Surviving A Toddler In A Full Leg Cast

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6 weeks with your kid in a full leg cast (from his toes to his underwear) is tough, but I'd like to say that I think we did more than just "survive." We still went out places, we still did all the things most of the things. I know I just called this post "surviving...", but I think these suggestions will really help you have fun, in spite of what is kinda a sucky situation.

So what happened?

My almost-three-year-old broke his knee at a trampoline park, where he just landed wrong and the bone "buckled." He wasn't in alot of pain, so we didn't rush him for xrays right away. When we did go to the hospital a day later, we found out he broke his knee and that led to a fulllllll leg cast for 6 weeks, with no weight bearing. And toddlers don't get crutches. THAT MEANS HE CRAWLED/I CARRIED HIM EVERYWHERE. 😭While I had my almost-3-year-old in a cast, I also have Emma, who is one! So yes, sometimes I did have to carry Emma AND Aiden. Like yesterday when we met friends at Panera and I didn't want to bring them in my double stroller.

I also realize this post is oddly specific, so feel free to skip to something more relatable. Like this easy breakfast casserole which I cannottttt stop making.

Tips (and toys!) for surviving life with a toddler in a cast: 

1. Give them time to adjust to being in a cast. The first few days with Aiden's leg in a cast, we just chilled at home. He wasn't good at moving around yet, so he sat on the couch, watched some TV, and did sitting activities.

2. Give YOURSELF grace and time to adjust to having a more-dependent child. Suddenly, I couldn't just tell Aiden "go to the bathroom so we can leave!" (and normally, he'd take himself and then be ready to leave the house). Instead, I had to carry him to the bathroom. Fight to get his pants off. Wait for him to pee. Fight to get his pants back on and over his enormous cast. That made leaving take longer, and I had to plan ahead and give us extra time for this.

3. Get out of the house. Don't let a casted-toddler trap you inside your house! Even though Aiden had his cast from December-January, we still left the house every day to do SOMETHING (even if it was grocery shopping). Meet up at friends' houses, walk through a local store, visit a kids museum where they can crawl around, or just invite friends over to your place! We did a zoo trip, 2 Legoland visits, and MULTIPLE trips to the Philadelphia children's museum all with Aiden in a cast. My mom got me this double stroller, so I'd park the car, get Aiden in the stroller, run to the other side of the car to get Emma, and then we'd roll to where we needed to go! Suddenly we were mobile! Letting Aiden crawl around an exhibit at the children's museum helped him feel independent, and then I'd put him in the stroller and roll him to the next exhibit/play area.

4. Lincoln logs. We'd dump a bunch at the dining room table, and he would sit in his booster seat and be so entertained!

5. New (to you!) play doh. Whether you borrow new play-doh accessories from a friend or order these ones, this is also a great stationery activity.

6. This pirate ship keeps Aiden occupied for HOURS (I'm not even kidding!), and it's perfect for encouraging creative, imaginative play.

7. Anti-itch cast spray. Get it at the beginning because by the end, he wanted it every day!

8. This children's book helped prepare Aiden for getting his cast off, and it's cute storyline describes the whole process of getting a cast, adjusting to limited mobility, getting the cast removed, and how it took a while to regain strength. Strange illustrations, but Aiden loved it.

9. Anything to color on. I snapped a few photos the day before Aiden's cast came off, including him drawing on a new whiteboard. (He loved drawing/erasing, and any stray coloring actually came out of the couch with just a baby wipe!) Usually he is limited to using that Crayola-wonder-markers-that-only-work-on-their-paper stuff, but the whiteboard was also a hit!

P.S. Let's have a good laugh at Aiden's face when I was holding both him and Emma. Usually he wrapped one arm around me and one arm around Emma, but of course when the camera came out he was nottttt into it.

Did you ever have a cast as a kid? How do you cope when someone around you is sick/injured? 

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