Pregnant with a Toddler:
Some tips for making it through
“Just wait until…” sound familiar? It seems like that’s all you hear once becoming a parent, right? When you’re first pregnant it’s “you think you’re tired now? Just wait until the baby’s here” then when they’re here it’s “just wait until he/she is crawling/walking getting into everything” then “just wait until you hit terrible 2’s!” Or “just wait until you have another!” As they get older it’s “just wait until they talk back!” – I feel like these “just waits” are too common, so negative, and never ending!
With that being said, I want to start off by talking about the amazing moments I’ve personally experienced while being pregnant with a toddler:
- Explaining to your toddler they’re going to be a big sis/bro! The other day I told my daughter how her baby brother is going to have really tiny tiny toes (she is 2 yrs 3 months) and just today she took her doll’s socks off and said “look mama! Socks for baby brothers tiny toes” while pointing at her baby dolls feet. I mean, c’mon!
- Letting your toddler feel your baby kick! They think it’s the coolest thing ever!
- Going through all of your toddlers newborn stuff and pulling what will be seasonally appropriate/gender friendly for the new baby. It’s like a trip down memory lane, while being nostalgic you’re also looking forward to doing it all over again.
- Letting your toddler have “a say” in picking out things for the new nursery. They love to feel involved!
- Picturing seeing them together – my heart can’t take the thought of it!! A woman in her 60’s recently said to me: “the best part of baby number 2 is seeing them with baby number 1” and although it hasn’t happened yet (I’m currently 36 weeks) I just know she’s right.
- Knowing what to expect! For labor and the newborn phase. Just being able to be more mentally prepared for it all is somehow more comforting.
Sure, it’s tough. (What part of parenting isn’t?) Physically you’re more tired the second time around because you’re taking care of a whole other human now, duh. Hopefully your toddler is STTN (if you’re following The Full Feedings Method® then they should be!). So you just have to plan to go to bed earlier to try and get a full 8-10 hours in since you likely won’t have time for random cat naps like you did the first time.
For me, my first pregnancy began in March of 2020 – the height of the pandemic (in NYC) so as you can imagine, I was working from home full time, hardly had to leave the house, sweats all day, every day, was living in a small apartment, sending my laundry out, had my husband home full time for any help etc. compared to now, my 2nd pregnancy: I work out of the house, have a (very active/anti tv watching) toddler, a (small but bigger than my apartment) house to take care of (with a washer/dryer lol), husband working full time, etc. However, I now live closer to help. I know not everyone has that luxury. But if you do, use it. My parents thankfully live close and help whenever they can. Lately, bath time has been a physical struggle (sometimes my husband works nights) so my mom will come over straight from work just to bathe my toddler. God bless grandmas!!
A few other tips I can share are:
- Get the nursery done early. I waited until about 33 weeks and I wish I hadn’t bc now at 36 weeks, it’s still not 100% done.
- Go through all your old baby stuff (if you saved it) sooner than later. I waited and was disappointed to find some things damaged in my storage.
- Have a sprinkle! Especially if you’re expecting the opposite gender! Diaper parties are great too!
- Come up with play ideas for toddler that *don’t* involve you getting on the floor. Table top stuff like play-dough or Mondo Llama has really cute (washable) paint kits! (Target & Amazon sell them!) Also anything coloring/crayon related is great.
- Use the help that’s offered to you!!!! If you have friends and/or family that are willing to help you in any way, say yes!!
- Cook in bulk! Instead of putting yourself through dinner every night, try to cook in bulk one or two nights a week instead.
- Try to go for daily walks with your toddler, if possible. It’s a 2 birds, 1 stone type of thing: you get some healthy movement in, you both get fresh air, it’s a great time killer! Plus a great energy booster for you! The sun + fresh air does wonders for your sometimes cranky pregnancy moods.
What I tell myself often is this…I got this. I was made for this. And, you were too. Take it one day at a time, and before you know it, your newest bundle of joy (and mine) will be here and we will have double the love!!
To sleeping well,