Waiting for the newest member of your family is exciting, but it might change how you celebrate the winter holidays. Pregnancy changes your daily routine and could derail your traditional plans, but you don’t need to worry about making it through the next few weeks. Read these tips for the holidays when you’re pregnant with baby number two to make the experience more manageable and fun.
1. Stay Close to Home
The holidays are opportunities to see your loved ones, but pregnant people should stay close to home. It’s wiser to stay close to your preferred OB-GYN, hospital, and primary care physician. If you were to go into labor in another city or state, you’d also have to find new child care arrangements for your first child while you’re in the hospital.
2. Keep Your Hospital Bag Packed
It’s tempting to use your hospital bag for short-term travel purposes or hide unwrapped gifts, but keep it stocked. You might need to visit the hospital during the holidays if your water breaks or an emergency occurs. Keep it handy and ready to go so you don’t have to worry about grabbing loose essentials before an unexpected hospital visit.
3. Try to Meal Prep
Rest is essential for your health, especially when you’re pregnant. Unfortunately, the holiday season makes people busier than ever. If you’re hosting loved ones or planning seasonal meals for your family, meal prep as often as possible. You could prepare delicious entrees in bulk and refrigerate or freeze them. You could whip up a week’s worth of food in a day and only worry about warming things up when it’s time to eat.
4. Establish Your Goal List
Pregnancy can make it more challenging to get things done, which might complicate your holiday plans. Create a to-do list for each day and build goals into that list to feel more accomplished no matter how your day goes. Whether your pregnancy makes you more tired or unable to focus, you’ll still have your helpful list nearby to encourage yourself. Even checking off one accomplishment every day while preparing for the holidays will make you feel productive when things get hectic.
5. Adjust Your Wishlist
You’re making your gift list and checking it twice. Your loved ones want to know what they can get you for the holidays, so feel free to add things for your second baby. Family and friends can help you collect baby supplies you don’t already have. You might reuse your first child’s bottles and changing table, but your next baby could need clothes in a smaller size or toys to replace broken hand-me-downs. Whatever doesn’t end up under your tree can stay on the list and transform into your last checklist while preparing for your baby’s arrival.
6. Get Your Child Involved
Make this holiday season extra special by doing something fun with your kid. Get washable paint and create handprints on your belly for your family Christmas picture. Your child will get more excited about becoming an older sibling and start making memories they’ll treasure forever. You’ll also use this brief time of your life to do things you might not be able to do again if you decide not to have a third baby.
7. Research Alcohol-Free Drinks Early
When you go to a party where everyone’s drinking eggnog or seasonal cocktails, arrive with an alcohol-free drink in mind. You could bring pre-made pear cider or request a blackberry spritzer with cinnamon syrup. The party’s host might also set aside their cocktail ingredients so you can enjoy the same drink everyone else is having but without the added alcohol.
It might feel embarrassing or awkward to request a special drink before a big party, but your loved ones will want to include you. Voice your preferences to brainstorm drink ideas and you won’t have to feel left out of the seasonal parties.
8. Avoid Feeling Obligated
Holiday fun sometimes comes with unwanted feelings of obligation that become even more difficult when you’re pregnant. Your child might want to enjoy your annual tradition of decorating sugar cookies, but the idea of standing for that long might fill you with dread. Walking around the mall during Black Friday sales could also result in extra back pain even if you want to be there with friends.
There are always ways to tweak your traditions so your obligations don’t complicate your pregnancy experience. Sitting down to decorate cookies or inviting your friends over to shop online with you are just a few ways everyone can have a great holiday season without making you feel uncomfortable.
Prepare for the Holidays This Year
Now that you know a few tips for the holidays when you’re pregnant with baby number two, think about which ideas would be most helpful. You might attend tons of holiday parties or have special traditions already established with your kid. Setting new expectations and making slight adjustments will keep your pregnancy in mind while sticking with your plans.