When to Tell 5 Year Old About Pregnancy

Updated on April 04, 2015
J.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
16 answers

I'm about 4 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and I'm wondering when to tell our 5 year old son. I don't want to tell him too early just because it would be difficult to explain if something bad were to happen and I wouldn't want to crush him. ... but waiting until first trimester is over seems EONS away! When did you tell your children about a new pregnancy?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from San Diego on

The only pregnancy of my 4 that we didn't tell the kids the day we found out was the only one that ended in miscarriage. It was actually harder to explain that I lost it because we waited so long. I lost it days after we told them.
We told them right away otherwise. My boys were 7 & 4 when I became pregnant with their sister. My oldest was a little over 2 when we told him I was pregnant with his brother.
It felt dishonest not telling them with the one we lost. If I didn't tell them with the others I would have had to explain why I was sick so much, so tired and going to the doctor. I just don't feel like lying to my kids like that. We took the older siblings to all the pre-natal appointments. I very often had to meet my husband at the birth center with my older kid as he worked down the road from it so we'd have a later afternoon apt and he'd leave work a little earlier that day.
They all did just fine. When I was pregnant with my third the boys were fascinated to learn where we were in development. We bought several books and even a couple of DVDs that they watched. They always had questions for the midwifes and they loved answering them. Even at 2 years old my son understood that mommy wasn't feeling well that day because it's a lot of work to grow a baby and can we just cuddle quiet on the couch. He loved driving his cars all over me LOL When I had my miscarriage the boys were amazing and understood that something didn't go right when the baby's body tried to grow so it couldn't be born and be a baby.
People really don't give kids enough credit in my opinion and shelter them too much from things they don't need to be sheltered from.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'd wait until my belly was about ready to get obvious. 1. You don't want to have to explain any issues with the pregnancy. If you think 8 weeks seems like so long to you...how long do you think 6 months seems to a 5 year old.....like forever. I don't really show until I'm 5 months so I'd wait until then.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Louisville on

I told my almost 5 year old around 7 weeks. She has been wanting and wanting a sibling, so we told her quickly. I also downloaded an app on my iPad, and every week we watch a video of what our baby looks like... Is really helps curb the anxiety, and gives her a tangible way to pass the time. We told her that baby will be coming when it's almost Halloween, so that also gives her a time to connect it with.

Honestly, I'm really glad we told her. She is so excited, and already in love with the baby. Plus, it was nice being able to tell her, "growing a baby is hard work, and it makes mommy feel tired/sick. She loves being able to be a "big helper" by letting me rest when I need it. She has also turned into quite the little health Nazi (thanks to a book we read in which it said she could "help" mommy by taking walks and eating healthy foods/drinking lots of water..) and reminds me to make sure I am taking vitamins and drinking water. Lol.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i don't get not telling family members 'just in case.'
if something bad happens, you'll tell him that. and he'll be very sad. just like you. but he won't be crushed as long as you are sensitive and sensible, just as you are about telling him about the pregnancy.
which will probably go fine.
and if you don't over-present it, the time elapsed from now until baby will be just what he needs to get used to the idea.
we told our son as soon as we found out. he was 3. not tons of difficult explanations, just 'mommy's pregnant! you're going to have a baby brother or sister.' and answered questions as they came up.
it doesn't make sense to me to 'shelter' kids from real life, especially hypotheticals.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I suggest it's important to delay telling him closer to your due date. 5 yo have no sense of time. 8 months is too long for them to wait. When you start to show and he asks questions casu ally answer his questions at first. Gradually, over time, give more as he asks. If you tell him now he won't understand. He may be anxious especially if you present it as the big deal it is. Think of Christmas and how he had difficulty waiting for it. 3 Mos is eons away for you. Consider how 8 months will feel to your son.

You are concerned about his lying. Telling him he's going to get a sibling now will complicate the resolution of that issue.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Wait till the 2nd trimester.
Some of my son's preschool classmates parents were pregnant, told their kids right away and then miscarried a month later.
Trying to explain it to the kids was hard.

To a 5 yr old - their concept of time is not great.
If you think waiting 8 weeks is tough - 9 months is forever to them.
Just wait and plan your strategy for building up his concept of becoming a big brother.
He's got a lot of major changes coming at him.
Let him enjoy being your baby for a little while longer before he gets replaced with an attention stealing younger sibling.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

We always told our kids at 6-8 weeks, so as soon as we knew. We've had friends miscarry and have discussed that, as well as talked about birth defects all as part of the conversations during pregnancy about how a baby grows, what moms have to do (and stop doing) for a healthy baby, etc.

Our kids are all 2 years (give or take) apart.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

They found out when I went to see the midwife at 10 weeks.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

For a child this age, 9 months is an eternity. So there's no particular reason to tell. Yes, you want to prepare him and yes you want him to be as excited as you are - but he's 5 and he's not going to get it nor is he going to need 8 months to prepare. So if you can't wait to tell him because you want him to be excited, I think you may be expecting too much from him. Think about whether you will disappointed if he says, "Oh. Can I watch TV?" That may be all you'll get from him because the idea of a baby is so abstract for him.

However, I do think you want to tell him before you tell other people. He shouldn't hear about it from others because he will be confused and not know how to respond. And you can't very well be telling all your friends and then say, "But don't tell Jimmy yet." People forget and they shouldn't have to keep family "secrets" on your behalf.

If you have incredible morning sickness or exhaustion and you think he would worry, then you might want to explain sooner just so he doesn't freak out.

Yes, it would be hard to explain if something bad happened, and I do think there is merit to Suz's comment that you can't always shelter kids. But if a child isn't too clear on what's going to happen many months away, he's not going to need too much info on what it's not happening after all.

Congrats and hope you have a great pregnancy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Not until you're ready for the general public to know. Our kids were 5 and 2 when we got pregnant with #3 and there's no way they would've been able to keep that secret. They were just so excited.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My first two kids are 6 years apart and the last two are 5 years apart. In the first two kids I told my daughter when I was about 5 months the last two I told them when I was about 3 months. And the sooner you tell the sooner and longer you will be saying not yet not yet.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Not that I'm having a second child, but I would personally wait until you start showing and your son asks. Having had previous miscarriages, I wouldn't want to share information with my child until having at least made it through the first twelve weeks. Why? Because there's really no need for the child to know immediately. Also to be considered: would there be a chance of terminating the pregnancy if serious genetic issues or developmental issues were discovered? I'm not trying to rain on your parade, I just think that we should keep in mind that some things should be adult business until life makes it 'kid business'.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We told at the end of the first trimester, before we had told anyone else. Then we let him tell the rest of the family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I can't remember the exact week (definitely after week 12 though) - we had a picture from the ultrasound, and that's how we told them - by showing them the picture. It made it more real for them I suppose :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would probably tell him when is was very obvious not before. A week in a 5 year olds life is forever. Months are incomprehensible. So hold off as long as you can.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd wait a long long time. Then it won't seem like an eternity til the baby gets here to him either.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions