After years of trying, hoping and even a little praying that we would eventually have
another child, our dreams came true. I am thrilled to announce that Mommyhood
(along with my waistline) is expanding. We are expecting another little boy at the
end of May. (Hip, hip, hooray!)
We spent so much time and energy wondering why it wasn’t happening, what
doctors we should be seeing and what the fates had in store for us, that we hadn’t
spent enough time thinking about how we would explain it to our son if and
when it did happen.
When he saw my growing belly, he figured it out pretty quickly, as many of his
classmates already have siblings.
But I wasn’t prepared for his next question.
“Mommy, how did my baby brother get there? Did you eat him?” he asked.
I fought the urge to say yes. That’s exactly what happened.
Hmmm. How much do you tell a three and half year old?
“Not too much,” advises Pat McLarney, a perinatal instructor at Hartford Hospital.
“Really, your best bet is to let his questions guide you. As parents, we tend to jump
way ahead of ourselves. You can let him know there’s a special place for baby that is
near but different from the stomach. But my guess is that he’s not asking about sex
and pro-creation. I wouldn’t go there at this age, unless that’s really what
“What’s more important than anything is to make sure children know that they won’t
be replaced by a baby, that you will always love him, and that he has an important
role as big brother,” McLarney suggests.
Whew! I have a little time before the official birds and bees conversation. I hope I’ll
be well-rehearsed the second time around.
McLarney teaches a sibling preparation class at Hartford Hospital. Be sure to check it out!
Has anything like this happened to you? We want to hear from you!