Your second pregnancy is a time filled with joy, anticipation and probably a little bit of fear. While you’re thrilled to be welcoming another tiny, sweet addition to your household, you also have the added responsibility of juggling newborn care and toddler life. This is going to be a huge life change for your older child. Becoming a sibling is a big adjustment. Choose the right time to tell your first child that another baby is on the way, and make the next nine months a special time for her as she prepares to be the big sister in the house.
When To Tell Your First Child the Big News
There is no right or wrong time to have a second baby, but consider your first child’s age before you break the big news to her. This is a personal choice, and you should share the pregnancy with your child when you and your partner feel she is ready. If she is an older, school-aged child, she may have a better understanding of your current condition. You can probably tell her during those first few weeks as you start to feel and act differently. However, a toddler or child in preschool may not grasp the enormity of the situation during the first trimester, according to KidsHealth.org. It may be best to wait until your belly starts to round out, or the baby starts moving.
Before you make your announcement, use a delivery date calculator to determine your due date. You can share this special date with older children, and help them create a countdown until the baby arrives. For younger children, consider telling them that a new baby is on the way and will be here when the weather gets cold and it starts to snow. Describing the time in terms of the season might help them understand better than simply saying it will be a few more months before they meet their new sibling.
How To Tell Your First Child You’re Expecting
Take the time to get a little bit creative. Consider using one of the following ideas:
- Decorate a cake that announces she is being promoted to the title of big sister.
- Present her with a new baby doll for her to practice with in preparation for becoming a new sister.
- Give her a “Big Sister” T-shirt to wear proudly throughout your pregnancy and soon after baby arrives.
- Frame an ultrasound photo for her to keep in her bedroom, allowing her to bond with her new sibling.
Once your older child knows the big news, make them feel included and allow them to help you announce the pregnancy to the rest of your family and friends.
Involve Your Child in the Pregnancy
Now that your daughter is in the loop, keep her involved throughout the rest of your pregnancy. This allows her to bond with the new baby before he or she is born, according to Web MD. Ask your health care provider if she can come with you and your partner to routine appointments in order to hear the baby’s heartbeat and watch the ultrasound in person. Let her pick out a special toy for the new baby, and read her books about childbirth and becoming a big sister. Show her pictures from your pregnancy with her, and tell her about her days as a baby. Before you know it, your new little one will be here and your daughter will be loving her role as a big sister.