Explaining to an 18 Month Old That Mommy Is Having a Baby

Updated on February 10, 2008
A.N. asks from Albuquerque, NM
8 answers

I have an 18 month old son and am pregnant with my second child (due in October). Any advice on how to explain to my son that he is going to have a baby brother or sister? My son is a very active and rambunctious boy and is sometimes even aggressive toward other children in his playgroup - he gets very jealous when I hold or play with other children and lets his frustration out on them. I want to start preparing him early for when the baby comes and get him ready to "share mommy" with the baby. I know he is probably too young to fully understand what is happening, so how can I help him with this big transition? Any advice would be great!

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answers from Denver on

My son was 15 mos old when I had mt 2nd child. I told him that this was "his baby" in my tummy. Then he was excited to meet his new baby upon arrival. It made him feel special and included.

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answers from Phoenix on

by the time the baby arrives he should be 2 yrs old, so he may understand better the situation. reading to him is a great idea; you know your child better than anyone, would he respond to the carrying a doll/make-believe baby and changing the diaper thing? or would he be agressive? depending on the answer i would either do it or not. there have been times when kids are so young that they mistakingly think they can carry around a baby because they have been "make believe carrying a doll" for months and they just transfer from doll to baby like it's the same thing (so they take say an "active role" that they really are too young to have). personally i don't know if that's such a great idea. i have heard of toddlers carrying their newborn sibling when mom and dad weren't looking~that is never good. i was taught when i had my children (19 years ago, my youngest one is 12) that the "look but don't touch, but you can kiss baby's feet or help mommy reach the diapers or the wipes" created a sense of respect toward the newborn, as in "only mommy or daddy take care of him/her" while making him feel he was part of the action. sometimes i'm afraid we're expecting too much from children. they are not little adults, they are children who don't understand many concepts yet.
i just thought i'd share my opinion/experience because if your son is as you say "active and curious and jealous and agressive with other kids" my gut feeling is...keep him at a safe distance, don't take any chances. he'll adjust eventually, no way you'll be able to completely erradicate the feeling of jealousy toward the new baby. that's part of life and the growth of a child.



answers from Phoenix on

He is too young to understand that is is going to effect him, but that doesn't mean you can't prepare him. There are a lot of great books out there that talk about big brothers and new babies. Try the library and start reading to him. The first response you got had some great ideas also. The best advice I can give is to just give him positive attention when the baby gets here even though you will be busy and stressed and tired. Set aside you and him time right from the beginning so that he doesn't feel replaced. And if/WHEN he acts out towards the baby kindly but firmly stop him and redirect him so that it is not negative attention and then give him praise and rewards (like hugs and smiles) when he is nice and loving. Good Luck.



answers from Tucson on

Congratulations! My first two children are 14 months apart & our 2nd & 3rd are 18 months apart! We found out we were pregnant with our 2nd when our first was only 5 months old! The biggest thing we did was to give it all over to God - & know that He's in control! Second, talk about it all the time! Even if your son doesn't understand what it all means right now, he'll slowly begin to grasp it. When you see other babies, point them out to your son, find some fun books to read with him, have him help pick things out for the baby, help him "plan" things to do when he's a big brother...! All of our children adjusted very easily to each addition to our family. Kids can read their parents so well - if it's natural & exciting to you & your husband, your son will pick up on that and be just as excited as you are! The wonderful part of having children close together in age, is that they always have a playmate & friend! Good luck & God Bless!



answers from Grand Junction on

My kids are 17 1/2 months apart.. We got my daughter her own baby and when I was about 5 months we started pointing to my tummy and saying baby. When she was rough with me we would tell her she is hurting the baby and point to my tummy. After about 3 weeks she would come aover and pat my tummy and say hi baby.We also showed her the ultrasound pics and framed one for her room. She often carried it around saying mommy baby tummy. Just be consistent and while he won't truly grasp the concept if he has a baby to physically see and then you point to your tummy and say baby he will link the two.



answers from Phoenix on

I've been there done that only my daughter was a little younger when I found out we were expecting. We always talked about the baby in mommy's tummy. As she got a little older, we got a baby and starting playing pretend with it. I we would change it, feed it, put it down for naps, similar to playing house.

As the big day approached, we made changes as slowly as possible. We brought out the baby stuff. We put her in a toddler bed (she was ready though, it wasn't forced), we put her car seat on the other side of the car, then put the infant carrier in the car. By the time her sister arrived she was ready, and willing to help which was great. I envolved her as much as I could at 21 months old. She adjusted sooooo well. We are so lucky!

Good luck to you and congratulations!



answers from Denver on

Our son is 18 months and we're expecting in July. So far, he's just getting his bear and calling it baby when we talk about it. With our older one, we did the doll thing and it worked very well. We're planning on doing it again. When you start loosing your lap space also seems to help for some reason. I don't know for his age, but for our older son, being kicked by the baby was a huge help because he then new there was a real person on their way. GL It'll be fun.



answers from Albuquerque on

Hello, So When I was pregnant with my second baby, my fisrt born was about 14 months i think. Well Anyways We already had a name for baby. And as i got bigger i would have My son interact with me and tell him to say Goodnight to brother or give brother a kiss and of course he wasnt quite sure why we were calling my belly jaymes ha but when it was all over he understood. I just acted like he was already part of the family so he would get use to the name. but I would let him feel baby kick And Then when baby came he wasnt too bad. In fact he would get protective if someone other than myself was holding his baby brother. But It was fun, He wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. He loves his brother now. very protective of him.

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