Are you hoping to be a fun mum for your older child even when pregnant? I know I still do as I’m worried about Gideon feeling short-changed because I’m unable to do lots of physically strenuous activities with him now that I’m heavily pregnant.
Are there safe ways to have fun with the older child even when pregnant?
Firstly, there are activities that we can do with our child without letting our discomfort get in the way. We need to make sure safety first and be mindful not to over-exert ourselves, right?
First trimester: start with slow-paced, simple fun with your child
During the first trimester when the pregnancy may not be as stable, our parents or doctors may advise us against carrying heavy things including our older kids. Instead of feeling bad about it, we can offer our child with lots of physical affection like hugs, holding hands and positive chats to fill their emotional tanks. With some creativity, this can turn into a game of “Let’s see who can kiss the greatest number of times!”. Explain to him why mummy can’t carry him as often because mummy has a baby brother or sister growing in her and she feels uncomfortable due to morning sickness etc.
Sharing our feelings and perspective helps children understand and co-relate matters better. You will be surprised at how thoughtful young kids can be – and this is one step towards preparing them as an older sibling.
Some mummies may need to get clearance from our gynaecologists before exercising. With the green light, we can try low impact exercises like swimming, walking and stretching with our child. How about pretending it’s sports day by setting up different stations to complete? Or, dress up in beautiful dresses together, turn on some Disney tunes and pretend to dance at a princess ball?
Second trimester: go easy with activities that require more energy but work around that
The second trimester is often known as the honeymoon period where our energy bounces back. For some of us, the big growing belly, nausea and heartburn can get quite hard to bear. For me, I will pick a time when I’m feeling game enough for physical activities with my son. We would get up to some stay home activities together with daddy, or explore the outdoors with my toddler. I’ve also been swimming at my friend’s pool to stay active.
On weekday evenings or weekends, I will bring my boy along. We have a splashing good time and enjoy plenty of laughter pretending to compete or play throw and catch with his toys in the water. It’s a great way to expend their energy while working on their hand-eye coordination and build water confidence too!
Growing a baby is hard work and there are days we don’t feel up for anything. As our baby bump grows, we might feel more discomfort under our ribs as baby now takes up more space. It’s normal to feel tired and it’s also okay to prefer lying or sitting when playing or just watching by the side.
Some simple ideas that don’t require much energy: be the audience for our little singer as he sings his favourite nursery rhymes from YouTube, blowing bubbles along the corridor or at the playground, letting our child soak in a bubble bath at home and reading storybooks to him while he sits on mummy’s lap.
Jenelle’s financial planning tips: Did you know that maternity insurance can be purchased from week 13th? Pregnant mums can buy prenatal insurance to protect against unexpected complications and congenital illnesses.
Third trimester: discover new play ideas that are more comfortable for mummy’s bigger bump
The final lap of this pregnancy journey! Swollen feet and tiredness may visit, mummy may feel like moving slowly because the weight gain can bring about breathlessness, more backaches and Braxton Hicks that come and go.
Time to come up with new fun ways to play with our older children – how about some hands-on activities to keep little fingers busy? Mummy can sit and let her hands create something beautiful together with her older baby. Some stay home activities to try: putting jigsaw puzzles together, working on a DIY craft, setting up a tent in the living room and sticking glow in the dark stars on the ceiling or walls and have movie night under the stars on Fridays.
Having a routine makes it easier for the soon-to-be big brother or sister learn to anticipate what’s going to happen next. This special time together with mum would definitely be something he would love to look forward to!
I hope these fun ideas gives you more bonding time with your older kids before you’re due, mummies! Do you have other creative ways to play with your kids during pregnancy? Leave a comment below!