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This is a hack that will change your life, if you are the parent of a child who can sit up supported, but not yet crawl. I’d love to take credit for it, but it was something we were taught during a Baby Sensory Class, and I have loved it ever since.
When Ruben was a tiny baby (man, I miss my tiny Roo!) I managed to get a few bits done in a day, but loving the bouncer around with me, and putting him in it. I didn’t get much done, mind you, because I was bloody exhausted and napped a lot when he slept. No regrets. But this did allow me to shower, while still keeping an eye on him – showering really made me feel a million times better on a day when I felt a bit grim, so it was pretty important.
However, all too soon he grew out of his lovely bouncer, and I had no idea where to put him to get stuff done.
Enter, the humble washing basket.
This is where humans who have their lives together, put clean clothes to be ironed. I put my child in it. But bare with me.
Grab your washing basket (not the type with a lid for dirty clothes, but the one you carry clean clothes around in… does it have a better name than a washing basket? I don’t know. I’m very sleep-deprived), and fill it with comfy cushions. You want the right amount to be comfortable for your baby. Ruben was an epic chunk at this point and could sit up perfectly well, so he only needed a few thin ones.
Then, attack some fun bits and bobs to the holes on the outside. Annoyingly, our basket’s holes were dead small (apparently we didn’t consider this when purchasing it!), so we were a bit more limited, but essentially, the idea is that you can hang various pram toys on it, so that they are in reach and can’t fall out, as well as using other things like sensory scarves tied on. We also have loads of connecting rings which we could attach to toys like teethers and make those attached too.
Obviously, only use baby safe things, and keep them in sight, but Ruben loved sitting in there while I showered, or cooked, or faffed around. I knew he was safe, supported and had plenty to play with.
I won’t lie, this hack didn’t last as long as I would have liked it to! Ruben grew too big for the washing basket, and although I once tried to use the travel cot as a makeshift play pen, he was not a fan of baby prison, and so I now just basically never get anything done.
I did manage to clear out the fridge the other day while he sat happily in his highchair, chain-eating raspberries, but generally speaking, I only manage to be productive when he is napping. And only if that nap happens in the cot, and not on me. But for a magical few weeks, my baby was happy as a clam in the washing basket, and mama got a few jobs on her todo list done. Bliss.