Many of us face the problem of how and when to tell our child about the new arrival. If your child is over two years he or she will be able to understand if you say that a new baby is coming. It is important to involve your little one in the pregnancy. When a child has been getting too much attention and she has to share that with someone else may be very difficult for a child to accept. She may feel estranged, left out and sometimes even get upset or depressed. Some children don’t eat, don’t respond properly and some may even hurt the new baby.
Hence it is really important to prepare the child for the delivery. Firstly you can discuss with her that she will have someone to play with. Explain the terms, brother, sister and enable her to understand by telling her of friends and family that have more than one child. Talk to your little one about birth and pregnancy. Find out how much she knows and clear any misconceptions.
It may be too early to explain in detail but just a jist so that the child does not imagine something totally different. You may take your child for one or more pre natal visits and let her hear the heartbeat of her little brother or sister. Whenever you feel baby movement let her also feel it and teach her that the baby wiggles, kicks, sucks his thumb, has hiccups when in the womb and that the fetus is almost like a tiny little baby.
You may also take your child to sibling classes if there is one in the neighborhood. You may need to decide whether your child stays with you during childbirth as some hospitals do allow. Prepare the child regarding seeing the newborn after delivery and how she can be with you for some time. Involve her in packing her bags if she is to stay with a friend, you may also involve her in packing your bag and the baby’s layette. Throughout your pregnancy let your child feel that she is important as so is the little sibling who is to come so that she would not feel estranged after the new arrival.