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3 Tips for Working From Home When You Have Young Kids

3 Tips for Working From Home When You Have Young Kids

We all know that schools are closing throughout the nation in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many parents are now left to quickly figure out alternate childcare so they can still go to work. For those parents who have the ability to work from home it’s still a daunting task to remain productive on the job while keeping little ones busy. In this article, we offer some expert advice on how to handle things at home in the coming weeks.

Shift Your Work Hours

If you have very young children, and no one to help you care for them during the day, it will be very challenging (if not impossible) to work while they are awake. That’s just reality. So, to help you cope, you need to create a plan for yourself that capitalizes on the time they are sleeping. That may mean:

  • Setting your clock for 4am so you can work for a few hours before your kids wake up
  • Working during any and all nap times
  • Opting out of conference calls that will be during your child’s awake time
  • Putting your kids to bed earlier (much earlier if necessary) so you can work after they’re asleep (here are the recommended bedtimes for children by age)

Be honest with your employer about your constraints around childcare and ask about shifting when and how you work. Most employers will understand and appreciate you coming to them with a clear plan of action for how the work will get done (even if it’s a bit unusual!).

Create a Daily Schedule

If your children are a little bit older/school-age, it will help to create a daily schedule. Children thrive on structure (and so do most adults), so one of the first things to do is create a daily plan for your family. This will help your kids know what to expect and will give you blocks of time to get work done. You don’t have to get too involved with this. If it makes more sense for your family to create three longer blocks of time, then do that. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but here are some suggestions for things you can schedule in:

  • Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner (this will mitigate the constant asking for snacks)
  • Reading: quietly reading a book (choose books that stretch your kids academically)
  • Creativity: coloring, painting, playing with clay
  • Recreation: riding bikes, roller skating or just general outdoor play
  • Naps: if you child still takes them
  • Television/Electronics: We suggest following screen-time guidelines as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Family time: where you spend time together playing a game, watching a movie or just hanging out 

Be sure to have a discussion with your kids so they understand the new schedule and that you cannot be disturbed during certain blocks of time. If your kids are school-age, you can place a “Do Not Disturb” sign in the open doorway when you are in a work block and ask them to interrupt only in an emergency. 

Cut Yourself a LOT of Slack

The most important piece of this evolving “work from home with kids” situation is to reduce your own stress. The truth is, even shifting your work hours and creating a schedule will not eliminate all the challenges that come with working from home with kids. In fact, if all the advice and recommendations you're getting are driving you crazy - don’t do them! You just need to do whatever creates peace in your own home. Then, breathe deeply and be gentle with yourself if it doesn’t all turn out perfectly. This is a challenging, ever-evolving time and we are all figuring out how to bend and adapt to the best of our ability. 

10 Do's & Don'ts of COVID-19 for Parents

10 Do's & Don'ts of COVID-19 for Parents

Your COVID-19 Questions, Answered

You're seeing it all over the news feeds-- businesses, theme parks, major sporting events, schools, and even daycares are shutting down across the nation and all over the world to fight the spread of coronavirus. At Wunder, we've also made preparations to keep safe; and we're prepared to keep providing you with the right information at the right time. We care about our Wunder family and community so we did our research to bring you some answers for questions you may have. We've also provided you with some fun activities to bond with and entertain your little ones!

Is this really all that serious?

Yes, it is. Not only is this particular strain of coronavirus unusually dangerous, it has a long incubation time. That means someone can have it without knowing it, and pass it to others, for up to 2 weeks. That’s why it’s been spreading so rapidly in so many countries. By the time a few cases are reported, the true number of cases is much higher.

Should I panic?

No. As long as you take a few simple measures, you and your family should be safe. And while the risk of severe illness and death are higher than with most diseases, most people who do get coronavirus still recover just fine at home with rest and fluids.

What should I do?

DO Stay home as much as possible. 

If you have to leave the house, DO make sure you wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, DO use a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol. DO also carry a small packet of wipes for things that get touched a lot, like door handles, or even (maybe especially) your phone. 

As difficult as it may be, DON’T touch your face -- or at least keep your hands clear of your mouth, nose, and eyes. 

DO listen to reputable sources, like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

DON’T believe anyone who tells you they’ve found a “secret cure.” Misinformation runs rampant at times like this, and several false cures have already gone viral, including chloroquine and “MMS,” an alleged “miracle solution” that’s essentially the same as bleach.

DO get a flu shot, if you haven’t already. It won’t protect you from COVID-19, but the flu is still out there, and staying healthy will keep you away from the doctor and/or hospital.

If you start feeling sick, DON’T rush to the ER. Call your doctor or local urgent care center first.

DO be prepared with whatever supplies you may need if you or a family member gets sick. You don’t have to stockpile -- just make sure you have enough Tylenol, cough medicine, soup, etc. on hand. If anyone in your family is immunocompromised or has a history of respiratory issues (asthma, pneumonia, etc.), talk to your doctor and make a plan, just in case.

My child’s school is still open. Shouldn’t I worry?

Only if your child is immunocompromised or at risk of serious complications. So far, children have otherwise been very resilient to COVID-19. It can be hard to follow hand-washing and other sanitation guidelines with small children, but if you and your child’s teachers are doing their best, the risk to your little one should be low. 

