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My second pregnancy has been much rougher than the first, I’ve been much sicker and sick for most of the pregnancy too and I’ve had a very active toddler to take care of at the same time. I have definitely had moments where I’ve felt guilty for not doing more educational activities with him and I’ve felt guilty for letting him watch TV for basically an entire day. But it’s just a season and he won’t remember. My mom pointed out that when she was pregnant with my brother, I was about the same age William is now, and she was on bed rest for much of her pregnancy and ended up having an IV port put in because she was so sick and dehydrated that she would just keep an IV bag on her at all times. She wasn’t able to do much with me during those times but I still turned out (mostly) normal and I don’t remember that far back in my life. Like I said, it’s just a season.
Once you’ve adjusted to having two kiddos you’ll be able to do fun activities once again. For now, I’ve come up with a few ways that you can keep your toddler busy while you rest during your pregnancy. You still have to take care of yourself and the new baby while it’s still growing so don’t feel guilty for not being more creative while your pregnant. This is also a great list to keep on hand for sick days or if you work from home or when the weather is too terrible (whether too hot or too cold) to be outside.
Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy While You’re Pregnant
1. Try Out a Minimal-Mess Activity
I recently shared a list of 10 Minimal-Mess Toddler Activities that are just perfect for those days when you don’t have the energy to clean up a big mess or pull out a ton of supplies for one, five-minute activity. Other activities include coloring, playing with blocks, playing with race cars, etc.
2. iPad/iPhone Time
There are a ton of great apps out there for toddlers. I recently shared a list of William’s favorite apps, some educational and some just for fun.
3. Have Them Help With Chores
Sometimes there are just things you have to get done no matter how crappy you feel. You can give your toddler a clean rag and have them copy you as you clean the windows or front of appliances or maybe even the floor! William also enjoys helping me switch the laundry, I hand him the wet clothes from the washer and he (usually) helps put them in the dryer. And as they get older, they can definitely help clean up their toys and make their bed.
4. Read Books
William will randomly get into moods where he wants to read stories with me, he eagerly runs over to me with a board book and shoves it in my face or throws it at me until I read to him. If I tell him to pick out another he goes and grabs one. We keep a stock of board books in the living room so I can just stay on the sofa and he brings the books to me. A few of William’s current favorites include: [affiliate links] Red Truck, Little Blue Truck, I Am a Big Brother, Go, Train, Go, Llama, Llama Red Pajama, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
5. Ask for Help
If you’re on bedrest or if just the thought of going out into humidity makes contractions start up, ask your neighbor or friend or family member to take your little kiddo for a walk or to the park. There’s something about playing outside, even for a short time, that is so good for kids and burns off more energy than being inside. You could even ask a high schooler from church to come play your toddler for an afternoon, we have a regular babysitter who is in high school and she and her friends just adore spending time with William.
6. TV Time
It’s just a season. If the TV is on basically all day, it’s okay, it’s not the end of the world! Like I said, it’s just a season. William has gotten to watch so much TV these past nine months, oftentimes just because I like to have it sound like we aren’t alone in the house. We don’t just sit and stare at the TV for hours, William plays with toys and books and spins in circles whenever he feels like it. He also has the freedom to go upstairs, we keep all of the rooms he can’t go in alone, shut and have covers on the doorknobs, and he can go down to the basement where his playroom is whenever he wants to. As for what we watch, we have Netflix, Hulu, and Sling (instead of cable). If you have cable (or Sling with the kids’ package) you can basically just stick Disney Jr. on all day and your kid will be entertained. On Netflix, William currently loves any of the Thomas movies/episodes, SuperWhy, Chuggington, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Little Einstein’s. Hulu doesn’t have as many kid-show options but we do like Doc McStuffins, VeggieTales movies, and Sesame Street.
Any other tips for keeping toddlers busy that you have to share? Comment below!