Sunday, March 17, 2013

Announcing Your New Arrival

You and your husband/wife/significant other want to shout the news from the rooftops: You are expecting! 

Many questions run through your minds. Who do you tell and when do you tell them? Most importantly, if you already have a child, when do you break the news to her?

My advice? Wait until you are well into your pregnancy. The first trimester is most difficult, often causing nausea and morning sickness. According to experts, this is also when the risk of miscarriage is at its highest.

Wait until you are beginning to show, and then share your news with your child, your family and closest friends.

Tips for telling your child about the new baby:

If you are suffering from morning sickness, ensure that you do not tell your child that the baby is making you sick. In some cases, you may not feel up to playing with your child and you do not want her to blame the new baby.

It is wise to choose a time when your child is relaxed and well rested before broaching the subject.

Remind him/her that you love them very much and the new baby will not change that fact.

As your pregnancy progresses, you can take your child to the doctor with you so that she can hear the baby's heartbeat.

Read books or watch DVDs about a new baby coming into the family (see below for recommendations).

Let her choose a toy for the new baby.

Pay close attention to your child’s feelings. Is she excited? Happy? Sad. Acknowledge her feelings and answer questions in as simplistic and accurate way as possible.

Watch your words. Children do not always visualize what we say in a correct way. Teach your child the correct terminology. The baby is not in your tummy; it’s in your womb. Explain that the womb is a special place inside the Mommy, where the baby lives until it is ready to come out. You can’t see the womb, but it looks like Mommy’s tummy is getting bigger. Be clear that the womb is different from the tummy, because the womb holds a baby and the tummy holds food-- they don’t go in the same place!

Recommended Resources:

DVD: Great Siblings: A Sibling Preparation Film for Preschoolers from 1x Around Productions
Book: I'm a New Big Brother/Sister by Nora Gaydos
Visit your local parent resource store or independent bookstore (we recommend Parent Books at 21 Harbord Street in Toronto, ON)

Armed with the above information, you’re ready to share your good news with your child and the world. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

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