Having a baby is a very exciting time in anyone’s life. If you already have a child, especially a young child, you may be worried about how to introduce the idea of a new baby to your child. Here are some tips on breaking the news and preparing your child for the arrival of their new sibling.
Break the News at a Low-Stress Time
If your child is facing a great deal of stress, such as potty training, a new school, a new daycare or other issues, it may not be the right time to break the news of a new brother or sister. Keep in mind, you’ll be pregnant for quite a while and the news doesn’t need to be broken immediately. Waiting until your child is seeming well emotionally is your best bet; even if it means waiting a few extra weeks.
Answer Questions & Tell Stories
If your child seems interested, tell them the story of when they were inside of your tummy and how excited you were to have them. Be sure to make the story colorful, positive and upbeat. Tie it in to how excited you are that you get to share your excitement for the new baby with your child. If your child has questions, be sure to answer them as best as you can at an age appropriate level.
Don’t Focus Completely on the New Baby
As exciting as pregnancy is, maintain as normal of a routine as possible. Although it’s okay to discuss the baby with your young child, don’t let all your conversations revolve around it. Your child may or may not want to discuss the new baby and if all you talk about is the new baby in mommy’s tummy, your child may become apprehensive.
Prepare for Birth
A young child may or may not understand birth, but it is important to prepare them for the actual birth. Let them know that when the baby is done being in mommy’s tummy, mommy will go to the hospital (or birth center) to get some help to get the baby out. Then, mommy will get to bring the new baby home. Be sure you keep the conversation at a level you feel your child is able to handle.
Get Your Child Involved
If your child seems interested, try getting them involved by letting them pick out clothes or toys for the new baby. Ask for their input on decorating the baby’s room and even let them help paint! Your child will feel proud that they were able to help you prepare! Make sure to thank them and tell them how much the baby will like what they picked or did.
Introduce Your Child to a Newborn
If your child has never seen a newborn and you know someone who has one, you might want to introduce your child to the baby. Let them know that mommy will be having her own baby, almost like this one. Seeing a new baby up close, in person and in a small dose may make your child more at ease with the situation and impending arrival!
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