Announcing a pregnancy is exciting, but it can also be a little bit daunting if your already have another child at home. Whether your big kid is four or 14, telling them that they'll have a new baby sibling can rock their world. It'll impact their day-to-day lives in a way that can occasionally be difficult for them to process. If you're struggling with how to break the news, there are plenty of ways to tell your child they're going to be an older sibling that will hopefully get them excited about the prospect of a new family member.
Telling a child who thrives on consistency and stability that their world is going to change — and change forever — can be complicated and even nerve-wracking. So being sensitive to their potential feelings can certainly help. Not only that, but focusing on all of the positives that come along with a new sibling — particularly the ones that will last a lifetime — can make them more excited and even help sway uncertain feelings. Still unsure how to approach the subject? Here are 11 ways to tell your child that they're going to be an older sibling, but will still be important to you.
1. A Book
If your kid loves books, there are many books about being an older sibling that you can purchase to share the news. Bonus points if you read the story with them and answer any questions they may have.
2. A Shirt
Those "Big Sister" and "Big Brother" shirts are a classic way to tell your kids — and everyone else — that you're expecting. They won't be able to wear them forever, but they're sure to love them.
3. A Cake
Cafe Mom shared the story of a mom who served her kids a pregnancy announcement cake that featured a plastic stork. It might take the a little while for them to understand what the means, but they'll be doubly happy once they do — cake and a new sibling all in one day.
4. A Scrapbook
According to Babble, you can share the news by creating a scrapbook about the new baby. Use mementos like your pregnancy test, a sonogram, and the like so that they can start to feel as though they're getting to know their new little sibling before they even meet them.
5. A Doll
In an interview with Mom.me, Myisha Driver, the program director at Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic, said that dolls can help toddlers understand a topic that's kind of confusing for them. Plus, they'll get to bond with them before the baby's born.
6. A Trip To The Doctor's Office
Babies are a kind of abstract concept before they're born for kids who don't have a lot of experience with them. Take your big kids along to the doctor with you and let them hear the heartbeat or check out an ultrasound as a way to tell them they'll soon be an older sibling, according to Babble. They'll think it's pretty neat.
7. Your Bump
It's obvious and doesn't take a whole lot of effort, but letting your expanding belly speak for itself can be a simple way to tell your big kids that there will be a new baby in the family soon enough. In the previously-mentioned article from Mom.me, Driver said that that can help minimize the potential for a needed discussion about miscarriage because your risk will have dropped at that point.
8. Their Baby Book
If you made a baby book for your older kids, sharing it — especially if they haven't seen it before — can be a fun way to share that there will soon be a new baby in the family. It can also connect an older child with their soon-to-be younger sibling, knowing that they were a baby once too.
9. A Real-Life Baby
If your older kids have never really met or interacted with a baby before, introducing them to a friend or family member's baby can be a good way to broach the subject of their new little sibling. According to Kids Health, interacting with an infant can encourage excitement and interest in your new baby, as well.
10. A Redecorated Nursery
Redecorating is a more involved way to share the news, but it also might make it seem more real for kids struggling to understand what that really means. Explaining that this will be the room where the new baby will sleep and play, just like their room is where they sleep and play, can help it all make sense.
11. A Special Dinner
Family Share suggested hosting a family dinner with a baby theme. Use baby utensils, sippy cups, and bibs, and serve a baby-themed meal. Your kids might need a clue about what's going on, but a dinner like that would surely be as memorable as the feeling when they hear they're going to be an older sibling.