Talking to Your Kids About Having a New Baby

Having a new baby can be a very rewarding and exciting experience for the whole family, but it can also be very stressful on your children if they do not understand what they should expect. You will need to talk to your kids about getting a new sibling, what arrangements need to be made and how pregnancy works in a way that you are comfortable with and they will be able to understand. Planning what you will say in advance will do wonders toward making these talks go much more smoothly.

Addressing a New Baby

If you currently have an only child that will soon become an older sibling then it is logical that this news will bring up several questions. One of the most commonly dreaded questions that you might have to address is where babies come from. Decide how you will answer this question before your child asks so you do not need to worry about saying the wrong thing or your spouse giving a different version of these events than you do. If you are concerned, consider telling key family members what version you have used so your child will have consistency.

Keep the age of your kids in mind when explaining things. Very young children may not understand how long a pregnancy takes or how gentle they must be with your growing belly, for example. Explain basic concepts and only go into more detail if your child makes a point of asking more questions. Giving them too many details all at once may be overwhelming or embarrassing for a young kid. When explaining concepts of how long pregnancy takes or how long it will be before their new sibling can play with them, give your child benchmarks such as seasons or holidays that they can use to give themselves some context.

If your children are going to have to relocate to a new bedroom or sleeping arrangement in order to make room for a new baby this can be very stressful for them. Explain where they will be moving to and why long beforehand to give them time to adjust to the idea. Empower your kids by giving them choices about their new room so they feel like they are part of the decision. For example, let them select their new bed or how the room should be organized to it is truly their space.

Many hospitals or Lamaze classes also offer sessions for kids. These will explain details such as how to hold the baby, why babies cry so much or other details it is tough for kids to grasp without a learning aid. These classes also give the opportunity for children to express their feelings about having a new baby in the house so you can address normal issues such as jealousy as they arise so you do not need to worry about your kids acting out later.

Talking to your kids about having a new baby is important, but it is also important to get them involved. Find activities that your kids can participate in such as picking out names or packing the bag for the hospital that will make them feel like they are part of the process too. The more you work to get your kids included in the excitement of having a new baby the more likely it is that they will be ready for the big changes that come with having an infant in the house. It will also help your children get started on feeling a sense of affection towards their new sibling.

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