How do I explain to my toddler that the new baby will call my partner daddy but he can't?

(23 Posts)
Klouise95 Fri 01-Nov-19 09:26:52

I have a 2 year old lad who sees his dad on weekends and I am pregnant with my partners child. I'm stressing about how I'm going to explain that the new baby will call him daddy but it's still going to be just Cal to him, I don't want him to get confused about it and I don't know anyone else in this position that I can ask! Please help!

OP’s posts: |
mummmy2017 Fri 01-Nov-19 09:28:01

Stop stressing, your child is too small to understand.

LoyaltyBonus Fri 01-Nov-19 09:33:32

If the toddler knows his own dad and sees him regularly, I don't think it will occur to him that he should call your partner dad, he knows who his dad is.

Is this more about you wanting DP to be called dad?

Mrsmememe Fri 01-Nov-19 09:35:06

I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
I have a 5 year old and an 8 year old who do see their dad but their step dad has been in their lives since the youngest was 1.
We are now expecting a child together and there’s a high chance that the new baby will end up calling husband by his first name rather than dad, only because she will hear her brothers refer to him by his name rather than daddy, because young ones tend to mimic and copy.
It’s really not a big deal and you can explain it to them both when they are a bit older.
Quite often people assume my husband is the boys dad and they used to say ‘no he’s out step-dad’ but now they just realise it’s people being presumptive/mistaken and it’s not a big deal. Take a leaf out of their books and enjoy smile

NoSquirrels Fri 01-Nov-19 09:36:36

It’s not an issue until you make it one. No ‘explaining’ required until it actually comes up, then you just deal sensitively with it on the spot.

Jaichangecentfoisdenom Fri 01-Nov-19 09:38:26

Have your new-born call their father Cal, too.

Rainatnight Fri 01-Nov-19 09:39:41

A good way into this is the ‘all families are different’ line.

Some kids have a mummy and daddy.

Some kids have two mummies or two daddies.

Some kids have one mummy.

Some kids, like you, have a mummy and Geoff (or what ever his name is) and a daddy.

The Family Book by Todd Parr is great for this.

Also, small children are extremely self centred so I don’t think he’ll be that bothered.

(I’m an adoptive parent so have given a lot of thought to explaining complicated set ups!).


BadnessInTheFolds Fri 01-Nov-19 09:41:41

Agree with PP, it will be fine. I have half siblings and we all called our own parents mum and dad, and our step parents by their names. No explanations needed (that I remember) and no drama at any point.

I guess it feels strange to you because it's within your nuclear family and you're not used to it/weren't expecting to be in this position but really it's no different to your son hearing friends/cousins etc using the name 'dad' where he uses another name (Uncle Tom etc).

ColdRainAgain Fri 01-Nov-19 10:37:11

The alternative is Cal becomes Pa or Papa or some other variation to both kids, or even just Daddy to both kids.

ColaFreezePop Fri 01-Nov-19 14:19:53

Quit worrying.

When the toddler calls his step-father "Daddy" you both simply correct him e.g.
"Daddy gimme..."
"You mean Cal please can you get me..."

Firefliess Fri 01-Nov-19 19:29:52

I need to explain it to them. If you refer to your DP as daddy when you're taking to the baby, and as Cal when you're talking to your older child they'll just pick it up naturally. As they get older you can explain that they have different fathers and that Cal is DS1's stepfather.

It might make life slightly easier if you go for a different "dad" name for each dad - eg one is dad and the other is daddy.

mankyfourthtoe Fri 01-Nov-19 19:33:27

I think you need to buy a few books that discuss different family setups.

AnotherEmma Fri 01-Nov-19 19:33:53

This is a non problem.
Firstly you don't have to even think about it for ages, not until your new baby starts talking and saying "Mummy and Daddy".
By that point your oldest will presumably be 3? Which is old enough for you to explain that he and his baby sibling have different daddies. "Cal is <baby>'s daddy but he's not your daddy is he, you already have a daddy. You're lucky because you have daddy AND Cal."

Plenty of blended families manage this just fine, children will accept their situation as normal and they won't question it until/unless other people do.

AnotherEmma Fri 01-Nov-19 19:37:19

"really it's no different to your son hearing friends/cousins etc using the name 'dad' where he uses another name (Uncle Tom etc)."

This is a good analogy.

Onacleardayyoucansee Fri 01-Nov-19 19:38:01

Just say, hes not your daddy, he's baby's daddy.
Your daddy is (his daddy)

My friends dgc used to call both grandma and grandpa grandma.
They liked it, but would have been easy to correct. grin

ForeverFaff Fri 01-Nov-19 22:35:44

Have him call his step dad 'pop' or some other fatherly honorism, so he still gets his daddy figure without stepping on toes?

BlouseAndSkirt Fri 01-Nov-19 22:46:13

“Daddy is your Daddy, Cal is your Cal”

They like the ‘your’, or saying ‘my Cal’. It emphasises the relationship, rather than just a person you call by a name.

My Dsd was emphatic when small “she’s not Blouse, she’s My Blouse’.

AnotherEmma Fri 01-Nov-19 22:48:01


user1493413286 Sat 02-Nov-19 10:10:50

I wouldn’t worry too much, by the time your baby is old enough to say dad then your DS will be old enough to have well established what he calls your partner and what he calls his dad and he’ll be able to understand the difference.

MsNic Sat 02-Nov-19 10:35:47

please do not worry about this. Speaking as a step mum, there has been zero drama around this issue. My SD calls me by my name, my DDs call me Mama. Everything gets sorted out in some sort of organic way. Your toddler will just see his brother or sister not your partner. honestly he'll be old enough to understand by time baby starts talking. Focus on him being a big brother. That's exciting for him.

IdiotInDisguise Sun 03-Nov-19 10:26:05

He can call him what he wants, you really do not want to dictate a distance between your toddler and your new partner as if he was not a proper member of your family unit.

I’m pretty sure that you may end up worrying more for the baby calling your ex “dad” because that’s what their brother does than the other way around. No honestly, you can always have daddy Joe and daddy Pete, but I’m pretty sure your toddler will continue calling your partner with the same name he used now.

itsgettingweird Sun 03-Nov-19 10:49:27

Your toddler calls his dad - daddy.

You'll refer to the newborns dad as daddy to him and Cal to toddler.

Toddler will refer to Cal how he likes. And personally if he starts calling him dad I wouldn't correct him. It's not like he doesn't know his dad and what that means. He may just see them both as a father to him. I know plenty of children who do this 🤷‍♀️

itsgettingweird Sun 03-Nov-19 10:51:09

Blouse my ds always called my mum "my nanny". No one else got the my! Was hilarious when my nephew was old enough and looked up one day and said "she's my nanny too" and DS just replied "yes I know. When you were born I said I'd share her" grin

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