If you are reading this then you are probably wondering how to tell your child you are pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant it was Father’s Day. I wanted to badly to share this news with my soon-to-be 4 year old daughter, but I knew I had to wait. I waited until the first ultrasound. She came with me and kept asking the entire time what we were doing there. Once the little gummy bear (as we called him, because that is what he looked like) appeared on the screen I asked if she knew what that was. My little 4 year old cutie had no idea and then I said ‘That is your new little baby sister or brother’. Her face lit up and her jaw dropped to the floor, she was so excited! You will find out as you keep reading, I did not really take my own advice (hangs head in shame).
How to Tell Your Child You Are Pregnant
Just as you are probably waiting to tell the world until your first trimester is over, for safety reasons (such as the risk of miscarriage goes down), you probably want to wait until then to tell your child for the same reasons. How sad would it be to have to explain to your child that mommy is no longer pregnant but there is no baby either? It is also much easier to explain to a small child your growing belly, which is most likely going to be more obvious after the first trimester. So how do you tell your child you are pregnant once that “waiting period” passes?
Books: You can read books. There are so many books about being a big brother and big sister, books about a new baby in the family, so many books about everything related to siblings and new babies and how great it is. With small children (I would say, in my self-proclaimed professional opinion, 3 possibly 4 and under), it is imperative you discuss how they are still important to you. Kids this young are selfish (yep I said it). Having a new baby is going to take attention away from them, not all of it, but not all of your attention can be given to them now. It is important to prepare them for that.
Ask her for help: Kids love to help. When you are picking out things for the baby, ask for her opinion and help in choosing some things. She will feel like she is a big part of this and not like the baby is pushing her out of the way. I did this a lot with my daughter who was 5 when I found out I was pregnant with my son. Whenever we went to the store she as always picking things out for the baby. Be warned, this can be a double edged sword. My daughter was so excited about her new baby brother, she would have purchased the entire store every time we went if she could!
Hype it up, like crazy: Talk about what a great big sister (or brother) she is going to be. What a big help she is going to be with the new baby because she is bigger and knows so much more than the baby. Talk about all the things she can teach the baby as well. Depending on her age of course this can range from playing with toys to reading a book. You can get her (or him) her very own baby doll so she can practice helping to care for the baby with you. I always told my daughter what a big help she was going to be to me when her brother got here (because kids love to help, even when we wish they wouldn’t) and she still is.
The goal is that you never want your first child to feel left out or ‘forgotten’. As much as I hyped up being a big sister, there are still times when my daughter thinks I like spending time with her brother more than her. These are opportunities to explain that is just simply not true. While it might seem that way to her, she is a big girl and she can do many things for herself because she is such a big girl, and her brother can not. She can go potty on her own and wash her hands all by herself, but her brother can’t change his own diaper. So while it appears I like spending more time with him, changing his diaper is not as fun as you might think. Thankfully these little episodes are far and few between and don’t last very long.