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When to tell 3 year he's going to be a brother?

(14 Posts)
AKP79 Tue 01-Dec-15 13:12:43

I'm just wondering when (in others experience) is the best time to tell a sibling they are going to be a big brother? I have a 3, nearly 4 year old from a previous relationship and am currently in my first trimester.

There's so much to consider when telling him and whilst I'm really excited about baby number 2, I'm also really worried about DS feeling pushed out etc and want to get it as right as we can for him. He spends alternate weekends at his fathers as well as half of all holidays, it's a very strained relationship between his dad and me. So it needs to be handled thoughtfully all round.

Would be great to hear others experiences telling DCs.

Thanks x

April2013 Tue 01-Dec-15 15:46:41

I told my 3 yr old about 5 weeks pregnant despite having previously had a missed miscarriage, I wanted to make sure he understood why I was poorly so he knew there was a reason i was acting totally different and to get him used to not jumping on my tummy, explain why I wasn't picking him up so much, give him lots of time to get used to the idea. It has been good as I think he has got used to the idea now I am in 2nd trimester, it is old news, he enjoyed seeing the 12 and 20 week scans, he has started playing with a baby doll a bit, I talk to him about what he thinks we should call the baby, he always says Thomas, so I think honesty is good. I know I am taking a risk as could have had a miscarriage, might have a still birth or baby could be premature and poorly but I would rather be able to explain these things to him in a way that works for his age than be poorly or upset or in hospital and him not know why. I don't think at his age he would be too upset if there was no baby at the end though, he is only just 3. I have heard it is a good idea to use the whole pregnant mummy then new baby thing as an opportunity for them to learn to empathise, learn new skills and new things and become more independent. I think the scans are a great opportunity to start this off, my son said it looked like a baby in a bed smile maybe you could get a private scan as there is more time to look at the screen and you could do it after 12 weeks when you know all is ok? It's a tough one, I took my son to a 9 week private early scan even though I knew it could have gone badly as I wanted him to be involved all the way through. My mother told me she was pregnant with my half sister (I didn't like her bf) by crying and saying she would buy me something expensive, she seemed to feel very guilty and was almost apologising to me and I was fairly bemused about it and didnt understand why she felt guilty, obviously took the freebie! I fell totally in love with my sister once she started smiling etc, as a newborn i dont think i got to see her much. I always struggled with my stepfather as I always felt excluded from their new little family, I think even if the stepfather is wonderful (mine wasn't) there is potential for your first to feel a bit outside of it all so I would go for including him in everything as much as possible, don't feel guilty, it is wonderful he is getting a sibling - maybe be neutral about it so you're not pressurising him to feel a certain way but I don't think you need to show you are worried about it. I think statistically half siblings with the same mother are likely to be closer than where they have the same father, I understand totally your apprehension about it but I think it is highly highly likely that this will be a wonderful change for your son. Congratulations smile

Kaytee1987 Tue 01-Dec-15 17:17:31

I am only expecting my first so don't have any experience but maybe tell dc#1 when you're ready to start buying nursery furniture etc that way you can involve him in helping to choose things for his younger sibling. Might also help if you give him say the option of 2 names you like and let him choose even if it's just for middle name? My friend took this approach and her two couldn't be more loving towards each other x

Kaytee1987 Tue 01-Dec-15 17:18:48

I forgot to mention my friends kids have different fathers too x

strawberrypenguin Tue 01-Dec-15 17:28:56

We told our 4yo after the 12 week scan. Sat him down told him that mummy had a baby growing in her tummy that will be his little brother or sister and showed him the scan photos. I also had a book to give him - there's a house inside my mummy. It explains pregnancy and new baby in a really nice simple way.
He did understand a little already as one of the nursery workers was pregnant last year and talked to the kids about it a lot.
He seems to have taken it ok so far!

Miffyonline Tue 01-Dec-15 18:00:44

My 3.5 year old was told after our 12 week scan. We wanted to keep it a secret for family and friends until then, so telling him before then would be risky (you never know what toddlers announce to whom and when!) 😀. We explained and he told us he hoped it would be a dog. Think he will be disappointed when it's born!

AKP79 Tue 01-Dec-15 19:24:12

Thank you so much everyone for your posts and reassurances, I can't tell you how much they've helped.

