Working from home is a real challenge — but it can be done. Whether you’re a parent looking to work at home because of the flexibility and freedom that comes with working independently, or if you just need to sneak in some extra hours while your baby’s sleeping, this guide will help you understand how to work from home with a baby.
There are three things that can make or break your success as a working parent: your schedule, how organized you are, and what kind of environment you’re working in. We’ll dive into all three and recommend some tips for working from home with a baby and still getting your job done.
Benefits of Working From Home With a Baby
Getting work done from home is not all about keeping distractions to a minimum. It actually also brings plenty of benefits for you and your family, including:
- more flexibility when it comes to taking care of your child (no rush hour traffic or daycare schedules to worry about!)
- greater parental involvement
- bigger cost savings from not having to enroll in daycare
It all depends on the nature of your work. If your job involves a lot of back-office tasks and minimal client calls, having a baby in the background will not be much of a problem. However, if you’re in a sales position that requires you to make and take a lot of calls, you might need to hire a babysitter or enroll in daycare during your workday.
No matter what your work status is, there are a few best practices you can follow to help make working from home with an infant a little easier.
Tips for Working from Home with a Baby
Working from home is difficult enough without the added responsibilities of caring for your child at the same time. Learn how to work from home with a baby efficiently with these helpful tips.
Create a Schedule
How do you create a work schedule when working from home with a baby? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each parent’s situation will be different. But here are some tips to get you started:
- Figure out what hours you’re most productive and make those your working hours.
- Try to stick to a routine as much as possible. This will help both you and your baby adjust to the new schedule.
- Use tools like Google Calendar, Trello, or Asana (or your preferred scheduling and task management app) to help keep track of your time and deadlines.
Undoubtedly, staying organized is the most challenging part of working from home with an infant or a toddler. The solution to this varies again depending on your situation, but here are some general tips:
- Create a designated workspace for yourself, and try to keep the baby out of that space as much as possible (unless they’re sleeping, of course!). Make sure that this space is clutter-free.
- Establish specific times for checking emails, answering phone calls, and other tasks. Eliminate distraction as much as possible, like turning off social media notifications, putting your phone on silent mode, etc.
- If your baby is napping, use that time to get work done.
Activities to Do With Your Baby While You Work
Working parents need breaks too, and you can definitely take a breather from your tasks at any time. It goes without saying that you’ll want to find some fun ways to keep your infant busy while you’re working. Some good ideas are:
- Playing peekaboo or hide and seek
- Singing songs like “this little piggy” or “5 little monkeys jumping on the bed” (these always make us giggle!)
- Reading books together
- Giving the baby a bath
- Letting them explore their surroundings (safely, of course)
These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are plenty of other activities that can keep your baby occupied (and you entertained, as well) while you work. The most important thing is to be creative and find what works best for your child.
Fun Things To Do With an Older Child While Working From Home
If your child is older, you’ll want to find activities that are more engaging and challenging. Here are some ideas:
- Have them help with household tasks, like folding clothes or sweeping the floor.
- Set up a play area (within eyesight) with toys, puzzles, and games.
- Practice their reading and writing skills by setting up a mini work desk beside yours.
- Have them complete puzzles, work on coloring books, and do other quiet activities that occupy their attention and time.
When It Makes Sense to Enroll in Daycare
As mentioned earlier, succeeding at working from home with an infant or toddler depends on your job. In the post-COVID world, hearing family members’ and children’s voices in the background is no longer considered strange as workplaces adapt to the new remote working setup. However, there might be instances where you would need the short-term help of a sitter, nanny, or daycare provider to watch your little one for a while so you can breeze through your tasks more quickly.
Enrolling your child in daycare comes with many perks that aren’t available when your baby is at home alone with you or a caregiver. These perks include socializing with other kids, learning how to act in a group environment and follow rules, developing cognitive skills through play-based learning, and communicating with others in general.
Need Assistance In Caring For Your Child While You Work? Cadence Education Can Help
Working from home is great for parents, but your child still needs care. If you know how to work from home with a baby, this may be the best decision for your family.
Although you may be able to spend more time with them during the day, it’s also important they’re also around other children and people who can teach them how to act appropriately in different situations.
Daycares provide that — and Cadence Education is here to help. Daycares are filled with bright, motivated people who want nothing more than to help your baby thrive. And if working from home allows you greater flexibility when it comes to taking care of your child, a daycare can get them out of the house and into an educational environment. It’s a win-win situation!
Find a Cadence Education-accredited daycare provider near you. We have over 200 partners all over the country.