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How to tell your child that you are pregnant

A new addition to the family is an exciting time, but it can feel daunting telling other children about their soon-to-be arriving sibling.

Discussing a new baby, and when best to broach the subject can feel challenging.

Luckily, parenting and sleep expert Rosey Davidson from Just Chill Baby Sleep is on hand to share easy tips to make the process a little smoother for you and your little one.

Breaking the news

Many parents worry about telling their child the news of a pregnancy and while the outcome may have different reactions there are several ways you can approach it.

Rosey believes one of the best ways to do this is to choose a quiet time when your child is calm and content.

‘Timing is key. Avoid days or weeks where there are other big changes happening,’ she explains.

‘For example, starting school or nursery, moving house or someone’s birthday.

‘Avoid telling them at bedtime too, when they are tired and looking for connection, or when they are feeling unwell. Perhaps take them out for a fun activity, a meal, or a favourite place which coincides with an engaging event.’

When should you deliver the news?

Many parents worry about telling their child too soon and may prefer to wait until after the first trimester while others share immediately. Rosey suggests there really is no prescribed time and both can work two-fold.

‘If you are suffering from morning sickness or fatigue it can be worth breaking the news a little earlier, especially if your child is old enough to grasp that you are feeling unwell.

‘Some people prefer to wait until they are showing to conceptualise it better. It can be hard for children to imagine that a baby is growing inside.’

Many parents also prefer to wait until after their first scan, and screening tests as they are concerned about baby loss and managing disappointment in their child. Rosey says should this occur, keep the discussion open with other children.

‘We should give children credit for how understanding and sensitive they can be. Explaining simply that the baby couldn’t stay this time, and that you are sad about it, but everything will be okay is often enough.

‘Showing our children emotions demonstrates that is it okay to express our feelings. It’s positive to show them that we can overcome adversity.’

How to cope with different reactions

While one child may be completely ecstatic over the news of a baby brother or sister, another may not feel quite the same.

It’s normal for children to be curious, happy, sad, show anger or be upset after the announcement.

Rosey notes: ‘Don’t worry if your child has a negative reaction. It is normal for your little one to feel nervous or confused afterwards. You can tell stories about when you were pregnant with them when you brought them home from the hospital, and how exciting it was.

‘Showing them photos of when they were babies can be a lovely way of reinforcing the idea that they were your first baby and will always be important. Children are very resilient and adaptable and will often surprise us.’

Engage with activities

Young children, particularly those aged over two, love to use imaginary play so acting out scenarios where they are making choices can help greatly to give control and stability.

Rosey explains that being reassuring and involving in different elements of preparation can get them even more excited about the new arrival.

‘For toddlers, it can be helpful to role-play with baby dolls. You can create “social stories,” including a baby, mummy and your child. You can start to use positive language around the subject of the baby, using the phrase “our baby” and talking about what a good big brother or sister they will be.’

What if my child asks questions about the new baby?

While a little one may not understand where babies come from that often feeds their curiosity. Rosey believes that no question is too silly for them, ‘so answer any of their concerns or seriously and with kindness.’

Books

If your child loves books then introducing a sibling through a story can be really captivating. There’s A House Inside My Mummy by Giles Andreae is a great starting point and if you want to add some humour then books such as My Sister is an Alien or 15 Things Not To Do With a Baby.

Alternatively, if they enjoy making their own stories up then The Baby Catalogue is a perfect book to get them telling their own tales about pregnancy and babies.


Credit: Source

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