Things I Can (and Can’t) Do While Holding My Baby


My new little one likes me (she really likes me), and she is our last baby. As a result, I spend much of the day carrying her around in one arm while attempting to do all of the things I have to do to keep our household running with the other. For the last three months, I’ve been keeping track of which things I manage to do with one hand and which ones have to wait for two-handed times. Here’s a short list of things I can (and can’t) do while holding my baby.

Things I Can Do

We CAN take selfies!

Thanks to my smart phone, some things are pretty easy to do while nursing or holding a sleeping baby, like ordering groceries, replying to emails, and even loading the dishwasher. I can also update family on the East Coast about how we are doing (aka, post cute baby pictures to Facebook), brush my hair, and (usually) go to the bathroom with babe-in-arms. Honestly, much of what I do is make lists of what I will do when she’s content to be set down or held by someone else. I’ve also figured out how to hand-wash dishes, vacuum, and start a load of laundry with her on my hip, though these activities are so much slower that I usually put them off.

Things I Can’t Do

I’ve also discovered a few things I just cannot do without setting her down, including folding laundry, dressing myself, opening mail, putting my hair in a ponytail, fastening a necklace, or putting on earrings that have backs. That’s in addition to the obvious two-handed activities like driving, cooking, and bringing in heavy boxes from Amazon (because online shopping is so much easier than taking a wailing baby to the store).

We CAN’T go swimming yet!

It’s not that I can’t put her down, but I never know how long she’ll be happy in her swing or playing on the floor. I don’t know about you, but I find it really hard to do anything of substance while trying to tune out the sound of a crying baby.

So for now, I’ll just snuggle my baby and do what I can with one hand. As I know from watching her big sister grow, this won’t last forever. Before I know it, she’ll be squirming and begging me to put her down.

P.S. Apparently, I can also write blog posts with one hand, as I discovered while typing this in the notes section of my phone. Go me!   

What things have you noticed you can or can’t you do while holding your baby?

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Aside from being a writer, Kendra is a Birth Trauma Doula at KarysMa Birth, where she helps moms find their joy after birth trauma. A former middle school English and theatre teacher, she has an insatiable love for learning and a flair for the dramatic. Among the best moments of her life, she counts marrying her husband Steve during a dream rainbow wedding, planning a princess picnic on the beach with her eight year old daughter Karys, giving birth to her one year old daughter Saryn in the middle of a blizzard, and sitting on stage with Glennon Doyle. A Navy brat for the first 13 years of her life, Kendra settled in Virginia for eighteen years before she was finally ready to move again, relocating to Portland in 2014. You can find her work on Portland Moms Blog, The La Leche League Blog, and The Not Your Average Mom Project, as well as the hard drive of her computer.


  1. It’s nice to see you are able to write now, on top of all of the other things you are doing ๐Ÿ™‚

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