There’s a house inside my Mummy
Where my little brother grows,
or maybe it’s my little sister
No-one really knows.
When we first found out we were growing another baby, we originally decided to wait until the first scan at the end of the first trimester before breaking the exciting news to Henry, our 3 year old. As the risk of miscarriage is so much greater during the first trimester we didn’t want to have to potentially explain what had happened to the baby in mama’s tummy, which would be upsetting for him (and us). I was also nervous how he would feel sharing us, and if he would fully understand when, although I felt enormous, I didn’t have a definite bump, and there wasn’t yet a kicking baby for him to feel.
As the weeks went on this didn’t feel right. We’re a family, and my partner and I were excitedly talking about my pregnancy, we decided to tell some close friends, and some other friends guessed our news. It didn’t feel fair that Henry didn’t know, and I was worried he would overhear some of our conversations and feel confused. I also felt exhausted (read more about surviving the first trimester here) and didn’t wanted to carry Henry as much as I had been.
We broke the news over breakfast one morning. ‘Henry, did you know mama has a baby in her tummy?’. And he was so cool. ‘Is it coming out now? The little baby wants to play with me’. He completely took it in his stride, and I was so proud of him. I think it helped that we’ve talked lots about my pregnancy with him and his birth, triggered by him noticing my caesarean scar in the bath (the story pretty much blew his mind the first time we talked about it) and I’ve shown him his scan photos.
At mealtimes he asks if the baby is having some dinner too, and if I feel tired he tells me to lie down and have a rest, then pops pillows behind my head. Such a little gentleman! I’m so pleased we told him when we did. We’re planning to take Henry with us to all the big appointments, so he can see the baby and hear his or her heartbeat.
We’re currently reading There’s A House Inside My Mummy by the brilliant Giles Andreae (Pants is a must for toddlers, too) and Vanessa Cabans. It is a brilliant book about a little boy waiting for his baby brother or sister to arrive.
We’re also excited to read It’s A Little Baby, from Julia Donaldson (we’re enormous fans) and Rebecca Cobb.
Other books you may like to read include Nicholas Allan’s Where Willy Went (great for explaining the facts of life), and Topsy and Tim: The New Baby by Jean Adamson (covers breastfeeding a new baby and jealousy). Penny Dale’s Big Brother, Little Brother explores the different emotions of little ones, and Sophie and the New Baby by Catherine & Laurence Anholt uses the seasons to convey the passing of time, with wonderful illustrations.
Can you recommend any books you read to your little ones when you were expecting? I’d love to hear.