Survive Work From Home With Children

Coronavirus fears are everywhere. Life feels upside down and crazy right now. Many families are confined to their houses.

How can you survive and thrive while working at home with children?

working from home with children

Frustrated young mother having a business phone call with a crying baby next to her

 Five Tips to Survive Work From Home with Children

   1. Follow a consistent schedule

Our body works best on a schedule of food or sleep happening at similar times each day. Without the demands of a scheduled work/school day, it is easy to become relaxed about meals or sleep times. But everyone’s mental and physical health is better when it stays on a schedule. Maintain a regular morning wake time and breakfast. Don’t give in to the go-to bed late and wake-up-whenever desire. (Most babies and toddlers will not let you do that anyway.)

Even if you are going to be stuck in the house all day, get dressed in daytime clothes. It helps everyone separate daytime and nighttime.

For babies and toddlers, follow the regular nap routine. Maintain a consistent bedtime each night. When your child goes to bed at the same time each night, their body anticipates sleep which makes bedtime a much easier process. It sounds tempting to relax bedtime and let your child stay up later. But, usually, children will still wake at the same time in the morning. It just means they will receive less sleep.

It is easier to schedule your work hours if your child has a consistent schedule. Naptime is a good time to schedule those work calls and/or meetings. Your child’s consistent bedtimes provides more uninterrupted work hours for you.

2. Go outdoors

Our body functions on a circadian rhythm of almost 24 hours. It is important for everyone to have at least twenty minutes of outdoor light every day to help reset our body clock. Time outside improves the mood of a cranky baby, energetic toddler or overwhelmed parent. This is a great opportunity for a walk around the block or enjoying your yard or deck. The sights and sounds of the outdoors are entertaining for babies. The outdoors provides many things for toddlers to explore or get out their energy with running and jumping.

3. Early bedtime

Children’s bodies are programmed to receive the best sleep in the early portion of the night. That is biological and we cannot change it. If a small child has a late bedtime, such as 9 PM, that child will miss the deeper and longer sleep cycles which would have happened in the earlier part of the evening. Missing that restorative early evening sleep leads to an overtired child regardless of the length of the night’s sleep. Children require an early bedtime. An added benefit of that early bedtime for children is a relaxing evening for parents to enjoy. That is good for everyone!

The bedtime for babies after 4 months is between 5 PM and 7 PM. Toddler’s bedtime is between 7 and 7:30 pm.

What is the best bedtime per age of the child.

Bedtime for Children

4. Enjoy your child

Yes, it can be challenging to try and juggle working from home and caring for your child at the same time. Keep in mind that this is also an opportunity to have more time with your child, especially if you normally have a long workday plus commute time. Play games or with toys with your toddler. Laugh and be silly with your child. Get in those extra snuggles and cuddles.

5. If you are feeling overwhelmed

Parenting is normally challenging and stressful. During unusual circumstances, it can be even more challenging and stressful. Children and parents can get grumpy and annoyed with each other. We all have a breaking point. It is OK to ask for help from the other parent, another family member, friend, neighbor or a community helpline. It is not a weakness to need help. You are a wise parent if you recognize you are at the end of your ability to cope and need help. Sometimes just talking to another adult can give you hope and the strength to keep going.

If you need help, I am here for a 15 or 30 minute Q&A to ask me anything or for a sleep consult. If you have been thinking about sleep training, this is a perfect time to work on it when you are home all the time. Healthy sleep improves the immune system and makes everyone feel better.

Arlene Fryling

Arlene is a registered nurse and certified sleep consultant for children 0-5 years. She has cared for premature, sick, and many healthy babies. For over 15 years she has taught expectant parents how to care for their newborns through classes teaching basic baby care, infant massage classes, and moderating support groups for new moms as they deal with parenting issues.

