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Six ways to occupy a toddler when you have a newborn

by Sally Foster (follow)
Inspiration around Brisbane

I am now a Mother of two which is somehow still unbelievable eight months later. I am the type of Mum who is used to taking my very active three year old out on excursions almost on a daily basis. So when I had my new baby, it was quite a shock to the system how much tricker it could be with my newborn in tow!

But as Mums we quickly learn to adapt. Here are some places and ideas that I have found to take my toddler so he is happy, while still being able to care for my newborn.

On a side note, I have a baby carrier. Which makes everything infantantly easier!


Our local playgroup has been excellent, as it is in a contained space, filled to the brim with toys, play equipment and other kids to play with. I can go there with both my kids and have lots of company and helping hands for my toddler, and sit back and nurse my baby. Plus it is a great place to meet other Mums in the same position as me.

To find your local playgroup see here.

Shopping Centre Playgrounds

I love our local shopping centre playgrounds, especially on a hot day. There are toilets nearby for baby pooh explosions and toilet training toddlers. Infinite options for snacks. And lots of places to sit down. Plus if I forget anything, which I normally do with a sleep deprived brain, I can always pop to Kmart!

From Minnipilly at Indooroopilly, to the brand new playground at Chermside, do not discount your shopping centre as a fun place to go with your kids.

Ikea also has great kids play areas and often has child minding. You can find out more about this here.

PCYC or YMCA Kindy Play

Sometimes classes can be quite expensive, but PCYC and YMCA's often have really affordable classes for toddlers that you don't have to be super hands on with. From gymnastics, to soccer, there is a large array of times and play options for you. My local PCYC also does weekly free kindy gym play where you can just go and do free play on all the gym equipment. And its only $8 a session.

You can find your local PCYC centre here or YMCA here.

Fenced Playgrounds

There is nothing worse than going to a playground and watching your toddler run away further and further, while you are sat there breastfeeding a baby. All playgrounds now have to be fully fenced. See here for our list of the best fenced playgrounds in Brisbane.


Play Centres are excellent, but I find so many are just too big to go to when I have a baby and a toddler with me. My toddler often climbs up into the depths of the centre and then gets stuck and I have no way of getting him back. Tiddlywinks is a beautiful dance and play cafe on Brisbane's northside where there are two daily discos that all the little kids love and two small kids play areas that aren't too big, but also a lot of fun.

Cafes with Play Areas

Somewhere to buy coffee is an absolute must for a new Mum. And when the cafe has a play area for my toddler, even better. Some of the best cafes with play areas in Brisbane include:

The Alley Cafe, Everton Park
Pure Tennis Kids Play Cafe, Ferny Hills
Izba Espresso, Newport
Monkey Bar, Greenslopes
Chapter IV, Paddington
Beans on the Green, Bardon
The Smug Fig, East Brisbane

You can find more inspiration here.

This list is just to get you started, do you know of any other great places to go with both toddler and baby in tow? Please let us know in the comments!

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