Recently my husband has been doing a lot of travelling. In fact he has been away for 42 out of 44 days. To help my toddler cope with his daddy being away we have been using technology to communicate.
We have used a combination of Skype and Facebook Messenger to communicate during the 44 days and I wanted to share a few tips that helped to make this work for us.
- Find a time of day that fits with your OH schedule and your toddler’s naps and mealtimes. This was a challenge for us as my OH was in San Francisco and my toddler naps from 2-4 and has tea at 6pm so for us that only really worked at 4:30 – 5:30pm. We also found that first thing in the morning sometimes worked for us.
- Doing video messaging across mealtimes was disruptive to my little one so we avoided that.
- When on Skype of FB Messenger using the video functionality we found that our toddler enjoyed playing games with his daddy. Simple things like copying daddy (hands on head etc) made him giggle and realise that daddy was actually there and responding to what he did.
- We also showed our toddler what daddy was experiencing around him so took him on a tour of the hotel via video, showed him the cars in the car park (lots of car car car comments by our toddler) and taking him down a glass elevator… something he had never seen before. He was fascinated.
- I tried to avoid doing calls when our toddler was tired as he tended to act up after the call. Likewise I made sure before the call he had had his snack and a drink.
- If you are going to do video calls with a toddler make sure you aren’t going to have to do a nappy change mid call… if you can.
- We found that flipping from front to rear facing camera was handy from time to time especially when I was showing my husband what our toddler was up to. Sometimes he didn’t want to participate on the call but at least dad got to see him playing and having fun.
- We used our phones to do all of the above as it gave us the flexibility to move around the house at will. You could use a laptop, tablet or even your TV if you have a camera built in.
If you have tips for Skyping or Facebook messaging your toddler then please do share your suggestions in the comments.