When/what to tell my 2 year old — The Bump
Pregnant after a Loss

When/what to tell my 2 year old

Hi Ladies,

 In need of some advice.  I have a 2 1/2 year old son, and am currently 28 weeks pregnant.   I was just wondering when is the best time to tell them about the baby, and what to say - having a niece born still on her due date, and multiple early losses myself, I don't want to tell him that baby is "for sure" coming home, because I don't even know that yet.  How do you tell him about baby, but also say that sometimes babies don't get to come home....

 Thanks in advance for any thoughts and words of wisdom :)

  

Re: When/what to tell my 2 year old

  • My son is a little younger. But at that age they are such concrete thinkers - so literal. They would have a really hard time understanding the "what ifs" and "maybes" that adults know and worry about. I think you talk about HIS baby in your belly to make him feel involved. And be positive for him. You don't want him scared when mommy goes to the hospital. Heaven forbid there are complications down the line - you cross that bridge when you come to it.
    BFP#1 May 17, 2008
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  • I would suggest that you tell him in stages.  Try starting to explain why your belly is growing.  If you read stories to him, tell him that you are also reading to his brother/sister too.  As you approach the due date start getting him ready for having a new sibling, etc.

    I understand your not wanting to say that something will be for sure.  However, it may be more confusing if you tell him that you are planning on bringing home a baby....but you aren't planning on it for sure.  Especially if you have had an uneventful pg up to this point, it's probably not super premature to prepare him for a new baby.  And at 2-3years old...I have a feeling that if something unfortunate would happen, he's probably not going to really remember much. 

    If I may be really honest, it sound like YOU are having a difficult time accepting this as a real possiblity (and understandably so) and are afraid that you will be disappointed.  If this is the case, you probably need to work though this anxiety first.

    Nov. 19, 2010 BFP #1--m/c Dec. 24th, 2010 First cycle after m/c on Feb. 2, 2011--March 8th, 2011 BFP #2 EDD Nov. 19, 2011. Nadia Dorothy Grace born on 11-18-11 @ 3:04pm 6lbs 14oz Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers
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  • Thanks for your advice ladies; I like the idea of explaining things in stages.

    To be honest as well, I am having a difficult time believing that this baby will be ok; but I'm taking it day by day, and trying to stay positive.  And I've got some wonderful friends, and a sister in law, who I can vent to at any point :) 

    The reason I asked this question is that my nephew was nearing 3 years old when my niece was stillborn.  And even to this day he remembers everything, and talks about it frequently....  I guess I just don't want to see my little boy's heart crushed to pieces like my nephew's was... just kind of want to prepare my little guy somewhat I guess, just in case.

  • image MommytoMilan:

    Thanks for your advice ladies; I like the idea of explaining things in stages.

    To be honest as well, I am having a difficult time believing that this baby will be ok; but I'm taking it day by day, and trying to stay positive.  And I've got some wonderful friends, and a sister in law, who I can vent to at any point :) 

    The reason I asked this question is that my nephew was nearing 3 years old when my niece was stillborn.  And even to this day he remembers everything, and talks about it frequently....  I guess I just don't want to see my little boy's heart crushed to pieces like my nephew's was... just kind of want to prepare my little guy somewhat I guess, just in case.

    I hate to say this but you cannot prevent their sadness and trying to is not healthy should something go wrong.  DS remembers some but doesn't talk about it anymore, he did for months but didn't really understand the idea of babies being born in the first place. We had resources to help us explain things on his level, so as to give comfort but not over share.

    We started telling DS around 25 wks, read him this book about being a big brother, etc. He really started to get excited right before our loss. It was hard but honestly I am so glad we told him and he had some time to feel the baby, etc. Kids pick up on things we don't say. I am sure your DS sees your belly getting bigger and hears your conversations even if he doesn't understand them.

    Don't talk about loss, you aren't there and doing so will only confuse him. If he asks about your niece you just need to say that she didn't live or is in heaven and you all miss her. Kids don't get general statements, you could scare him or worry him.  

     

    image Nicholas loved for 28 weeks, 4/11/10
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  • I do agree with the other posters and their advice, however if you want to say something very lighthearted that will get the point across but not scare him, you could say, "mommy's growing a baby and as long as the baby is big and healthy and is able to come home with us, you'll have a baby brother or sister soon!" And if there are questions, you could say something about how sometimes babies aren't strong and healthy enough to do the stuff that he does, so they can't always come home."

    Anyway, I don't think it really needs to come up at all unless there is a problem, but this seems like a non-scary way of explaining it.

  • DS will be 3 in July. We've been talking about how mommy has a baby in her belly and how he's going to be a big brother etc. We also bought a big brother book.

    To be honest, I don't know how much he "gets" and if God forbid we don't get to take this baby home, there's no way to protect him from that news so I didn't want to hide it from him.

    I understand your hesitation, but we felt it was important for us to prepare him before the birth.

    Momma to three boys: Henry - 4yo Alex - 18mo Jack - born 2/23/12 at 20w due to ruptured uterus (previa and accreta resulting in hysterectomy) He only lived here on Earth for an hour, but he will live in our hearts forever. m/c #1: sept '09, m/c #2: july '10
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