Must-Read Tips for Working from home with a newborn – Modern Work at Home Mom

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Working from home with a newborn can be a challenge. Here are some tips and space-saving workspace ideas to help make life a little easier! Let me tell you right now. YOU CAN DO IT. Let me show you how!


Working from home with a newborn

Work at home with kids - 7 simple ways to watch your kids when you work from home Looking to work at home with a baby and with toddlers? These are my top tips to work at home with young kids. I work from home with toddler and a baby and want to share my work at home hacks with you. You can also check out my work from home printable and home organization free printables. I also offer a free template that shares my work from home mom routine.
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I have several new mom friends that just had babies and are in the middle of maternity leave. The conversation that keeps coming up is “I know I need to find a daycare, but it’s just so hard!”

I went through this same decision-making process.

Are you there? Having a newborn and transitioning to working from home with a newborn?

Grab a coffee and let’s chat about it!



Enjoy your maternity leave

Whether you actually get a real maternity leave, or you are just enjoying those first few weeks at home with a baby + normal schedule, let me tell you. Maternity leave is hard.

Why does no one talk about that?

One day when I was on maternity leave a few years ago, I woke up in a panic.

I felt like I was wasting it.

I just had my second child and am in the throws of a glorious HARD maternity leave.

Leading up to this time, I did so much planning – and preparing – and couldn’t wait for the “lazy days” of enjoying my new baby – and not working.

We are also doing a house renovation, and I just thought “I will spend all day napping and going to Home Goods!” FALSE

Your “break” is hardly full of resting and having free time. It is exhausting, emotional, unraveling, and just plain hard.

But, the first thing I’d encourage you to do is try to hold on to little moments. Hold your baby and think “I have you here now. That’s what’s important.

Start with your time now, and find tiny ways to enjoy it. (Don’t spend all your time looking for childcare!) When you look back, you will miss that time with your baby.

To get my full list of ways to enjoy your maternity leave, check out this post here!

Working from home with a newborn can be a challenge. Here are some tips and space-saving workspace ideas to help make life a little easier! Let me tell you right now. YOU CAN DO IT. Let me show you how!

Ways To Save Time And Still Get Stuff Done

The key to going back to work while having a baby is a mindset shift. No longer will you and your husband have a nice quiet evening together. No longer will you be working for 8 work hours straight. Instead, you will be working random hours, sleeping weird hours, and just figuring it out every day easy ways to get it done.

So what can you do now to sketch out what this new life will look like?

Spend a few hours writing out how to divy up your time. How many hours will you need to work? How many hours to focus on your baby? How many hours will your baby nap? Do you need to have alone time? Work out? Time with your family?

Spend this time to focus on your new life, and working from home with a newborn will fall into place. To see my complete schedule with a little kid, check out my hourly schedule here!

Let me introduce my free block schedule that works for just this.

WITH THIS FREE SYSTEM YOU CAN…

  • Keep separate schedules for you, your kids, your home, and your work.
  • Compare every day of the week to see where you have extra minutes to optimize and use wisely.
  • Prioritize your top to-do items, and and say “no” to what can be saved for next week.
  • Add in cleaning chores and kids activities based on how much extra time you have.

Click here to learn how it works, and test it out! Hopefully it will help put all these

Sign up below or Grab your free block schedule template here and start today!


Figure out your childcare budget

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • “How much can I afford per month for childcare?”
  • “Can we swing just $50-$100/month for childcare?”
  • “How will my childcare decisions weigh on our mental health or family dynamic?”

In the past few years, we have gone through every possible form of childcare during this roller coaster. We have had: no childcare, part-time playtime, part-time babysitters, full-time nannies, preschool, no preschool, family members help, neighborhood mother’s helper, drop-off nursery/daycare….you name it!

Our budget decides a LOT.

I’m not just talking about full-time care budget. But just anything you can set aside per month.

Even if you can swing only $50/month, SET THAT ASIDE and use it for activity box subscriptions, craft materials, new toys, or baby equipment…anything to help you out.

This budget (even if its just a tiny amount) will give you freedom to get help.

Ask yourself what season are you in? If your kids are home, invest in toys and activities to make that easier. Can you get a 10 year old neighbor to help in the afternoon? Spend $20/wk on that. Lean into the season you are in.

When I buy new gear for my baby that will occupy a lot of time, my favorite phrase is “It’s cheaper than a babysitter!” This is a really easy way to get through another month, if you are living month to month.

Here are some of my favorite baby gear ideas to help with the newborn stage:

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Another resource I LOVED with my newborn when I was working at home with a newborn were the KiwiCo Panda Crates.

The Panda Crate is a subscription box for babies ages 0-2. It arrives every other month, and sends you a curated box of toys, books and activities for your child’s age ranges and development level.

