13 Tips for Surviving Bed Rest While Raising Toddlers

Pregnant woman laying on couch covered with a blanket.

13 Tips for Surviving Bed Rest While Raising Toddlers

Imagine you’re 32 weeks pregnant and you’ve just received the news that you need to go on bed rest for the next six weeks after going into preterm labor. Of course, you want nothing more than to do what it takes to keep your sweet unborn baby safe and healthy, so no sacrifice is too big. But you also can’t imagine how in the world you will keep yourself entertained (especially if you have a precious toddler by your side) for the next six weeks because you’ve never been a sit still type of person.

I decided to reach out to some other moms who have been in this exact position. And by position, I mean the horizontal-stuck on the couch position. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Embrace your Type B ways.

Brooke in Kansas City said that bedrest was one of the (few) times in life where she was okay with not being a Type A person. She had to let stuff go! You aren’t going to be able to manage your house and life in the same way that you can when you are on your feet, so sit back and enjoy the opportunity to take it easy–things will never be the same with a sweet baby in tow!

2. Schedule Sanity Dates.

The number one thing all of the women I talked to recommended is to utilize connection with others to survive! That means call your friends and ask them to come chat! Bedrest is a great time to catch up with friends, something that is hard to do once the new baby comes! So take advantage of this great opportunity and call everyone on your speed dial.

3. Schedule Play Dates.

If you have kids, now is the time to get them connected with friends and to take advantage of all those invitations that start with, “We should get the kids together to play sometime . . .” Because now is the time! If your friends are offering, you must oblige them by letting them help you out! You can return the favor one day when you’re back on your feet. But for the sake of your (and your children’s) sanity, let the kids go play.

4. Hire a Cleaning Service.

Bedrest is not the time to worry about trying to keep a house tidy. So one of the best short-term options you can take advantage of is a cleaning service during your time on the couch. This is especially handy if you have other kids running around the house. You can always stop the service once you are back up and at it again, or you can continue to take advantage of this once new baby comes and you can’t remember how to run a vacuum. 

5. Watch a Netflix Series or Two (or Three).

You know how you always want to watch Gilmore Girls or Chuck, but can never get around to it? Well, guess what? Bedrest is your chance! Netflix (and Lorelai) are your new best friends! (That’s a Gilmore Girls reference in case you don’t know.) And if you’re up for something a little more educational, try a documentary. There are so many good ones on Netflix!

6. Take Up a New Hobby.

Bedrest is a great opportunity to learn to do something you never have time to try. I cannot tell you how badly I wish I could sew! (I want to sew curtains and costumes for my kids, but I have no time to sit and perfect that craft.) But if I were on bedrest, I could! And would. What hobby have you always wanted to try out? Knitting? Drawing? Painting? Cross stitch? Now is your time.

7. Do Something Educational.

You have such a great chance to learn during bedrest! One friend told me she used her time during bedrest to relearn math skills and study her family’s genealogy. And as a busy mother of three, it was bedrest that gave her the time to do so! Get creative and think about all the options out there for learning something new! What is something you have always wanted to study? You have a world of opportunity waiting with time to spare. For once.

8. Be a Planner (for Something).

Is your family looking to host a reunion? Is your child’s school in need of a fundraiser manager? Are you looking to go on a vacation in the next year? If you are a productive person, finding something that makes you feel useful can be just the ticket for staying sane. And so much can be done virtually nowadays, who knows what all can be accomplished while sitting on your couch? The options are endless!

9. Work on Those Baby Books.

The end of pregnancy is a great time to finish up your other children’s baby books and to get a head start on your newest book. If you’ve never had a chance to make an album through Shutterfly, bedrest is a great time to get some memories organized and documented!

10. Play “Old Fashioned” Games.

If you have kids, bedrest is a great time to really connect with them in ways you wouldn’t be able to do if you were doing all the normal mom things that keep you busy and engaged! So use this opportunity to play games with them like Go Fish or Monopoly. Or teach them chess or checkers! (Or learn it for the first time yourself and then teach them.) You may forever look back on your time of bed rest as a great time of bonding with your kiddies.

11. Take Advantage of Convenience Food.

Sam’s and Costco can be your friend right now, as well as meal services that deliver to your home! If you haven’t used a grocery delivery service or a meal service like Blue Apron, bed rest is the time to try it! You can be thrifty and Martha Stewart-y after bed rest. Now is not the time.

12. Read, Read, and Read Some More.

When was the last time you got a chance to sit down and read a good book? Or two? Or three? I can’t think of the last time! But bedrest is the opportunity! You can catch up on your favorite author’s newest book. And the one before that. And the one before that! If you really want to go crazy, you can read aloud to baby and let them fall even more in love with your voice! Cue heart melting. 

13. Take time to call and write older family members.

This is one of my favorite ideas! Is there an elderly family member you know would love to catch up, but you never have the chance to call them? Bedrest is a great opportunity to make some people feel loved and special when you would otherwise not have the opportunity to do so as easily! And better yet, bedrest is a great time to actually write a letter or a card to someone! Imagine sending a “thinking of you” card to grandma? Talk about an easy way to utilize your bedrest for good!

I hope some of these ideas have given you a much-needed boost to help you survive and thrive in your bedrest season. And before I sign off, I wanted to leave you with one last sentiment from Amber in a reflection of her time during bed rest with her fourth:

“I feel now that bed rest was a gift that taught me to appreciate a fully functioning body and healthy babies, and to never take them for granted.”

About the Author /

Quinn is a wife, boy mom (x’s 4), blogger at Sanctification and Spitup, host of the Renew You Podcast and licensed marriage and family therapist. She loves to encourage others in relationships through her speaking, writing or podcast episodes.

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Even though things may be more difficult now to offer help, still try to be the friend you wished you had when your babies were newborns to your friends and loved ones. ❤️ Things you can do:⁠
- Drop off a meal at their door⁠
- Drop off some of your favorite postpartum recovery items or breastfeeding products you loved⁠
- Go grocery shopping for them and leave it at the door⁠
- Send them a meal delivery service gift card⁠
- Bake her some lactation cookies (if she is breastfeeding)⁠
- Drop off any hand-me-downs from your kids⁠
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- Set up a meal train with her friends⁠
- Drop off diapers and wipes⁠
- Self-quarantine for 2 weeks and come over to help with the house and baby so she can take a nap or a shower⁠
- Pay for a few hours for a postpartum doula or a night nanny to help her out⁠
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I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
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1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
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2️⃣ Ask mom if she can pump and then pick 1 feeding that you will always do. Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.⁠
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3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
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4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
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5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
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Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body 7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body After Baby 🧘‍♀️⁠
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The postpartum period, or period of recovery that takes place after a mother gives birth, is an important time for mothers to take care of themselves. 🥰 Typically, if you’re less than 6 weeks postpartum you don’t want to put any pressure on your core muscles. Also, your body’s levels of relaxin, the hormone that loosens joints to prepare for childbirth, is elevated for 3-6 months after childbirth, and longer if you are breastfeeding. All this means is: take these postpartum yoga poses slowly and stretch yourself gently. No gymnastics here or pushing beyond what is comfortable.⁠
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Remember, every mama’s body is different, so listen to how you feel and seek advice from a medical professional if you have questions about how and when to begin your personal exercise plan. Note: Try to do the following yoga poses in the order they are listed. {Click 🔗 in bio to see the 7 yoga poses to strengthen your body after baby!⁠}⁠
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