You finally feel like you are starting to master this parenting gig….when suddenly the reality of having a second baby with a toddler at home hits you! Pregnancy the first time around can be challenging enough, but when you are having a second child with a toddler already keeping you on your toes, pregnancy becomes a whole new ball game!
Friend, I am right there with you! I have a now 12-month-old and pregnancy this time around is much different than the first!
BE SURE TO PIN ME FOR LATER!
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Having a Second Baby With a Toddler
With your first pregnancy, you were likely able to come home from work and collapse on the couch if you were tired. Weekends? Those were probably for naps! Now that you have a toddler, those naps you enjoy with your first pregnancy probably seem like a long-ago dream. How do you get energy while pregnant when your toddler never seems to sit still?
Take advantage of nap time. It is so very tempting to use this precious window of time to clean, scroll on your phone, organize, work, or do any number of other things that are more difficult to do when your little one is awake. I encourage you to make it a priority to nap yourself. Growing a baby is hard work, and it is even harder when you are pregnant with a second baby and on full-blast toddler-wrangler mode all day long. Be intentional about resting and recharging during your toddler’s naptime.
Dealing With a Clingy Toddler
When you are preparing for a second baby with a toddler, you may have noticed that your toddler has become more clingy. This is very normal! Part of it is age, and part of it is your toddler is sensing that their world is changing.
When you feel touched-out but your toddler doesn’t want to let go, I recommend some cuddle time on the touch. Some things that I have found helpful are to read books, watch your child’s favorite show (it’s okay to indulge in screen time sometimes!), or even let your child eat a snack. This lets you sit down and rest for a few minutes but still gives your child the touch-time they need without turning you into a human jungle gym.
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Surviving Morning Sickness with a Toddler
Morning sickness is never fun. Especially when you just want to lay down but can’t because your toddler is moving at a mile-a-minute around your house. When you are having a second baby with a toddler around, I highly recommend making one room completely childproof. This way, when you are feeling completely sick or tired, you can take your child in that room, shut the door, and lay down in the room while they safely play. You are still able to interact with and supervise your child, but don’t have to worry they are going to hurt themselves if you can’t react fast enough.
Another tip is to set up a pack-n-play or small gated play yard in your living room or kitchen. Then, if you need to make a sudden trip to the bathroom, you can swiftly place your child in a safe, contained space. Bonus tip: keep it stocked with a couple toys that your child only gets to play within the pack-n-play. They will hold your child’s attention longer and buy you a few extra minutes to recover!
Prioritize Your Toddler’s Sleep
One of the most helpful things you can do to prepare for having a second baby with a toddler at home is to prioritize your toddler’s sleep. This is so helpful both during pregnancy and once you bring your newborn home. What this looks like depends on what your toddler’s sleep currently looks like. My advice is to try to get your toddler on a predictable nap schedule if you don’t already have one. Having these 1 or 2 predictable periods per day to either rest when pregnancy feels hard or clean and organize when you feel the urge to nest is a huge morale booster! Having a schedule also helps your toddler know what to expect next during the day. For children who don’t nap, you can do the same thing but have them have a quiet time in their room instead.
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Look To Jesus
Most importantly, look to Jesus! Pregnancy is never easy. It is hard emotionally and physically. These challenges can seem to multiply when you already feel spent from engaging with your toddler all day. While making a game plan to handle morning sickness, energize, and deal with toddler clinginess are important, they aren’t nearly as important as looking to the One who is the ultimate source of strength. In Christ, we busy mamas find our true rest. For those who believe in Christ, He is who will carry you through the hard, tired, and sick days. He will sustain you when every fiber of your body feels worn out. Keep your eyes on Him!
Bible Verses for Overwhelmed Moms
The Bible is the best place for encouragement. Here are some verses I love! All are from the NASB translation.
Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not get weary.”
Psalm 121:1-4 “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
Matthew 11:28,29 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
More tips for new moms:
- 4 Ways To Battle Special Needs Parent Isolation as a Christian
- Exhausted and Weary – Encouragement and Tips for New Moms
- New Mom Anxiety: Three Truths to Find Hope and Peace
- Becoming a Mom for the First Time Changed My Life