Keeping Your Older Child Engaged During Nursing



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Keep your older child engaged while you nurse your baby!

Nursing or feeding your infant is a special bonding time. A moment to really see your baby and notice all their perfect imperfections. It’s an important time for just the two of you, a time to be really present. If you have an older child though, it can be the hardest time to stay present. You may be experiencing different feelings around this situation as well. Maybe you are worried you will miss out on this important time with your infant, or maybe you are worried your older child will feel left out. These emotions are normal and you may just need a little creativity to solve this problem.

The Nursing Box

A “nursing box” is a great way to keep everyone occupied and happy!

A nursing box can consist of some special toys and games that only come out during feeding time. This helps keep it special so that your older child can look forward to this time. You can keep them in any type of box or bag, in a place that is easily accessible, close to where you typically nurse your baby. This way you can easily set it up for your older child as you go to feed your baby.

You will want to include toys that your older child can do alone or that only require you to use one hand. Some examples include books, play figures, puzzles and coloring books. Use toys that your child enjoys while keeping them unique to the nursing box. Your older child may want something to eat or drink as well so be sure to have a healthy snack available.

Keep in mind that nothing works all of the time, and sometimes feeding time may be complete chaos.  It may also be a time where everyone takes a quiet break. A time to tell a story, listen to music or just cuddle.  Resorting to the television from time to time may be necessary also, even if it is not your favorite choice. On the days that the nursing box does work, you can feel good knowing your older child is engaged while you enjoy moments with your baby.

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