Pregnancy Necessities with a Toddler In Tow

Welcome to the Pregnancy Necessities Carnival!This post was written for inclusion in the Pregnancy Necessities Carnival hosted by Parenting God’s Children. Today, participants share what they simply cannot live without during their pregnancies or simply what to gather for their upcoming new addition. Please see the full list of links to the other carnival submissions at the end of this post. Enjoy!

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When you’re expecting your second (or subsequent) child, things are different than when you’re expecting your first. You’re constantly on the go, caring for your older child, and there’s limited time left for mama (and fetus). Personally, I found myself alone in coping with a growing belly and an eager and active toddler because my husband was deployed on patrol twice during my pregnancy for a total of 4 months away out of my 40 week pregnancy. In this time, I benefitted from several simple must-haves, including must-have thoughts and perspectives to put on during a pregnancy, and I’ve developed the following short-list of necessities for the expecting mama to share with you. First time moms can benefit from this list, too, but keep in mind that it was developed with a second (or third, or fourth, etc) child in mind.

  • A big, bouncy exercise ball

Sitting on a “birthing” (or exercise) ball gets your hips in alignment, helps your back, and is just plain more comfortable than slouching on the sofa, especially when you have a chore to do like folding clothes. Bouncing on a ball can be relaxing for your hips and lower back, give you a little bit of cardio, and serve and a fun gross motor game for your toddler as well.

  • A heating pad (electric, or homemade)

I never got around to making my own warmer, but they are very easily made following a tutorial for a hand warmer and simply enlarging it. Electric warmers get nice and hot, but can cause injuries and/or fires if left unattended or if kids get a hold of them. In a pinch, use a slightly damp hand towel rolled up and heated in the microwave to apply some heat to your shoulders, lumbar spine, neck, or any other place where pregnancy fatigue is hitting you hard!
  • Purse Toys
Doctors appointments, car rides, and eating out with your older child can seem impossible when you are pregnant. To counteract the hormone surges and toddler/preschooler acting out that’s bound to happen when out and about, purse toys are a must have. Simple toys like plastic or wooden figures, wooden blocks, or toy keys, or small musical instruments can keep little hands busy so that there are fewer meltdowns. If you have a smart-phone, there are some lovely toddler applications for download – my favorite (and Abbey’s too!) is Tozzle- The Toddler’s Favorite Puzzle. There are multiple levels of puzzles and the puzzles are interactive even after they are “assembled” on screen.
  • A collection of local take-out menus
What’s worse for a pregnant mama than to have a craving, and not be able to drive to get it because her older kids are in bed? How many times does a pregnant mama just not have the energy to make dinner, but going out isn’t a much better option? Make yourself a stack of take-out menus that will deliver to your home, and keep them on hand for moments like these.
  • Lotion and bath salts
Pretty self explanatory: Pamper thy self. Baths and lotion rub downs are imperative for relaxation and to nourish your stretching skin.
  • A mantra
Being pregnant with a toddler or older child in tow gets stressful. Having a mantra memorized to help you get centered in times of stress is very helpful. Try “peace begins with me” or “I am clear. I am calm.” Even “I am enough” repeated several times works to settle the nerves when things get rough.
  • Firm and consistent limits
For your child(ren) and for yourself. Know what your physical and emotional limits are, and don’t take on too much. Make sure to set clear limits for your older children and if you are nursing through a pregnancy (like I did) don’t feel bad about setting gentle limits for nursing etiquette for your older baby or child (i.e. hands to yourself, legs still, or nurse don’t play) or sit and nurse in a certain spot only or only for a certain amount of time.
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Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants!


  1. Amen to nursing limits – they helped save our nursing relationship throughout pregnancy (only to have him wean 3 months later – I think he’s done!!).

    • My heart is both joyful for his growth, and sad for your loss. . . I’m trying to figure out how I am going to feel when Abbey weans. Part of me is like “any time now!” and then another part of my heart promises to be devastated when she’s done! :)

      Thanks for commenting! I probably could have enforced stronger and more consistent limits during my pregnancy and that would have taken even more stress out of the equation for Abbey and me. I think limits are a definite pregnancy must for a second time mama :)

  2. Ditto to nursing limits! I night-weaned my daughter during early pregnancy because I found nursing at night to be especially uncomfortable then.

    • Yes I think it’s important that we advocate for mamas to make decisions that are right for their families and their bodies <3

      Nursing through pregnancy is perfectly safe, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfectly comfortable! :)

  3. yes! I forgot to add birth ball to my list. HUGE asset! I also love the idea of a mantra – great suggestion. I’m going to have to think on that!
    Thanks for participating! <3

  4. Awesome list! I can really appreciate all of these suggestions being pregnant with a toddler now :-)

  5. Great post! I will have to bookmark this as I start thinking about having #2 (in like a year and a half)
    -Megan (

    • So glad you liked it, Megan. I’m gonna jump on over to your site and get to know you a bit! Thanks for dropping by my little corner of the www!

  6. Heating pad and mantras! Brilliant. Not once did I think of either while I was pregnant. I won’t be having another little one but this is a great list to pass on.

  7. Take-out is SO important :) I wish more places had drive thrus too so I could pick-up during nap time drives in the car!

  8. Great tips! And yes, 2nd pregnancy although much easier (cos you know what to expect) it is also stressful as you have an older child now. You know I actually started potty training my almost 28 months old boy when I was about 8-9 month pregnant! Crazy huh!

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