My second pregnancy has been quite a journey, and is a far cry from my first pregnancy experience..for instance, I used to have all this abundant time and Energy to focus on just myself and I could rest when my body needed it. Never did I ever really consider how hard it would be trying to keep up with my 11 month old with all the aches and pains that comes with being pregnant. I was met with the extra challenge of fighting exhaustion while balancing time and energy to raise an active infant AND caring for the new life growing in my body.
This past weekend, I was home alone with the kiddies. After a trip to emerg. we confirmed Chase had a case of pink eye in both eyes, later coming down with a mild fever, cold, runny nose, sore throat, cough and a super fussy temperament. And although this may sound like a weekend from hell, it actually wasn’t that bad to get through! I even had time and energy to play with the boys, cook, clean and do laundry in the midst!
So through this post, I want to share a few tips that I found helpful in making the day easier on me and my body.
- Have a changing kit in all the rooms you spend most of the day in. This was helpful because then if Chase needed a diaper change I wouldnt have to go running to the storage closet to gather changing supplies. I have three changing kits in the house right now, one in his room, living room and my room! I always ensure that supplies are restocked after I use them.
- When baby sleeps, sleep (or rest.) I really only started using naptimes wisely in the third trimester. I was so overwhelmed at the beginning because it seemed like my list of things to do was neverending. I had to learn to let go of expectations and just take it easy.
- Bring back that nursing pillow. So as you can imagine, it is really hard to hold an 11 month old baby when you’re 8 months pregnant. I welcomed my nursing pillow back into my life and used it as an arm rest especially while Chase laid across my lap when he needs the most cuddles during his feed before our long night sleep.
- Have a few different play areas. So staying in one room can be mind numbing for you and your baby. Our living room has become our main play room, but I also have a play pen in the dining room and also a bouncer in the kitchen. I found it important to keep Chase busy by changing rooms a couple tomes throughout the day. And if the weather is nice, take the play experience outside
- Change baby on the floor. I used to dress Chase in his crib after bath time but it was too taxing crouching over the crib rail and wresting an infant into his pjs. So I brought out an old playmat and I would lay him there to change him. The toys keep him busy and still for an amount of time. He still gets crazy and I have become very quick at snapping onesie buttons together haha at least I won’t hurt my back this way!
- Make time for a gentle stretch/work out routine. It is harder to find time and energy these days for exercise, but I found that on the days I did, I felt great after! And it is really important to keep moving when you’re pregnant because it can reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling.
- Be ready. I packed my hospital bag at 24 weeks. I also packed a tray of a day’s worth of Chase’s food with a detailed day-night schedule in case we had to leave him at home with a sitter. I usually make Chase’s food but we also stocked up on easy squeeze packets just in case! Being prepared just creates a peace of mind so when yhat special day comes you can just focus on the arrival of baby #2.
- Bathroom breaks? and you will need alot of them! Sometimes I put chase in the bouncer but most of the time I bring him to the washroom with me and I use this time as an opportunity for him to practice brushing his gums! After much practice, he actually stays seated until I am done!
- Activities to keep infant busy. I can’t stress the importance of independent play while preparing the arrival of baby #2! This gives you time to relax. I have 3 different learning areas set up in the living room and I rotate toys as often as he changes his interest which keeps him curious and engaged for quite sometime! If your infant is clingy and demanding (Chase can be at times) be responsive and give him some cuddle time! And then redirect his attention to a new activity if you’re tired! But play with him a little then slowly detach yourself.
- Don’t feel guilty if you can’t hold your baby. Before my belly got too big, I really enjoyed having Chase in my lap for story time but it is getting really hard to hold a wiggly baby with my huge belly. So I set up a chair beside his crib and read to him while he is in the crib. It is just as intimate and he likes having the freedom to walk along the railing while listening to the story! Turning the pages was much easier too Putting him in the crib was safer for both of us and less of a strain on my body!
- THE drawer. Have a drawer right beside your nursing chair where you keep all the essentials you will need before bedtime such as books, tissue, burp cloths, hand sanitizer, soother, thermometer etc. at arms reach for easy access.
In addition to these tips, of course there are also the very important mental exercises that will help alot too. Don’t forget to stay calm, positive, let go of expectations and give yourself grace. If a tantrum should arise and you have already used up your last bit of patience and energy cleaning up the bowl of veggie puree that was thrown on the ground, walk away when you need to and then try again in a bit.
Good luck super mamas! Hope this helps
This post first appeared on MOM BLOG: Tips On Surviving Your First Year Parenting, Preemie Parenting, Step Parenting, please read the originial post: here