Best Way to Play with Your Toddler While You Are on Bed Rest

You may not be able to arrange full-time child care while you’re on bed rest. If you find yourself alone with your toddler for a short time, how can you stick to your bed rest restrictions and keep an active tod­dler happy?

Here are some suggestions from mothers who were on bed rest with a toddler:

  •  If it’s possible, set up your toddler’s favorite activities in your room, like a train set or doll house.
  •  Move yourself to the play area and recline on a mattress on the floor.
  •  Keep diaper supplies nearby or feed your toddler in a car seat next to your rest area.
Play with Toddler Best Way to Play with Your Toddler While You Are on Bed Rest
  •  Have someone prepare a box of activities. Items in the box may include coloring and sticker books, paper, scissors, glue sticks, crayons, books, and puzzles.
  •  Create make-believe activities. For instance, if you both like going to the zoo, make your own zoo with his or her stuffed ani­mals. Have your child place the animals around the room and make a visit to each and tell you what it’s doing. You can expand on this activity by reading books and watching videos about ani­mals. Or pretend with your toddler that he or she is a baby ani­mal being born, given a name, and fed for the first time.
  •  If you both like music, put on a tape and have your child sing and dance or play an instrument.
  •  When all else fails, there are always children’s videos.
  •  Try napping while your child does.
  •  Remember that your priority is the child inside you. If you feel tempted to get up with your toddler, remind yourself you would not get up if you had two broken legs!

What should you tell your toddler about your situation? Some women explain that mommy has to stay in bed to help the baby grow. They plant seeds in cups or small pots with their children as a long-term project to mark the passage of the days or you can make a paper chain for each week you need to be on bedrest, and pull one link off each Monday. You can also mark the days together on a calendar and fill in each space with stickers and drawings that illustrate what has happened each day.

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