Being pregnant with a toddler running around can be challenging, to say the least. You may not always have the energy to keep up with your little one, and getting ready for a new baby can rob you of precious together time. But it is possible to bond with your older child, tackle your new baby to-do list, and even reserve a few hours for yourself during these months. Check out these tips for making pregnancy with a toddler in tow as smooth as possible.
Take advantage of naps. Your new best friend: the afternoon nap. Life with a toddler while pregnant leaves little downtime, so use his naptime to catch some shut-eye yourself. Pre-nap, wind down together with a calming activity such as reading a book or listening to music, which will help prepare him for sleep. He will love the extra cuddling with you and you’ll appreciate the peace and quiet. Afterwards, head to bed for much needed rest.
Bring in a babysitter. Consider hiring a mother’s helper for a couple of afternoons a week. Your child will enjoy the additional attention during this phase when so much focus is on the new baby, and you can use the afternoon to catch up on your rest or do a few things outside of the house. Schools and places of worship are great places to get referrals for local mother’s helpers. If you’re not comfortable leaving your child alone at first, you can always stay at home in a separate room.
Involve your toddler in baby preparations. Toddlers will delight in helping you get ready for your new addition, and you’ll simultaneously be able to check tasks off your new baby to-do list while hanging out with your older child. It’s a great opportunity to bond and talk about what to expect after your new baby arrives. Your tot can help fold baby clothes, place clean diapers in baskets, or arrange baby books on a shelf.
Prioritize your time. Accept that you may not be able to do everything you'd like to when you’re pregnant, with a toddler in tow. Let a few things slide in order to fit in special bonding time. Mopping the floors or updating your blog can wait. Spending those extra hours with your child before the new baby comes will help your toddler feel secure during the transition.
Remember to give yourself a break if things don’t go exactly as planned. This is a big change for your household! Before you know it, you'll be watching your firstborn become a proud big brother or sister to your new baby.