Entertaining a Toddler While Breastfeeding a Newborn

I cannot begin to tell you how excited we are about the 100 or so amazing questions submitted to our article, What Breastfeeding Topics Would You Like to Know More About?  From inquiries about breastfeeding after reduction surgery to dealing with a teething infant, our blog calendar is now FULL for the rest of the year, just answering your questions!  YAY!!! 

For the rest of the year, Thursday will be the day we delve into our readers’ questions, adding to our series, Help A Breastfeeding Mama Out!  We will also answer your questions on our ‘Ask the Experts’ segment on The Boob Group online radio show.


Here is our question of the week:

I would love to learn more about nursing a second baby with a toddler running around. I remember how hard it was with C and how it consumed everything for the first couple weeks getting my daughter to latch, and nurse, and stay awake to nurse...and I am due in October when C will be two and the thought of doing that with her running around terrifies me. Any tips?


Dear Alicia,

Absolutely!  I remember like it was yesterday bringing home my newborn from the hospital and introducing him to his 15 month old brother.  Those first few weeks were a whirlwind, trying to figure out breastfeeding again and trying to entertain my toddler, whose world had just been turned upside down.


Tips for Entertaining a Toddler While Breastfeeding a Newborn


Tip #1: Enlist all family members and friends to come hang out with your 2 year old as much as possible.  It can be a difficult transition for an older child when a new baby arrives, so we tried to make sure that our older son had lots of attention in the beginning.  Let’s just say that Ben went to the park, the zoo, and the grandparent’s house quite often those first few weeks after his brother was born, which left me many hours to work on breastfeeding and get to know my new little one. 


Tip #2: Have a box of special toys that can only be played with when you are nursing your newborn.  My son was so excited to pull out these new exciting trains, books, and cars whenever I sat down to nurse.  I could see his face light up as I pulled out this box several times a day.  I also included small snacks in this box….ones that he could eat on his own.


Tip #3: Learn to nurse in a carrier, wrap, or sling as soon as possible.  This was an absolute lifesaver.  Let’s be honest….even with a new baby in the house, the older child (or children) still run the show J  So, I learned very early on to nurse my younger son in the ergo…at the park, at the zoo, on a walk, etc.  Then I was hands-free to make sure that Ben didn’t slip through the cracks on the playground’s play structure, all while nursing my younger infant.  It was awesome!


Here are some fantastic tips from a few of our Facebook followers:

From Nubia: puzzles : ) coloring, reading. If nothing works, their favorite tv show.

From Andrea: reading books, singing songs, talking about what you're going to do with your toddler whilethe  baby naps, give them a snack too!

From Beverly: Snacks, story time, flash card app on the cell phone

From Crystal: Cell phone!! The kid loves angry birds...hehe!

From Amber: Hand them a tampon in the wrapper. No joke. Entertainment for a good 20 minutes!

From Chrissy: Have a special basket of things they get only when mommy breastfeeds...give that time to your toddler to help make them feel special..read them their favorite story, or sing them some songs..bring out some instruments and have fun! It’s also beneficial to your nursing little one to hear you reading that story or singing those songs. You could also have some sensory bottles...look them up online. You can make an ocean bottle and various noise maker bottles with different textured things in water bottles that they can shake up and look at or use as instruments

From Ariel: I love reading books to my toddler while I nurse. When I'm in a pinch, sesame street on youtube is actually quite fun, too. But I always try to go for the books first! :)


Lastly, here are a few articles and podcasts discussing this exact topic:




Thanks so much for your question, Alicia!