Let me break it to you right now – you cannot do this alone. If you are truly on strict, doctor imposed bed rest and pregnant with twins; then you need to have help with your toddler. I’ll tell you why: TODDLERS ARE UNPREDICTABLE! Not to say that you cannot continue to raise your child – only that for the duration of your bed rest, it will be tricky to do it on your own.
The first item that needs to be clear is what the conditions of your bed rest will be. My own varied from only restricting weight lifting (nothing over 20lbs) to strict 30-minute showers, 30-minute standing/walking time and no lifting at all. So, know your limits. I would even recommend having your doctor write or print them out for you and putting the document up where visitors/helpers can see it.
Once you know what your restrictions are you can plan for the type of help you’ll need. For example, while I was on light limitations I didn’t ask for help. Instead, I made changes, to put my son down for naps I made arrangements and had him sleep in a makeshift bed in our living room. We ate our meals at the coffee table, and baths provided when my husband was home.
Thankfully, if your restrictions are light, there are ways to manage on your own. Get creative, but remember you still need to take it easy. Do not try to work things out on your own if your bed rest restrictions are tight. You may need hire a babysitter or mother’s helper if you do not have family or friends that are available to help.
Let’s say you have the help all squared away, what’s next? Make sure your helper’s activities are planned and organized – consider yourself the principal of your child’s school and you’re creating the curriculum. You must clearly define what your child’s needs are. For my son, I focused on his primary needs which were to be active, fed, and a play schedule.
Lastly, this one is the hardest of all, set the rules for managing your toddler. Your child will likely not understand why you cannot be available to be with him at all times, and therefore, they can be difficult. The beginning of my bed rest was laden with multiple tantrums a day. Most of the tantrums were because he was being taken out of the house but wanted me to come with him. Having tantrums is entirely understandable, and unless his outbursts are causing physical harm to himself or others, there should not be a need to punish. However, if the tantrums stem from normal testy behavior, then there needs to be rules for regulating them, and your helpers should be clear on what those rules are.
In my case, my son was only 18 months old. We weren’t at the stage of introducing timeouts yet. His age made it harder to define what should happen during extreme tantrums or outbursts. What worked for me was to have regularly scheduled activities like playtime outside, scheduled play time inside (distractions to minimize tantrums), and daily “mommy” time. He was allowed to hang out with me on the couch whenever he wanted.
Something I wish I had when I was still on bed rest is occupational and sensory toys. My twins are now 18 months old, and whenever I need a little extra time to get a chore done, I plop them in their high chairs and pull an occupational toy from their bin. I have things like large beads and strings for them to put together, felt food toys for them to explore, color organizing toys for them to sort and I have small four piece puzzles for them to figure out. These types of toys occupy their time, their little minds, and it gives me the short amount of time I need to do the dishes or change laundry. If they work for me, I’m sure they’ll work for your helpers.
Whatever the level of your bed rest, you can still run your house and raise your child – even with others around. Do not let yourself feel like you are losing a hold of your life. Having others around to help is only a testament of how much they care for you and for the little ones you are bringing into this world. If you look at the bright side of things, most of your child’s activities can be done right next to you. The perk being that you have a reason not to get up to clean anything!
Please know, that in the end, it will be worth it. There will be a time when all of this will be behind you, and you’ll have the most beautiful children with you to make the future better. Hang on tight.
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
Luma Webster is a SAHM of twins, a 3 year old, an 11 year old, 2 doggies, and 2 kitties. A former IT professional turned blogger – she writes about her family, her difficult pregnancies, her thoughts on being a Latina, and her interracial marriage. Check out her blog, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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