The internet is full of adorable ‘pregnancy reveal’ videos where an expectant mother reveals the news of her new baby to family, spouses, and their firstborns. These reactions are heartwarming and sometimes downright hilarious! But, what happens if your little one isn’t bursting with excitement like the reactions you see in these popular videos?
Telling your little one that they’re going to become a big brother or sister isn’t always received positively. Sometimes a child may even claim to be excited only to act out later. You want your child to be just as excited about your pregnancy as you are. There are several things you can do to make your pregnancy a positive experience for your little one. Here are the best pieces of pregnancy advice you need to follow.
Talk Before the Test
If you are actively planning to have another baby, it may be helpful to tell your children before the strip turns pink that you’re looking to expand. After all, having a new sibling sprung on you can be quite the shock to a toddler’s world or even to a teenager.
Inform your child or children ahead of time that you’re thinking of adding to the family. Doing so will certainly make your official pregnancy announcement less of a shock. This kind consideration will help your child get comfortable with the idea of not being the only baby in the house.
Taking Age into Consideration
Age will play a large factor about when and how you tell your child. A teenager is obviously going to be more perceptive to your changing body and moods than a toddler will be. They will be witness to your morning sickness.
Pre-teens and teenagers will be easier to talk to since you’ll be able to talk openly and maturely about the addition to the family and how it makes them feel.
Little kids are entirely different stories. The reaction of a toddler to middle-schooler can give you true pregnancy struggles. Their jealousy or disbelief may make you feel guilty or uncomfortable. A jealous, needy, or regressive attitude are all common reactions for very young children.
Make Time for It
Regardless of how you tell your little one, they are probably going to have a lot of questions afterward so make sure you’ve set aside an appropriate amount of time.Choose a time when everyone is relaxed and explain that you are pregnant. Allow your child to ask as many questions as they need to get over any shock they are feeling.
It can be helpful to explain the role they will play in the new baby’s life. Getting your little one involved in the pregnancy process will take away that feeling of being ‘replaced’ and give them something to look forward to.
Know What to Expect
When it comes to pregnancy advice, knowing what type of reaction to expect is tricky. A child’s reaction to a new sibling may range anywhere from indifference or not understanding to absolute excitement. Here are some of the most common reactions:
- Happiness or excitement
- Regression (this may happen more so after the baby is born)
Your child may say they are happy or excited about being an older sibling, but you’d be wise to watch their behavior in the coming weeks. Encourage your little ones to talk about how they feel about all the changes that are happening. This will give you a better idea of how to handle their emotional state.
Breaking the News
You can choose a cute or creative way to break the news of your pregnancy to your first child. Some parents like to present their little ones with a gift such as a “We’re having a baby!” cake or presenting a shirt to the older sibling that says “Big Brother/Sister” on it.
These are often met with surprised but happy reactions. However, if you suspect your child will be jealous or overwhelmed by this news, it’s important to choose the right time to tell them. Choose a time when they are in a good mood. You may choose to tell them as a family with your spouse present, or one-on-one if you feel that will make it seem less daunting for them.
Be excited when you tell your little one you’re having another baby. Set the precedent with your tone that this is good news! Smile and act like it’s something to celebrate. Your little one may just follow suit.
After explaining you’re having another child, ask them if they have any questions for you. If they don’t, you may want to leave the conversation there and return to the subject later. Or, you could give a brief explanation of how the pregnancy is going to go and what they should expect going forward.
The more included a child feels in your pregnancy, the less likely they are to be jealous. You can make your child feel they are a part of the process by looking at baby pictures together, looking into sibling birthing classes (depending on their age), teaching your child how to hold a baby, coming up with names together, or even having them attend doctor’s visits with you.
Talk About it Again
Discussing pregnancy is not generally a one-time thing. As the pregnancy progresses, your child will have more questions about what’s going to happen. If you want to avoid pregnancy struggles, let your child know that they are always welcome to ask you questions about the baby.
The best pregnancy advice for telling your little one about your new pregnancy is this: communicate, communicate, communicate. Explain to them what a blessing it is to be someone’s older sibling and make your pregnancy exciting. Allowing them to be a part of the experience will result in a complete attitude adjustment.
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