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Should I take my toddler to my 20wk scan?

(44 Posts)
happygelfling Fri 23-Aug-13 13:38:07

My toddler will be 23 months old when I go for my 20 week scan with baby nr 2. DP and I would really like to take her along to involve her in the pregnancy, but we are a bit worried that she will just fidget / play up and it will be a nightmare.
Does anyone have any experience/suggestions?
Thank you in advance!

Forester Fri 23-Aug-13 13:41:14

No - what if the scan indicates there may be a problem? (Though obviously hopefully it won't)

I think when you have scans right at the end of the pregnancy e.g. checking position then that can be OK.

JollyHappyGiant Fri 23-Aug-13 13:45:57

We didn't. 20w scan is a detailed scan checking all baby's bits are in the right place. The toddler won't know what's going on on the screen anyway. Scans are difficult enough to make our for adults. Ans

JollyHappyGiant Fri 23-Aug-13 13:47:11

Posted too soon

And if DD plays up you could end up with DP missing most of the scan due to having to take her out of the room.

What is your hospital's policy?

At our hospital, your DH and DC would be expected to wait in the waiting area until the sonographer had completed all the checks. Only then would they be called in to have a look at the screen.
In fact everyone except the pregnant woman is expected to wait in the waiting area until called - partners, mums, best friends, other randoms.

Discogeek Fri 23-Aug-13 13:49:37

At my hospital children weren't allowed in until all the checks had been done. You may need to check what the policy is at your hospital first before making a decision.

NaturalBaby Fri 23-Aug-13 13:51:31

We didn't have a choice, our dc's where 11months and 25months ish.

Gatorade Fri 23-Aug-13 13:54:09

I wouldn't, the 20 week scan is a diagnostic tool, not just a nice chance for your toddler to see the baby. You could end up in an awful position of receiving bad news and then having to deal with it alone whilst your DP looks after the toddler.

If you really want to let her see the baby in advance of the birth i would suggest that you book a private scan later (baby bond type) in the pregnancy, your toddler will be older and there is significantly less chance of a problem being identified.

Also, it is worth remembering that many hospitals will not allow children to attend the scan.

Good luck with it and sorry for raising the unlikely worst case scenarios!

bonzo77 Fri 23-Aug-13 13:55:12

No. You need to be able to concentrate and lie still. The sonographers needs to be able to concentrate. The toddler will not "get" it. If child care is an issue then leave her with DP and go alone. If you get bad news then will you want the toddler dancing about while you choke back tears?

intheshed Fri 23-Aug-13 13:56:31

We took DD1 to the scan at 20 months old, we didn't have anyone else to look after her. She was fine, the sonographer was lovely to her, and it was a nice way for her to 'meet' her little sister.

Longdistance Fri 23-Aug-13 14:01:34

I took my dd1 in with me. Huge mistake. She went ape shit as the sonographer was scanning my tummy.

I wouldn't recommend it. My mum took her out of the room in the end.

SmokedMackerel Fri 23-Aug-13 14:09:01

I wouldn't if you didn't have to.

I took dd1, then aged three to most of my appointments, including twenty week scan, because dh couldn't get the time off work and I had nobody else to leave her with.

She was actually always very well behaved and interested in the baby - she'd sit quietly in a chair the whole time, watching intently, then would ask at the end if the baby was "still happy", but if I'd had someone to look after her I still would definitely have just gone on my own :-)

GreatJoanUmber Fri 23-Aug-13 14:09:18

I took DS1 to my 20w scan with #2, he was 22 months old. As my DH was there too, it was ok; but you do lose some of the experience as at least one of you will be distracted.
I took DS1 again yesterday to my 20w scan with #3, he is now 4 years old and quite 'good' usually. I only did it as I couldn't find childcare for him though; thankfully managed to book DS2 in at nursery. DH was too busy at work to be able to make it. And despite DS1 being reasonably old and sensible, and looking forward to seeing the new baby, he still got bored after about 2 minutes and started whining/ monkeying around so it was quite hard work for me to keep him in check AND concentrate on the scan. Definitely wouldn't recommend that to anyone!
However if you have someone there to look after your daughter and who won't mind missing out on the scan, by all means take her. She won't 'get it' that much but it also won't hurt. If a problem comes up, ask your DH to take her out. Of course that means you'll have to deal with whatever it is by yourself. Other option would be to bring yet another person (granny?) to look after the child so both you and your DH can be there for the scan.

Bambamb Fri 23-Aug-13 14:10:18

I wouldn't unless you absolutely have to for all the reasons stated above. It's not done for you to meet the baby, they're looking for potential problems and if anything were found having a toddler there will make it harder to deal with.

TarkaTheOtter Fri 23-Aug-13 18:37:05

We had to take dd (18months) as we couldn't get a baby sitter. She was fine (with the help of chocolate buttons) but she didn't get anything out of it. I wasn't expecting her and dh to be allowed in the room but it seemed to be at the sonographers discretion.
Would a private scan be an option?

