10 Tips When Working From Home With a Toddler

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 20, 2022 | Published March 29, 2021

Updated July 20, 2022

Published March 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working from home can offer more convenience and flexibility than commuting and working in an office. However, working from home can also come with some distractions that you may not be used to. If you have a toddler, you may need to adjust your schedule and implement some new ideas to maintain a healthy work-life balance and remain productive during the workday.

In this article, we discuss 10 tips to make your life easier while working from home with a toddler.

Tips for working from home with a toddler

Here are 10 tips for working from home with a toddler:

1. Start the day early

Getting up before your toddler wakes may provide some quiet work time so that you can focus on important tasks. It might be tempting to sleep in, but give your workday a strong and productive start with a distraction-free morning. This can be especially beneficial if you know your toddler causes distractions throughout the day. Worry less later about stepping away from your computer now and then to care for your child.

Related: 25 Steps To Become a Morning Person

2. Hire a babysitter

Even though you're home during the day, it can be challenging to look after your kids while focusing on work. Watching your kids while working from home is essentially like having two jobs, so if you feel you could use some help, consider hiring a babysitter. Hiring a babysitter can allow you to work without distractions and get more done. This might even be essential for jobs that require you to attend meetings with no background noise or interruptions.

Related: How To Work From Home Effectively

3. Organize a babysitting swap

If you don't want to pay for a babysitter, consider organizing a babysitting swap with a friend or other parents in your community. Discuss your schedules and create a plan that works for everyone. Maybe you can watch the kids on Monday and Wednesday and your friend can watch them on Tuesday and Thursday. This can be a great way for you to get a few days to yourself, which can have a tremendous impact on your productivity. It can also decrease your stress levels and improve your mood.

4. Utilize nap time

Make the best use of your toddler's nap time by getting work done while you have a quiet work environment. Using your child's nap time is a great way to structure your workload. Prioritize your most important tasks when your toddler is napping so you can focus on them without distractions. If your child has a nap routine they follow, you can even try to schedule meetings and other tasks that require your full attention during their nap time.

Read more: 10 Easy Ways To Manage Your Time Better

5. Prepare for distractions

If you know your child causes distractions throughout your workday, plan for these distractions before beginning work. Preparing snacks or activities ahead of time can keep you from spending too much of your work time taking care of your toddler. If you have an important meeting, you may prepare for it by getting out anything your child might ask for or by turning on their favorite movie for them. Being prepared can save you a lot of time and make your workday less stressful.

Related: How Not To Get Distracted While Working Remote

6. Encourage independent play

Your child may come to you during work asking you to play with them or complaining of boredom. To prevent this, try creating ideas that encourage your toddler to play on their own. Finding activities they enjoy that don't involve your help is a great way to keep them focused so you can focus on work. Babysitting another child may not seem ideal when you're working from home, but having a playmate can be beneficial for your child and lead to fewer distractions.

Related: How To Manage Working From Home With Kids

7. Create a workspace near your toddler

If you're working from home with your toddler while taking care of them, you need to watch them throughout the day and be available in case they need something. Creating a workspace near your child's play area is a good way to do this. This limits the time that you spend away from your desk going back and forth between rooms, and it also allows you to multitask when necessary. Remember to consider your toddler and play surroundings, however, If you have a video conference or need quiet for a phone call.

Related: 15 Work-at-Home Jobs for Parents

8. Establish a separate work environment

Alternatively, if you have a partner or babysitter taking care of your child, you might benefit from creating a separate workspace. Find a room or area that is quiet so you can focus on work and eliminate background noises. It is best if this workplace is closed off, so your toddler can't easily come into the room while you're working.

Read more: Create a Productive Home Office

9. Manage an effective schedule

Having a set schedule can be important when working from home, especially if you have a toddler. Consider your work schedule and your toddler's schedule as you decide what works best for you. If your job is flexible, you might decide to work alternative office hours to accommodate the time you spend caring for your child. Making your toddler aware of your schedule is also a good idea because it lets them know when you're busy and when you're free.

Related: The Complete Guide To Scheduling Your Day

10. Make time for your child

When working from home, work and personal lives can blend into one. It's challenging for toddlers to understand why you can't pay attention to them during the workday, because in their framework, if they see you, they can rely on you. Try to explain work and set expectations about work hours. It's just as important to explain a plan for dedicating specific time toward giving your child your full attention. Attempt to spend time with your child after work and on weekends, free from distractions. Having planned breaks together throughout the workday can also increase sessions of productivity.

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