When you fall pregnant with your second child, the idea of chasing after your toddler or older children seems daunting. You think back to when you were pregnant with your first and wonder how you will cope with the demands of a child as well as being heavily pregnant. There are some things you can do to make life a little easier.
Spend less time on the floor
The early months of pregnancy may not cause you any difficulty getting up and down from the floor, but as your pregnancy progresses, it won’t be so easy. Invest in a small, strong table and chair set that you and your child can sit at to do a puzzle or add a child booster seat to a chair so you can both sit at the kitchen table. If you do sit on the floor, make sure you have a sturdy chair or the lounge behind you to help pull yourself up.
Ask for help
If you are finding it difficult to get everything done or you are unwell due to the pregnancy, ask a grandparent or friend to help look after your child. The first and third trimesters can be particularly demanding on your body so if you need the rest, ask someone to help you out or try using a child care provider. Your child might enjoy the company of someone different or other children their age to play with.
Encourage your little helper
Start asking your child to help you with easy jobs around the house. Get them used to following your instructions and passing you things. Start with one simple instruction then as they get older and understand what you are asking them to do, you can add in a second step. Once you have your hands full with the baby, you will be even more grateful for their help!
Leave the house during the mornings
Rather than spending time playing at home so often, try to go out for a morning activity. Join a playgroup, visit friends or go to the park to wear out your toddler so they may continue with afternoon sleeps for longer and allow you to rest.
Encourage your child to walk more often
Most toddlers and even older kids like to be picked up and carried by their mothers at times. Early in your pregnancy try to encourage your child to walk holding your hand so that you don’t need to keep bending and lifting to pick them up. Praise them often for their good walking and try to distract them when they ask to be picked up. Remember once the baby comes along you often won’t have your hands free to pick them up.
If you need to take your child to your doctors’ appointments, try to make the trips less stressful by keeping them busy in the waiting room. Have plenty of snacks on hand to fill in some of the time as well as small toys and books. Try to schedule appointment times when your child isn’t tired and irritable otherwise see if you can have a friend or family member look after them while you’re at your appointment.
If you have school-aged children that need to be dropped off and picked up from school, ask other school mums to help lighten the load by taking your child so you can have a morning or afternoon off, particularly if you are feeling unwell.
Depending on how active your child is, you may be able to encourage them to spend more time with you sitting on the lounge rather than chasing them around the house. Try to grab a stack of books and read on the lounge, colour in together or do some puzzles. Have a box of toys nearby the lounge which you can encourage your child to play with. Switch the toys over regularly, so there is always something new for them to play. Even if it only lasts 10 minutes a few times a day, it’s valuable time for sitting down to relax!
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