We recently chatted with How I Met Your Mother star and mom Alyson Hannigan on her second pregnancy, home births and adventures in potty training.
Congratulations on your second child! How are you feeling?
Very excited! It’s definitely different from the first [pregnancy], because now when I get tired, I don’t have the luxury of taking a two-hour nap because I have a toddler running around. I’m more tired, but very happy.
How it is working and juggling being pregnant and having a toddler?
I am very blessed with a great job; the company is very accommodating and it’s a great family environment. It really is the best job. It’s definitely harder to balance everything, and to make sure I’m sitting down enough and drinking enough water—that’s the one thing I’m not doing enough, because that means I have to pee more! So I have to try to be better about that. It’s mostly making sure I’m still looking after my body, but it’s a great environment and they could not be more supportive.
How is it having your storyline on How I Met Your Mother? Your character Lily is also pregnant.
Yes, it’s fantastic. Lily is a little further along than I am so sometimes I still have to wear a pregnancy pad, which is a little strange, but it’s really nice. It’s fun, and it’s easier than trying to hide the pregnancy, which we had to do the first time around.
Hannigan with her daughter Satyana at the Pull-Ups Potty Dance Party event
How has your pregnancy the second time around been different than your first?
It’s been different. The first trimester was a little harder, but that’s because my first time was a breeze, and honestly I shouldn’t complain at all because I got a little queasy, but I never threw up, so I’m very lucky. The “pregnancy brain” is worse because I never got it back from the first time, so I started out deficient and now it’s just going downhill from there! But I’m happy and I’m more relaxed this time because I’ve been through it and it’s been a lot mellower. Especially after I got out of the first trimester, the cravings have gone down and my body knows what it’s doing, and it’s doing it a lot faster. Everything started happening sooner this time around but my body knows what it’s doing, and it’s doing a great job. I have less anxiety and am definitely more relaxed.
How does your daughter Satyana, 3, feel about becoming a big sister?
She is so excited; she couldn’t be happier! She has been talking to the baby and loving my belly. She is already talking about potty training her little sibling. She’s already planning things out.
You did a home birth with your first child. What was that experience like for you?
It could not have been more beautiful. It was certainly right for us—it’s not right for everyone. I don’t like hospitals, and I wanted to be as relaxed so possible. It was wonderful. We had her and then just crawled into bed and stayed there for weeks. It was fantastic; it was definitely right for us.
Are you planning to do a home birth again?
Yes, hopefully. If all goes well, we will do the same.
Let’s talk about your experience potty training Satyana. (Hannigan has partnered with Pull-Ups to promote their Potty Dance, a fun song and dance routine parents and toddlers can do to make potty training easier.)
Well, we haven’t mastered the nighttime potty training. But once we picked a date and made it fun with the Potty Dance, it was so much easier than I thought it was going to be. And that’s why it’s great to partner with Pull-Ups and the Potty Dance and to encourage parents to pick a date and starting training and to make it fun. The more fun you have with it, the easier it happens; Satyana was excited to potty train.
What other strategies did you use? Did you try a rewards system?
At home, potty training was easy, but then when we were out it became a bit harder to get her to go so that’s when I tried the rewards system. I found some organic gummy-bear vitamins that she loves and that worked like a charm.