3. Structure your day.
Being organized for the day goes far beyond making a to-do list. In addition to the emails, reports and other work-related tasks, think about the tasks and activities that will give you the most personal joy. Make sure you put time on the calendar for family-only activities to give your baby undivided attention. "Ensure there are at least two large daily blocks of time where you are totally devoted to your baby," advises Nicky Leonti, a family day care educator and mother of two boys. She recommends baby massage, playing age-appropriate games or going for a walk together. "The importance of this is that it helps them feel important, you get that connection and it tires them out so they have better sleep," she says.
4. Work in short spurts.
When your little one does finally go down for a nap, don't waste those precious hours. Be ready to jump into a work task. Try approaching large assignments in small increments to feel more productive and make progress more quickly. Zaida Khaze invented Wiggletot, a diaper-changing safety vest, from her home office while her first daughter napped. She says, "I definitely broke up big projects into small tasks so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed. Back then, I wrote out a to-do list that I had to accomplish within that day. Whatever wasn't finished during the day, I finished when she was sleeping. Whatever you don't finish in a day carries over to the next day."
5. Get help when you need it.
When work deadlines get tight, consider hiring a babysitter for a day or two to allow yourself to focus on your career and still give your baby the care she needs. It's common for working parents to need an extra set of hands every so often. Hiring a babysitter can help you get back on track at work and relieve any worry that your baby is in need of a bottle, or could put itself in danger. (Find an extra set of hands in your area with Care.com's babysitter resources.)
Finding a way to work from home without arranging child care will be difficult, but it can be doable with particular jobs, the right home setup -- and a good napper. There will be easier days than others. And if you ever have to jump on a call while your baby is awake, have all your soothing tools ready, like the pacifier, baby carrier, swaddle or a to. And be transparent -- let your team know that your baby is resisting his nap!
This article was originally published on Care.com.
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