How To Talk To Your Child About A Coming Baby

If you're expecting a new baby you'll have to talk to your other children about it eventually. Here's a few tips:

When a new baby is on the way it's a happy time for most homes. Even if young siblings understand that a new baby is coming they still might have plenty of questions about it. Older siblings might be angry or upset about the notion of having yet another brother or sister.

At some point you have to make the announcement that a baby is expected. For young kids it's best to say that Mommy is expecting to have a baby and that she and Daddy are very happy about it. Letting a small child know that this is a happy occasion helps them to feel the same way. Tell them that your belly will get larger and larger as the baby grows and that one day soon you will go to the hospital to let the doctors help in bringing the baby into the world. For very young kids it's not necessary to explain every little detail.

Explain to the child that you will stay in the hospital for a couple of days until the doctors are sure the baby is fine and then you will show up at home with the new baby. Tell them you will talk to them on the phone during this time. Young children don't like the thought of Mommy being gone and they might blame it on the new baby when you are. When you do come home encourage the youngsters to help you with the baby but don't force them.

If the kids ask questions try to answer them without being too detailed. Acting nervous will only make the child think something is wrong. One common question for kids to ask is "How did the baby get in your tummy?". Try to keep the answer simple according to your own belief system. You might say "God put the baby in my tummy because we asked him for one and that's where babies grow." Or "All babies are made because Mommies and Daddies have special love that can make a baby if they want one." Be sure and repeat as often as possible that this is what Mommy and Daddy wanted.

Another common question is "How will the baby get out of your tummy?". Explain as simply as possible that the doctors will help you. If they press for details don't change the subject. Use words that are not vulgar and will get the point across. Say something like "The doctor will take the baby out of my stomach because doctors know how to do that". Don't get into anatomy unless the child is simply relentless, then give details in terms that they can comprehend.

Older kids who understand more about the birds and bees might be angry or disgusted and treat the parents accordingly. Allow the children to express their feelings but tell them repeatedly if necessary that you want this baby and that you're happy about it. Don't force the child to help take care of the baby when it arrives or even harder feelings will emerge. Allow the child to slowly fall in love with the new sibling on his own.

Speaking openly and honestly with your child helps children to believe and trust you as a parent. Although some subjects may make you slightly uncomfortable the best approach is not to turn away from the subject but to speak in terms that their age group will understand without being vulgar or using slang.

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