My child’s school is closed. What can I do?

School-age and older children might still be engaged in remote classes. If not, set up an account at Khan Academy or another free learning platform so they don’t start falling behind.

Please, stay safe, follow the advice of the CDC, and forward this blog to anyone you feel can benefit from this. From our family to yours, we’re a click or a call away to help you with every step (or crawl) of the way.

As for you and your little one, you have a new task: staying ahead of cabin fever! Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few activities you can to do while away the hours indoors with the things you already have on hand:

At-Home Activities To Play with your Little Ones

Tug of War (0-6 months): This activity can be done while your little one is lying on their back, tummy, or sitting up. Dangle a long toy like a stuffed snake or ribbon over their head or in front of them. Let them explore and touch the toy. If your baby doesn’t grab it, place one end in the palm of their hand, and guide them to close their hand around it. Take the other end of the toy and gently tug it away from your baby. They might let go at first. If that’s the case, prompt them to pull the toy towards them. Tug at it, see who wins, and have a laugh!

Mystery Box (6-12 months): Hide items in a container, empty tissue box, bag, etc. Ask, “Where’s ____?” and use the name of one of the objects. Encourage your baby to reach in and pull something out. If they pull out the item you named, say, “I found ____!” or “I see ___!” If not, say, “That’s  ____! Where’s _____?” The goal isn’t to get them to pull out the ‘right’ object just yet, but to practice their vocabulary and fine motor skills.

Fun Land (12-18 months): Turn your living room into an indoor playground for your toddler. Be sure to remove sharp objects and move toys to the side. Place cushions on the floor, turn storage boxes over, and see if your child can navigate this fun land course on their own! You can even use a riding toy if you have the space, or want to try this in an enclosed outdoor setting.

Meal Time (18-24 months): If your child isn’t already helping you in the kitchen, this is a great time to start. While preparing a meal, invite your child to pull up a chair to help you as you work. Give your child simple tasks to complete with you, such as washing fruit or vegetables in a bowl of water, or mixing pre-poured ingredients together. Model each task before allowing your child to do it on their own. When you’re done, practice washing your hands together!

Need more activities? Check out the Wunder app. This is also a great time to take a look at our new 12-Week Program -- and start building better habits with live personal support in just 15 minutes a day.

Is My Newborn Gaining Enough Weight?

Is My Newborn Gaining Enough Weight?

When you’re a brand new parent, nothing is more important to you than your baby’s health. But ask most new parents what their biggest concern is and they will likely say “I’m worried my baby isn’t gaining enough weight.” It’s a universal worry and for good reason. Here, we’ll share some expert advice that will answer the question and, hopefully, put your new-parent mind at ease.

Brand New Babies Often Lose a Little Weight

In your baby’s first day or so of life, it’s totally normal for him or her to lose a little weight, so don’t let those few ounces send you into a tailspin! Expect it and that should help ease your anxiety when it happens. Your baby was born with some extra water weight to help hold her over until your milk comes in. And mother nature made sure that colostrum (the first milk you produce) contains everything your baby needs until your milk is available. 

Colostrum is an amazing substance - packed with nutrients and protein - that actually helps your baby begin to build his immune system from day one. So, don’t worry as that water weight comes off in the first few days - trust that your little one is getting amazing nutrition whether from the breast or bottle.

Babies Usually Start Gaining Weight Within Five Days

Two to four days after you give birth, your breast milk will “come in” (trust us - you will KNOW it’s in!). And that’s around when you’ll see your baby gaining weight (sooner if you’re bottle-feeding). You can expect your baby to begin gaining weight within five days of birth and within 10 to 14 days, she’ll have returned to her birth weight (and then some). Typically, once babies get back to their birth weight, they’ll gain 4 to 7 ounces a week for the first 4-6 months.

Track Poop and Pee Diapers to Gauge Your Baby’s Health

Your baby’s poopy diapers are an important way to gauge what’s happening with their feedings, so you should track each of them. We know - when you’re in the midst of new-baby chaos and exhaustion, adding one more thing to your to-do list can seem impossible. It will help to have a hands-free diaper logging device like Wunder to log and track this plus feedings, sleep and more.

According to Richard Schanler, M.D., Director of Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System:

  • In the first two days, your newborn will usually have one bowel movement per day and it will be very dark and sticky (this is called meconium). Expect two to three wet diapers these first couple days.
  • By about day three, your baby will begin to pass an average of three stools per day. Urine output will also start increasing.
  • After day three or four, a breastfed baby’s stool will become softer and yellow(ish) and a baby on formula will have a darker, firmer stool. If your baby’s stools don’t seem to be transitioning, he may not be getting enough milk, and you may want to call your pediatrician.
  • After day four, your baby will start to have bowel movements 8-12 times a day (fun!) You can expect about six to eight wet diapers by the end of the first week and beyond.

Try not to become too panicked if your baby doesn’t follow this trajectory perfectly - these are just meant to be general guidelines. If you’re concerned, take a deep breath and know that the vast majority of infants end up gaining weight just fine. The most important thing you can do as a new parent is track your baby’s diapers so if you become concerned, you have data for the doctor.