Expecting a new petite creature is a true blessing, and if you already have one small human you surely know that pregnancy is an utterly magnificent state. When you are expecting your first baby you have time and energy to walk, shop around for baby clothes, take long naps, and truly enjoy in this wondrous state. Sadly, tables turn abruptly when you are pregnant with a second child. Having a toddler and trying to cope with your body altering again, mood swings, swelling feet, and other “states” sound like a mission impossible. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make your pregnancy pass safe and sound while entertaining and looking after your toddler.
Stimulate toddler’s independence
Your growing belly will very soon impede you from putting on your toddler’s socks, so you should try to encourage him to become more independent asap. They might not be aware that you won’t be able to help them do basic stuff once the baby arrives, so you should try to stimulate and teach him how to do some things on his own. Teach him how to put their shoes and socks on, how to put away laundry, drink from a cup and eat on his own. After each successfully completed task reward your toddler with a bar of chocolate or a small present until he learns. There are small things that a preschooler can accomplish, but a huge helping ones for you.
Get your toddler to help out
Including your toddler in regular daily activities is another helpful life-saving tool. New pregnancy signalizes that you have to do things differently, so let your toddler be included in the process. Ask your toddler to help you select and order healthy pregnancy food, pass you the fruits or veggies to make a nutritious salad, etc. Make it a fun activity to have the toddler pass you certain items you cannot reach, he could climb, crawl, jump around instead you lifting things.
Encourage individual playtime
Up to age 3-4 toddlers mostly depend on their parents for absolutely everything, especially play. A toddler would always like to include you in the play and have you do things together. With a growing baby inside that can be tough with time, plus your toddler must learn to adapt to single play as when the baby comes the central focus will be shifted. Give your toddler more active or “busy” toys to encourage independent play. Let him play in the sand, teach him drawing with watercolor paint and crayons, get some easy-to-do jigsaw puzzles. If you have an outdoor area, let him roam around and only “supervise”. In that way, your toddler will slowly learn how to play individually.
Walking is extremely useful in all stages of your pregnancy. And we all know that toddlers are super energetic, so you could combine the two and go outside as much as you can. Wear some comfy shoes, maybe bring a stroller for the toddler when he gets tired, and go to the nearby park, market, or city center. Have a pit stop from time to time to rest your feet, at that time buy your toddler either popcorn or a lollipop so that he could have his hands busy while you rest. Any form of light activity will do you both good as long as you don’t overdo it.
Ask for a helping hand
This is a unique period for you and it’s perfectly normal not to be able to do chores and work like you used to. Add a chaotic and demanding toddler to the list, and unless you ask for help you’ll go ballistics. As pregnancy can slow you don’t, running after a toddler won’t be that easy or advisable. Call your mom or grandmother to assist you with basic things like cooking while you go and take a nap. Hire a babysitter once a week so you could have time to go for a pregnancy massage or similar. Don’t be afraid to ask for help as you need to keep it easy so you could lead a healthy pregnancy and maintain your sanity when the second child arrives.
Don’t beat yourself up and try to unwind and rest as much as you can. Put your and your baby’s health in the first place and spend time with your toddler in the ways you can.
About the Author
Jasmine Anderson is a Sydney-based lifestyle blogger and a toddler mom. She loves to spend quality time with her family, go thrifting, and spend just a little bit too much time on the internet.