21 Practical Tips for Working from Home with a Toddler Without Losing Your Sanity

I’ve worked from home since 2014 and during those years, I’ve learned several important things that helped me work from home with a toddler (or two).

Everyone has their reasons doing this and since work from home moms with toddlers make up 32% of all employed women in 2021, it’s no wonder the appeal to stay home and find a way to make money from home is a hot topic.

The Great Resignation peaked in September 2021 and 4.4 million Americans choose a new way to work – work from home.

But, the challenges of working from home with a toddler is a real concern for many moms.

They don’t want to resort to screen time to babysit their kids, and they don’t want to work 60 hours a week at home without having time to do chores or just being productive at home.

I’m glad I decided to turn my stay at home mom life into a work from home mom life!

If you want to work from home with a toddler or with a baby, it is possible.

My toddlers were happy, and I was able to work from home and still be a happy mom too!

Realistically, you just have to let go of the perfect Instagram home, and create a schedule and routine that works for your toddler – mess ‘n all!

So, if you want to know how to work from home with a toddler, let’s look at how to create a stay at home mom schedule you’ll keep, and find ways to entertain your toddler and how to work from home with a baby.

Working from home with a toddler bouncing off the walls sounds like an impossible feat. As a parent who has been there, I can assure you it is doable with the right strategy!

In recent years, working remotely has become increasingly common. The pandemic accelerated this trend, forcing many parents to quickly adapt their home into a workspace. While working from home certainly has its perks like no commute and flexible hours, it also comes with unique challenges, especially for parents of young kids.

As a parent of twins, I started working from home when my toddlers were just one year old. Those early days were chaotic to say the least! But over time, I learned how to balance work and parenting by implementing some simple tips and tricks.

Here are 21 practical tips I’ve learned from my own experience for maintaining your sanity while working from home with a toddler:

1. Stick to a Routine

Having a consistent daily routine is essential when working from home with little ones. A predictable schedule helps toddlers understand when it’s time to play independently and when you need to focus on work.

Ideally, establish regular times for meals, naps, independent play, outdoor time, and quality time together. Post the schedule somewhere visible as a reminder for you and your toddler.

2. Designate a Kid-Friendly Workspace

Set up a designated workspace in your home that is safe and filled with activities for your toddler when you need to get work done. Stock up on art supplies, puzzles, books, and toys to keep them happily occupied and close by.

Childproof this area thoroughly and keep hazardous items out of reach. Consider getting a playpen if needed to contain your wandering toddler nearby.

3. Capitalize on Naptime

Naptime equals work time! Plan to tackle projects requiring deep focus while your toddler sleeps. Catch up on emails, write reports, or jump on calls during this pockets of guaranteed quiet time.

4. Get Dressed for Work

Resist the urge to lounge in pajamas all day when working from home. Getting showered and dressed in work-appropriate attire shifts your mindset into “work mode”, helping you feel focused and productive.

5. Set Clear Expectations

Explain the rules and expectations to your toddler in simple terms. For example, “When mommy is at her desk or talks on the phone, I’m working. I can play with you when I’m all done.” Praise them when they respect the rules.

6. Avoid Distractions

Just like at the office, limit distractions that can break your focus when you need to be heads down. Silence phone notifications, close distracting computer tabs, and use noise-canceling headphones or earbuds when possible.

7. Get Help from Your Partner

If you have a partner, talk about divvying up parenting duties so you both get blocks of time to focus on work. Perhaps they handle mornings while you do afternoons.

8. Trade Off with Another WFH Parent

Swap childcare with another working parent so you each get a few hours of coverage during the week. This lets you take important calls or meetings sans interruptions.

9. Have Go-To Distractions Ready

Keep a stash of engaging toddler activities like coloring books, building blocks, or activity puzzles to pull out when you need 5-10 minutes of peace and quiet. These quick distractions help in a pinch.

10. Utilize Screen Time


While excessive screen time isn’t ideal, letting your toddler watch a 30-minute educational program or video call a grandparent can sometimes be a sanity saver for getting work done. Use judiciously.

11. Take Advantage of Playdates

Try arranging a playdate at a friend’s house to buy you a couple of hours of toddler-free time at home. Offer to return the favor for your mom friend on another day.

12. Hire Occasional Backup Care

Bring in temporary backup care from a trusted family member, babysitter, or nanny a few hours a week or month. Worth the investment when you need uninterrupted focus time.

13. Work During Naps or After Bedtime

Burn the midnight oil if you have to! Catch up on work tasks when your toddler is sleeping so you’re free to focus on parenting duties during waking hours.

14. Limit Working Hours

Avoid the urge to work late into the evenings or on weekends. Set clear boundaries to keep your workload contained when balancing work and parenting under one roof.

15. Take Plenty of Breaks

Schedule short breaks every 1-2 hours to stretch, move around, or do a quick toddler activity. A short brain break helps you recharge so you can be productive during working hours.

16. Batch Similar Tasks

Group similar tasks together in blocks on your calendar to maximize efficiency. For example, make all your phone calls back-to-back or write content for multiple projects at once.

17. Let Go of Perfection

Working with a toddler around means lower productivity some days and that’s OK! Give yourself grace and remember you’re doing the best you can in an imperfect situation.

18. Make Time for Self-Care

Don’t neglect your own needs! Carve out time for healthy meals, exercise, social connections with friends, and fun activities just for you.

19. Tap into Childcare Resources

Look into part-time nannies or daycares if you can swing it in your budget. Even a few hours of regular childcare goes a long way.

20. Adjust Expectations with Employer/Clients

Have an open conversation about your situation with workplace and explain you may have occasional interruptions or shifts in schedule being home with a little one.

21. Start Early and End On Time

Use mornings for focused work before your toddler is up and active. Wrap up the workday a little earlier than normal so you’re available for your parenting duties in the evenings.

Final Thoughts

Balancing work and parenting under the same roof is tricky, but absolutely possible. Stay flexible, ask for help when needed, and don’t put pressure on yourself to do it all perfectly. With some planning and boundary setting, you can maintain your sanity and thrive while working from home with your toddler!

working from home with a toddler

Let Alexa Read to Your Toddler

Did you know you can ask your Alexa to read to your toddler?

There are hundreds of books to choose from:

To enable this feature, make sure you have Amazon for Kids device (like an Echo).

1 Use a Bouncer or Play Pen

Make sure of your bounder, high chair or play pen when you work from home.

Build this into your schedule so that your baby anticipates they will be playing in their bouncer, or Jolly Jumper.

working from home with a toddler

Work from home with Toddler and Baby with a 9am-5pm job

How to work from home with a toddler?

Here are a few tips for creating a routine when working from home with a toddler: Establish a specific time each day for you to start working. This will help your child know when it’s time for mommy to work and when it’s time for her to play. Create a break schedule. Maybe you’ll work for an hour and then take a 10-minute break.

Should you work from home with kids?

There are so many times in life when planning ahead is a best practice — and working from home with kids is no exception. To get the most out of the day (or week), seasoned WFH parents tout the benefits of thinking ahead. Often, this has to do with mapping out daily activities, especially those your child can do while you focus on work.

What does a working from home with a toddler schedule look like?

This is just one example of what a working from home with a toddler schedule could look like. As you can see there are large blocks of time built in when you will be able to get work done without being distracted, such as before your toddler wakes up and at nap time.

Is working from home a good job for a toddler?

More parents are ditching the commute for work-from-home job opportunities. For many, working from home gives parents the best of both worlds—the ability to be available to their young children while still bringing in a paycheck. But having your home be your office can cause problems—particularly if your toddler is home with you during work hours.

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