I think that’s what we often miss with little kids – their development level. We think as parents that we know what our children need to play with. And we often do!

But, we often don’t know what their brains need. As a new parent, I didn’t know when each baby needed to play with a tummy time mirror because it supported their core strength, and learning of who they were? I didn’t know that as a new parent.

Think of this as a parent guide to knowing your child.

Each subscription box is different. And we are STILL (years later!) playing with a lot of the same toys. Even though they are geared to my 0-2 year old, my older daughter loved the activities!

If you want to read my honest review of the KiwiCo Baby Box (Panda Crate), click here!

Working From Home With A Newborn or toddler can be a challenge. Here are some tips and space-saving workspace ideas to help make life a little easier!

How to Hire a Sitter

If you are needing real childcare but can’t afford traditional daycares/babysitters, here are some tips:

  • If your child takes naps, you might only need a babysitter/childcare for the morning hours. Start with this and see if it works.
  • My favorite place to find good babysitters & nannies is the NextDoor app for your neighborhood. Also, if you are religious, look at nearby seminaries and theology schools, because they might have listings for their students needing daytime babysitting jobs.
  • Ask neighborhood kids if they want to be a mother’s helper – playing with your kids from 4-5 after school/naps.
  • Look for drop-in nurseries or church childcare services (Mother’s Morning Out) for flexible childcare morning hours

(Read my complete guide here for finding the best childcare for your child!)


Make Sure Your Baby Or Toddler Has A Safe Play Area

In each of my houses I moved my desk to a central location.

In my old house, my desk was actually in my living room. I had room to push my desk near the wall opposite my sofa. And this gave me a lot of space to work and be near my daughter.

Now in my new house, my desk is in our upstairs loft that is between our bedrooms. There is enough room to fit my desk, a small sofa, and a fenced in play area for my baby.

When I first started planning my office area in my old living room, I knew I needed a foam floor mat to cover our hardwood floors.

But, if you have checked Amazon lately, they can be almost $100! Those pretty jigsaw foam play mats were just not worth it to me.

I mentioned this to my husband, and he promptly said, “You can get those for your tool shed super cheap!” And he was RIGHT.

Amazon has an AWESOME set of 4-6 foam panels that it together perfectly for this! This is what I put on the ground under the play area and it is perfect for hardwoods!

You can get cool options on Amazon here. Such a great idea!

On top of the foam mat, we have a rotating quilt for the baby to play on. One of our favorites is this LEKA Play Mat from IKEA. It’s a little more pricey ($24.99), but is padded under the mat, and we take it EVERYWHERE. The value of it totally merits the price in my opinion, but it’s always worth checking for an IKEA discount just in case you can knock a couple bucks off.

It is also perfect for trips and visits to people’s houses when we just need a place for my baby to play.

If you want to read more how I combine my office and play area, click here.

Working From Home With A Newborn or toddler can be a challenge. Here are some tips and space-saving workspace ideas to help make life a little easier!

Naptime and When to Nap

1. Daytime and morning nap – Under 6 Months

The biggest question during this age is “To sleep train or not to sleep train?” THAT is the question. I hate to say this, but I am not going to come on here and tell you what to do.

Personally, we sleep train and it has worked wonders for both of my kids. But, I know so many families that hate sleep training, and that’s just the way they choose to maneuver this tough time. I GET IT. It’s tough no matter how you do it.

Regardless of how you sleep train (or not!), I definitely encourage you to make your babies NAP. They might be planned. They might be sporadic. But they need sleep. You need them to sleep. And everyone is happy.

What I will tell you to do is BUY THIS SWING. This one ⬇️


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Fisher Price Snuggabunny Swing

This swing is the ONLY THING that helped my kids nap. It prolonged their naps from about 30-40 minutes to 2-3 hours. I’m NOT KIDDING.

I have friends that have tried all the big names – Mamaroo, The Snoo, you name it…and this is the one they end up buying at 10 pm because they are desperate.

We used this until my kids outgrew it weight-wise – maybe about when they were 10 or 11 months? They LOVE it. They love rocking, they love the noise, and they sleep in amazingly.


I recommend the Snuggabunny swing from day 1 – and you’ll never look back. So, my #1 tip for nap time for babies? Use this swing and say alleluia!

2. Daytime naps – 6 – 12 Months

For me, this age was the age of TRANSITION. Transitioning from the swing to their crib. It also was the year they transitioned from 2 to 1 naps. It’s so fun. KIDDING.

It’s during this phase that I lean really hard into white noise, blackout shades, and baby sleepsacks. I swear by this HALO sleepsack. It is the perfect weight, size, and transitions babies easily from swaddles.


