How to Manage Being Pregnant With a Toddler.by Claire Chircop
Whilst the first pregnancy for most features self-care and self-indulgence, a second pregnancy can often feel like it's worlds apart. Being pregnant with a toddler comes with its own challenges, both mentally, physically and emotionally. None of which I bet you envisaged when seeing those two lines pop up on your pregnancy test.
Here are 5 things I've personally learnt through my second pregnancy which have helped me manage being pregnant with a toddler.
5 Tips for managing being pregnant with a toddler.
1. Let your toddler bond with the baby.
Explain to your toddler exactly what’s going on, why things are slightly different and why your tummy is expanding. Even if they don't totally understand yet, it's a sure fire way to help them bond with the baby.
You could give your bump a nickname as a way to get your toddler to interact with the baby. Or even get their help with picking your new baby's name.
A fun idea is to get them to pop stickers all over your bump, or even face paint your tummy! If the timing's right why not ask your toddler to paint your bump as a giant pumpkin or a beach ball. I’m sure your toddler will love the playtime & it’s a fabulous opportunity to get them to bond with the baby and give you both a few laughs.
2. Have special time just for you and your toddler.
Predicting how your toddler is going to react once your baby arrives is always going to be daunting. You never really know how it's going to go until you're there in the moment! Because of this it’s worth doing things just the two of you, both before and after your new baby arrives.
These times don’t need to be the most extravagant; It could be as simple as snuggling up with a movie or going for a walk collecting bits of nature to do some crafting with.
Kids don't really care how their time is spent as long as it's quality time with you. It's so important to have special time just for you and your toddler.
3. Conserve energy whenever you can.
Having a toddler is exhausting. Being pregnant is exhausting. Being pregnant with a toddler is doubly exhausting!.. So cut yourself some slack and conserve energy whenever you can. You don't need to do it all!
If your toddler still naps (lucky you, I'm 100% jealous) why not take a nap with them? Conserve energy for when they wake back up or when you’ll really need it. Equally, if somebody offers to help, take it! If you’ve got a friend coming over or you have family visiting, why not let them take the lead for a bit. Don't forget that you can still be present whilst resting and conserving energy.
Truth is, you’re going to need the extra energy for labour as well as the impending fourth trimester!
4. Get your toddler to help out.
Lifting things or doing household chores can be a worry whilst pregnant. You don't want to overdo anything, especially in the final stages of pregnancy. Why not get your toddler to help you out around the home. This feeling of importance and independence will only accelerate them & help both you and them in the long run.
Think about the little things too. If your toddler asks for a cuddle, instead of going to pick them up, why not ask them to climb up on the sofa for a snuggle. Bending down becomes instantly more difficult in the third trimester, so again just think about conserving that energy.
5. Don't beat yourself up!
One of the easiest things you can do whilst being pregnant with a toddler is to beat yourself up over things you ‘should have’ or ‘could have’ been doing with your firstborn.
It’s mum guilt, rearing her ugly head! And she needs to go. We need to give mum guilt the middle finger, cut ourselves some slack and really appreciate the efforts our bodies are going to nurture our babies. In reality, listening to your body and looking after yourself, in turn, looks after your unborn baby & toddler. It's the most important thing you can do!
Are you currently pregnant? Can you relate to the pointers I've made?