Baby Prep 101: Entertaining a Sibling While Breastfeeding

I am anticipating that sharing my attention is going to be a real adjustment for Immy when the baby arrives. Although she is pretty good at playing independently when I am busy with chores, I am sure that giving the bub attention is going to be a whole different story (a bit like when I am talking on the phone!)

In preparation for needing time to feed the baby (which I can recall often taking quite a long time with a newborn!) I have been stocking up on quiet activities for Immy to do either independently or sitting with us as I feed. So far I have collected;

  • A set of tiny Care Bear figurines: Immy has recently discovered the Care Bears and I know she is going to love these. I am also thinking that when things settle down a little we will be able to make a little Care-a-Lot play scene as home for the Care Bears
  • Activity books: Simple dot-to-dots and mazes
  • A new felt/flannel board story set
  • The latest issue of Big Kids Magazine (Treasure Maps), a unique, creative arts magazine that features kids art side by side with that of adult artists. Immy really enjoyed the first issue (which was a sell out) and I loved that it generated lots of art talk and provides a springboard for creative projects all of one’s own

  • Sparkle World kids magazine: Immy loves ‘reading’ magazines and completing the puzzles and activities
  • A couple of Tinkerbell and Friends chapter books to read with my fairy lover
  • A new-to-us DVD
  • A couple of new audio stories loaded onto the iPod
  • A simple sewing activity that I have prepared and will share in future post

My plan is to ‘wrap’ each activity in a brown paper bag dressed up with stickers or stamps and then I will let Immy discover one whenever I feel she needs a little constructive distraction 🙂

Obviously these activities are most suited to Immy, her age and play preferences, but I hope they provide other expectant parents with ideas for collecting their own stash of quiet play activities in preparation for the downtime needed to feed a newborn!



  1. This is so great. I am expecting my second child in September. I’m not sure how old Immy is but by your activities, she sounds a little bit older than my daughter who is 27 months. It will be fun coming up with activities for her like this! Such a great idea. Thank you for sharing, and congrats on your pregnancy!
    btw, that magazine looks terrific!!

  2. Very nice idea!!
    I she is anything like my son she will end up sitting across from you breastfeeding a Teddy bear 🙂

  3. just as Sonia said !! she’ll be right there beside you, probably feeding her baby and asking a million questions about when she was a baby 🙂 With my 2nd, he was a super fast feeder from day dot – no time to get comfy and snuggle up for a feed anyway – nothing like the 1st one, where feeding took forever 🙂

  4. Excellent ideas. Way more organised than I was!

    Mostly we just do ‘reading and feeding time’. SP (2 1/2) loves to snuggle up nice and close, and doesn’t seem to mind too much when the story is interrupted for re-positioning etc.

  5. Margaret Elvis says:

    You can also make Immy a part of feed time by asking her to bring a clean nappy, or some water for you to drink and little things like that. Then she will feel she belongs to the whole feeding time scene. Your mum was 26 months when I had Steve and there was never a problem with her so I doubt you will have problems as you are always so well organised and Immy is older than that. Thinking of you all the time. xxx

  6. Lots of great ideas here! I also found that I could do a lot of reading to my olders while breastfeeding. If I sat in a chair and the older children were positioned so they were not on top of the baby, it was wonderful, lengthy, quiet reading time and my littlest breastfeeding baby got lots of early language that way to boot!

  7. It sounds you are prepared Super Mama! I’m going to check out both of those kids magazine you mentioned, I had not heard of them before!

  8. I was blessed with a much smaller gap and in the early days when number 2 was less distractible all baby up time had to be active play time for my toddler – quiet time was for naps and tv for settling because his brother put sleeping like a baby to shame. For his second birthday my big boy got a mini-tramp from BigW – he could burn crazy toddler energy but stay in one place. Dancing shows were great too with his brother watching and ‘clapping’ and building a bond once the feed was over.
    Later on (way too quickly) when feeds were over once bubba heard his brother’s voice I had to feed during meal time when food in a lunchbox packed earlier kept some quiet! Reality is that most calories went in to #2 during excessive (for me) night feeds and nature says that’s fine – our bodies are amazing even sleep deprived.
    We all feel like we know you – and as soon as your baby arrives you will understand that this is Immy’s baby too and sibling loyalty begins.

  9. OOOhhh I wrote a post about this!!! I did!!! You are such a genius for even thinking about it!!! I never did and my first born ran riot up and down the house… crazy times!!! As you sit down to nurse junior would launch to the furthest end of the house and become “deaf”!!! First thing was to shut the door of the room we were in so that at least we were together!!! Here’s the post and I am so looking forward to meeting your new little person!!! (

  10. Excellent ideas! I’m going to do this!
    How is this working out for you now that little one has already arrived?

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