When it comes to announcing your pregnancy, you might have a list of fun, creative ideas.
Whether it’s in the form of a photoshoot, gift or just telling someone, sharing the good news is simple. For kids though, understanding what it means can be difficult.
You might be wondering how to tell your child in a way that’s appropriate for their age. And, if they’re young, how can you explain what it means to have a sibling?
In this guide, we’re sharing tips on how to have that conversation and what you can expect according to your child’s age.
Since kids learn differently, there’s several ways to continue to educate them about the new baby. Read on to learn how to use books, music, a device, and more to talk about your growing family.
6 Tips: How to Tell Your Kid You’re Pregnant
How you should tell your kid you’re pregnant depends on their age. Use these tips to have the conversation.
Tell Toddlers Last
When you announce your pregnancy is up to you. Whatever you decide, it’s a good idea to share the news with your child last. Younger kids tend to say what’s on their minds, making them bad secret keepers. So if you’re not ready for the world to find out, reconsider telling your kid.
Another reason why it may be good to tell your child last is that the chances of miscarriages decline. Although it’s your personal choice, compared to adults, young kids might not understand the concept of miscarriage, which may confuse them.
If you have multiple kids, telling them all at the same time ensures they don’t hear it from another and get upset.
Telling Young Kids You’re Pregnant is a Process
Announcing pregnancy to an adult is usually straightforward. But for young kids, pregnancy is a new concept. Depending on their age, they might not fully grasp that a baby is growing inside you. Rather than telling them once, you’ll revisit the idea of having a sibling many times.
After sharing the news, your child will probably have questions about how babies are made, how they grow, and how they “arrive”. Toddlers may have a few questions, but preschool children will have many. Answer them, but in a way that’s age-appropriate. If you’re struggling with how to explain things, see the tips in the next section.
Kid’s Emotions May Change
When you tell your kid you’re pregnant, they might be excited to have another kid around. Then they may grow jealous and angry. It’s normal for kids to go back and forth.
If your child is upset about the pregnancy, it’s important to acknowledge their feelings and show them you still love them.
Older Kids Have Practical Questions
While younger kids have questions about baby development, older kids have more practical questions. When you first tell your kid you’re pregnant, their first thoughts might be about how it will affect them. Where will the baby sleep? Will they be giving up space or attention? Be honest, but reassure them that there’s enough of everything to go around.
Balance Baby Talk With No Baby Talk
Even if you’re primarily focused on preparing for the baby, make sure that you’re not over-talking it with your child, especially if they’re already jealous. Get them involved with baby planning, like making crafts for the nursery or brainstorming name ideas. But make sure to spend time with them that doesn’t revolve around baby things.
8 Fun Ways to Tell Your Kid or Toddler You’re Pregnant
If you’re wondering how to tell your kid you’re pregnant, it usually starts off with an age-appropriate conversation. After, you can use other fun ways to explain the upcoming months. These ideas can help your child understand what it means to have a baby and be a sibling.
Before choosing ideas, keep in mind your child’s age.
#1 Use a Baby Doll
If your child doesn’t already have one, get a baby doll to help them understand what a baby is.
For kids that already play with dolls, you can relate their actions to what it will be like to have a sibling.
Even if they don’t like dolls, you can use one as a model to help prepare them. Explain to them that you have a real baby in your stomach. You can also role-play and show them how they can help when their sibling arrives.
Since dolls are something that kids already understand, it’s a gentle way to introduce the idea. And it’s something you can continuously use as a talking prop as your pregnancy progresses.
#2 Get a Fetal Doppler for Home
Fetal dopplers for home are devices you can use to hear your baby’s heartbeat while they’re still in the womb. Similar to an ultrasound, you use gel to glide a probe and find a heartbeat. You’ll be able to hear the sound through speakers. You can even see their fetal heart rate (FHR).
Fetal dopplers for home are also a fun way to announce to anyone that you’re pregnant. It’s a memorable experience that helps family members bond instantly. When it comes to kids though, the device can be especially helpful.
Since young children might not grasp that a baby is really inside your belly, hearing a heartbeat makes it real. Every time you use it, you can invite your child to listen. This can gradually get them used to having a sibling. Instead of just conceptualizing a baby, they have proof it’s there.
You can typically detect a heartbeat around 12 weeks, which is when many parents decide to share the news with their kids. Learn more about how to use a fetal doppler.
#3 Belly Kicks
Once your baby starts kicking, invite your child to place their hand on your belly. This is another way to make the experience of a baby “real” before birth. Feeling the sensations can be a way they track the journey alongside you. As you progress, they’ll feel the kicks become more powerful, which you can explain, is a sign the baby is almost ready to be born.
#4 Big Sibling Books
For curious preschool children, questions can sometimes feel like an interrogation. Remember that their family is changing and they’re just trying to figure out what it all means. One way to educate them is to show them a book about being a big brother or sister.
For example, “I Am A Big Sister” is a story simple enough for a toddler to understand with clear illustrations. It also introduces them to the idea of helping out with the new baby.
#5 Video Explainers
Many kids learn better visually. Use a video that explains the concept of babies or getting a sibling. You can search YouTube for age-appropriate videos. Below are two examples.
Introduce Child to Having Baby Sister
New Sibling Help for Toddlers
#6 Nursery Rhymes
Kids also love music. As you probably know, their favorite song can be played non-stop for months. Use this to your advantage to help them get used to the idea of a baby.
Choose a song with lyrics about becoming a big sister or brother. Since there’s many to choose from, play a few to find one they love.
Songs with music videos are also ideal since many kids learn visually. Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUEgLkHx7OY
#7 Review Their Baby Pictures
Show your child pictures of when you were pregnant with them. Explain that they were inside of your belly. Then flip to pictures shortly after birth. Explain that they were just born.
This can give them a way to visualize how a baby grows. After flipping through the photos, tell them that there’s another baby growing inside your belly.
#8 Big Sister or Big Brother Gifts
You can also tell your kid you’re pregnant by giving them a gift, specifically a big sister or big brother set. For example, this set comes with a big sister crown they can wear to celebrate. It also comes with educational tools like a storybook and doll you can use to talk about the baby. You can also buy toys, such as purses, with the words “big sister.” Gifts like these can give them a sense of pride and get them excited for the change.
Summary: How To Tell Your Kid You’re Pregnant
Telling your kid you’re pregnant can be a challenge depending on their age. It typically begins with an age-appropriate conservation. Since young kids might not originally grasp what pregnancy or having a sibling means, try creative ways to educate them.
Visual ideas like videos and books are helpful tools. Pictures of themselves as a baby can help them understand growth. And a doll can prepare them for after birth. There’s also ways to encourage them to bond with the baby before birth, like using a fetal doppler or feeling baby kicks.