So it’s been announced that K-Middy is due in April, giving her roughly a 21-month gap between babies. Been there, done that, got the puree-covered T-shirt. So here’s some advice for you Princess Kate – and anyone else that is currently pregnant with a toddler running around the house…
1. Introduce yourself to Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly, and Fireman Sam. They will be your babysitters for the first trimester while you swig Ginger Tea and take up residency in the bathroom.
2. On the rare occasions you do get out (and this will happen with more regularity as the nausea passes and your bump gets bigger), you will need some kind of child restraint system. Buggy / inescapable reins / those toddler backpacks with leads; you get the picture.
3. When you reach the third trimester, make sure there are four walls around you at all times. It pays to always remember this: your toddler can move a lot faster than you can.
4. If your child still naps, consider sleeping during these times. That guaranteed stretch of silence will soon be the stuff of dreams. “Silence?!” I hear you chortle, “I have a toddler!” But believe me, you will only notice the value of that silence when there is suddenly a newborn screaming through it.
5. Prepare your toddler for their sibling by pretending you are glued to the sofa when they ask you to play, grabbing their toys every time they pick one up, and dividing every snack into two and only handing them half.
6. Consider investing in some kind of child haulage system to lower the toddler into his cot when your bump is too big. Otherwise, get him used to the sudden adrenaline rush of falling from a height onto the mattress early on in your pregnancy (this will also be useful when you have a newborn in one arm and a toddler in the other).
7. Train your toddler to fetch things for you. Useful items include baby wipes, nappies, toys, and remote controls. This is also a very useful tool when you are too pregnant to get off the sofa (in this instance, add chocolate to aforementioned list).
8. As you near the end of your pregnancy, bring birthing ball down from the loft. Immediately regret your decision as toddler rolls it around house, knocking down everything in its path. Put birthing ball back in the loft.
9. If anyone happens to offer babysitting in the latter few months, immediately thank them, pull out your diary, and book them in. Early mornings will be especially useful; give them a spare key and give them directions to the nursery.
10. By all means allow your toddler to bond with their sibling by stroking your bump, saying their name, and holding up the teeny tiny clothing. But do not be alarmed when they continue stroking your bump after the baby has arrived, missing the point entirely.