If you’re expecting your second child you’re probably already worrying about how you will find time for your toddler.
It is tricky to pay them enough attention in those early weeks with a newborn, because you’re tired and the baby will be very demanding.
Mum guilt tends to strike at these times, and there’s no magic solution. You have two kids and there’s still only one of you!
So make some special memories with your toddler now, while you have quality time just the two of you. Here’s an only child bucket list of things you can do with your eldest child before your second child arrives:
1. Go swimming
It’s impossible to take two young children under three to a swimming pool on your own. Maybe not impossible, but not advisable! With a baby to struggle with on the changing mat and then two of them to keep safe in the water, this is an activity that you need another pair of hands for.
Taking your eldest child swimming one-on-one is great because you can focus on them and their water skills, plus having fun. You could book a series of lessons ahead of your second child arriving, or just visit your local pool once a week. I recommend Coral Reef in Bracknell if you live nearby.
2. Go to the cinema
Many cinemas do special screenings for young children and there’s so many good animated films these days. There were special Peppa Pig cinema experience screenings recently that would be perfect for toddlers, so keep an eye out for things like that.
3. Take them to a theme park
You won’t fancy grand days out in the early weeks after having your second child, so think of something on your bucket list of fun days out to take your child. I know Peppa Pig World probably isn’t on top of your list of ultimate places you want to spend a day, but your kid will love it!
4. Have a PJ day
If you’re in the later stages of pregnancy then you’re probably knackered. So why not just stay in your PJs all day and watch some movies together? It’s a great way to get yourself some rest while also spending time with your child. Don’t forget to get some snacks in!
5. Bake cupcakes
I’ve got a brilliant and easy recipe for cupcakes here. We love making them in our house.
6. Do some messy art
Your motivation for doing this is going to plummet when your baby arrives and brings a whole wave of mess to your home.
Do some creative activities now when you have both hands free. Let them finger paint, play with jelly, make some play doh, go out in the garden and draw on the ground with chalk. Whatever it is, make it messy!
7. Go pottery painting
There are lots of cafes and drop-in places that offer painting of clay items such as plates, figurines, Christmas decorations and lots more.
They provide the paint, and you just enjoy. Why not get your child to put their handprints on a plate then both sign the back so you will always remember the activity. It doesn’t matter if it’s not Pinterest perfect, because the point of it is spending time together!
8. Go out for lunch
Head for Nando’s or wherever you both love and spend an afternoon indulging in your favourite foods.
9. Take selfies
Get as many pictures of the two of you together as you can. Why not make it into a project that you do together? Take a picture of you together every day for the rest of your pregnancy. Include your bump in it and you can make a little album to show your baby one day.
10. Visit a farm
Pull on your wellies and head for your local farm or country park. Feed the goats and ducks, pet the ponies and laugh at the rabbits hopping all over the place.
11. Have a picnic
If the weather allows, pack some sandwiches, cakes and crisps and head outside.
12. Take a boat trip
Check out local boat companies – there are loads along the Thames near us – and look up their schedule. Then have an afternoon adventure on a boat.
13. Go on holiday
A last holiday as a family of three is a great idea, as it means you can make lots of brilliant memories involving the three of you. Yes there will be more family holidays in the future, but it’s nice to look back and say you took your eldest away and gave them your full attention while you still could.
If you can afford, go somewhere amazing like Lapland. If money is tight, go for a long weekend somewhere not too far from home. As long as you’re together you’ll have a great time.
14. Book a pony ride
Why not find your local stables and see if they do pre-school age sessions. You would need to help keep your child on the pony so it’s not doable with a baby in tow. This is a really nice one to do with a young child and they will love it so much.
15. Have a chat
Speak to them as often as you can. Make them feel important and listen to what they have to say.
You’ll be amazed at how much a child can open up when you give them the time to rabbit on and on for a while!
Are there any other things you would like to do or places you want to visit with your eldest before your second child arrives? Let me know your thoughts!