Bodicea Fri 23-Aug-13 19:24:25

I am a sonographer and I prefer people not to bring their children into the room as they make it more difficult for me to concentrate. I have stopped scanning on occasion all my head as been all over the place if kids have been particularly noisy and booked them for a repeat.
If there are only mum and dad there I do let them bring the child into the room as I don't think the father should miss a thing but if there are any other adults there I ask them to sit outside with the child until I have completed all my checks. I do the same if a few adults come along - they can sometime be noisier than the kids. It does depend on each hospital and the discretion of the sonographer though.
The scan first and foremost to check for abnormalities. It is lovely at the end of the scan for family/children to see the baby and can be a good bonding experience but that is not what it is really for. Have been in the very difficult position of giving bad news when a child is in the room. It can be awful. It is really not worth it.

princesscupcakemummyb Fri 23-Aug-13 20:15:54

i took my toddler to my scan and it was rather stressful for me as the tech was training a new sonographer my scan took ages about 35 mins i loved seeing baby in detail and they didnt mind my children being in the room at all but i myself found the scan stressfull as the youngest kept trying to get to me so found i couldnt enjoy the scan as much as i would have liked to how ever i dont regret taking my children as i wanted them to meet their new sibling grin if possible id find childcare get lots of pics to show your toddler and enjoy smile

hettienne Fri 23-Aug-13 20:18:34

My hospital discourage you bringing other children. It's an anomaly scan - what if you get very distressing news with your little DD in the room?

Yonionekanobe Fri 23-Aug-13 20:31:09

I agree with others who have said not to.

A further reason not mentioned is something I observed when I went to my 20 week scan this week (DD2). A couple came in with a lovely little girl and probably didn't notice in the crowded waiting room a very distressed couple who had to leave on seeing the girl.

Whilst I realise that you cant hide from children when going through problems (and have been through pregnancy loss myself) the fetal medicine unit of a large London hospital is not the place to have to watch someone else's adorable little toddler.

Beamae Fri 23-Aug-13 20:34:57

I have taken my twins, now 23 months, to every scan and appointment. In the scans we did offer at the start to take them out of the room if they were disturbing the sonographer but nobody really minded.

CheeseFondueRocks Fri 23-Aug-13 21:01:41

DD (19 months) will come to mine. Not because we see it as a chance for her to see the baby but because we have nobody to watch her. Our hospital is fine with this however and I think different hospitals have different rules.

CheeseFondueRocks Fri 23-Aug-13 21:02:50

Oh, and at the 12 week scan, there were plenty of children around.

happygelfling Fri 23-Aug-13 21:09:46

Thanks for all the helpful responses. There's a very clear message coming through!

PicklePants Fri 23-Aug-13 21:23:39

I took DS to mine recently and wished I hadn't! He's 2 and didn't give a monkeys had no idea what was going on. We did ask beforehand and the sonographer was happy for him to come in, but he was bored and fidgety and DH spent the whole time wrangling him.

In hindsight - not a good idea!

Livvylongpants Fri 23-Aug-13 21:32:57

We took DD to both scans at 18 and 20 months, she was good as gold but she didn't gain anything out of it. The sonographer said it was fine but if she was playing up shed be asked to leave which I respect.

Saying that she would be to young to understand what was being said, and had there been a problem DH would have whisked her away

SaucyJack Fri 23-Aug-13 21:33:24

Don't take her if you don't have to.

It's a medical procedure, not a meet 'n' greet.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 23-Aug-13 23:00:54

Oh no, I really wouldn't. We had to take DD (18mo) to 12 week scan and it was a nightmare. We had to wait half an hour and she was getting restless. In the room, She wouldn't stay still and DH had to leave the room with her and missed most of the scan, which he was really disappointed about. I think the 20 week scan is much longer, as well.

The good news is, the scan picture is really lovely to show your DC. DD kisses the photo and says 'baby' whenever she sees it!

I did, but not in fun bonding way but just in the same way she comes to the doctor, dentist and bank. some toys and snacks to distract her and we kept her in her pushchair. baby is born now and dd1 is only 17 months, I didn't really buy into the bonding thing for them - dd is too young IMO.

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sat 24-Aug-13 09:16:00

If you have too then be prepared; toys snacks etc.

At my last 20 week scan my mum was telling him what a fabulous and happy job he had, I had to remind her it wasn't always good news. You'd think she'd have understood this after the amnio I'd had not long before.

froubylou Sat 24-Aug-13 09:17:01

I took DD and DP to my 20 week scan. Though DD is 9 so not a toddler.

I thought long and hard about it. She really wanted to see the baby and I felt it would be good for her to see the baby as she hasn't been that happy about being a big sister.

I explained to DD that as well as finding out whether it was a boy or girl that the baby would also be checked over and that everything was growing OK. As we entered the room and the sonographer noticed DD I said to her 'This is DD who has come to hopefully meet her brother or sister BUT she knows its all about checking too so if there is anything you need to check more carefully just let us know and DP will take her back through to the waiting room while you do checks'.

That way the sonographer knew that she could 'get rid' of DD if necessary and DD and DP knew they had to leave if asked.

