box has been fun to create. I love seeing my daughter’s face when she finds a new little treasure and it really has given me the time to focus on G and nurse her without being stressed out the whole time. Now, I recommend this idea to everyone I know that is expecting their second child.
Have you created an activity box for your littles? Let me know what you put in yours!