Rosie will be a big sister some day (not soon, but some day) and while preparing her for the big change that brings is not something I’ve had to do yet, I have researched it for my latest book and experienced it through my work as a paediatric nurse. I have also interviewed many parents on the topic. These tips may help you to prepare your Tiny for Tiny Number Two.
When to break the news
It may be best to wait until you are a little further into your pregnancy (perhaps until you have a bump) to tell your toddler about the new baby. This may allow your toddler to understand the concept of a baby in mummy’s tummy a little better. You may also be telling others around this time. There are exceptions to this of course, for example if your toddler is asking you questions that you really can’t seem to answer without telling him what’s going on. Follow your child’s lead. If he puts two and two together, then just let him know. If you feel that you would like to tell your toddler straight away the go ahead; just be prepared for nine months of constant questions.
How to break the news
A very good way to tell your toddler about the new baby (and one that has been used for generations) is through a picture book. This allows the child to visualise what it is that you are talking about. It also allows the child to engage and ask questions or to express his own concerns about his new role as a big brother. You may be surprised by what he is thinking about.
One book I’d recommend is our Writing for Tiny Super Duper Brother/Sister personalised book. The story focuses on the child rather than the new baby. The child learns about what it means to become a big sister/brother through his encounters with seven different animals. We then see him or her meet the new baby and experience those wonderful first moments.