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Talking To Your Children About A New Baby

By Michael Russell

You just found out the exciting news. The positive sign on the pregnancy test is proof of the new addition to your family. Since this isn’t your first pregnancy, you can focus more on your expanding family.

talking-to-your-child-about-a-new-baby.jpgHow will your family adjust to the news? How will you tell them? Will they be happy or upset? These may be just some of the questions on your mind. With the proper preparation, your family will start to have fun with the idea of a new baby.

When is a good time to tell your children? This depends on their ages. Children, age ten or older, are usually excited about bringing a new baby into the family. They understand the pregnancy will take nine months for the baby to develop and grow.

Children between the ages of five and nine will have a harder time comprehending that the pregnancy will take nine months. They will recognize that your body is changing and usually have many questions.

Children under the age of five usually aren’t capable of understanding that it takes nine months for the baby to arrive. You may want to wait until the second trimester to tell your children, especially very young children. This makes the waiting time a little shorter for them and gives you time to prepare for any questions they may come up with.

Regardless of the ages of your children, always be sensitive to their questions. Spend time together as a family to talk about their new sibling. Explain how you will be going through changes (both physically and emotionally) so they are not scared or worried if you experience morning sickness or other pregnancy symptoms.

Talking about feelings is very important. Ask your children how they feel about having a new sibling. Discuss with them that it’s all right if they feel scared or jealous. Try to find out why they feel this way and ease their concerns. Maybe they’re scared the baby will get all their toys. When you explain that the baby will have his or her own toys, your child’s fear should subside. It may also help to take your child shopping to help pick out new toys for the baby.

Go through pictures with your children when they were newborns. Explain the time and attention a baby requires. If your children show interest in helping you when the baby arrives, let them. It depends on their age to what they’re capable of doing but even a preschooler can get things for you such as diapers or help find a lost pacifier.

Getting the children involved with the pregnancy will help them to accept the arrival of the baby. Let them help pick out clothes, bedding and toys for the baby. Ask their opinions about themes, designs and colors for the nursery.

As your due date arrives, prepare the children for your hospital stay. Explain to them why you need to go to the hospital for the delivery. Tell them that you will be home in a couple of days and until then they can visit. When you pack your hospital overnight bag, pack their bags as well if they are staying at a relatives or a close friend’s house. Allow each child to select a small inexpensive gift for the baby such as socks or bibs. Give them paper to wrap the gift themselves to bring to the baby when they visit you in the hospital. You may also want to buy inexpensive gifts for each of the children from the new baby.

With a little preparation, your children will accept the new addition to your family with open arms.

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