Parenting isn’t easy, and parenting infants is twice as hard.
Your little one has energy levels that would intimidate professional athletes. So how can you focus on work when your baby demands your attention?
Remote jobs make it easier, and if planned right, there are plenty of perks of working from home. You get to save money on childcare, earn a good salary, and spend time with your child, all in one go.
Here’s how to make it work.
How to work from home with a newborn (0-4 months)
Breastfeeding a newborn might seem like a cycle of sleeplessness. But newborns spend a lot of their time sleeping, leaving you with hours of uninterrupted work time and the quietest you’ll have as a parent working from home.
You need to be flexible and adapt to your baby’s schedule; think of how you can work smarter, not harder. It’s the only way you’ll get good at juggling your career while managing your baby duties. But where to start?
Use a baby wrap
Even as a working parent, you’ll want to cuddle your baby as much as possible. Not just because you and your little one love this, it also calms babies into sleeping better.
Wear your baby close around your body in a sling or wrap with their head supported, and work standing up. It’ll whip your muscles back in shape while keeping the two of you close together in parent-baby bliss.
💪🏼 Pro tip: Set a timer every 30 minutes to stretch your spine. Aim for a 30-60 second back arch to maintain lower back health.
Use a rocker
Placing your baby in a bassinet or rocker close to your desk will give your back a break and let you keep a close eye on them while you work from home.
(You also won’t miss out on those adorable yawns, stretches, and sleepy blinks when they wake up wanting snuggles.)
💪🏼 Pro tip: Get a rocker you can move with your feet. It helps you create healthy lower leg circulation while freeing your hands to type or write.
Work between nap time
Most newborn babies are deep sleepers, sleeping up to 18 hours a day, which means they’re only awake for around six hours, with each nap lasting three to five.
As work-at-home parents, nap time is great to plan your work day around so you can get your work done while your little one is fast asleep.
💪🏼 Pro tip: Put your phone on silent or vibrate mode. You don’t want a sudden phone call waking up your baby—thus destroying your work schedule.
If your partner is also a stay-at-home parent, manage your time reasonably so you both get things done. For example, split up baby chores like feeding time and nappy duty, so each of you can have an efficient work week.
💪🏼 Pro tip: Use a printed calendar to mark your duty days visibly. You can even colour code if it helps.
Working from home with an infant (4-12 months)
Babies constantly listen and learn, but you’ll find them becoming much more responsive between four months to a year old. Of course, no parent wants to miss landmark early developments like burbling, eye contact, waving, or generally being super adorable. But it’s possible to juggle productive work days with their growing cuteness.
Use their nap time
Babies from 4 to 12 months sleep for up to 16 hours daily. They’re also likely to take 2-3 naps of 4-5 hours each throughout the day. Their nap time gives you plenty of quiet hours to plan and finish your daily workload.
💪🏼 Pro-tip: Take some recharge time for yourself too. Read a book, watch a movie, paint, or play an instrument. Remember: you need some time to rest and refresh too.
Invest in a baby swing
Few things in life are more joyful to infants than being steadily rocked, bounced, or swayed. So investing in a baby bouncer is perfect, especially when it’s full of toys to keep them occupied.
Keep the bouncer close to your work desk so you can talk to your little one every time you look up from your spreadsheet. They’ll feel comforted by your closeness while having a great time playing.
💪🏼 Pro tip: Try playing soft music while they play. Not only will it stimulate them, but it’s also your chance to introduce your baby to your favourite music.
Consider a little child care
Daycare is an expensive option and contrary to your purpose of being a stay-at-home parent. However, opting for a nanny or babysitter to come over for a few hours can help you focus on work. The best time to have a sitter over is for playtime and a nap, giving you uninterrupted work time.
💪🏼 Pro-tip: Ask family members if they’d like to volunteer. Teenage nieces and nephews are great at keeping your little one occupied, creating deeper family bonds while helping socialise your child from an early age.
Create a play area
Keep a playpen or activity mat beside your desk with their favourite toys and baby pillows. This way, your baby can talk to you, watch you, and play while you get work done.
💪🏼 Pro tip: Don’t worry about baby chatter distracting you from work. Most parents get used to it pretty fast.
Work at home with a toddler (1 – 3 years)
Toddlerhood has many developmental milestones, i.e. things children do by a certain age. Smiling, learning to walk, waving bye – these are giant leaps of growth for your child.
As they start exhibiting more independent behaviour, your little one also expects much more attention from a home parent.
So what does juggling toddler time look like when working from home?
Set up matching workstations
Children learn by mimicking adults. A great way to encourage your toddler’s independence is to set up their ‘office’ next to yours so you can ‘work’ together.
Your child can scribble, build or play dough while you get your real work done and let them feel they’re also ‘going to the office’ with you.
💪🏼 Pro tip: Don’t feel guilty about asking your toddler to play alone for half an hour. Solo time helps them learn how to entertain themselves and helps develop their imagination.
Use the Pomodoro technique
This time management technique developed in the 80s by Francesco Cirillo involves working in 25-minute cycles broken by 5-minute breaks, set on a timer.
It’s great to deploy this in your home office, where you and your toddler ‘work’ together. Take break intervals to praise what your child has created at their workstation. Don’t forget to give them a big hug to reinforce good behaviour.
💪🏼 Pro-tip: Childproof your workspace and your toddler’s play area; this supports their freedom to play safely or wander while you’re working.
Reach out for support
Your colleagues at work are more likely to support you when you reach out and ask for it. So don’t hesitate to ask your team to cut you some slack when needed. You can sign off early on zoom calls, for example, to attend to your toddler, and no one will mind.
