We won’t lie to you: working from home with a baby is challenging. But it’s not impossible either.
Many people work from home with a baby or infant and as long as you set up your work to support your new life, you can be surprisingly productive even with a newborn baby around.
Here’s how to work from home with a baby.
Do Family Shifts
Assuming that there are others in your family who will care for the baby, at times, one of the best things you can do is to set up shifts where one of you does infant duties and the other one works.
You will find this is also the fastest way to learn to work from home with a newborn.
Working at home is easiest when you don’t have primary responsibility for the children. And while that doesn’t mean your work hours will be 100% child-free, even a few hours a day can really help you get work done.
Don’t Be Afraid To Take Advantage Of Childcare
Nobody is superhuman. If you work at home and need help, hire that help. Don’t find yourself asking “can I work from home with a baby, really?” Get help when you need it.
There’s nothing wrong with bringing in a babysitter or childminder to help out and give you some quiet time to ensure that your work schedule is fulfilled.
This can also help when it comes to the end of the working day and you need some time out with your partner or friends with the baby.
Think About Child Carriers
Child carriers can help to keep your hands free even when you’re taking care of the baby.
Experiment to find one that works for you and your child. You don’t want a carrier that damages your back and they want one that nap time comes easily in.
Tweak Your Time To Their Needs
Babies don’t know that you need your full attention during work time in order to get the task done successfully.
So move your routine to meet their needs. Learn when they wake to eat, when they need you to take care of a nappy change, etc. and then you get things done when their focus is on other things.
Little ones tend to have their own routine and smart parents work around that.
Take Power Naps
Trying to stay awake 24 hours a day is a bad idea. If you want your tasks done well, you need to give yourself permission to rest.
Even if you’re full-time parenting and working a full-time job, give yourself some time to sleep every day and stick to it.
And if you’re falling asleep at the desk? Take a 20-minute power nap and re-energize. If you buy a comfy sustainable home office chair, you can often get 40 winks at your desk.
Make Sure To Take Breaks
You also need 5-10 minutes away from work tasks during the working day – this is linked to better job performance, so don’t feel guilty about it.
In fact, we’d recommend you read our guide on how to avoid burnout in a remote job because the tips are just as useful to someone working with children at home, if not more so.
Speech-To-Text Software Rocks
Seriously, we’ve come a long way from the days when you had to spend 2 weeks training a speech-to-text package to draft a Word document with 85% accuracy.
Now? You can integrate these facilities with nearly any software (including most of our favorite remote collaboration tools) and get amazing results. That lets you hold the little one when you need to and still keep your focus on the work in front of you.
Learn To Sync Work Across Your Devices
Another great trick in remote work is to learn to sync your software across devices.
That way if you have to go rock baby to sleep in the bedroom, you can keep reading the document you were working on, downstairs on your laptop, on your smartphone, and so on…
This also makes it easier to work from any room in the home when you want to.
Tell People You Are Home With A Baby And Make Them Aware Of Your Needs
Most people are super understanding about other people’s kids as long as they know that they exist.
Tell colleagues, meeting participants, etc. when the kids are around and that you might have to deal with the occasional interruption.
This is much easier and less embarrassing than dealing with a toddler throwing up on your keyboard out of nowhere while speaking to your most important client.
Forgive Yourself, Often
Finally, and perhaps, most importantly, learn to forgive yourself.
It’s hard to juggle a job, a baby, a toddler, etc. at once. You’re going to make mistakes and it won’t always be perfect.
So, learn to forgive yourself and let tomorrow be a new day all over again. This may be the most important tip of all, you’re learning – don’t sweat the small stuff.
As you can see, working from home with a newborn baby doesn’t need to be a disaster, you just need to make sensible preparations to ensure that your working hours offer time to get your work done.
Nobody’s perfect and there will be days when a newborn baby brings insurmountable challenges to a day of uninterrupted work but don’t worry about that – your baby matters more than the work and you can always catch up tomorrow.