When you have a newborn, it’s easy to feel like you’re constantly nursing them. Even as the newborn stage passes, it’s common for moms to feel like they’re constantly attached to their baby—literally. Which then leads to looking for things to do while breastfeeding.
Don’t get me wrong, breastfeeding your baby is important work. But it’s also common to feel frustrated at the amount of time spent with a baby to breast. Especially when you aren’t getting anything done!
However, there are a surprising number of things you can do even while nursing a baby. And you don’t have to be a supermom to make it happen.
Next time you’re feeling bored while breastfeeding, try doing a few of these small but productive tasks to pass the time.
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Escaping Boredom While Breastfeeding
I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, then you’ve already reached a point where you have nursing sessions filled with boredom. Not necessarily every time, but enough to motivate you to go looking for ways to stay entertained and engaged.
It’s true that nursing a baby can be time consuming, especially when your baby is a newborn. And while those first few weeks are likely filled with you gazing lovingly at your little one, rest assured that it’s normal to feel bored sometimes.
It’s okay. You’re still a good mom, even if you don’t particularly enjoy every single nursing session.
Nursing can be an excellent way to bond with your baby. But it’s okay if you take a session or two to do a little multitasking.
Fitting everything into your day can be hard, especially as a new mom. Sometimes having so much of your time used up simply by nursing can become frustrating.
I encourage you to try to connect with your nursing baby as often as you can. Take the time to slow down and enjoy this moment.
But when you feel an overwhelming sense of boredom, don’t be afraid to do a few of these simple tasks to help you feel a little more productive.
Productive Things To Do While Breastfeeding
Before I get into the things you can do while breastfeeding, I want to take a quick minute to address the elephant in the room. For many moms, it’s easy to feel some mom guilt about multitasking while nursing.
Let go of it. Take time to connect with your baby, then rest in the knowledge that it is enough. It’s okay to take a mental break and do something else while you nurse.
Remember, you’re an awesome mom and you’re doing amazing!
1. Make a shopping list
One of the simplest things to do while breastfeeding is to write down a shopping list. Maybe this is a list of things you need to pick up at the store, or maybe it’s an Amazon wish list of things you’d like to get.
Whether it’s of necessity or for personal pleasure, writing down a shopping list is a great way to use the time you’re nursing.
Taking the time to create a list can help you plan effectively. And you’ll probably save money by having a list to follow!
2. Order groceries
While you’re making a shopping list, why not go ahead and order a grocery pickup or delivery as well?
Recently I’ve been doing a lot of grocery pickup from our local Walmart. It saves me a lot of time, and helps us stay in budget.
If you’re at all worried about picking up groceries, let me put you at ease. I’ve had excellent experiences with grocery pickup.
I’ve always been happy with the quality of the produce, the substitutions for any out of stock items are usually great (or just say no thanks!). There has only ever been one time my pickup got messed up, and it was quickly fixed and I got a free gift card out of it.
Alternatively, you can also order groceries and have them delivered right to your door. Many grocery stores now offer this option.
3. Meal plan
I know, another food related task—bear with me!
Meal planning is an simple task you can easily do while you’re nursing your baby. Take a few minutes to plan out and write down what you will have for meals for the week.
Personally, I like to pick a meal for each day up through my next weekly shopping trip. Most days I make the meal I picked for that day, but sometimes I switch them around as needed.
Don’t feel like you are locked into your meal plan. It’s okay to switch things around to meet your needs on a given day, or do something different entirely.
However, having meals planned out saves a lot of time and stress later on! It can also save you a lot of money by reducing extra shopping trips and reducing the number of emergency fast food trips.
4. Read a book
If you’re around here for any amount of time, you’ll probably quickly figure out that I’m a big reader. In fact, I really think it’s essential for moms to read at least a little every day.
Reading does so much for us, and has so many different benefits. Of course, most of us are also pressed for time, and so there is often little time for reading.
Why not sit back, relax, and read a book while breastfeeding your baby? This can be a great time to slow down, and make time for reading.
If you feel like you can’t hold a book at the same time or don’t enjoy reading, why not try an audio book? Audio books are a great way to get some hands free reading in, and are especially good for audio learners.
You can easily get audiobooks through Amazon’s Audible membership. Audible allows you to listen to thousands of audiobooks for a small monthly fee.
Playing an audiobook or reading out loud is also a great way to expose your baby to words and voice inflection, which will eventually help your baby learn to talk quicker.
5. Practice mindfulness
Recently I’ve been reading the book Breathe, Mama, Breathe. Focused on simple ways busy moms can take time to be more mindful and present, it’s a great book to help you slow down and truly enjoy the moment.
Why not use a nursing session as a time to meditate and reconnect with your body and baby?
I’ll be honest, this is not something I excel at. But it’s something I’m working on, and I think most of us can improve on this area of our lives.
We tend to spend too much time being busy, and not enough time being present.
Take this opportunity to set aside everything else, and reconnect. How are you feeling right now? Can you release some of the tension you’re holding in your body?
