Here’s a not-so-well kept secret: Brand new babies need to eat. Some babies breastfeed quite frequently. Some babies take awhile to nurse. That’s fine. There’s no way to predict it and no way to really change it, so it’s best to go with the flow.
So, that leaves time mom is sitting on the couch, or in the rocker, or lying in bed with a baby who is eating, right? To some moms, this is a bad thing– it’s “unproductive time”. I challenge you to look at it differently: It’s productive time! So here are some things you can actually do while you feed your baby:
1) Watch a TV show- It doesn’t matter if you have straight TV, cable, Roku, Netflix, DVDs, whatever, find a TV show and start watching. With my first, it was Felicity. With my second, it was Gilmore Girls. A mom at Mama Cafe has been binge-watching The West Wing. Fine! Great! When else in your life will you ever have an excuse to do such a thing? Answer? Never. So go for it!
2) Catch up on phone calls- I work from home in the afternoons. The phones roll over from the office, so if I get a work-related call, it can be tricky; my kids are older, very talkative, and LOUD. But back in the day when they were babies, if the phone rang and they got fussy– I’d just start nursing. Or, if I was settling in for a feeding, I’d grab the phone, my to-do list, and start calling people. Win all around!
3) Read to older siblings- Siblings can feel left out when a new baby comes. So, while the baby is busy being fed, find a book (or a game) that you can read to the sibling(s). Everyone’s needs are met. Done!
4) Baby grooming- OK, so you might think this is crazy (until you have kids are you find yourself doing just this), but while babies are nursing is a GREAT time to pick out eye crusties, ear wax, and even–wait for it- trim fingernails by tearing them with your teeth. Yep. I said it.
5) Social media- Tweeting and Facebook extensively while breastfeeding is totally acceptable.
6) Be at Mama Cafe- Even if you don’t have a question, being with other moms is very important as your life changes. If you do have questions, we’re happy to help, and our other moms certainly have wisdom to share. And if you have to pee, we’re happy to hold your baby so you can go to the bathroom all by yourself. And trust us, as moms, it’s a rare moment to get to go without someone else bugging you. So Mama Cafe. Tuesdays. Be there.
7) Walk around- Once you have breastfeeding figured out and your baby is a little older, you can find carriers that work well with breastfeeding. I’ll never forget the time my sister was visiting with my small nephew and we were out at the mall and he got hungry. She just adjusted her Ergo, opened up her tank top, and zipped her light sweater around herself and the baby and we just kept walking. Nobody could see anything, her baby was happy, and she could keep going and safely feed her baby.
If I missed any good ideas, leave it in the comments below!