Congrats! There's another baby on the way, and your family is growing by two tiny feet. Since you are about to add a baby to the bunch, you'll need to let your family and friends in on your little secret, and this includes telling your children. There are plenty of fun and creative ways to tell your kids that you are expecting.
How to Tell Very Young Kids You're Pregnant
Young children might have a more difficult time understanding the concept of pregnancy. Choose to tell young kids the big news explicitly and directly. Consider building visual elements into your pregnancy reveal, so they can connect the concept to something more tangible.
Read a Picture Book on Becoming a Big Sibling
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and for young people, seeing pictures and messages in books can help them connect the concept of pregnancy to real life. Choose a book that's appropriate for your child's specific level of understanding to explain this new journey. Some particularly good choices are:
- There's a House Inside My Mummy by Giles Andreae, talks about the changes happening to mommy and the changes that can take place in a family when a new baby is born. It is a great choice to read with kids ranging in age from three to eight.
- Our New Baby Inside by Mick Manning, is a book about how a mom will grow during her pregnancy. This flap book shows the changes kids will witness as mom grows the new baby, and it's suitable for kids as young as age four.
Becoming a Big Brother or Sister: New Baby Book for Siblings by Darlene Stango, includes fun illustrations while addressing common thoughts, feelings, and fears children often feel when they discover that their parents are having a baby. This book is great for kids five to seven years-old.
Buy a Special Baby Doll
When a parent is newly pregnant, young kids might have difficulty understanding how this can be, especially when mom doesn't look any different than she did the day before! Use something tangible to share your news. Buy a baby doll and connect this item that your young child can hold and touch to the baby growing in your belly. Use the doll to create opportunities for your child to learn about new babies, gentle touches, and creating an overall sense of ease with babies.
Make a Visit to the Farm
Spend a day on the farm watching mama animals with their baby animals. Use nature to explain the process of welcoming a new life into the world and how parents in all walks of life have babies and become a family.
Show a Video
Watching an educational video with your child might be the perfect way to explain that a new brother or sister is on the way. Stories and images playing out on-screen can help make the idea relatable and easier to grasp for young minds. Additionally, some cartoons and children's shows highlight the topic of adding a baby to the family; so watching beloved characters (like Elmo) explain things can make the topic more relatable for kids.
Give Them a Gift From the New Baby
Show your child or children that the new baby already loves them so much that they are giving them a gift. Any resentment that kids might initially feel with a new little one on the way fades when they are faced with a shiny new toy that is attached to the concept of this new sibling.
How to Tell Older Children You Are Expecting
Older children likely have friends that have welcomed new babies into the world, or they've seen aunts and uncles add kids to their broods. They have a solid understanding of what pregnancy is, and how this changes the family makeup. You can tell older kids that you're having a baby in more creative and abstract ways if you choose.
Take Them on a Shopping Trip to a Baby Store
Plan a special day out for you and your children. Take them on a shopping trip, but not just any old shopping trip. Take them shopping somewhere they may have never been before... a baby store! They will certainly be perplexed as to why you're choosing to take them there. Let them know that your family will be frequenting this store more often in the coming years since a baby is on the way. Take them inside and let each of your kids choose a few items for their new sibling, giving them some personalization and inclusion in the pregnancy journey.
Involve Them in Painting the Former Guest Room, With a Twist
Do you have a guest room that a new baby will soon take over? If so, bring your kids to a prepped room and tell them that you will be doing some painting. Have two cans of paint available and two paint brushes. Tell them to grab a brush and get painting, using only pink and blue paint. Ask them which color they think the room should be. It might take them a few minutes to figure out why pink and blue are the only choices, but the looks on their faces will be priceless when they discover that mom is expecting.
Take Them on a Special Scavenger Hunt
Lead the kids through a house full of clues. At the end of the scavenger hunt, leave a sweet card, a poem, and an ultrasound picture. This is such a fun activity that ends with the best kind of surprise. Scavenger hunts can be made into complex excursions, or they can be simple and fun activities depending on children's levels of development. For a new baby-related scavenger hunt, have kids find items like:
- Baby carrots
- A blanket
- A teddy bear
- A baby doll
- A child's baby book or memory book
- A bun or little bean
Start a Scrapbook and Let Kids Take the Reins
Start a scrapbook of your family and share it with your kids. Lead into a page announcing another baby is on the way. Provide lots of scrapbooking supplies so your kids can help scrapbook the pregnancy and the journey to becoming a sibling.
Bake Buns... in the Oven
Take to the kitchen and get baking. Make lots of warm and buttery buns in the oven. Kids might not understand why you are choosing to bake buns and not cookies or cupcakes. Ask them why they think you are baking buns. If you need to, reveal that the buns in the actual oven are not the only buns being baked. They will learn that you too are baking your own little bun in your oven!
Telling an Only Child a Baby Is on the Way
If it has been you and your kiddo for quite a long time now, telling them that they are about to become a big brother or a big sister might be as stressful as it is exciting. Think about how receptive your child is going to be regarding this new development. Tailor your announcement to how they will likely react. If you know they cannot wait to be an older brother or sister, plan a fun and playful way to reveal your news. If there is a chance that they will become apprehensive or worried about no longer being an only child, make sure that your news reveal reflects this possibility.
Give Them a Special Book
Buy or create a book about the importance and magic of becoming a big brother or sister. Use this opportunity to tell your child that you are pregnant, to discuss how exciting this experience can be, and to address their concerns or questions surrounding the news.
Do a Revealing Puzzle
Have a little puzzle time with just the two of you. Purchase or make a puzzle that says, "We're Expecting" or "You are going to be a big bro/sis" when completed. Remind only children that even after the baby arrives, this quality time with just the two of you will remain the same.
Share the News in a Special Place
Do you and your only child have a special place full of meaning for the two of you? Maybe it is a restaurant, a park, or somewhere else that has always been your go-to spot. Sometimes it isn't about how you tell your child you are expecting, but where you tell your child your big news.
Make a Big Sibling Gift Basket
Create a gift basket full of everything the soon-to-be big brother or sister will need to take on this new role in life. Stock the gift basket with items that might make this new phase of life fun and interesting. Empower only children by giving them the equipment they will need to become the world's very best big sibling.
When Spreading the Good News, Keep These Things in Mind
Chances are, you are thrilled to be pregnant and can't wait to see your existing children and the new baby interact, grow up together and love one another. Keep in mind that major changes in families, like having a baby, often bring about mixed emotions for some family members. Be open to your children's feelings regarding a new baby. Understand that joy might not be the first emotion that they express. Display patience and compassion as they ease into the new family dynamic; and continuously remind them that loving a new baby does not mean that you love them any less.