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HALO 100% Cotton Sleepsack

This Halo sleepsack is the perfect weight for summer or winter – so I don’t mess with the fleece sacks. It IMMEDIATELY trains my babies that “It’s naptime!” and now my 24 month ASKS for it, “Blanket! Blanket!”

This was the key for an easy transition from swing to crib, and also helps them not stand up and climb out! Added bonus.


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Oh! I can’t go on until I talk about the Wubbanub. I know, it’s weird how amazing it is. This paci + stuffed animal combo was both of my kids’ favorites and just giving it to them made them sleepy! When they are tiny, the animal lays on their chest and balances out the paci, and keeps it in place. When they are older, it turns into a “lovie” and give them something to cuddle. I’m telling you. EVERY MOM NEEDS ONE.

3. Don’t Nap When They Nap

I know you know this, but the most common piece of advice everyone gives a new mom is “Just nap when the baby naps!”.

Um, I work at home. I can’t nap.

It’s such a tempting thing to lay down and nap when your baby naps. But, let me tell you why napping doesn’t always pay off.

One, if you nap during the day, you will probably have to stay up later to get work down. We all have to get those hours in, and sometimes working later at night is SO TEMPTING.

But, you know who is going to be mad at you for you getting the hours in later at night?

Morning you.

When you stay up late with your work, and then do all the midnight feedings, your morning self is going to kick you for not prioritizing sleep.

Instead, just get that work in while your baby sleeps. Get it all done. Then, when your dinner and evening routine winds down at night, you can peace out and get those zzzz’s.


Invest in Time-Saving Baby Gear

1. Gear for working from home with a newborn

Every season or so I invest in something new to make my work easier. It might be my earbud/AirPod situation, or my phone and computer chargers. Here are some of my favorite must-haves For those months when you are working from home with a newborn.

AirPods: I got a pair of Apple Airpods few years ago, and they have changed my life. Because I have a lot of work meetings, I use these the most during my work day when I need to switch between work meetings and music or a phone call I am taking. These are the best for being in a conference call WHILE you hold your baby and breastfeed (on mute/video off haha!). I use these while I am washing dishes. Giving baths. Taking out the trash. Cooking dinner. I am not exaggerating. They are the best.

Long Phone Charger: I don’t what mom can function with just the short charger that comes with new phones. A 6 foot charger is a necessity for every new mom. This one is super cheap, and has lasted me though years of trips, hotel nights, times in the hospital – and all those days string across the play room. If you are having a baby soon, you definitely need this in your hospital bag!

YETI Coffee Mug: Hear me out. I am not a Yeti snob. I could care less who makes this coffee mug. But it is hands-down the ONLY coffee mug I use. The coffee stays hot all day and tastes just as good the 10th hour. It doesn’t spill. Ever. Perfect for over carpet, in living spaces, near computers…I have a gorgeous cabinet full of beautiful mugs and this is the only one I use.

2. Gear for newborns

Two things you definitely need if you are going to begin working from home with a newborn, are a baby monitor and extra baby gates.

Let’s talk about baby gates because and my favorite baby fence.

Baby Fences

Once my babies can begin to crawl, I use the same arrangement above – but just with a baby fence around it.

I set up this 8-piece baby fence from Amazon and it fits the square play area perfectly.

My babies love playing in here – and I make an effort to rotate toys so they are constantly stimulated. I call it “baby jail”, but it is much larger than a Pack ‘N Play, which is another great way to let kids play independently. So, it’s actually larger than some options.

But once my babies can begin to crawl, I use a different arrangement that I love just as much.

I set up this 8-piece baby fence from Amazon and it fits the square play area perfectly.

My babies love playing in here – and I make an effort to rotate toys so they are constantly stimulated. I call it “baby jail”, but it is much larger than a Pack ‘N Play, which is another great way to let kids play independently. So, it’s actually larger than some options.

Besides blocking off a play area near your desk with a baby fence, I definitely recommend adding additional baby gates throughout your home.

This is the baby fence in my upstairs loft office:

Working From Home With A Newborn or toddler can be a challenge. Here are some tips and space-saving workspace ideas to help make life a little easier!

Baby Gates

Let’s talk about baby gates.

I always set up a baby gate on my young child’s bedroom door. This gives a second play area that I can trust my baby to play in.

This is my favorite baby gate that is safe, cheap, and works for years.

I am a huge fan of teaching your kids to play independently, and this is my greatest tool for that.

I set up this gate as soon as I want to begin teaching my child. Around 6 months old (yes, even before they can even sit up!), I put them in their room with some toys, and leave them to “play” for maybe 10 minutes. I repeat this every day and build more time.

