How to survive being on bedrest with a toddler in tow

Those of you who have followed my journey from when I started this blog, midway through my second pregnancy, will know that however much I love being pregnant it’s something which doesn’t necessarily agree with me due to the fact I have chronic hypertension.  From the start of my pregnancy my doctor warned me that I could end up on bedrest at any point, and the thought of bedrest with a toddler in tow made me break out in a cold sweat.

The reasoning being is that chronic hypertension meant that I was at a greater risk for pre-eclampsia.  Whilst at the beginning of my pregnancy I felt fine, wonderful even as my blood pressure naturally dropped, towards the end there was a lot of cause for concern.

35 weeks pregnant in hospital with hypertension issues

Hospital bed rest

My doctor tried to admit me to hospital at 35 weeks pregnant to enforce bed rest, something which caused my blood pressure to spike even more, before relenting and allowing me to go home with bi-weekly monitoring.  With strict instructions to rest as much as possible.

I mean seriously strict.

Except, I had a two year old.

A very energetic and demanding, albeit cute, two year old.  

Tips for bedrest with a toddler

Photo of toddler

Bed rest during pregnancy can be hard enough to endure on its own, but having an energetic and demanding toddler at home can make things even more challenging. But don’t worry, fulfilling your dream of having a baby in good health, all while maintaining your sanity and keeping your little one busy, is possible. To help you survive these long weeks, check out these suggestions for activities to do while on bed rest with a toddler.

Drawing and colouring

Take your child’s favourite crayons and let’s start coloring! Why not include activity books, a few sheets of paper, stickers, scissors and glue to be even more creative. If your kids are a little bit older, you can consider doing crafts, such as jewellery making or scrap-booking.

colouring with rainbow crayons
My then two year old colouring with his rainbow crayons

Modelling clay 

It’s best to use clay that doesn’t leave a big mess on the table (and everywhere else). You can also make your own modeling clay with flour, salt and water. Ask your kid to sculpt a person, an animal or a fruit. You can bring the little characters and animals to life and imagine fantastic stories with your child. This can be really entertaining for both of you!

Reading books

While we’re working we don’t necessary have the energy to read a book every night to our little one. If you do, that’s quite impressive! But for the rest of us, being on bed rest is a great occasion to finally read lots of stories to our child.

If they are a little bit older and already know how to read, you can create a dedicated reading time where you both enjoy your books individually. Afterwards, why not talk about what you read and ask each other questions?

Playing games

Cards, Monopoly or other board games can be really entertaining during bed rest with a child. If it’s more comfortable for you, you can ask your partner or a friend to put a kid’s table next to your head. And if it gets really boring playing the same games over and over again, you can always purchase new ones on the internet and have them delivered to your front door!

Helping mummy 

Kids like helping their parents when it’s reworked into a game. Ask them to help you tidy their toys or to bring you a glass of water. Obviously, the tasks will have to be adapted to their age. They could also bring you a nice pre-prepared snack from the fridge!

Watching cartoons and movies

Netflix has a huge selection of movies and cartoons of all kind. There is a whole kids section that will surely make your children jump for joy! If you don’t want to subscribe, there is always TV, YouTube or your old DVDs. Create a routine with your child. You can watch a cartoon at the beginning of the afternoon or before dinner, for instance.


If your doctor authorizes it, you can do some simple exercises when you are pregnant and on bed rest. This will help you to keep your body toned! Encourage your little one to participate and exercise with you.

Preparing for baby’s arrival

Baby will be there soon! You need to decorate the nursery, select the color of the walls and all the furniture, and add a few items such as some nice little trinkets or drawings by their older sibling. Why not involve your little one in the preparation? They could help you choose the decor of the nursery or design your baby’s announcement card. They’ll be happy to participate with you (even though you’ll take the final decision, of course!).

Enjoying a nap

If your kids are still at the age where they like having a nap, take this free time as an opportunity to do things for yourself.

Sleeping Toddler. To my firstborn, being the eldest isn't always easy

Why not create a blog to tell your personal story? For instance, whether you became pregnant quickly or struggled with fertility issues while attempting to conceive, you could write about your conception + pregnancy journey.

Some other ideas include writing letters to your future baby, knitting a scarf for your eldest or learning new stuff thanks to the many tutorials available on YouTube. Additionally, you may enjoy educating yourself by subscribing to classes online, spending hours on the phone with all of your friends or simply watching your favorite show on TV while doing your nails.

Or, you can also make the most of this moment by having a nap yourself. You need to rest, after all!

9 ideas of things to do with the kids to help you survive bedrest with a toddler in tow.



this is a post by Noemi from

1 Comment

  1. July 13, 2018 / 1:31 am

    I’m pregnant with #2 right now and have a VERY busy three-year-old. While I haven’t been officially on bedrest I’ve been very sick the entire pregnancy and we’ve had to get creative. My little boy has a dry-erase book that has been a lifesaver. He can color in it over and over again and it just wipes off.

    He also loves to help me prep for his baby sis. So we’ve spent time sitting on the couch going through and folding baby clothes. It is adorable to see how excited he is about her.

    Lastly, we initiated this before I got pregnant and it has helped so much! My little boy stopped napping just after two so we transitioned him to doing “quite time.” If he doesn’t want to nap then he can play in his room and read books or play with toys. This gives me a minute to put my feet up and recharge!

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