I would allow a younger child to attend with the proviso that I had someone there who was willing to leave the room with them if necessary. And I'd make it clear that this could happen to the sonographer as well to give them a 'get out' clause if they did need it OR if the child was misbehaving.

AnotherStitchInTime Sat 24-Aug-13 09:32:24

I did with dd2, but this time I have arranged for DH to look after dd1 and 2 while I go alone.

This is mainly because I have an appointment with the consultant following my scan and having several hours with 18 month old dd2 being strapped into the buggy while I wait is not going to end well.

At the 12 week one another toddler woke her up from her nap just as we were about to go in to the scan and she screamed inconsolably the whole time sad

Some people do not have an option, but if you do I wouldn't take her or have DP ready to take her out and distract her if necessary.

ChristineDaae Sat 24-Aug-13 09:39:17

I've decided against taking DD to our 20week scan. She's 3. As long as everything is ok I will book a 3d scan later on for her to 'meet' the baby

Went with my mum & dad to my 20 week scan with DC2 (think DH was away). Good job I did - as soon as we approached the doors of the maternity unit toddler DS had a major paddy and refused to go in. We then had to wait about 45 mins as they were running late.

I sat in the waiting room with my mum whilst my dad took DS for a walk around the grounds.

As someone who was told at the 20 week scan that my baby wouldn't survive I was very glad I didn't have DD with me. I would not have wanted her to see me that upset and having left her with someone else gave me chance to compose myself.

I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy and it's thankfully quite rare, but it does underline the diagnostic nature of the scan and that it is not just a meet and greet.

I wouldn't.
My hospital didn't allow it and I was very happy they had that policy.
As I was told at my 20 week scan my DD2 had died. It was the worst thing ever telling my DD1 her little sister wasn't going to come home. This was 2 years ago.
We have been blessed with a beautiful rainbow baby DD3 now.
But scans in her pregnancy were extremely stressful!

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sat 24-Aug-13 12:37:21

MarianaTrench I'm so sorry, I do think unless you have been affected like this you don't appreciate what tge scans really are for.

I feel tge same about all tests during pg, tge potential outcome is never considered

CrispyFB Sat 24-Aug-13 13:48:16

For DC2 and DC3 we did a 3D scan later on, as that's much more interesting for them. Even then our 2 year old got bored after approximately ten seconds and our 4 year old was not much better!

They just don't understand it like an older child would.

Having said that I have absolutely zero choice over taking DC1 (nearly 7) to a 10 week scan next week as it's still school holidays and DH has to work.. the other two we paid for extra nursery time. Sometimes it is unavoidable.

Doctorbrownbear Sat 24-Aug-13 14:06:13

It can take a long time and would be pretty boring for a 23 mth old. I doubt that they would understand enough to appreciate it.

Yonididnaedaethat Sat 24-Aug-13 16:16:11

I took my 15 month old to my 20 week scan, but I made up a tub of cut up fruit to keep him quiet and took some chocolate, he got fed up near the end tho and wanted to pull at wires.

Lion5711 Sat 24-Aug-13 20:31:36

My partner and I took our 2 yr old, in fact didn't even question it even though we certainly didn't think of it as a "jolly". I had possibly naively thought well if anything wasn't to plan then the only people I would want we're my partner and son, maybe that's wrong? We took heaps of snacks and books, and he was fine- you know your own child, but maybe a backup adult in waiting room would be a good idea?

littleducks Sat 24-Aug-13 20:45:42

I did worry about it but took toddler dd to my scans with ds and both of them age 5 and 7 to 20 wk scan with this baby. I managed to book 12 wk scan when they were at school but 20 wk one fell in holidays.

I did prep them that they might have to sit alone in waiting room (and at their age they had books to read and would be fine to do this). However sonographer was happy for them to come in and they did.

I have to be regularly admitted to hospital (hyperemesis) and they never come then (therefore dh never comes either) which is a bit grim and lonely for me but the best for them. So I suppose I felt an outpatient appointment was ok for them to come to.

happygelfling Mon 26-Aug-13 08:36:57

Our hospital's guidelines are pretty vague... Something along the lines of, "well behaved siblings are ok but children who are distracting the sonographer will be asked to leave."
A private scan later on is a good idea. If we think she would be interested nearer the due date we could try that.
Thanks again for all the helpful responses!

candr Thu 29-Aug-13 10:43:49

Took my DS 22mandlovedseeing him get excited at seeing his baby brother. He sat with DH and had some cars to keep him quite. The sonographer was fine with him. Had him at another scan(am having lots of scans)and different sonographer said "make the boy sit down" when he was standing silently next to my dad. Did not endeer me to her! Have had no choice with taking him sometimes but always take snacks etc to keep him quiet.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Thu 29-Aug-13 11:25:18

I wouldn't, I took ds2 to a couple of growth scans as I knew they'd be quick but didn't to 20 week scan. I got told ds3 poss had enlarged brain ventricles and possible hole in his heart which luckily was wrong but glad I didn't have ds1 and 2 there.

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