Staying home with your kids doesn’t mean you have to give up on your career. A growing number of parents are choosing to work remotely! While remote work can be an amazing opportunity, it isn’t always easy to stay focused and get things done when you have a child to care for.
Learning how to work from home with a baby can be a real challenge, but it’s far from impossible. While there may be a limited number of hours in a day, you can learn to use that time more efficiently. You may not be able to follow your regular schedule, but you can still get a lot done!
These tips for working from home will help you keep up with your job and care for your baby. There may be times when your kids need your full attention, and there may be days when you have to work on a few hours of sleep, but the right strategies will allow you to work remotely while maintaining a healthy work life balance.
Try Time Blocking
Caring for a baby during your workday can limit your productivity. If you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day for everything you need to do, you may want to try a scheduling technique called time blocking. It’s a twist on a traditional to do list that can help you use your time more efficiently.
When you time block, you divide your day into blocks of time. From there, you can fill each block with jobs that you need to complete. This will allow you to plan ahead and prioritize important tasks.
It’s easy to feel like you’re out of control when you’re a new parent. Blocking is a great productivity tool, but it can also help you juggle a demanding schedule. You can even include flexible time blocks so that you’ll have a chance to catch up if you fall behind.
Save Big Projects for Nap Time
It’s possible to work from home with a baby, but there are some things you might not be able to do while the baby is awake. That’s why it’s best to handle phone calls, zoom calls, focused work, and other challenging tasks while your baby sleeps.
Thankfully, little ones need a lot of sleep! A newborn baby typically takes three to five naps a day, which will give you time for uninterrupted work. Take full advantage of this time and work on things that require your undivided attention.
If your baby naps for two hours or more, you’ll get able to get plenty of deep work done. Once your little one is awake, you can focus on tasks that are a bit less demanding. You can even give yourself a break and play with your baby before you get back to your job.
Consider a Baby Carrier
Babies love to be close to their parents. While holding your baby is a wonderful feeling, it can be difficult or impossible to complete certain tasks with a baby in your arms. Baby carriers will allow you to hold your baby close while keeping your hands free.
When you choose a baby carrier, look for something that will provide comfort and support for both you and your baby. Ideally, the carrier should have padded straps and an ergonomic design. Straps without padding can cut into your shoulders and neck.
You should also search for a carrier with several carrier positions. This will allow you to experiment with different positions and find a comfortable way to work. An adjustable carrier will also be able to grow with your baby.
Learn to Work on Your Phone
At times, you may not be able to work in front of your computer, especially when your baby is feeling fussy. During these periods, you should try to do as much as you can on your phone.
Phones have come a long way in recent years, and it’s possible to complete all kinds of tasks via a mobile device. While this can be a great time to catch up on emails, there are also apps that can turn your phone into a productivity tool.
It’s possible to download Google Workspace to your mobile device, which will give you access to Google Calendar, Docs, Sheets, and more. Installing Dropbox on your phone will give you access to your entire hard drive! If your job involves social media, Hootsuite Mobile can be an incredible tool.
Phone time doesn’t have to be downtime. It’s not always possible to be in your home office when you’re taking care of your child, but with the right apps, you can get plenty of work done on your phone.
Sync Your Devices
Parents have to deal with lots of distractions during the work day. It can be hard to stay productive when you need to step away from your desk to care for a fussy baby. Working on your phone makes it a bit easier to maintain your focus, but you’ll be able to accomplish more if you sync all your devices.
When your devices are synced, you’ll be able to focus on one task for long stretches of time, even if you have to deal with interruptions. You may not have uninterrupted time to work, but you’ll be able to keep doing your job even if you have to switch from one device to another.
Figuring out how to work from home with a baby isn’t an easy task. That’s why it’s so important to be flexible. Once your devices are synced, you’ll be able to seamlessly go from one device to another.
Switch Up Your Work Hours
A standard 9 to 5 isn’t always the best fit for parents. After all, parenting is already a full time job! If possible, try shifting your work hours so that you can get work done at a time that makes sense to you.
