Keeping 'Em Out of Trouble


Overdue and Exhausted

How to keep mama & toddler busy when you’re waiting for baby

My due date came and went and after 8 days overdue with baby #2 I was ready. Psychologically, emotionally, and physically. The baby room was ready. I'd checked off my 'to do' list. But there was just one problem— the baby wasn't quite ready.

I was really anxious a few weeks prior and wanted the baby OUT. I was tired, moody, and disappointed that I was going to have another baby past my due date. But then I realized that this 'attitude' wasn't helping me at all (or those around me). I was fortunate to come across an article in Lamaze Magazine called 'It’s (Not) a Date.' After reading this article I decided to adjust my attitude. I had to stop focusing on the 'date' and more on 'it will happen when we are ready.'

I love hearing stories from other moms. During this time momstown Winnipeg moms recommended Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and I ran out and bought the book. Overall its message is about making childbirth a positive, natural and joyous experience and it reassured my decision to let nature take its course, and helped me  see labour as a positive experience.

Once I was calm, the next tricky part was keeping my two-year-old occupied while I was a much slower, overly pregnant, version of myself.  A task in itself and something we don’t hear enough about how to manage the ‘other’ kids while we widen.

How to keep a toddler entertained while mom saves her energy for the birth?

 Set up special ‘busy boxes’ around the house 

Fill closed containers or shoeboxes with special (non-messy) items like small books, a few small themed toys like plastic animals or Dora figurines. Build these boxes with your toddler and include them in the decisions. Then tuck the boxes into places where you expect to be sitting with a new baby.

 Stock up at the Library

Most library borrowing times are about 3 weeks which is a solid chunk of time. It might take you awhile to get back to the library so borrow loads of books to make storytime extra fun and give your pregnant body a chance to put its feet up

 Create a themed craft box 

Half the battle of crafts with toddlers is scrambling to grab the supplies together fast enough before they lose interest. Fill a large container with seasonal stickers, glue sticks, paper and crayons. All your child needs to do is open the box (or bring it to you) and it’s instant creativity!

 Solo Dance Party

Blast the music and sit with your swollen feet up like a So You Think You Can Dance judge and cheer on your toddler as she busts a move. It burns energy and your hooting and hollering will make her feel special.

 Stock your freezer with your Junior Chef

It's gonna be awhile before your two hands are free again so get busy baking snacks and freezer meals with your child. Cooking together will help you deal with the nesting instinct and make your child extra proud to be included.

Written by our momstown Winnipeg entrepreneur mama Ester Raftis