Infant Tummy Massage to Relieve Gas

To see the complete massage instructional video:


Alix Kron
Alix Kron
4 months ago
We cannot say enough positive things about our experience working with Arlene!! We were desperate for sleep, going almost 5.5 months with frequent wake ups, nursing back to sleep, nonstop crying during the day, screaming in the car and becoming more and more hopeless as time went on without having success … Arlene changed all of that within no time. She listened to exactly what was going on for us, developed a sleep plan specific to our daughter’s needs/our goals and was so supportive and answered all of our questions along the way. It was very easy to follow the plan that she developed and it included naps and weaning off of night feedings. We saw a difference in our daughter almost immediately! Arlene has absolutely transformed our lives and given us the ability to enjoy each other and feel so much better getting the sleep we all want and NEED! Our daughter is now sleeping 11-12 hours per night, eating only once overnight as opposed to every 1-2 hours, is on a great nap schedule and is so much happier!!! It’s the best money we’ve spent.
Adrienne G.
Adrienne G.
2 years ago
We worked with Arlene to sleep train our 22 month old son who had been bed sharing and nursing to sleep. She helped us develop a sleep plan that was specific to our son's needs. It addressed both his nighttime sleep and his naps. It really took the guess work out of the endeavor, because as a parent, even if you read all the sleep books, there are many different opinions and it is hard to know what is right. Arlene was attentive, flexible and available to answer all of our questions and concerns. I would highly recommend working with her! Our son now sleeps 11-12 hours a night and put himself to sleep on his own. Sleep training him has been a game changer for me (I sleep now too!) and for him. He seems well rested and his development seems to be progressing faster now too. His language skills are flourishing since he is getting better rest.
Amanda C
Amanda C
4 years ago
We just wrapped up our second time working with Arlene, and had another great experience! Arlene helped us sleep train our first baby a few years ago when she was 4 months old at the time. She was a terrible sleeper, waking up once every hour and needing to be rocked to sleep for what felt like hours and hours each day. I was a stressed, exhausted, and worried first time mom, and I was drawn to Arlene’s calm and experienced approach. She gave us an option for a gentler strategy that worked for us at the time, and was detailed and responsive in her sleep plan and attentiveness. Our daughter just turned 2.5 years old and is still a great sleeper. So once our second baby turned 4 months recently, we did not hesitate to work with Arlene again. We now have two rockstar sleepers in our household, thanks to Arlene! It means the world to us that she was there to help guide us, instill confidence, and most importantly, help teach our children such a valuable skill they will undoubtedly benefit from for the rest of their lives.
Begoña Cirera
Begoña Cirera
2 years ago
Arlene helped me first with my first son who was 2.5 year old when I hired her. He slept with me during breastfeeding. He never wanted to sleep in his crib. I was due with my second, and I needed better rest, and had no clue how to get him to sleep away from my bed. I even had to sleep w him during naps, or he wouldn’t sleep. I had to walk him for hours to fall asleep every night. It was awful. Two weeks after Arlene helped us create a program for him, he was done!!! He was sleeping in his own room, all night (12+ hours) and he was SO HAPPY during the day. We learned so much, and all made so much sense. After trying methods and books, nothing worked. My son is almost 6, and he falls asleep at 7:30pm every evening, until 7:00am. As a parent, you know how precious those hours are. With my second one, I didn’t make the mistake of waiting until he was two to train him to sleep. By 3 months, we slowly started, with Arlene’s help. I never had to walk him or be there for him to fall asleep. He’s now 3, and he is a great sleeper, much better than his big brother ever was, still takes 90-min naps, and sleeps 11 hours a night. Every penny I spent to hire Arlene’s expertise is worth it. My only regret was not to look for her sooner. Lifesaver, 100%.
Abbey Stidam
Abbey Stidam
6 years ago
Arlene Fryling at Gentle Touch Sleep Time helped our son sleep, which helped us sleep! We were having trouble transitioning our son (4 months at the time) from his rock-n-play to the crib and our amazing sleeper since birth was all of a sudden not sleeping very much. Arlene talked with us about what was going on with his sleep and why the change in his sleep pattern. She answered all our questions and calmed our worries and frustrations. She came up with a sleep plan that worked for our family. She guided us every step of the way. He is now an amazing sleeper again! He is 18 months old and sleeps 12 hours at night and takes a 1 1/2 - 2 hour nap. He loves to sleep and never fights sleeping. I am so thankful we had Arlene Fryling help us and we were able to teach our son to sleep.