Outing the big news that you’re pregnant is supposed to be a happy, joyous moment, but sometimes it can be tough to explain to your own children. Depending on the child, there is a big range of possible reactions: from elated to neutral to angry. Here’s how to approach the topic of your pregnancy with your child.
1. Stay positive
The most important piece of advice to remember is keep the whole conversation positive. Point out that this is a wonderful experience for everyone to enjoy. Mention that your child will have a new playmate and person to talk to, someone to sit at tea parties and play video games with. Keep a smile on your face and try to push that excitement on to your child.
2. Set aside some time for the talk
Five minutes before you drop your child off at daycare for the day is not the time to bring up this subject. You need to set aside a block of time for you to answer questions and, most importantly, judge your child’s response and steer the conversation accordingly.
3. Involve your child in the experience
The sooner you make the whole experience real¸ the sooner your child with adjust to the new situation. Take your kid to the doctor’s office with you when you get to see the ultrasound or hear the heartbeat. Give a copy of the ultrasound picture to your child to hang in their room so they feel a sense of ownership over the process.
4. Lay some groundwork early
When you suspect you might be pregnant or begin trying to get pregnant, start dropping some hints and gauging your child’s reaction. Say things like, “Someday you’ll have a brother or sister to play with.” You could read a book about siblings and ask, “Wouldn’t you like to have a brother or sister?”
5. Be prepared for anger
Negative feelings are completely normal. Some children will feel uncomfortable about how a new child will affect the family’s dynamic. Give your child time and space to express doubts, worries and fears. Do your best to respond to each complaint in a way that doesn’t minimize or brush aside your child’s feelings.
6. Wait until you’re ready for everyone to know
Most children are terrible at keeping secrets. They haven’t developed that filter yet. Wait until you’re ready for everyone to know until you tell your child so they don’t spill the beans early.
7. Keep it simple
Pregnancy is a complicated topic, so you’ll have to keep it short and simple so your child understands clearly what will be happening. While the baby is technically in your uterus, telling your kid that it’s in your belly is a far simpler explanation; the details aren’t important at this age. Use simple words that don’t confuse, like “Sweetheart, there is a baby growing inside mommy right now. You will have a brother or sister soon.” You might also have to explain what a brother or sister is if your child doesn’t have any yet.
Written by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventor of the Zipadee-Zip
The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.
When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.
Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!
To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
For more information, visit sleepingbaby.com.
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