April2013 hearing your experience has made me feel very emotional, thank you for sharing. It's so wonderful to hear you're close to your half sister. I've been worrying so much about DC1 in all this. Him and I have been through a lot together and are very close. My OH is a wonderful man and treats DC1 as his own. They have boys days out etc and he has reassured me the 121 activities will continue when the new baby arrives.

I know it's unlikely to be a smooth ride, but my worst fear is DC1 feeling pushed out in any way. Honesty is definitely the best policy and I will definitely be taking that approach.


tractorgirl123 Tue 01-Dec-15 20:51:56

We told our almost 3 year old after getting home from my 12 week scan once we knew was ok and we were going to tell people, wouldn't have wanted her to hear it from anyone else once everyone knew. Luckily she was really excited and a lot less put out than I thought she'd be!

Jenijena Tue 01-Dec-15 20:56:51

I told my 3 yo just after '12 wk' scan, about when we told everyone else. Was actually about 14 weeks. Didn't want him overhearing.

We had been trying for two years and had gently persuaded him away from thoughts of 'can I have a baby' as we didn't think we'd be able to face another, and it's hard enough ttc without a child who keeps asking for a brother or sister. So spent the first trimester talking about babies as a concept, and it wasn't such a surprise when we told him.

I'm now 23 wks and
- DS has tried to pull my trousers down in public to see if the baby is coming out
- told everyone he is having a baby in his tummy (apparently his is a boy and mine a girl)
- says every time he sees me 'is your tummy getting bigger?'

Good luck smile

LibrariesGaveUsP0wer Tue 01-Dec-15 20:57:25

Just a word of warning.

We didn't get our Downs result at the 12 week scan. Everything on the scan looked normal. It was only two weeks later that I got a call saying I was high risk. Going through amnio and everything (all was fine) I was very glad not to have to tell the DDs.

We told them after the 20 week scan.

AKP79 Wed 02-Dec-15 07:41:41

Ha ha Jenijena that's hilarious!

DC is having a bit of a manic Christmas going between us and his Dad's so we're probably going to save telling him until the new year when things settle down for him. He's been asking for a brother, a sister and a baby, so I'm sure it'll be good news for him.

SleepyRoo Wed 02-Dec-15 20:20:26

I told our 3.5 yr old at about 5 months. She has chosen the name (!), and asks if the baby will come out of my mouth, or if daddy will cut my tummy open with scissors, take out the baby and then close it with Sellotape? confused Am wondering if recent anxious behaviour from her is connected to impending sibling though. Hard to tell.

EagleRay Wed 02-Dec-15 21:22:30

I'm 18w and DD is almost 3. It's a high risk pregnancy due to my age and we've kept it quiet from most people, including her.

Planning to tell her closer to the time (once we've got through christmas and her 3rd birthday) but these eve she drew four stick figures on a piece of paper and said they were 'Mummy, Daddy, DD and Baby'


Everythinggettingbigger Thu 03-Dec-15 12:04:47

I told my DS (4 at the time) when I first found out at about 4 weeks, we then let him tell our parents but saying he was going to be a big brother. It was easy for him as he is the oldest of 6 (now going to be 7) grandchildren on my parents side, so he has seen his aunties pg and knows it takes a long time. I am now 15+2 and he is so loving towards my bump, very careful around me and talks to it too.

I have also explained to him how a baby is born, obviously age appropriate but he knows where they come out (at this point he told me it was disgusting and he was going to stay with granddad when the baby is coming grin) and that mummies have pains before the baby gets here but its good pain, as my labour with him was 56 hours, if this is the case this time round, there's a good chance he will see me in labour.

He has decided that it is a girl and will not be told otherwise though, so god help us if its a boy. And he has settled on a name we really will not be calling our child (Sky for a girl and Zuma for a boy....paw patrol reference for anyone who is on to it....sorry to offend if anybody's children have these names, personally they aren't what we like)

I love the idea kaytee said about letting him chose out of your 2 favourite names and also another pp saying let him help with the nursery decoration etc....maybe let him draw a picture which can take pride of place on babys wall?

it must be a really hard situation with your DS spending every other weekend with his dad flowers

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