Thursday, March 14, 2013

Things to do with Toddler while on Maternity Leave

Things to do with a toddler while on maternity leave. Or the first couple of months while your life has been turned upside down. For me, it's maternity leave, because after 3 months I {unfortunately} have to go back to work. For you, it may be longer. It may be shorter.

But the million dollar question here is... how do you keep them entertained. Busy. Pre-occupied. Out of trouble and still soaking in vital lessons in life. Learning.

The thing about bringing a second baby home while you have another little one at home is that you have to now figure out how to please all. And do it like you've mastered this skill for years.

We're good at that you know. Us moms. Looking like we have it all together.
So here is a list of a few things that help us get through our days, keep us all busy, and still have fun while cooped up in the middle of winter with a fresh new little tiny baby.

1. Finger Painting. I did a post on this with two recipes that we have tried. Overall, this is one of the easiest activities to whip up and it's a great way to keep the little one busy. My only suggestion is making sure to keep the surrounding area "covered." Especially if you have a needy newborn on your hands and one that is stuck in your arms. You never know when you may need to do a feeding and the toddler may take that opportunity to "finger paint" your couch. Although this didn't happen to us, it was something I feared.

2. Build a Fort. This one took me a few weeks before I figured out how fun and exciting this would actually be. Might I mention easy? We used our dining room chairs, a white {king size} sheet, and the middle of our living room to set up shop. Elliana carried all her stuffed animals in there, climbed in and out, and even tried to take a nap with a blanket and pillow. It makes for a good picture too.

3. Go Outside. Weather permitting. Honestly, we were out there when it was 30 degrees at time. The baby bundled up like a bear {as well as the toddler}. The fresh air is so nice. Elliana loves to be outdoors, even if it's only for half an hour. I would say here to go on walks {weather permitting} and even the park {weather permitting}. Once it warmed up a bit, we were at the park in a second flat {well, minus the part where it takes a million years to get everyone ready}. Sometimes more than once a day. GO OUTSIDE. It will feel so good to get out.

4. Glue stick and construction paper. Never fails. Craft time at any time of day and essential for keeping the toddler preoccupied. Might I add, happy.

5. Bake Cookies. It's such a fun thing to do with the toddler. And so easy. We make all our cookies from scratch, however I can't hate on the break-n-bake as those are sooo delicious. Elliana loves to crack the eggs, add the chocolate chips, mix all the ingredients, and roll them into balls. It's fun for her and not to mention it's tasty for the mama.

6. Have them read to you/read to them during feeding. Have them bring in their favorite stuffed animal and pretend to read to them. Have "story time" with all their baby dolls.

7. Get a baby doll, girl moms. This is great for them as they love to pretend to be mommy. Here is their mama catering to another little baby and they mimic us every chance they get. So get them a doll. I promise you will laugh as you watch them try to "breastfeed" and change diapers and rock them in the swing. It will also melt your heart.

8. Painting. Painting is so much fun. I just whipped out my craft box {no, I am not a crafter}, and took out the little paint bottles and sponges, taped some paper to her easel, and let her go at it. I had fun with it myself.

9. Dance Party in the living room. I can't tell you how many times we did this. And still do this. It's our "winding down" hour, i like to say. Ironic, right. But usually it's that last 30 minutes before Andrew comes home and the whole fam is just antsy to have him walk through the door. So. Baby in my hands, toddler with her favorite new boots on, and the pandora playing on the bose, is the best concoction for a dance party. My favorite playlist? Bieber. And I'm not even a bieber fan!

10. Fun in the tub... the make up tub. If all else fails, throw on a bathing suit and a big tub full of water, place it in your living room, and have an indoor pool party. Do I even need to explain this one? Just make sure you have lots, and I mean lots, of towels around to catch the crazy amounts of water. Which reminds me, DO NOT fill to the top. Or even close. How else will you get the thing out of your living room? P.S. I feel like I should add a disclaimer here... please do not try this at home... in fear of toddlers spilling all the water in the middle of the living room causing damage.

Elliana would say... "Whoops"


  1. These are great ideas! I'm having my second baby at the end of May and I'll be keeping my 3 year old at home with me 3 days/week, so all of these ideas will be wonderful! Thanks!


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