How much/little to involve/talk to toddler about loss of baby at 20 weeks.(7 Posts)
We recently lost our baby boy at 20 weeks. We made sure we explained this as best we could (based on the advice of the bereavement midwife at the hospital) to our 2.9 year old DD. We explained that the baby had died in Mummies tummy and that we wouldn't be having a baby to bring home.
DD has asked limited questions and DH and I don't know how much more to tell her. She doesn't know that the baby was a boy or that we named him. We are due to have him cremated this week and I wondered if it would be a nice gesture for DD to do a picture or give something for her baby brother. If we address this with her though, will this cause more confusion.
Really just looking for some advice, maybe from people who have had past experience of this. DD is very 'switched on' and I feel she would understand a lot more than we are sharing with her. I understand that everyone's situation is different but I just feel so confused and don't want to keep things from her. Our DS will always be a part of our lives and should therefore be part of hers too?
Thanks in advance for your replies.
I'm so sorry for your loss.
We lost a baby last year at 18 weeks.
Our youngest DS was 3.7 and very excited about the baby. We told him that baby had died in mummy's tummy and gone to heaven to be with grandad and that was why mummy and daddy were sad.
He really understood and we involved him and our older DS by releasing a balloon to baby on the due date. We have a little grave for baby in our garden and he often goes over and puts flowers he's picked on there.
He still asks about the baby or mentions her at odd times ie if it starts raining he will tell me she's sent the rain.
Like you say baby will never be forgotten by us and it feels right that she is mentioned every now and then.
I wish you all the best (hug)
I'm very sorry for the loss of your son.
Just wanted to share what happened in my DH's family in the hope that it's helpful. His mum had a stillborn baby when he was two, I don't know what DH was told at the time but the baby was never mentioned again until MIL chose to tell me at 38 weeks pregnant with our first baby (we'll be charitable and assume anxiety provoked her to share at that point) DH was devastated that he'd had no idea he had a brother and found it very difficult to come to terms with. The baby is part of your family and I think it will be easier on everyone if he is discussed openly whenever appropriate. The only other relevant experience is that a friend of my DS who is six had a stillborn sister several years ago who the family talk about openly and naturally and he does not seem fazed by it in the slightest.
I'm sure you will do what's best for your DS but I think as much information as they can handle at a given age is the best policy.
Thanks both for your responses. DH and I have chatted about it a lot and have decided to talk to DD about it this weekend. Not sure how much detail we'll go into as we're still waiting for answers ourselves but I'm glad she's going to be included.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your son.
I think keeping it very simple and then responding to any questions is the best route. Ds's friends cousin only lived for a few minutes, when ds and his friend were 5. DS wanted to talk about it, so I told him that sometimes babies just didn't grow properly in their mummy, and that sadly they couldn't live. That was enough for him, and they have both talked about it since.
SANDS may have some advice if you haven't already contacted them
I hope the chat with your DD went well and that the cremation went as well as these things can. I'm very sorry that you are having to go through this.
I have a slightly different situation in that it was our first born that we lost, I now have two DDs (just turned 2 and 6 months old) and we have been trying to ensure that they are growing up to know that they had an older brother. At the minute they have no concept of the reality of this, however we have mentioned him in conversation and they have been with us to visit his grave (where we left drawings from our 2 year old). We are hoping to avoid having to sit them down and tell them about him one day as I feel this would be a lot for a child or adult to have to take in and deal with if it had been kept from them for a long time. I am also so so proud of him and don't want him to be forgotten or a taboo subject.
I second the SANDS recommendation, they were wonderful
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