Adam Earnst, 2, wasn’t particularly needy — except when it was time for his mom to nurse his baby brother. “He could be playing contentedly by himself, but once I started to feed Ethan, Adam would suddenly decide he needed my undivided attention,” says his mom, Jill, of Lafayette, IN. An infant in the house can mean lots of jealousy for older sibs, especially toddlers, who aren’t good at sharing the spotlight. How to nurse without neglecting the needs of your toddler:
Get him involved. Say that you can read a book or play a game together but you’ll need help (arranging pieces in the puzzle, for instance). Or ask him to grab things like a burp cloth or a bottle of water for you — it’ll make him feel needed.
Prepare a box of special toys that get to come out only when the baby’s nursing.
Preempt outbursts. Keep a kit of frequently requested items, like tissues or snacks, accessible to your toddler.
Get silly. Kids love it when parents sing wacky songs or use funny voices, and it’s something you can do while your hands are full.
Use your secret weapon: Dad. He can be a great source of distraction!