How do I keep my older child busy?

  • My 16 month old son tends to climb on me, pull the boppy pillow, or pull on his sister (2 weeks old) when I try to breastfeed. How can I keep him occupied while I feed her? She eats for 30 minutes on average, sometimes more and occasionally for 20 minutes. What could keep him busy for that long? Any advice? Also, I wasn't sure to post that here or in baby's first year.

  • Okay..this is a great question. If he likes TV, you could put on a quick Sesame Street or something, but here are a few great ideas to keep him busy:

    1. Get a sturdy cardboard poster tube...10 matchbox cars...let him roll the cars down the tube like a long tunnel. Prop the tube up on a chair and he will have a blast. 

    2. Get floor puzzles

    3. A pack-n-play with toys that he doesn't usually get to play with in there...that way he is safe and out of the way. He may fuss at first, but if there are cool toys he doesn't play with then...he may like it.

    4. Pots and pan drum set... loud but fun

    5. Let him play in the backyard (if it is fenced) while you sit on the deck or patio and watch him and feed the baby

    6. Let him sit next to you and read him a story while you feed the baby. May take juggling but you will be surprised how good you get

    7. iphone with baby games or flip books on them

  • Thanks for the suggestions. TV doesn't keep his attention for more than a few minutes at a time. The toys in a pack n play may be my best bet. I will have to buy a cool toy for him to have when I feed her. He would climb all over me if I have him sit next to me lol. We live in an apartment otherwise the backyard would be a perfect thing to do. He loves being outside. I could try the pots and pans too. Thanks!

  • Wow, great ideas from MommyRN4! 

    I used to put my kiddo in his high chair with a healthy snack and a cartoon if I really needed him to stay in one place while I did something. I also used to have a basket of toys he didn't get to play with much and would scatter them around just before I sat down to nurse. Even going to the store and getting some cheap dollar store toys that are only brought out for feeding times, etc. could be enough! 

  • I love the dollar store!  It doesn't take much to keep kids busy as they have such good imaginations.  With preschool age kiddos I love any kind of art projects.  Stickers, crayons, paper, coloring books, etc are all great.  -Jess

  • Yes the dollar store and the "gently used" store in your area are great places to find "new" toys to entertain your toddler. You can also see if another mommy in your area wants to toy swap. That is another great way to get toys for kids to play with that are "newish".