I have two kids, both of whom I have breastfed, my second nursling is 8 months old
now and still going strong. You spend a lot of time feeding kids, several hours a day in fact, so you’re not gazing into their eyes all the time, also, if your kids are anything like mine, you actually have to try to avoid eye contact if you want them to drift off to sleep, otherwise they just want to chat all night! One of the many perks to breastfeeding is that you have a hand free so can use your phone (you can also feed lying down which is the best thing ever!). I feel like it’s so easy to get sucked into scrolling through Facebook or Instagram feeds which nursing, so here are ten ideas of how to pass the time that doesn’t involve those social networks!
1. Read A Book On Your Phone
A lot of the time you’ll be nursing in low light or in the dark which makes reading a physical book difficult. However, you can easily download a book on your phone and read it there. I use the kindle app which lets me turn the background black and the text white which is perfect for reading in the dark. I usually like to have two books on the go – a non fiction and a fiction, so I might read the non fiction during a pre daytime nap feeding session, but then switch to the fiction book in the evening when nursing before bed. I’m currently reading Getting Things Done by David Allen and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I absolutely love reading and use GoodReads to keep track of all my books (it’s basically a social network for books). I am trying to cut back the amount I spend on books though, so have started reading some classics. I did read Wuthering Heights about 20 years ago but I was so young I suspect much of it went over my head – it really is quite dark!
2. Read Blogs
I use a program called Feedly to organise all my blog feeds. Sometimes I don’t feel like reading a book so I’ll just read through some of my favourite blogs. Feedly also lets you turn the background dark so again it’s easy to read without distracting your little one.
3. Listen To A Book Or Podcast
If you don’t want to read something, or if your little one is VERY easily distracted and you don’t want to have your phone out at all, you could listen to a book or a podcast instead. I use the audible app for books and there’s a huge selection available via audible.co.uk. I keep a set of headphones beside my bed (which is where I nurse most of the time) so that they’re always within easy reach. Then just make sure to have a few books or podcasts downloaded and ready to go so that you can easily sit and listen while your little one feeds and drifts off to sleep.
4. Watch YouTube Videos
This is my latest pastime. Again I use headphones so as not to distract my little one. I love watching vlogs, ‘hauls’ and make up videos. Some of my current favourite YouTubers are Lily Pebbles, Anna Gardner, Retro Flame and Ciara O’Doherty. The first two are UK based and the latter two are fellow Irish bloggers, although Retro Flame is based in New York. Watching these videos is such a chill way to pass the time and doesn’t require much brain power. Disclaimer though … there’s a reason these women are referred to as ‘influencers’ … if you watch their videos you will probably end up wanting to buy stuff!
5. Watch Netflix
If YouTube isn’t your thing Netflix has an app so you can easily watch your favourite tv shows or a film on your phone. If you’re feeding in a dark room you’ll probably want to turn your screen brightness down so it doesn’t distract your little one, but other than that, you’re good to go.
There is now an app for almost everything! I’ve organised the weekly Tesco’s shopping delivery, ordered items for kids’ birthday parties from Etsy, as well as buying both household necessities and other things from Amazon, all right from my phone!
7. Get Organised
There are loads of productivity apps and ‘to do’ list tools out there. My favourite app is Asana. It’s very easy to flick through my various projects and to do lists while I’m nursing to see where I am with each one, and depending on the task I might be able to get a couple of things done there and then too! Have running lists definitely helps to combat ‘baby brain’ in my experience!
8. Making Memory Books
I use a tool called Project Life to make digital scrapbook pages of our family’s memories. It is so easy to create photo collages and journal right on my phone, which means it’s far easier to keep up to date than if I had to carve out time to sit down at a table and physically stick things together. I use Photobox to print all my collages and they have a app too so I can literally create each page and order the prints, all directly from my phone!
9. Learn Something New
A lot of online courses use either a podcast or video format. Many use the Teachable app for viewing the modules so you can easily take a course while nursing! Or you could download the TedTalks app and watch one of thousands of amazing talks on a variety of subjects, I love this one.
I often type out these blog post while nursing by using the notes app on my phone. But wordpress (which I use for my blog) has its own app as well, so you can easily write and schedule a post right from your phone. The app doesn’t have the full functionality as the desktop version – but you can do a lot with it!
Hopefully this list shows you just how many things you can do to pass the time while nursing in either a fun, relaxing or productive way. These would obviously all be things you could do as a commuter on the train or bus, or hanging around in an airport, or many other situations – not just while nursing!
Let me know if you’ve any other great ideas to pass the time in the comments below
ps you might like 5 fun activities to do with your baby on maternity leave
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