It's official. You're pregnant, again. And there in front of you is your first child. Their world is settled in. You and dad, maybe school or pre-school. And all of that is about to change. How do you break the news that they are about to get a brother or sister?
Well, as we will see, it depends on their age and disposition. There are some things you should do and say and things you should not do and say. It's an important moment. Here are 10 tips for telling your child that you are pregnant again. Read on.
10 Wait Until You Are Showing
Wait until you have a baby bump. It will be easier to explain that there is someone in there growing. In any event, you should probably wait until after the first trimester when the chances of a miscarriage have lessened.
It's difficult enough explaining there is a new baby on the way, let alone having to backtrack and say the baby isn't coming after all. Let your child rub the bump. Make it a fun, loving moment for your child, as well as for you.
9 Let Them Hear The Heartbeat And Feel The Movement
You can take your child to a doctor's appointment and let them hear the heartbeat through a stethoscope. Or take some mother and child time and let them put their ears to your belly so they can hear the baby's heartbeat. If the baby moves, put your child's hand to your belly. It's moving!
It will help make it all connect up. Explain that the baby is alive and growing, its heartbeat getting stronger and stronger. And that the baby is moving more and more, getting ready to join the family.
8 That All Important Sonogram
A picture is indeed worth a thousand words. Consider taking your child to the appointment for your first sonogram, so they can see the dynamic image of the baby on the screen. Or, if you prefer, share the image with them at home.
The picture will bring home the fact that there is a living thing in your belly. There is nothing like a sonogram image for making the fact there is a baby on the way real to your child. Maybe start a scrapbook for your sonograms.
7 Graphics - Getting The Point Across
Take every opportunity to illustrate what is going own. The pumpkin carving is a great Fall idea. If they are old enough, get your child involved in the carving of the pumpkin. Get a smaller pumpkin and write their name on it and put it in front of "mom" and "dad".
As much as you can, get your child to participate in fun activities like the pumpkin carving. He or she will begin to feel more and more a part of this new baby business. And that has to be a good thing for your growing family.
6 Be Reassuring
Some children will take a new baby in their stride. Some won't be so sure. It's important to spend quality time with your child reassuring them of your love and devotion. They need to know you will be there for them, no matter what. They will be better able to deal with it on their own if they know you will still be there for them.
Take time to do things with them that they love. Read to them. Take them for walks in the park. Give lots and lots of hugs and kisses. And tell them how much you love them and reassure them that that will never, ever change. It will make it easier for your child to relax and accept what is coming.
5 Respect Their Feelings
No matter how hard you work to reassure, illustrate, celebrate and educate your child, he or she may well have good times and bad times as far as the new baby is concerned. If they are having a "bad" baby day, respect that.
Talk to them about what is bothering them. Chances are it will be something like the fear that the new baby will arrive and change everything. Maybe it's that they are afraid you won't love them as much as before the baby arrived. Listen and deal with the issues they raise. Don't dismiss them. They are very real for your child.
4 Watch Baby Movies
Watch movies? Yes, watch movies about babies coming home from the hospital. Watch movies about new babies at home. It goes without saying the messages in the movies should be positive ones! It will help your child visualize and internalize what having a new baby will be like. Take a break from your busy day, make some cocoa, and sit down and watch a movie with your child.
If you can, take them to friends' houses to see new babies. Again, be sure that the vibe is a positive one. The idea of a baby may be a nebulous concept to your child. Do what you can to make it 3D and real. Always in a positive light.
3 Celebrate Siblings
Part of getting your child on board as far as the new baby is concerned is letting them participate as much as possible. Take them shopping for baby things. Let them help in setting up the nursery. After all, you are probably turning over their baby bed, clothes and gear to the newcomer. Get them involved in the choosing of a name.
Let them know that they are a part of the process. They will have an important "job" because they will be a big brother or sister. Talk about your childhood and (hopefully) how great it was having siblings. The message? It's going to be a great thing having a baby brother or sister.
2 Where Do Babies Come From: Age-Appropriate Information
Some kids won't be curious about where babies come from. Some kids will have a million questions. Depending on their age, there are age-appropriate books out there that will help you explain.
If your child is curious, find a book that is right for their age and go through it with them. Most will talk about planting seeds and growth. Again, if you have shared the sonogram and let them listen to the heartbeat, then they will be able to better take in the information in a book.
1 Let Them Share The News
Of course, you will have already told your parents the good news. But pretend you didn't and let your child share the news with the grandparents. Do it after you have educated them by showing them the sonogram, letting them listen to the heartbeat, and, if you decide you should, going through a baby book with them.
They can be a little mini-expert and explain to your parents exactly what is going on. Don't forget to coach your parents first. They need to play dumb and be happily surprised by the great news.