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Q&A: Telling Your Children that You're Pregnant

Q. When should I tell my other child or children that I'm pregnant?

A. That depends on your child's age. A toddler may not understand the concept of a new brother or sister until you bring one home from the hospital. You may want to wait as long as possible to share the news with a preschooler because the idea of waiting several months for a new sibling can frustrate children of that age. Elementary school children can be told right away.

Be prepared for your child to be less than excited about the arrival of a new sibling. The news might make your child feel threatened, unloved, or angry.

These feelings are normal. Give your child space to share worries and fears. Offer reassurance that you have enough love for all of your children. Be honest and explain that a new baby will take up a lot of your time; then emphasize that you'll still have time for your older child or children. You might want to squeeze in some special outings together before the baby is born.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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