Pregnancy is hard – well mine were; both of them but in different ways and being pregnant when I already had a baby – and J was a baby when I was pregnant with T is even more difficult. There is 18 months difference in age and until J was 18 months he didn’t walk just crawled so I spent a lot of time carrying him and pushing him around which as you know isn’t ideal especially if like me you suffer with back and pelvic problems.
Looking after your baby and toddler whilst dealing with being pregnant isn’t easy, it’s double the effort to do anything especially when a lot of activities with a crawler are carried out on the floor and by the time you are in the weeble phase getting up and down off the floor is nearly impossible. If your family aren’t close and/or you’ve moved to a new area then people’s helpful advice like “let him spend the night with your mum”, “have an afternoon off whilst his grandparents take him” just aren’t possible. So here’s some Tips that are useful whether your parents are around the corner or the other side of the world and you have a baby/toddler already.
Tips for Moms to be looking after a small child
So here goes these did make it easier for me everyday
Have a routine
Now I don’t mean at 6:30 get up out of bed, 6:45 clothes one etc… what I mean is a general structure to the day so that you and your child know what is happening next – even a pattern to the week. WHY? Cause kids like routines and there will be less tantrums which when you are tired and pregnant are hard to deal with even more so than when not pregnant and tired.
Prepare meals in advance and meal plan
Cooking with a baby or toddler is tough, cooking whilst pregnant and your back is killing with a baby or toddler to entertain you need 8 hands just to deal with everything so make things easier for yourself sit down and meal plan so that when you have help at the weekend when your partner is around you can prepare as much in advance – I love preparing freezer meals like our Mediterranean Sheppard’s Pie and just defrosting and heating when needed. Batch cooking and freezing in portions is also a good idea.
Adapt a Nursing Box idea for tough days
Whether you suffer from Morning sickness, have had a sleepless night with a teething baby or you have pelvic girdle pain there will be days when you have no energy, whilst pregnant I started to collect together a Nursing Box for once the baby was born but on those days the box got used for some sofa time activities.
Utilise Nap Time for Chores and Rest
It’s time to be easy on yourself, if you normally have an immaculate house letting a few things slide for a while is no problem and what’s more you will be able to pick those up at a later date. Nap time for your baby or toddler is an ideal time to do those chores that you know you won’t get done when they are awake and I agree – BUT – set a time limit for no more than 3/4’s of your child’s nap time and then that last 1/4 rest.
Take a walk
Whether you have a baby or toddler make an effort to go for a walk every day – if it’s hot where you live do it once the temperature cools down and make it a family walk, if it’s raining just do it for 15 minutes wrapped up in water proof clothing (theme park ponchos are great at covering bumps and you don’t have to buy a specific waterproof for pregnancy!). Push you baby or toddler, or hold their hand a 15 minute walk with a toddler won’t take you far but it will get you out of the house.
Play on the floor – NEAR a sofa
My secret to playing on the floor was that I set myself up with my back against the sofa and then I could use it to help me get up off the floor afterwards. I could crawl around (great position for those little babies that maybe facing the wrong way round in later pregnancy) and play on the floor with J but as soon as it was time to get up crawl over to the sofa and get up with help.
Accept offers of help
Some people find it easy to accept offers of help from friends, I’m not one of them but I worked around it, what would I like help with – perhaps taking J to the park or coming for coffee so I had some company, a lift to the toddler group or a cake that they had made extra. Your friends know you and they will know what kind of help you will need and will offer to help, accept it and remember when their time comes you will be able to repay the help in kind.
Enjoy this time with your little one’s as very soon they won’t seem so little until you look back on the photo’s and realise how young they really were when the new baby arrives.