I'm Pregnant. Could My Toddler Be Hurting the Baby??

Updated on August 16, 2010
D.L. asks from Selden, NY
11 answers

My youngest daughter is 21 months old and is about 30 lbs. Just to be let known she is extremely strong. When she was sick once in the hospital and they needed to put a catheter in her, it took 4 nurses to hold her down and they still had trouble!!
I am her soul caretaker. She is VERY attached to me. She gets separation anxiety if I do so much as step outside the car to pump gas! It's a load off whenever I happen to get help with her.
She is always climbing on me and onto my stomach. She doesn't realize there's a baby in there. Elbows and knees digging into my stomach, and she falls and bounces on my belly at times too!
I've dealt with having a toddler while pregnant before and I know there's accidental elbows and knees etc... but this time I'm really getting worried. I can feel the baby inside going crazy whenever she does these stunts.

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answers from Eugene on

I'm with the other moms on this, except for one caution...

Right now, early in your pregnancy, your baby is just fine.

IF you are kicked or hit late in the pregnancy, and IF at that same moment there is anything else that might tend you into preterm labor, there is the POSSIBILITY that a traumatic SHARP type of bump to your abdomen could threaten preterm labor. It did happen to me when I was at 28 weeks with my first, and doing after school day care, and got kicked by a 5 year old who was having a tantrum. The baby had just had a major shift in position, the kick was against an area that already felt "tight", and possibly some other things were going on. I began some contractions that night...but we stopped it early, and my baby was born at term.

So, while you can, I'm with the mom below who says NOW is the time to train your little girl to be more gentle with Mommy. It's good practice for when baby comes, because you will have your hands full then.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

First off know that the little person inside of you is in the most secure place he will be ever in a life-time... He is safer there than he will be in the car seat after birth.. Your toddler is not hurting him. It will take almost a blunt forced trama to your stomach with high GForce impact to harm that baby... Now, I would stop her from jumping and climbing over me. It is the time to set limits and stick to them. From the way you describe her behavior, I would worry about after baby comes more than now. So stop it now. When baby comes and needs your attention and you have hands and the front of you tied up with feeding baby, she will need to have some self control. SHe can not climb over you and baby then. So right now, do not put yourself in the physical place where she can hit, kick, poke, elbow you. Do not lay down and allow her to fall or bounce on you. Actually the baby is responding more to your rise in blood pressure and heart rate when you "see the impact coming". That is the excitment you feel from the baby. I do not even worry about pregnant ladies who are working with or have exsplosive Special Needs children. So no worries directly, but for sure habbits you need to stop NOW!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

my daughter turned 2 in july and she is always doing the same thing to me. my son did it when i was pg with my daughter and she turned out fine. I would try and keep her from jumping and bouncing on your belly but the elbows and knees shouldnt hurt the baby. I mean i dont recommend letting her do it but baby should be ok......hth

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Dear D.,
Your baby is safe....for now.
They're pretty cushioned in the womb.
I think your daughter is more likely to hurt you than your unborn baby at this point.
You say that she doesn't understand there's a baby in your belly. Are you sure about that? She may not be deliberately trying to hurt the baby, but since she is so attached to you, she may have a sense of things getting ready to change.
I would talk to both your OB and your daughter's pediatrician.
You really need to give her a sense of the fact that she has to be careful with you and your tummy.
If you had a broken leg, you wouldn't let her climb all over it, elbow or knee jab it or fall and bounce on it.
You need to try to teach her the concept of being gentle because you do have a baby coming.
Little kids go through phases of being very rough and hopefully you can get her out of the phase before your new baby arrives.

I hope you get some great responses and I wish you the best!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

There's a much greater likelihood that your daughter is going to hurt you than hurt the baby. Uterine padding is some of the most impact absorbing stuff on earth. Seriously. But I think that this might be a good time to start working with her on a little personal space, especially as you get bigger. My daughter jumped on me once when I was pregnant with my son and I almost peed on her!

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I agree with the other moms, you baby is probably very safe. But it wouldn't hurt for you to talk to your ob on the next visit, and know what to be cautious of and what to look out for.

You have your hands full right now. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I don't know whether she is hurting your baby or not (though I doubt it), but, now would probably be a good time to get her a little less attached as, obviously, she'll be second fiddle for a while once the new baby arrives.

I would be most concerned as to whether she is hurting you. My word of warning is to be careful about not carrying her too much, or at the least, be careful how you carry her. The only way to carry my 20 month old once I got big was pretty much with her sitting on top of my stomach. People kept warning me not to carry her so much but I didn't take their advice. As a result, the strain it put on the muscles/tendons around my lower ribs was so much that I was in horrible pain for the last few months of my pregnancy. It felt as though a muscle under my ribs was torn -- terrible sharp, stabbing pain. When I asked the OB about it, he said it was most definitely from carrying my toddler too much. By then, though, the damage was done.

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answers from Kansas City on

You didn't say how far along you are and most people are assuming it is early in your pregnancy. However many weeks, you need to start now letting her know that babies are FRAGILE!! They need to be handled with care!

Try to get her interested by playing up HER roll in this. She is going to be a big sister! She needs to help keep HER baby safe! She will be able to help teach baby everything about life! How to crawl, walk, talk, eat, color, and everything else! Once you find out (if you do) what gender baby is, incorporate that by saying it is HER baby brother or HER baby sister in your belly. That way she feels more connected with baby and will be less likley to bounce on you. HTH!

Congratulations, Good Luck, and Blessings to you!



answers from New York on

Do not let your daugher control your life so much. Of course she can hurt your baby ! Get her off of you. She is 21 months, she MUST understand that, she is probably jealous already. She can not hang at you all the time. Of course she will be screaming, crying, yealling etc. just to get your attention..........just ignore it. and explain later when she is cal that she is hurting YOU (and the baby of course) !!!



answers from New York on

Just be careful carying her. 2 weeks ago at 29 weeks I completely went into terrible back pain from picking up my 15 month old. My right hip has been pushed up & is now unaligned. Going to chiro etc. So now I only pick him up if I have to. I get on the floor to hold him etc - or can pick him up when sitting. So remember the hormone relaxin in your body makes your body / joints loose and let your girl walk and get down on her level to play and hold her.



answers from Rochester on

I would take the time now to teach her not to do that. Yes, I'm sure your baby in the womb is just fine, but its time to teach her not to "walk all over you" (as someone else said). You are going to have your hands full if she's acting like this right now, just imagine what it will be like when the fragile baby is no longer protected by your womb. She'll put up a fight no doubt, but probably is better to do it now than later.

I have a 26 month old and 13 month old and am currently pregnant, so I've been doing the same thing with my kids (although the older one has already gone through this once). Don't feed into the fits that she pulls -- I'm sure that makes things worse. I just walk away when my toddler throws a fit, and she does it less and less as time goes on.

Good luck.

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