How to Tell My Toddler That We Are Expecting Another Baby

Updated on June 06, 2011
M.B. asks from San Antonio, TX
12 answers

hallo mamas,
I just got confirmation that i am pregnant for the second time, not sure yet how further along , but that is not my worry. I wonder and worry how to tell my 3 years old daughter that we are expecting another baby.Any ideas what books i can read with her on that topic.Really not sure at this point how to bring the news, without upsetting her or....
Also worried that i am 37 years old and hoping that no complications will occur, because i had a beautiful, smooth 1st pregnancy and natural child birth.
Any feedback will be very helpful.

Thank you

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So What Happened?

Dear mamas,
Thank you so very much for the great advices and feedback i got from you. That definitely help me to put my mind at ease.I am looking forward to the day i will start to show off so i can tell my little one that we are expecting another baby and she will be a great sister.
You are awesome.

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answers from Chicago on

I was given a book called Baby on the Way. My twins are 2.5 and I've read it a few times. The baby is coming in three weeks, so I will be reading it to them more often. It's a good one!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Honolulu on

My daughter was 3 when I was pregnant with my 2nd child.
She was so happy!
She is also a very mature child.
She completely understood and I FULLY incorporated her into 'my' pregnancy. Meaning, I spent my pregnancy, ON her and helping to transition her to... not being an only child anymore and that she will be having a sibling etc.
I didn't call it 'my pregnancy'... but focused on her.

I even took her to my OB appointments, which my Doc encouraged and he even taught her how to use the Doppler heart monitor on my tummy.
I explained the 'phases' of my being pregnant... that my tummy will get bigger, I will get tired, need to nap, I won't be able to carry her etc. But its okay because we are a "TEAM."

I did not read her any books.
I spent a ton of time on her and with her and totally bonding with her. I explained baby development/phases to her. So she knew how a baby is, BEFORE I came home from the hospital.

She and I even took naps together. She'd rub my tummy and sing to her baby brother in my tummy and talk to him. We took TONS of photos as my belly grew, and took the photos of her and my tummy, together.

I was older than you when I had my 2nd child. It was a normal pregnancy. No complications. Got pregnant naturally.

You need to spend time on your first-born, to "Prep" her for her sibling and your pregnancy.
A kid, does not know about it nor how it will be, unless things are explained to them. Of course in simple kid ways they can understand.

My daughter was such a trooper and so happy about it all. I believe that all the prepping I did with her and PRIOR to the baby actually coming home, helped her a lot.
She was secure and self-assured about it all. No jealousy. Just so happy to have her baby brother. They are very close. Real peas in a pod.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I would expect that she will be overjoyed and go with that approach. All of our children have always been delighted when the new pregnancy was announced. She will follow your lead in this. If you act like she should be upset, she probably will be. If you act like she will be delighted, she probably will be.
BTW, my 6th pregnancy was my best--I was 39 when I delivered. Congrats to you!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When I've told my little ones (I do it about three months into the pregnancy), I just act excited (since I am...hehe) and tell them "Guess what! Mommy has a new baby in her tummy!" They are always excited. Most kids don't get upset, they find it a really exciting thing. A lot of it is how you react and involve them, but odds are they won't get the idea to be mad about it unless someone gives them that idea...or if they get less attention, etc.

Be sure to explain to her about the pregnancy as you go along, and show her pictures of what the baby looks like (online they have good ones) and involve her through the pregnancy. She'll probably end up "pregnant" if she's like my girls who think they also have babies in their tummies...hehe. Try to let her feel the baby move when you can - it's surprisingly tricky, though, since little ones often don't hold still long enough.

Make it exciting that she'll be getting a brother or sister that she'll be able to help take care of and snuggle and kiss and help pick clothes, etc. then when baby arrives, have your daughter be your little helper. Let her pick the blanket for the baby or the outfit and let her be a big girl and grab the diaper/wetwipes for you. My kids LOVED helped like that. Keep involving her. Be patient with her (if she acts out more or something) and give her personal time still.

I'm on baby #5 and have yet to have a child upset about a new baby coming. They have always been so excited and can't wait to hold the baby. Even my 23 month old (at the time new baby arrived) wasn't jealous, and with her personality, I totally thought she would be. But she wasn't. She has been a great little helper, though! They'll follow your lead. Assume it'll be exciting to her, and if it's not, then listen and help her through it. But odds are she'll be fine.

And, congratulations!