By the time my babies are around 1 year old, they are able to play by themselves for 30-40 minutes. By the time she was 2 years old, my daughter was able to play by herself for up to 2 hours.

Again, I am right next to my kids this whole process. I check on them, watch them in the baby monitor, and encourage them with new toys. But, the practice of teaching them to play by themselves is invaluable.

Read my complete guide here for how to teach your kids to play independently!

Another way I use the baby gates is to separate small babies for older kid play.

Very often my daughter needs a barrier between her and the baby. Adding a baby gate to her door accomplishes this. This is an excellent way of separating kids, giving them places to play – while being right next to my desk.

Baby Monitors

Another invaluable tool is a baby monitor. Let me tell you why you need one.

Even if you don’t have a baby, watching your kids safely play – while you are in a different room – is invaluable.

I have our monitor set up in my son’s room, and often put both kids in there to play. I watch them from down the hall, and love being able to see their play.

If you have toddlers in a separate room, this is an excellent way to keep an eye on them.

Also – a fun game to keep them occupied is to play Simon’s Says through the monitor. It’s great entertainment that let’s you work and “play” with your kids.

This is my favorite baby monitor:

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

baby monitor to combine office and playarea

I researched baby monitors for about 8 months. No joke. I had dozens of lists and tabs open.

What was I researching? Physical monitor vs. phone app? Wireless vs. not wired?

We finally settled on the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor because of the 35,000 5 ⭐️ Reviews on Amazon. It is definitely the highest-rated monitor on Amazon.

And – we LOVE it!

Why?

✅ Because I can keep it on all night without using my phone battery.

✅ Because it has a HUGE range.

✅ Because it is SO SIMPLE to set up and use.

✅ Because I can pass it to my mother-in-law and not need to set up an app for her.

✅ Because it has dark night vision.

✅ Because it zooms in and can pan the room.Check it out here!

If you want to make a safe space for your kids, I highly recommend getting multiple baby gates and monitors.


Additional Workspace Ideas

Do you ever need to change it up? Work somewhere different? Get out of the house?

YEP ME TOO.

You can do this while working from home with a newborn!

I know we are still kind of in a pandemic, but there are a lot of ways to keep working, while watching your baby. Here is a little picture of how I work with my newborn:


Breastfeeding and Pumping For Work Travel

Hey, look. I am NOT a breastfeeding and pumping pro. AT ALL. But, I did breastfeed two babies, pump a lot, and learn how to travel while nursing for my job.

It’s NOT EASY.

Have you taken a work trip while breastfeeding and pumping?

Just for a 3 day work trip, I had to…

  • leave enough milk at home for my son
  • plan to pump while I was gone
  • travel with breastmilk
  • keep breastmilk cold when I was out and about
  • and, because our company took us to Epcot for the day – pump at Epcot

I am not complaining – because I am thankful every day for a company that supports moms and women in the workforce. But, months before the actual trip, I had to start preparing.

To see everything I learned for pumping on a plane and traveling with breastmilk, read this post here. I share my favorite pumping and diaper bag, the equipment I use, the schedule I kept, and how to pump in an airport. Check it out here!


Ok, friends, that’s how I work at home with a newborn. It’s totally do-able! It can be hard. It can be trying. But, don’t let a few naysayers tell you you can’t do it.

Please share your experiences below to encourage other new moms! We’ve got to stick together, you know!

Working from home with a newborn

How to foster independent play time by age (Must-Have WAHM survival guide!)

When do kids stop napping: 16 Foolproof Tips for Quiet Time and Naptime

Free 40 Hour Work From Home Mom Schedule Template

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Sophie

    Sleep training is a must! I can’t imagin what it would look like, if I wouldn’t find a propoer method. I decided to give a try HWL by Susan Urban from Parental Love (parental-lovecom/baby-sleep-training) and now I’m recommending it to everybody.

    1. Ginny

      Thanks for sharing! Our family TOTALLY benefitted from sleep training. I will definitely look into that program. Thank you!

      1. hanna

        I know this one! I’ve been using Susan’s other book, about toddlers but i guess both are amazing and extremely helpful.

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Oh hey there!

I’m Ginny and can’t wait to meet you! I work 50+ hours a week. Mom my two kids. And strive everyday to spend more real time with my husband and kids.

All I want to be is a good mom who works hard. That’s not too much to ask, right?  Come hang out with me and do more than the bare minimum.

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Join the other moms

Make friends with other moms when you need naptime tips…or just someone to chat with while you are nursing at midnight.

This is a judgment free zone. A listening ear. A way to meet likeminded friends.

You aren’t alone! Join other moms who are juggling with the same stuff that you are. Ask all your questions and even find friends in your own area! Click below to be invited into the Modern WAHM Facebook Group.