toddlerhood and pregnancy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-16-2003, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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we are due in early october, at which time dd will be 2 1/2. i am curious how many are either currently pregnant and also raising a toddler or have been/done both in the past. did you explain pregnancy to your toddler? if so, how? what are you doing or what did you do to prepare?
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#2 of 11 Old 02-16-2003, 08:07 PM
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DD will be a month shy of 2 when baby is due...
I've talked about the baby alot and tell her that it's in mommy's womb and pat my tummy.
She talks to the baby and likes to suck her thumb and hang onto my belly button (now that it sticks out )
If we are watching tv and there is a baby in a commercial, she'll get excited and run over to me and pat my belly.
She came to my last appt and heard the baby's heart. I told her that was the baby and she smacked her lips together making the noise...and did so for daddy when we got home.

I haven't really explained how the baby is coming or anything like that, just the end result....I do tell her that Grandma is going to come and play with Evy and Mommy will bring home our baby, but nothing other then that.

It's hard sometimes, when I want to just lay down and relax and she is go go go...but sometimes, she'll just cuddle with me on the couch....of course with my belly uncovered so she can talk to the baby.

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#3 of 11 Old 02-16-2003, 09:26 PM
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My first ds was 2 1/2 when second ds was born - I'm now pregnant with ds#3 and my second will be just turning 3 and oldest will be 5 1/2 when this little guy is due.

As far as explaining the baby to a toddler I keep it basic - Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy who is going to come and live with us. We have already named the baby, so we use his name and talk about how he will be with us and Mommy will give him milk from her breasts and he may cry a lot and need to be held often. He seems to understand it.

We had a very smooth transition when ds#2 was born - ds#1 has always adored him, so I hope it is the same with ds#3!

As far as keeping up with a toddler while pregnant - whew! it's hard!!! It's actually easier this time around b/c my boys play with each other so much that I spend a lot less time trying to entertain my toddler than I did when I only had one.
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#4 of 11 Old 02-16-2003, 10:41 PM
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My ds will be 26 months when this baby comes. We have talked about the baby, and he refers to my belly when talking about the baby. He kisses my belly and says "baby" and stuff like that, but I'm really not sure how much he understands. I don't think he has any experience to reference really understanding that a new baby is going to come into the house. I would love to hear other people's experience with this.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-17-2003, 12:34 AM
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another mama w/ a toddler here; dd will be 25 months when the lil' bundle arrives.

Dd is also very into patting the belly, saying 'tiny baby,' and all that cute stuff. I, too, wonder, 'gee, how much does she really understand?' thinking the answer is 'not too much'...and then thinking that probably BOTH dd AND I understand the upcoming impact of a New Baby about the same!!!!

A fellow mama IRL just popped out a lil' baby, and when she was certain she WAS feeling those contractions early in labor, she sobbed at the thought of having to give up that special relationship w/ her toddler and 'share' herself. I am sympathetic to those feelings!

Busily readin' up on "Siblings Without Rivalry" (probably available in your local LLL library, paying members!)
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#6 of 11 Old 02-17-2003, 02:49 PM
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I am 13 weeks pregnant with #2 and my dd will be 26 months when this baby arrives. We weren't planning to really discuss it with her, just to let it happen naturally. It did!

The midwife came for our first visit and checked the babe's heartbeat with the doppler. Now dd "checks" her baby about 20 times a day by lifting her shirt and saying "baby baby baby" as she zooms her hand around her belly. Of course, Daddy also has a baby in his belly in addition to Mommy!

I found a couple of terrific lift the flap books through LLLI that show illustrations of pregnancy/newborn period. I am going to order those and read them to dd alot in the coming months.

Good luck!
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#7 of 11 Old 02-17-2003, 03:44 PM
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DS will be 2 and 5 mos in april. We have the book Hello Baby by Lizzie Rockwell (I change the language to birth center & midwife- in the book itis DR & hospital). We also look at pictures of him when he was "a tiny baby" He goes to all of my prenatal appointments with me and he knows that our midwife is the "baby helper for when it gets born" We talk about the baby quite a bit and try to let him know what newborns do, so he won't be too shocked. Only time will tell though!

Mama to 3 kiddles. joy.giffencing.gif Doing my best and trying to stay afloat.vbac.gif

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#8 of 11 Old 02-18-2003, 12:41 AM
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Bill and Martha Sears have a neat children's book about pregnancy. Sorry, I don't know the name of it but it's really nice.

Also, there's a children's book called, "Welcome With Love" that tells the story of a homebirth, attended by a midwife and older children. I cried out loud when I read it because it was so beautiful. Mama gives birth while squatting and holding onto Dad while the kids watch. At the end the whole family is snuggled up in sleeping bags in front of the fireplace. Wonderful.

peace, Beth
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#9 of 11 Old 02-18-2003, 03:15 AM
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I think how much you explain depends on the age of the toddler and how much you plan on them experiencing of the birth. I have a friend whose baby is due Wednesday and her toddler will be 2 in april. Obviously, she hasn't explained as much to her as you would to a 3 year old, but since her DD will be at the birth center (probably in another room) when the baby is born, they have watched birth videos and explained that the baby comes out of mama's belly from between her legs. She'll kiss her belly and say "sister" and point to where sister will come out of mama, but that's about the extent of it.

Samuel will be 28 months when the new baby is born. I like the idea of using books to explain the birth b/c I too want him at the birth center when the baby is born (if not in the room). He won't "get it" that what's in the book is what will happen to mama and the new baby until he sees it happening, but I think knowing the story from the book would really help ease any fear he might have when he sees me in labor. Right now I'm just barely showing (20 weeks), but I have told him that he has a sister coming (gee, I hope I'm right about it being a girl ) and just the other day he pointed to my belly and said "sister." I know he doesn't know what that means, but we're working on explaining siblings to him (he has friends that have siblings) and I think when my friend has her baby, we'll explain to him that he's getting a baby sister just like Madaline got a baby sister.

The rule of thumb I've heard is that if your baby is under 2, you don't need to do a lot of preparation/explanation of the pregnancy, but over 2, you really need to try to explain it to them as much as possible. I'm also really glad that we're having a birth center birth and have the option of him being there for the birth because I think it will minimize sibling rivalry to see that this baby isn't just something I brought home from the store, but something that grew inside of me and that I gave birth to.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#10 of 11 Old 02-18-2003, 12:15 PM
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We're going to tell ds (2.5 years) when I start to show, because a) that's when we're telling most other people too, and if he knows, the world is going to know! And b) I think he'll understand that something is going on if he can see it happening.
Interesting thread!
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#11 of 11 Old 02-18-2003, 01:40 PM
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I am due in August and Dd will be 2 when baby is born. We have spent time looking at pictures of babies and when I ask her "Where is the baby?" she will pat my tummy, or hers, or daddy's. I also make sure to point out little babies when we are at the store and she loves to say the word baby over and over. We also got her a soft doll that is her own baby that she carries around and sleeps with. She even tries to feed her. Other than that, I don't think there is a whole lot she can grasp at this point. As we get closer, we will start explaining to her that she will get to stay with grandma for a little while while Mommy is having the baby.
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