As for your age, odds are you'll be fine! It doesn't mean you'll have a smooth pregnancy/birth, though...hehe. Those have a mind of their own. Just know it's not likely due to your age:-) I've had one smooth birth (almost smooth), and the rest all had challenges. Awesome about the natural birth. My first three were too (well, #2 ended up needing some help, but it was mostly 100% natural). good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would wait a while, after all the tests (if you are doing that?) Three year olds have a very different sense of time and place. She may seem sad, happy or indifferent when you first tell her, then be completely opposite the next day.
I'd get her a baby doll when you're about 7 or 8 months along and start talking about "the baby" and how to treat it, take of it, etc.
It's been a while since I read any baby/toddler books but Dr. Sears was always a favorite of mine :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Congrats! I don't have any books off the top of my head but I know I've seen many in the children's section of our local bookstore so there are plenty out there for all ages. I would hold off on telling a 3-year-old as long as possible. I was always paranoid that something awful would happen and I carried small, so I didn't tell my kids about any sibling pregnancies until I was showing, at around 18-20 weeks (usually by this time we also knew the gender and had ruled out major health issues via the late ultrasound). The sooner you tell, the longer the wait is for her and at that age, every month is an eternity! So you have plenty of time to find the right way to tell her.

Congrats, and I wish you a happy, healthy and uneventful pregnancy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I would wait until you are a little farther along before you tell her. There are plenty of books to choose from at Barnes and Noble or the library on a new addition to the household. I'd look for one that is appropriate for your family. When I was pregnant, I told my son that this is "his" baby. We gave him a baby doll and named it what we were going to name our baby. He took it everywhere and slept with it. When people came to visit us, I asked them to acknowledge him first (before the baby) and asked them to call her "his baby." I let him help with her a ton. He fed her, held her, helped change her diapers, etc. He felt very important. There was no jealousy until she was old enough to irritate him. The one thing you probably have going for you is that when this baby is born, your daughter will most likely be at the age that she LOVES babies. My daughter asks for a real baby everyday and she is 3. Too bad she's not going to get one. :) Brain washing is always helpful! Make sure she knows that this baby will be her best friend for life.


answers from Los Angeles on

Congrats on your pregnancy! Looks as if you're getting some great advise, so I'd just like to add: Be prepared for jealousy and/or animosity once the baby has arrived or even months later.

Even from the most mature, accepting, well-prepared, joyful child can (but not definitely) come problems like not wanting anything to do with the new baby, resentment because the baby seems to be getting all the attention, anger, refusal to cooperate, reverting back to pre-toilet training, even if fully trained, tantrums, etc. If she is moving to a new room or bed do it now so she doesn't associate the change with the new baby. Involve her in your planning as much as possible. Have little gifts for her when you come home from the hospital. Encourage her to be a helpful big sister by having her hand you diapers and little things like that. Set aside time to do things just with her so she still gets some undivided attention and knows she's special and that you enjoy her.

God bless<3



answers from Washington DC on

I waited until I was really showing until I told my 3 yo that I was expecting her brother. 3 year olds have little concept of time and 40 weeks is a long time to wait for a baby to appear. Wait until you start doing the nursery, getting ready for baby and are really showing. My daughter didn't really accept her brother until he was a few weeks old, until then she looked at him like he was a little alien invading her perfect world. You can talk to her about what it will be like to be a big sister and what she can expect. Many hospitals have a sibling class for those 3 years and up that goes over some basics on what to expect.


answers from Chicago on

Update/ forgot we also let the kids watch their hospital birth dvds...there was nothing scary- it was all after baby cried- my 3 yr old loved that! We also did present from baby to kids and rattle present feom kids to baby as soon as we arrived home. I never blamed the baby or pregnancy for being too tired or unable to pick them up or do things...thought it would build resentment. Baby boy was born 2 weeks ago and all has been great here!

We waited till the 20 week ultrasound was over so we could tell them the sex- my kids were 3.5 and 2 at the time. It worked best that 3 your kiddo may have a very real opinion on whether she wants a brother or a 3.5 really wanted a sister and got a brother so it helped us prepare her so she wasn't ticked off when a boy came home with us! Emphasize the big helper, big sister role- all the things she can help with! Because of your concerns and how long 9 mos is in kid time, I would wait awhile before telling her, and to make it more real in the way of time, if you are due after Xmas or a major holiday tell her that so she has something to relate the time passage to. We passed on the sibling books but there are some good ones and I know people have asked that question before so the search box might help. Best wishes!



answers from Austin on

Our daughter turned three one month before her little sister was born, so we had the situation a little bit younger.

We waited until I was showing to tell her; it made it more "real." Also, we were given a magazine by our doctor that showed how babies grow month-to-month, using real pictures; there is a great book that does the same, I think it's called "Conception to Birth." She still likes looking at the "baby pictures." She also had a couple of storybooks - "Bringing Home Baby" and "I'm a Big Sister."

Also, put away all of the things you can now, that you intend to pass on to the baby. It will help to have a disconnect of a couple of months, so that little one doesn't have to send her toys or crib or whatnot directly from her room to baby.




answers from Waco on

Why on earth would you think your daughter would be upset? Becoming a big sister is a very fun and exciting thing! I might be tempted to wait until you get out of the first trimester, but after that, yes you should tell her!

Also, try not to stress about the age thing. People who are 37 (and older) have babies everyday!


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