How to handle a toddler during pregnancy

If you are pregnant with your second baby you already know it is tougher second time round when you have a rambunctious toddler to keep up with. Those opportunities to rest when you need to are gone. Being tired all the time isn’t a happy or healthy situation for you and the rest of your family who may end up on the receiving end of your crankiness.

Here are some tips to getting your rest, important for a healthy pregnancy, during your busy days with your toddler.

1. Rest when your toddler is resting

You would have heard a million times the saying “mother sleeps when baby sleeps” and may have struggled to stick to it, thinking you could handle the sleep deprivation. Now, during pregnancy, it is quite important to force yourself to sit down, forget about the mounting chores, and rest while your toddler is resting.

2. Let others do the entertaining

Meet up with your friends who have kids as much as possible so your toddler can play with their kids while you try and sit back and relax.

Invite them around to your place as understanding friends will be more than happy to lend a hand in the entertaining.

Or, meet up in an indoor playground or fenced outdoor playground so your toddler can burn off energy while you sit and watch.

3. Encourage low intensity activities together

Precious time together with just you and your toddler will soon be in short supply. Take advantage of the time by engaging in activities that are restful for you but stimulating for your toddler like colouring in, making play dough together and then mucking around with it, doing puzzles, etc.

4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and your toddler to be ‘ready’

Minimising stress is important for a healthy pregnancy. You may have devised a To Do list in your head of where you would like your toddler to be by the time your new baby arrives, such as being potty trained.

However, a new baby in the house is notorious for unsettling a toddler. So, along with a commitment to what you are trying to do, like getting out of nappies, you also need a good dose of commonsense and flexibility. Don’t put pressure on yourself with a rigid approach to meet an impending date, where the new arrival may set all your progress back anyway; it will be doomed to frustration and stress.

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