What about your baby—how does he/she seem to be doing? Is your baby relaxed and content, or does something seem to be bothering him/her?
Even if you don’t spend the entire nursing session practicing mindfulness, it’s a good time to slow down and evaluate how you’re doing.
6. Create a to do list
Of course, even the most mindful and present of us still have things that need to be done. Instead of worrying about all the things you need to accomplish, why not take the time to organize a to do list to keep you on track?
Writing down a to do list is another easy task you can do with just one hand. Or, if you already have a list, take the time to check in with it and see how you’re doing.
While I like to check things off my list, sometimes I get going and forget to mark things off. So, periodically I sit down and really look at my list. Is there anything I forgot to check off? Has anything else come up that needs to be added to it?
Use this time to check in and see how your day is going. Once your baby is done nursing, you can adjust your day as needed to help you be more productive.
7. Plan your day/week
While having a to do list is a good start, I also like to loosely plan out my day and week.
Having an idea of what needs to be completed helps me get more done. And having a solid plan for when I should do each task helps me stay moving and getting things done.
While you’re sitting and breastfeeding your baby, use a planner to assign tasks to different days of the week. Avoid assigning too many tasks to one day.
8. Catch up on a show
All work and no play makes for a very unhappy mama. At least that’s true for me!
A lot of pressure is put on moms to get a lot of things done and be super productive. But it’s just as important to take time to relax and do something fun.
When your baby needs to nurse is a great time to kick back and catch up on your favorite show. Who knows, the sound might even provide some needed background noise to help your baby fall asleep once you’re done!
9. Grab a snack and drink water
I don’t know about you, but I know it was really hard for me to remember to regularly eat and drink while I was breastfeeding. Especially in the beginning!
However, it’s important to eat regularly and drink sufficiently to help keep up your milk supply.
I found that the easiest way for me to remember to drink water was to drink at least a little bit after every nursing session.
It’s a good idea to keep some water and a few easy snacks within easy reach of where you like to nurse your baby.
10. Read emails
I know I always have a million emails waiting for me in my inbox. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration.
Point being, checking emails and notifications is an easy task you can do whenever you get bored while nursing.
While I don’t recommend spending a ton of time mindlessly scrolling through social media, checking in and reading a few emails is a useful task.
Just try to avoid doing it every single time you sit down to breastfeed.
11. Connect with your family
It’s no secret that staying connected with family can be more difficult once you add a baby to the mix. And yet, it catches so many of us by surprise.
Whether it’s with your spouse or other family, take this time to connect with your family. This time where you’re forced to sit still while your baby nurses is a great time to refocus on the people that matter most.
Maybe that means having a meaningful conversation with your spouse. Or, maybe it means calling your parents or siblings.
Whether you talk directly, call, or connect via social media, keeping healthy relationships takes time and intentional effort. Use some of this time to slow down and make that effort.
12. Connect with your baby
While you’re at it, take some time to connect with your baby!
It’s easy to fall into two camps: focusing all your time and attention on your baby, or feeling distracted and always having your focus elsewhere even as you care for baby.
Instead, strive to find the middle ground. It’s okay if breastfeeding is boring to you, and you have times where you want to do other things. But avoid checking out every time you sit down to nurse.
Make eye contact with your baby. Even newborns are able to see your face while nursing, despite their poorer eyesight.
13. Sing or talk to your baby
Another great way to spend your breastfeeding time is to sing or talk to your baby. Not only is this a great way to connect with your baby, but it also has developmental benefits too.
The more you sing or talk to your baby, the more likely they are to pick up words faster. It’s worth a shot, and at the very least it will help you avoid boredom.
This will also give your baby the opportunity to hear your voice. Simple as it is, it helps comfort your baby just to hear you.
14. Learn something new
If you’re still craving something more entertaining to do, you might try learning something new during your breastfeeding sessions.
You can easily learn things by reading books or articles. It’s also a good time to practice vocabulary if you’re learning a new language, or anything else you need to memorize.
Okay, this one might sound impossible to do while breastfeeding your baby. However, there are plenty of simple exercises you can do while nursing.
Arm curls (one at a time) and leg lifts are just some things you can do. You might also work on kegels, which you can easily do while sitting.
You’d can also work in quite a few stretches. All of this is a great way to strengthen and mobilize your body, even when you’re stuck in a nursing chair.
Getting things done while nursing your baby
I know it can be frustrating to be stuck in a chair nursing for so many hours when you have a baby. Even if you try alternative breastfeeding positions, it’s still a lot of time spend nursing your baby.
Instead of getting frustrated at all the things that aren’t getting done, be patient with yourself. Give yourself plenty of grace.
Things will eventually get done, but you’ll never get these days back with your baby. Enjoy it as much as you can, and let yourself redefine your productivity to include this important time.
And when you inevitably have times when you’re just so bored, try a few of these tasks to help you get a few things done. Remember, it’s okay to not enjoy every moment, and it’s okay to do something for yourself at the same time.
You’re doing great, mama!