Congratulations, mama! Every child is a blessing and I know you are SO excited for this new little one joining your family.
But, we all know that the first trimester of pregnancy is HARD. Morning sickness, fatigue, weird aches and pains…it’s a challenging time, and even more so when you have a toddler that you need to take care of, as well.
Let’s talk about how to survive the first trimester with a toddler.
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you choose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using my link. It’s okay; I love all of these companies, and I know you will too!
One of the reasons the first trimester is so difficult is because your body is trying to adjust to growing a baby, and it causes a lot of fatigue. While napping is a good way to fight that, taking a good prenatal supplement also helps.
With my first, I took a natural prenatal vitamin, and I liked it, but I didn’t feel any different when I forgot to take it (yes, you should take your prenatals every day but I’m human and have mom brain). The second time around, I took a prenatal supplement called Nourish Her Naturally and I actually felt a difference in my energy levels! I highly recommend it.
I’m going to add this in early here, because I think it’s big for a lot of us. I know we all try to avoid screen time like it’s the plague. But honest truth: screen time is not the enemy. A screen life is.
When I would suddenly start to feel extremely nauseous, we would watch an episode of Daniel Tiger. Afternoons were the hardest on my body, so we usually watched a movie.
Parking your toddler in front of the TV for 8 hours a day is probably not the best way to survive the first trimester, but a little bit of screen time here and there can be a big help! Don’t be ashamed or afraid to use it.
When I go into survival mode, our house loses all sense of fun. No baking together, no cool activities, no sense of joy whatsoever (a bit dramatic, but you get my point). But let’s face it: if you’re going to survive the first trimester, you need to have some fun.
Of course “fun” is dependent on what your toddler enjoys, but there are lots of simple activities you can do to keep them entertained and happy for a few minutes. Sensory bins are a great option (find some great ideas here). I also love this list of 20+ Simple Toddler Activities.
Enlist Your Toddler’s Help
My girl was almost 2 when we got pregnant again, so she was able to help around the house quite a bit. If your toddler is a bit younger, they won’t be able to help as much, but this is a great time to start teaching them. It’s good for your little one, and it helps you out too!
Ways that your toddler can help:
- Put away laundry
- Help make meals
- Put dirty dishes in sink/dishwasher
- Clean up messes
- Pick up toys
- Put dirty clothes in hamper
- Put jackets/shoes away
My toddler is not an independent play sort of kid. She likes to have a play buddy. And I love playing with her! That is, until I was suddenly fighting off nausea every hour of the day.
After a few days of frustration, I learned that my toddler needs me to have play time with her, even when I don’t feel good. Laying on the floor with her while she played on and around me was enough to make her happy and give us a much calmer day.
Even when you are tired or not feeling well, be sure to give your toddler the attention that they need. It will make this journey easier on both of you.
Lower Your Standards
Your house doesn’t have to be spotless. You don’t have to cook a 5 course meal every evening. Your kid doesn’t even have to get dressed every day!
Decide what’s important and focus on those things. For me, sticking to my laundry schedule was important to me, but keeping my counters cleared off wasn’t as important. It was a big relief to know I didn’t have to do all the things and life would still go on.
Ask For Help
I am the actual worst at asking for help. I want to do everything on my own, even when it’s hard. I grin and bear it, and tough it out. But after a few weeks of pregnancy, that just wasn’t working anymore.
So I sent my toddler off to Grandma’s house for one day a couple of weeks in a row. And y’all! It was the BIGGEST RELIEF. I love my kiddo so much and I missed her on those days, but a day to just breathe and not have to worry about nap or snacks or “put your diaper back on” or “why do you have 14 tissues?” was exactly what I needed.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone to help with your toddler! You have people in your life that love you and WANT to bless you by carrying some of your load. Let them be a blessing.
Keep Your Eye On The Prize
I know that sounds silly, but this really helped me. I would get so focused on being tired and feeling sick that honestly I forgot that I was growing a precious gift from God.
It really helped me to think about this child, and to pray for them. To dream about them and who they might become. Even to talk to my toddler about the baby. It helped me to refocus my attention and remember that pregnancy is an honor, a gift, and a blessing.
What do you do to survive the first trimester with a toddler? Share your wisdom in the comments!
More for moms: