My daughter likes to run, anywhere, anytime, back and forth. She encourages me to run back and forth through our house, as if she knows I need the exercise. When I found out I was pregnant and would give birth around my daughter’s second birthday, one of the thoughts that crossed my mind (as I’m sure it has crossed the mind of every mother expecting their second child) was how will I keep my toddler busy while nursing my newborn?
Several mothers told me to have a “special basket” with toys to give my toddler only during nursing time, so she paid special attention to them. That didn’t work for us, although I like the concept. I found that there’s more out there than coloring, singing, watching TV and reading. Here are a few games that we can do together that allow me to nurse in peace.
Playdoh is awesome. It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s completely hands on, it’s not too messy (I made it clear to my toddler before I even gave it to her that if it left the table, it would be packed away again) and you don’t need a ton to make it fun. You can even make your own by following these instructions!
2. Building Blocks
Megablocks, toddler legos, foam building blocks, they’re all great for having your toddler sit and focus on building tall things, wide things, trains, cars, buildings, anything! You can build many things with one hand!
I really love Melissa and Doug for all their variations of puzzles for toddlers. They’re not your average piece-them-together-in-a-rectangle one. Check out this magnetic bug catching puzzle which we take turns to play, or this food cutting box.
4. Playing I-Spy
Depending on the age of your little one, playing I-Spy is a great way to get them really focus on their surroundings. Kids love finding things, so you can get them to go run and bring it to you. Since my daughter is still young, I ask her where the red box is, or the blue letter A.
Play kitchens are wonderful at keeping your child busy and getting them to imitate what grown ups do. I recently reviewed our Kidcraft Red Retro Kitchen here. Ask your child to “cook” you something and see what they make. I have had some interesting cooked cucumber/egg/garlic/tomato combinations. Yum.
6. Remote Controlled Toys
You may have previously read that my daughter is a huge Thomas the Tank Engine fan, and this remote controlled Thomas allows us to both sit in one spot and play. In the event that he gets stuck, she happily runs to go get him! Any remote controlled toy will work, so pick your toddler’s favorite and watch them have fun figuring out what happens when each button is pressed.
7. Hide and Seek
Okay, so technically this one you will need to walk around for, but you can still feed your baby and go find the other one! This is great if your child wants to run around and play with you. I just walk around really slowly trying to find her. And when it’s my turn to hide, you can usually find me standing behind a door. In fact, I’m starting to think my 3 month old’s first words will be “Ready or not! Here I come!”
What games do you like to play with your toddler while feeding your baby?