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Surviving Pregnancy With a Toddler

by Shelley Frost, studioD

Pregnancy earns you plenty of well wishes and pats on the belly, but the second time comes with a new set of challenges. With an active toddler at home, napping when you're exhausted and slowing down as your belly expands isn't usually an option. Adjusting your activities and helping your toddler prepare for the new family member are part of the process of managing a second pregnancy.

Care for Yourself

Your exhaustion, morning sickness, mobility and energy levels fluctuate throughout the pregnancy, but this time you have a toddler who isn't slowing down despite how you feel. Focusing on your basic needs gives you as much energy as possible to keep up with your tot. An earlier bedtime gives you more rest at night to battle the exhaustion that often comes in early pregnancy. Eating snacks throughout the day helps lessen morning sickness and fuels all of those play sessions with your toddler. Even running after your toddler can help with a healthy pregnancy. Your toddler keeps you moving and exercising throughout the pregnancy to keep you fit.

Involve Your Toddler

Many moms spend a second pregnancy worrying about the first child and how the new baby will affect him. Getting your toddler involved in the pregnancy can help alleviate some of those fears and prep him for the upcoming changes. Talking about the baby, especially as your stomach grows, gives your little one an idea of what is happening in the family. Once the baby gets larger and moves around more, your toddler can feel the kicks through your tummy. Encourage him to talk or sing to the baby to begin developing a bond. Another way to involve your tot is to let him help set up the baby's room or choose a few outfits for his new sibling.

Change Your Routine

The routine you've created with your toddler may need some adjustments during your pregnancy. Build in more down time if you feel exhausted. Instead of going to play dates and other activities every day, cut back to two or three activities outside the home each week. Lifting a heavy toddler becomes more difficult during pregnancy. Use the proper lifting technique of bending down at the knees instead of leaning over at the waist to life your tot. Using a stroller instead of carrying your toddler is another way to ease the strain. Your household routines may also need adjustments to survive the pregnancy. Stock your pantry and freezer with meals and snacks that are easy to prepare. Organize your home and your housework routine to cut down on the amount of time you spend on tasks.

Get Help

Even with organization and changes to your routine, you may need help during the pregnancy. Encourage your spouse to help with the household responsibilities and child care of your toddler. Easing some of your responsibilities gives you more time to rest and take care of yourself. For example, ask your spouse to take your toddler to the park in the evening so you can rest or catch up on household duties. Neighbors, friends and other family members are also possible sources of help. Enlist the help of your mom in keeping up with the housework or prepping meals to go in the freezer. Set up a play date for your toddler with a neighborhood friend to give yourself a break. Join a playgroup where you're likely to meet other moms or toddlers who are expecting another child. Talking to other moms in the same situation gives you a sense of camaraderie that makes the pregnancy easier to handle.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience come from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

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