L.S. asks from Omaha, NE on March 05, 2011
When to Tell... - Omaha,NE
My husband and I recently found out we're pregnant with our second child (yeah!) We have a 3 1/2 year old daughter, and have been so anxious to tell her we're expecting a little brother or sister for her. I do realize the risks associated in the first couple months of pregnancy, but I'm so anxious to tell her I'm going insane! She'll be so excited, and I want to share our good news with her so she can be excited too. She's been waiting patiently for this news (as were we). I know that telling soon makes the wait seem much longer for her, but I want to also give her time to get used to the idea of having another since she'll have been the only one for 4 years by the time the baby comes. Any advice on the best time to tell or if we'd be irresponsible telling her now? Or comments from moms who did tell early on?
M.K. answers from Sheboygan on March 06, 2011
we told at the end of 1st trimester after heart beat (and SINGLE pregnancy) had been confirmed. Then she called my mom on her (my mom's) birthday to tell her the news. Timing just worked out good that way, and I knew she wouldn't keep it a secret and I waited to tell work until after 1st trimester. By the way, my girls are about the same age difference, and it's GREAT!!! (most of the time anyway!)
M.H. answers from Raleigh on March 05, 2011
We waited until the 8 week ultrasound. Once we knew all was good, we had him come in and see the baby. Once you hear the heartbeat, chances of a miscarriage go down quite a bit. Congratulations!
C.O. answers from Washington DC on March 05, 2011
Not to be the bearer of bad news - but I would wait until 20+ weeks. I lost Alexis at 20 weeks and my boys - 4 and 2 didn't understand what happened to their little sister.
4 to 5 months is an ETERNITY for a child....you can tell her..tell her that you and Daddy have been working on a baby brother or sister for her and you are doing your best to make one...if she notices your belly getting bigger - tell her - that's where we're working on it!! But it takes time - A LONG time...that way she won't be expecting it to happen tomorrow...
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M.F. answers from Phoenix on March 05, 2011
We announced both of our pregnancies early, as soon as we tested positive to friends and family and Facebook announcements with the 8 week ultrasound. If you have no history of miscarriage, I seen reason to wait. We started talking about the baby in my belly immediately with our daughter, then only 16 months and by now she knows that her baby brother is in there and she talks to him, kisses him and cutest of all plays peek-a-boo with him through my belly button. I'd tell your daughter soon, maybe bring her to some ultrasound appointments and make it a part of everyday conversation. I also recommend a book called "A Child Is Born" which has developmental photographs from conception to birth. I used it to help my daycare kids understand my first pregnancy and they loved it. Great way to help them wrap their minds around what can be a pretty abstract concept for kids. It helps them understand the time frame of the wait if you put it in terms of holidays when you're talking about it (ie. After Halloween, after Thanksgiving, after Christmas and Hanukkah, after New Years, after Valentine's Day, after St. Patrick's Day, THEN the baby will be born). Good luck and congratulations!
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V.D. answers from Minneapolis on March 06, 2011
I think if you feel like you want to tell her now, then you should tell her! I don't ever understand the waiting to tell thing. I believe you should share the happiness as a family, and God forbid anything happens, but you would grieve as a family too. I do not think it would be irresponsible at all to tell her now, or anyone else you want to know for that matter. Yes the wait will be long but teaching your child about waiting is something they need to learn, anything longer than 5 minutes is long for a child! So unless you want to wait until 5 minutes before the baby is born (so its not long for her to wait) I would tell her now, and teach her along the way about what is happening with baby each week. For example, baby's developing legs this week, or baby is getting fingernails, or baby is growing hair. It is a great experience to share with your older child. Have fun with it!
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K.S. answers from Kansas City on March 05, 2011
We told our son as soon as we found out with each pregnancy. He was a few months from being three when he found out about his baby brother and he had just turned four when he found out he was going to be a big brother again. Yes it does make the wait a bit long, but it also gives you time to prepare the kid and usually they have waited so long, that they are more than ready to meet the baby and help out! Congratulations!! :-)
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J.W. answers from Minneapolis on March 06, 2011
I think it totally depends on your kid. My oldest is a very concrete person - abstract things are tougher for him to deal with, so we chose to wait until we knew the gender (5 mos). (He was 3-1/2 when we told him, just one month shy of 4 when his brother was born.) He honestly did not notice my belly before then (even though I felt huge, it was actually kind of fantastic to have him as a reminder that i did not look all that different.) Then when we did tell him, we were able to talk about "baby brother" in concrete ways, AND he only had to wait a few months (and those were the most obvious mommy-belly and home-preparation months.) Follow your gut, and do what will make the most sense for your daughter, what will help her transition into "big sister" in the smoothest way.
T.G. answers from Milwaukee on March 07, 2011
The advice I was given when I was in your position was......don't tell her until you're ready for everyone to know - exciting secrets are hard for everyone to keep - basically impossible for a 3 year old! Congrats! :)
A.F. answers from Chicago on March 07, 2011
We told our 3.5 yo daughter and 2 year old son we are expecting when we had the 20 week U/S and could tell them whether it would be a brother or sister on the way. Our daughter had been asking for a sister for the last year....ha! It is a boy! I think it was perfect timing because my belly was getting bigger and it is getting closer to the end now. 9 months is a LONG time in a child's perspective....remember how long the school year seemed as a kid -- pregnancy is basically the same length of time.
My close friend who had her 2nd in December told her son (who was 2.5 at the time) when she was 8 weeks....that was too soon in my perspective but to each their own. I would wait until you hear the baby's heartbeat on the doppler around 10-13 weeks personally or the end of the first trimester at the earliest.
J.S. answers from Boston on March 05, 2011
I would wait as long as possible, 12 weeks at a minimum. The main reason is that if you had complications or a loss, you won't want to let her know. She's too young to have to deal with something like that. The second big reason is that they don't get how long it takes for a baby to develop. If you tell her now, she'll be expecting a younger brother or sister any day now. Wait until at least 2nd trimester. With most of my pregnancies, I waited until around 20 weeks or later to tell because that's when I started to show and little ones can get it a bit more if they can see your body changing and growing. With my twin pregnancy (I carried for someone else) I did have to tell them early because we wanted to tell friends who were waiting to hear the news and I didn't want the kids to hear from a classmate or something, so we told them after our 12 week u/s. Congrats to you, but be patient and wait to tell her.