You may find that it’s easier to focus on challenging work after your little ones go to sleep. If you wake up before your kids do, try getting work done in the morning. Adjust your work schedule and see if different hours might be a better fit for your needs.
Part of learning to work from home with a baby is finding ways to be flexible. If you can’t seem to get things done on a normal work schedule, try switching things up. Establish a system that works for you and your family.
Make Sure You Have Your Own Space
It’s not always possible to have a home office, but creating a separate work space can really benefit your mental health. When you’re home with a baby or young kids, it can feel like you’re always on the clock. Having a dedicated work space can help you separate working hours from your own hours.
You could create an office nook in an empty closet, an open corner, or even on a stair landing! If you don’t have a lot of guests during the day, you could also set up a desk near your home’s entrance.
If you need quiet time at work, consider setting up a desk in your basement! Make sure you use a baby monitor so that you can quickly respond when your little one needs you. A work from home position is a full time job, and having your own work space will help you stay productive!
Experiment with Different Time Management Strategies
Whether you have several children or are going back to work after welcoming the newest member of your family, many of the best tips for working from home revolve around time management. Organizing your time can help you balance your parental duties with your workload.
Testing out different strategies will help you find the most effective ways to manage your time. Create a daily schedule, and adjust the schedule if it isn’t working for you and your children. Do a time audit so that you can see where you need to make changes.
If you’re a work at home mom, the best advice you can follow is to find solutions that work for you. Whether you use a time management act or try out the Pomodoro technique, don’t be afraid to switch things up if the techniques you’re currently using aren’t a good fit for your needs.
Take Advantage of Tools That Simplify Everyday Tasks
Working parents lead very busy lives. If you feel like you have too much on your plate, try using tools that will simplify tasks and save you time throughout your day.
Password management tools allow you to log into accounts and access protected files in an instant. Project management tools make it easier to collaborate with co-workers, even when you have to step away from your desk throughout the day.
If you feel like time is slipping away from you, a time-tracking tool can help you see how you’re spending your time. Social media, online shopping, and other distractions can make it hard to focus, but the right tools can block these sites during your work time.
Most of these tools will only save you a few minutes here and there, but that time can really add up. With the right tools, you’ll be able to focus and maximize the time you have.
Making time for meetings can be tough, even when you don’t have a baby to care for. While virtual meetings make it easier to coordinate schedules, getting through meetings can be tough for new moms. If your baby wakes up or starts crying during a Zoom meeting, you might have to cut that meeting short.
While you don’t have to avoid meetings completely, you should limit the number of meetings you schedule. If someone wants to schedule a virtual meeting, make sure that a meeting is your best option. In some cases, you may find that it’s more effective to communicate via email or group chats.
On days when you have big meetings or conference calls, try to schedule them when someone else is available to care for your baby. You may want to enlist the help of friends or family or even arrange for childcare before a meeting. That way, you’ll be able to get through the meeting without any interruptions.
Take Breaks Every Few Hours
Part of figuring out how to work from home with a baby is learning to give yourself breaks. Not only can breaks help you to relax and recharge, but they can be a fantastic opportunity for you to bond with your baby.
If possible, you should try to set aside breaks throughout your work day. You could use these breaks to go for a walk, play with your baby, or even read a book. Remember, relaxation is an essential part of self care!
You should also make sure you set aside time for meals. Not only can feeding a baby be time-consuming, but it can get pretty messy. Make sure that you have plenty of time to feed yourself and your child, and give yourself enough time to clean up afterward.
Build a Better Work Life Balance
The boundaries between your work life and your personal life can get fuzzy when you’re working from home. That makes it all the more important for you to create a division between your work and your home life.
If possible, you should start off your day with a morning routine that’s unrelated to work. You could relax with a cup of tea, enjoy a few minutes of quiet time before the baby wakes up, or even do a quick workout with your baby.
It isn’t always easy to stop working, especially when you’re juggling work responsibilities with your duties as a parent. Try to establish business hours. Once that time is over, you should stop working and act as though you’re out of the office.
You should also set aside dedicated family time. During this time, you should focus on your kids and forget about work. Children grow up quickly, and you should make the most of this time while you still can!