Caring for Your Toddler in the Last Weeks of Pregnancy: 7 Things That Work for Me

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

When you’re in the last weeks and days of pregnancy, it can be difficult to care for an active toddler. If you’re anything like me you feel big, slow, and tired – very tired – and that can be challenging when you want to make the most of your child’s last days with your undivided attention.

Here are a few tactics that have worked for me and 22 month old Baby. I have not been at my best, but I don’t think Baby has been impacted by it, thankfully. The main idea is to make even the littlest parts of your day a special event.

1. Take any opportunity to rest.

Cosleeping with a toddler

Sleep with your toddler, rest when he rests, and make reading and singing a horizontal, cuddling time.

2. Make meals fun.

Toddler meals

Do whatever it takes to make meals fun – whether it be pancakes for dinner, making pizza bagels with Dada, or letting your little one eat favorite foods that are bound to make a big mess.

3. Plan one fun activity outside the home for every single day.

toddler fun activities

It is especially helpful if you make plans with other people or attend events where you had to sign up or RSVP; you’re much less likely to cancel then! No matter how exhausted I am, I make sure we have a fun activity on the calendar for every day – a surprise ice cream date, a free puppet show, a town seed planting activity, storytime at the library, sing-a-long at the local bookstore, the playground, a playdate, playing at an indoor playspace, taking a spin through a different grocery store that has red truck grocery carts, long walks, outdoor cafe breakfast dates, etc.

4. Make activities special in your own home and yard.

toddler fun

Even the simplest activities at home can be enhanced with the right amount of enthusiasm and creativity. Hunt for dandelions, play with water, color cards for the grandparents, catch bubbles, sing to the cat, build with empty boxes, etc.

5. Prepare for the new baby together.

toddler doing laundry

I have been blessed with a child who is obsessed with doing laundry so washing clothes for Little Sister has been a highlight of many of our days for Baby. He loves to help Mama and Little Sister so much. We also look at lots of pictures and videos of Baby when he was an infant and talk about what that time was like. We read books about being a big brother and talk about how much fun we’ll have when the new baby arrives.

6. Do lots of art, singing, reading, and movement activities.

toddler art examples

Baby’s art, singing, and movement skills have developed so much over the past three months, and these kinds of activities are so easy to set up – plus they provide hours of stimulating play time.

7. Plan more ambitious, fun activities for the weekend when your partner can help.

toddler outings

No matter how badly you feel, you don’t want to waste these precious last weeks as a family of three. New adventures await as a family of four, but I’ve loved making the most of this time in our lives!

For more information on healthy pregnancy, visit Healthy Child Healthy World.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Good Girl Gone Green May 10, 2012 at 11:28 am

Home stretch! Thinking about you!
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2 Melissa May 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

These are great tips, Charise, and so timely! I’m still eleven weeks or more out, but I am feeling really exhausted lately and in the past week have really noticed how important rest and getting out of the house are especially. We stayed at home all of Monday and Tuesday and I thought the pre-baby blues might swallow me up by the end of it. We got out today and yesterday, and I got extra rest and I feel like a completely different person!

Enjoy these last few days or weeks – whichever it works out to be :)
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3 Queentob May 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

The last month is very hard! I used a lot of books on cd so we could “read” in bed together but if I dozed, I wouldn’t fall asleep while reading to big B. ;) hang in there! The end is near, and you’ll soon be a bigger, stronger wonderful family of 4! Wouldn’t it be exciting if baby girl came on Mother’s day? Xoxxo

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4 Naomi May 11, 2012 at 3:02 am

Awesome post I also love your picture your baby is so cute.
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5 Sami May 11, 2012 at 6:19 am

You make everything fun, your child must love you so much for being so cool

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6 Laurie May 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

great tips! I am 4 months pregnant and already feeling like time is going by so fast! I do want to enjoy these last few months with just my three year old. Planning fun summer activities… but I do need to remember to rest!
thanks

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7 Grady Pruitt May 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

Getting the older one involved in preparing for the new baby and even letting them help when the new one comes can do wonders for keeping jealousy at bay. I used that with my son so that he felt included when his baby brother was born.

Good luck with the last trimester!
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8 Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network May 18, 2012 at 5:36 am

Nearly there and you are doing so well. I too, enjoyed looking at all these wonderful images of your beautiful family. thank you Charise for sharing this with us on Seasonal Celebration Sunday! x
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9 Cynthia May 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Great tips; thanks for sharing!
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10 Austin Baroudi September 28, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Thanks for tips! My girlfriend and I have a daughter and we’re having another one fairly soon. She’s 5 months!

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