Apart from the usual challenges breastfeeding on demand has, for creative people like myself one of the most difficult things was doing nothing other than nursing. We practice gentle parenting and attachment parenting too so, Natalia has been breast-sleeping since she was born.
Taking the time to connect with your baby while nursing is really important. But if your baby is latched on for hours and hours you need to take care of yourself too. And by that I don't mean having someone cook your meals and help you eat them - though that's really really really important too (thanks Nick!!!!). I mean taking care of you by doing things you enjoy doing. Being a mom is an awesome job but you still get to be yourself too!
You know how passionate of a crafter I am. Well, imagine a person like me who is used to always making something with her hands, having to lay still with a baby on her boob for almost 24/7. Yep, it was hard until I found my grove and made it work. So, here are my two cents about creative things to do while nursing.
First thing's first. You need some things to help you remain creative while nursing. Here's what I think is essential. Please read and research and find a way to use my suggestions to your own and your baby's comfort and safety.
Get a nursing pillow
I can't stress this enough! I swear by them! This pillow literally kept me sane throughout the first few months because it gave something I needed like air! It kept me hands free! Natalia was too small to put on our baby carrier and that was literally the only time she was off my hands.
I would but Natalia on the boob and get the pillow around my waist under my breast. She would lay on top of the pillow so she would be under the breast and snuggle close to me and latch on. I would then have free hands to eat/crochet/read a book or browse through my phone or laptop.
Please note that you don't have to buy a special breastfeeding pillow if you choose to. You can use any pillow that works for you. Please research and read all the safety precautions associated with using a breastfeeding pillow with your little one. If at any time you find that there might be problems in breastfeeding associated with the pillow then please don't use it. Being hands free is not worth jeopardizing your baby's food and comfort.
Get a baby carrier
Actually you will need this regardless of being crafty or not.
Wearing you kid is one of the best thing you can do for both of you. Like the nursing pillow is essential on getting you hands-free and in the case of the carrier, you will be able to move around too.
Get a good husband
Well, to be honest, if you don't have one by now, it would be a bit difficult to find one now, lol!
Having one of those though would help tremendously to keep you sane and crafty too! He can help with cooking and chores around the house, take turns snuggling with the little one and when they are older, giving you a free evening to do things you can't do with a kid on your boob. They are all around useful these ones :)
Get an e-reader or tablet
You can read a craft book and take notes on all the things you want to make and do when you find the time. But, having a tablet or a smart phone can make you go one step more. You could read and watch videos of an online craft course! Cool right? You can even make a small stand for your phone to sit on the close by table, watch a pattern on YouTube and crochet at the same time!
Please take care to use your phone and tablet in airplane mode when it's close to the baby to avoid potential dangers from the radiation.
Get a lot of craft supplies
Chances are you wont be able to do some of the things you did before having your baby, at least for the first couple of months. So why don't you take the money you are going to save from your shopping/outings etc and get yourself a few supplies for the things you can do while nursing. And by supplies I mean yarn. Get a lot of yarn!!!
Creative things to do while nursing your baby.
So let's get to the good stuff!
If you are like me you like to do all sorts of crafts. Paint, recycle, re-purpose, origami, crochet, knit, you name it! There are many things you can still do while breastfeeding but there are some you should leave for when you are sans kid. Like painting and up-cycling a cabinet you found at the trash. That's a no - no, lol!
What you can do though is crochet! So get a lot of yarn and new sparkling hooks and start making your little one some toys and clothes. You will spent your time creatively and still be able to make something for your little one. I made a couple of blankets, a hat and countless amigurumi while nursing Natalia. And guess what? At 21 months old, I still do!
Please be careful with your hooks, scissors and yarn needle when you are near your baby. When they are small they are mostly still but give them a few months and they will move around! Better leave the cutting part for when you are alone just to be extra safe.
You can also knit if you find you can handle the needles with safety and ease around the baby. I am not really font of it and I didn't try it with Natalia. I did however crochet with a tynician hook and it was all right.
You can also do many paper crafts that don't involve the use of glue, like origami. I've seen darling paper mobiles made with origami animals. Why not try something like that?
Taking the right precautions to ensure your kid's safety you can even embroider while you nurse. There are many cute patterns out there for embroidering your kids decorative pillows or sheets and towels. It doesn't need much time and the result is very fulfilling!
Another thing you can do is not so much a craft but it sure is creative: organize your kids photos. Trust me on this one, you'll never have time to do it and they get to be thousands and thousands of gummy smiles and chubby hands in your phone and memory card. Doing a little bit each day will save you tons of time!
I did all those things and I still do when I feed Natalia. In my opinion I do it for both of us. I love the fact that I can nurse her and give her all the nutrients and comfort she needs while at the same time I keep myself sane as a hyperactive person and crafter.
If you have any suggestions or creative things you did while you nursed I would love to hear them and update this post!
Lots of love