You've been trying to get an email out, finish a paper, do some reading, write that article or just take a shower, but before you can get started, your baby starts screaming, and keeps it up while you attempt to finish your job. You need to keep running to him, making faces, picking him up, or keeping him on your lap while you tap away at the keyboard, and something that should have taken you an hour, takes you three.
Here's help with keeping your baby occupied for a short period while you quickly get something done.
Feed the baby
First, make sure your baby is well fed before you try to keep him otherwise occupied. Even if you are unsure whether or not your baby is hungry, you could always put him on to your breast if you are still feeding him, and let him take as much as he wants. After this, try distraction tactics.
Avoid the bed
Your child may be happy on the bed, but it is not a good idea to leave him here if he has started crawling. Pillows and cushions may not provide adequate support and if he cannot kick them off today, he will kick them off tomorrow when you're not looking.
Get a playpen
Put him in the playpen along with some toys. This should keep him occupied for around twenty minutes.
Change his toys
After your child has bored of his regular toys, consider taking them away and giving him something new and exciting. One of the best bets would be to give him a toy that emanates light and music. You will buy yourself another fifteen minutes.
Move the playpen around
Once your baby has tired of this too, remove all old toys from the playpen. Pull the playpen to a different corner of the room and play some music for your baby. The larger the playpen, the longer your child will stay in it. Ratna had a playpen the size of a double bed which she could fold and put away. She would put her baby in it along with some toys. When her baby got tired of playing with the toys, he would start trying to crawl and move around. Your playpen need not be huge, but it could be something which lets your child try and crawl or move around.
Put all children together
If you have more than one child, put them both in the playpen together. They will keep each other occupied longer.
Mobiles work well
You could then remove your baby from the playpen and put him in his crib (if he is still using one) under a mobile. Mobiles that rotate and give out soft music will take up your baby's attention for a longer time. Or, get your baby to lie on a playmat, which has suspended toys.
As far as possible, involve your baby in your tasks. When taking a shower, instead of leaving your baby outside, bring him in and put him in the bathtub once he can sit. The two of you can take your shower together. You could then try and keep him occupied when you really need time alone.
You may also be interested in:
- The Indiaparenting Team