Let’s be honest: first pregnancy or tenth, each one has its beautiful moments and its challenges. I’ve never been able to nap as much as I did with my first child, but having a toddler around was a great distraction from the less thrilling parts, the second time around. Adjusting to pregnancy fatigue, lifting restrictions, and nausea with a little one around was an experience, though.
Making the house more accessible for my toddler gave me that much more energy to get through the day. Here are a few simple steps that can make a big difference!
Keep things down low. Approved food goes on the lowest shelf. Toddler-approved yogurts moved from the top shelf to the crisper. Child-safe plates moved to a bottom cabinet, and we just began sprinkling packages of wipes throughout the house.
Encourage independence. We actively taught our 2.5-year-old how to get his own spoons, how to open the heavy fridge door, and how to open a new pack of wipes (he hated sticky fingers). These were all things he was capable of, but hadn’t had a reason to do before.
Work with what you have. My son was young enough to still be in a crib, but I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavier than a jug of milk—a common restriction, especially postpartum. I couldn’t avoid lifting him completely, but putting a chair next to his bed meant that I didn’t have to lift him as much, at least.
Shed the guilt. You thought you’d be skipping screentime completely, but you’ve run out of energy to play? IT’S OKAY. You’ll get through this phase of utter fatigue, and your firstborn will survive a few movies. Maybe you’ll even get some new fun pretend-play games out of it for later!
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