💪🏼 Pro-tip: Find colleagues who are also working from home parents. Create a support group for home moms or stay-at-home dads so you can fill in for each other from time to time if possible.
Take breaks together
Make sure you take regular breaks to recharge and spend quality time with your child. You can walk around the block together, roll them along in a baby carrier, or even spend some reading time together on a couch.
💪🏼 Pro-tip: Before any activity ends, give your toddler notice with a countdown. Fifteen minutes, five minutes, and maybe just two minutes prior. Using a timer to end playtime gradually helps avoid tears because of a sudden end to the good time they were having.
General tips for the work-at-home parent
While you might be very new to the challenges of working from home as a new parent, with some time and adjustments, you can really start to enjoy it.
A home office lets you have more family time with no hours wasted on a daily commute. You’re all set to go with just a few more tips on working from home with kids, like:
Lists are your friends
Make lists of all the work tasks you need to do in a day, and schedule your week ahead so you’re not overwhelmed with unstructured workflow.
You can even have plan Bs ready for essential goals overcoming unexpected obstacles, like having a family member on call or backing up your data on a separate drive.
Groove to technology
You can download mobile friendly apps to work on the go from your kitchen, baby play area, or anywhere else in the house. Flexibility is everything for working moms and dads.
Get comfortable with using dictation software so you’ve got your hands free to mix purees, put away toys, or even bounce your restless baby. Check out the best productivity tools for working from home to make the best of your day.
Work while breastfeeding
When breastfeeding, it’s easy to use a Bluetooth headpiece to play the speech audio of a report you need to read or even take a conference call.
And if you pump breast milk, consider using a hands-free machine that lets you work while pumping to reach supermom levels of efficiency.
Adapt to your child’s daily schedule
Don’t be hesitant to work at odd hours. The superpower of a remote job is that you can define the work hours that work best for you.
With a baby, early mornings are often the most peaceful time to focus and finish important tasks. That way you can even take a power nap when your child is taking one too.
Work from home job opportunities
Now that you know working from home with a baby is possible, beneficial, and even enjoyable, what kind of work can you do as a home parent?
Writers are always in demand. You can offer to proofread or ghostwrite for publications who need your skills or become a freelance copywriter. Once you start writing, it could even lead to you publishing your own book.
Check your local and national publications for openings, and round up a deep search for online jobs by finding sites, forums, and companies that offer such open positions.
With the spread of the internet, the demand for virtual teachers has risen significantly, especially for international students learning new languages. You can check for virtual teaching jobs online for a language you are fluent in or look for online teaching opportunities in other subjects.
If you’re bilingual, there are many opportunities for you to use your dual-language skills for websites, businesses, and organisations. Look up transcription jobs online and check out the varied requirements from which you can earn a reliable income. You could be transcribing a police report one day or a scholarly paper the next. The hours you set to work are entirely your own.
If you’re talented with a needle and thread, work will always be waiting for you. Many local boutiques, bridal wear shops, mend and repair places, and dry cleaners are always on the lookout for people who can stitch or embroider.
Most of this work is seasonal or contractual. You can set your own hours as you work remotely, and if it’s something you already enjoy doing – that’s icing on the cake.
Since you’re already home watching your child, why not earn a reliable income as a babysitter for working parents? You’re credible in your neighbourhood as a bonafide stay-at-home parent, so you’re in a good position to plan and start a small local creche.
Offer competitive rates for your childcare service. Plan a space where your little one can enjoy meeting other toddlers while hanging out with you.
You could also work from home as a remote customer support representative. Remote service is a fast-growing global industry hiring people worldwide for full- or part-time work in customer service. A distance learning program for how to become a certified customer service professional can help you land this kind of job fast.
Remote customer support lets you hit that sweet spot of work-life balance while earning fair wages too. You just need a laptop and a headset, and you’re good to go. The Cocoroco platform connects you to remote customer service work opportunities with international brands looking for high quality talent.
Million dollar baby
You have what it takes to spend time with your kids, pay attention to your needs, and earn money while you’re at it. With a little bit of scheduling, and adapting to your child’s needs, you’ll do just fine.
Just remember to be kind to yourself and ditch any unnecessary guilt. It isn’t possible to spend all your time with your kids, for example. You shouldn’t beat yourself up for carving out some time for yourself, your professional growth, and your mental health.
Just keep these final tips in mind:
- Stay realistic. Do what has to be done, dump what doesn’t
- Combine work and baby: like breastfeeding with soft work
- Include me-time: with your family, going out, and rest.
Your baby’s needs will always come first. As their stay-at-home parent, they’ll need you for everything: waking up, feeding and baths, diaper changes, nap cuddles, and all the burbling baby-talk.
But believe it or not, whether you’re parenting a newborn, infant, or toddler, you can carve some time out for working from home.
All it needs is a little juggling of your work schedule, keeping flexible work hours, and your ability to adapt.
Cocoroco works for you
At Cocoroco, we believe remote working unlocks the world’s talent potential. With limitless remote customer service job opportunities, people are free to work to the best of their ability from whatever part of the globe they live in.
Why should you have to report to an office halfway around the city, country, or world when you can work remotely?
We launched our platform to connect high-quality talent the world over with international brands without having you leave the comfort of your home.
We believe in job security and fair wages for all. Therefore, any job you get on the Cocoroco platform comes with a guaranteed contract and compliant hiring.
Remote customer service also ensures you have a better work-life balance and more family time with your loved ones while earning a reliable income.
Then why wait? Be a part of the global revolution and check out what we’ve got for you.
Kickstart your remote career by registering now and finding cool jobs at Cocoroco.