The following are some shared ideas from our mother community, for keeping older siblings occupied while you tend to baby…..
Puzzles, drawing, reading, or a DVD.
Sit next to mum with a book. A friend used to pack a lunchbox of snacks for her toddler and give that to her whenever she needed to feed bubs
If they are anything like mine, let them help you by doing something, like stacking the blocks or putting something away
TV!! The wiggles specifically… I tried special toys, reading… Everything. In the end it was the wiggles that kept all three of us tear free. However, now with number 3 the older two play together and it’s 1000 times easier (sometimes they fight or do things they know they aren’t supposed to though).
Have a little pack of ‘special’ items that only come out at times you’re occupied with the baby. Things like new colouring books, stickers etc worked really well. Also, have little containers of food and drinks prepared in the fridge so if your older children get hungry or thirsty they can get them.
My Midwife suggested making A Special Box for my daughter to put a couple of toys in and when I’m breastfeeding her sister, she brings out the box.
Drawing, writing, & treasure hunts for things outside i.e. 2 daisies, a feather, a purple stone etc
If I’m changing a nappy I get my 3 year to help… it’s usually just to make the baby smile… which keeps them both occupied so I can do the business… or to run and get me a nappy or wipes or whatever. When I’m feeding I put cartoons on or she holds a book up and I read it to her.
Reading a favorite story, work’s good.
DVDs!!!! No amount of special boxes or drawing was going to keep my (then) 20 month old not tantruming for 40 minutes when I fed his newborn sister. And if he sat next to me, even cuddling in, he’d poke his sister in the face or try to shove her away for MONTHS. He loved her, but did not want to share Mummy!
Have to say TV/DVD’s…. my daughter wasn’t interested in special toys and would help but there is only so much a 2 year old can help with before causing more chaos! The hardest is getting the oldest to not do something they are not supposed to do when you are breastfeeding. It’s easier now that my son feeds for 10 minutes but he used to take an hour and I was dealing with reflux so constant crying and my eldest whining was not a good combination! Having friends take her for a few hours also helps!
My kids (2 and 3.5) pretty much entertain themselves, breastfeeding and nappy changing are just normal parts of the day.
a little baby with a wrap and a bottle so they can do what your doing being the mummy/ daddy to there baby (kids love pretend play)… or have them help get nappies wipes even send them off to get you things you don’t need and praise them so they really feel part of it and they’ll want to help then too.. Or if you need to take your eyes off them TV for smaller kids anything with music usually works hi5 wiggles etc… Failing that food works
Explaining first to them whatever the age why you need them to give you some space. Food, Water and a really good DVD on helps
Reading story while feeding is a nice way to involve older sibling
DVD’s and a lunch box of snacks, also a water or drink in the fridge low down where they can reach