Telling Your Preschooler You’re Pregnant
Since finding out I’m pregnant with my second child, the baby announcement I was most excited to make was our announcement to Liam. The topic of sharing pregnancy news with your child has been written about a few times on this blog (like here and here), but I figured it was worth repeating to share my experiences – both in telling Liam that I’m expecting, but also in talking to him about it since children can take the news so differently. There are both exciting elements and challenges when it comes to deciding when and how to tell a preschooler you’re pregnant.
When to Tell Your Child You’re Pregnant
In terms of timing, we decided to tell Liam the news once we were out of the first trimester (and I was feeling a little better) and once we were comfortable with the news being public. Completely public. At this age, I knew that once we told our preschooler, all bets were off in terms of keeping things hush hush. Some parents wait longer, but I was already starting to show a little bit (in fact, Liam had asked me the week before if I had a baby in belly because it was already expanding!) so it seemed like we couldn’t wait much longer without getting more questions. But certainly, the right time is different for everyone depending on your comfort and the age of your child.
How to Tell Your Child You’re Pregnant
We wanted to have something for him to open and knew a big brother shirt would be a component (although I wasn’t sure how exciting that would be given that he can’t read and all). We also added a fun wall calendar to the gift. Other parents had told me how difficult the length of the pregnancy could be for a preschooler to comprehend so we thought that might help to create a visual way to understand. He opened the shirt and we told him he was going to be a big brother. He took a minute to process the information. He was quiet. I wasn’t sure if he didn’t quite understand or wasn’t sure how he felt about the news. I knew it would likely take him some time to process and that with Liam, the questions would come when he was ready.
Not two minutes later, he put on his big brother shirt and asked his first question, “Can I Facetime with my cousins to tell them I’m going to be a big brother?” This led to about an hour of Facetime calls with Liam insisting on sharing his news and showing off his big brother shirt to literally every member of our family.
Talking about Pregnancy with a Preschooler
Once the excitement settled down a bit we showed Liam the calendar and let him put some stickers on the baby’s due date. Now each night, he and Brad mark off the day and look to see how much closer we’re getting to the baby’s due date. The calendar has also worked out great as a countdown for other things Liam is looking forward to – like our family vacation, etc.
He continues to ask lots of questions about when the baby is coming (some of which feel a wee bit snarky to me like, “Are you sure the baby isn’t coming for a long time? Your belly is already really big!”) but the calendar seems to really help him grasp that it is still a ways off. I’m sure these questions and conversations will continue, and I’ll be sure to share our experiences in handling them!
Thus far this pregnancy has been in many ways similar and in other ways completely different from my first. The most wonderful difference has been getting to share it with Liam. From his belly kisses and songs to the funny things he asks and says about “his baby,” the whole experience feels that much more special because we get to share it with him.
How did you tell your child when you were expecting a second baby? How did they react to the news?
- E-family news: Becoming a Sibling – Who Said I Wanted a New Baby?
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Telling Your Older Child You’re Pregnant
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Telling Family & Friends You’re Pregnant
- Read more posts about pregnancy and posts about siblings from the Family Room bloggers