Save Time, Stay on Track, and Survive Pumping When You Have Other Kids At Home with These Helpful Steps from BeauGen
Are you pumping for the first time? Pumped for your first child and ready to bust out your breast pump for your next child? What about if you’re currently pumping with other kids at home?
These can all be challenging situations but don’t have to be. As moms at BeauGen, we understand the busy schedules, the hectic days, and trying to fit your breast pump or breastfeeding into your routine.⠀
Whether you are planning to nurse, pump, or some combination of the two, save this post for reference. ⠀⠀
You've got this mama!
Here are seven simple steps for pumping while you have other kids at home:
The good news is that there isn’t some complicated matrix, mythical super power, or expensive solution. There are just seven simple steps that you can take to make pumping with other kids in the home achievable. These tactics are tried and true and come from mom who, just like you, has been there.
Have a schedule
It’s easier to keep track of clock times rather than how many times you’ve pumped in a day. Having a schedule will help you and your body get into a rhythm. You can confidently pump as much as you need to without the stress of getting enough sessions in throughout the day.
In the beginning, you can keep a planner or use our Mommy on Track guide to help you set your schedule. Or, you can set alarms on your phone so that you don’t lose track of time. In just a few days, your body will develop a routine and pumping should be a breeze. Children thrive on routine. Creating this schedule will not only help you express the milk you need for your baby, but it will also help your toddler in many ways.
Set a timer, find a show, or make a playlist for the amount of time that you’d like to pump and tell your other children, “When this is over, Mommy will be done pumping!”
With any schedule, some level of flexibility is important. Yes children do well with routines, but learning to adapt and change your routine can be beneficial for your children as well.
Pump as soon as your baby goes to sleep
You can never be quite sure how long your baby will sleep, so take advantage of it when you can. They might sleep for as little as 15 minutes, but if you’ve started pumping when they fell asleep, you would have already completed part of your session.
Create a breastfeeding basket with special toys
When you create specific playtimes with a different set of toys, your toddler will have something to look forward to. This will not only occupy them while you pump, but it makes it a positive experience for them as well.
Identify a special place, whether it’s their crib, their room, or a gated area where the child(ren) can play safely. This will also allow you to relax, knowing that you won’t have to chase down a toddler and pump at the same time. If your toddler is not used to being in an enclosed space, you may need to gradually introduce him or her until it’s comfortable.
Remember: a short pumping session is better than no pumping session at all
Your pumping session may very well be cut short. After all, you are a mom and life happens. However, a short pump is better than no pumping session at all. Keep that in mind.
Spend a little extra to improve the experience
Whether you add comfort or convenience, a little bit goes a long way. Invest in a comfortable chair, a good book, or maybe an e-Reader to help make your time pumping more enjoyable. Create a pumping station and fill it with snacks for you and your toddler to keep both of you entertained and re-fueled for playtime once your pumping session is over.
Pump while driving
You and everyone else in the car is seat-belted into place --quite literally stuck. Make this time productive and pump while you are driving. Before breast pumps got smaller, this would have been difficult. Now, they’re a lot more portable and many have car chargers or larger battery packs to make this possible. Just remember to bring a cooler and ice pack to store the milk and your pump parts once you reach your destination.
Shout out to BeauGen Affiliate Nurse Zabe for her YouTube Video on pumping in the car.
If you are not comfortable with pumping while driving as a safety concern, build an extra 15 minutes into your schedule and pump while parked.
A wireless pump, which also tends to be smaller and more discreet, will allow you to chase and play with your toddler while you pump. Wireless breast pumps have gotten more powerful and have longer battery life for prolonged and more frequent pumping.
Involve your children
Tell them about what you’re doing and why it’s important. You can explain that you used to make milk for them when they were a baby (but now they’re a big kid!). You can also show them how the parts work or have them help you wash the pump parts afterwards.
We can’t normalize breastfeeding or pumping until we can do this comfortably in our own homes, around our own families. Keeping it from your children can help set them up to form uncomfortable relationships with this very natural and healthy means of nourishing our babies.
Play some tunes
Depending on the time of day, or your toddler’s needs at the moment, make an appropriate song selection. If it’s around nap time or before bed, maybe it’s soothing sounds that promote relaxation for you and your toddler. If it's in the morning or afternoon, maybe it’s fun upbeat music that prompts a dance party with their favorite toys, stuffed animals, or dolls while you pump and cheer them on.