Short Answer – You probably want to wait until after the first trimester when your miscarriage risk is lower. For younger kids, you may want to wait until you’re starting to show (it makes explaining where the baby comes from easier).

The general consensus on when to tell my kids I’m pregnant is to wait until after the first trimester, when your pregnancy is well established and the risk of miscarriage is lower. Parents who’ve told their kids early on, then had to have the heartbreaking miscarriage conversation later, usually wish they’d waited. Some parents also choose to wait until after they receive the results of any prenatal screening tests.  

Deciding When To Tell My Kids I’m Pregnant

Child’s Age

If your kids are younger, it may make sense to hold off until you start to show. It makes it easier to explain the concept of a baby growing inside your tummy. Little ones will get a clear visual of what you’re talking about.

Older kids, who already understand the fundamentals of pregnancy, can be told before your bump is visible. If you have multiple children, however, you probably want to tell them all at once to avoid anyone feeling left out. 

When You Tell Friends & Family

Kids are terrible at keeping secrets! So don’t tell your little ones about the new baby before you’re ready to tell the rest of the world. They’re likely to spill the beans.

The reverse is also true. Don’t tell your friends and family before you tell your kids. Your children might get confused if they hear people congratulating you or if they’re asked about being a big brother or sister. It’s best to time the announcements as close together as possible.

Once you’re finally ready to tell the kids, think about how you want to approach them.   

How To Approach Your Kids

Time and Place

Now that you’re ready to ‘tell my kids I’m pregnant‘, you’ve got to decide when and where to have the talk. Ideally, you want to pick a time when your kids aren’t tired, cranky, or stressed. A well-rested, content child will handle the news better than a overstimulated one.

Choose a place your kids are comfortable. Make sure you don’t have any other plans so you can focus your attention solely on them. Your kids may worry they won’t be “special” anymore. That’s totally normal. Be prepared for this and ready to address any fears they might have. It’s a good idea to have both parents present, if possible. 

Conversation Starters

There are some great tools and resources that can help make the conversation go more smoothly such as dolls, videos, books, etc.. Here’s a couple of creative ways to let the kids in on the big news:

  • Take Them To The Ultrasound – You can let the kids see the first “picture” of their baby brother/sister and remind them that they were once that tiny too.
  • Give Them A Letter or Gift From The Baby – Give your kids a letter or gift from the new baby. Have them unwrap a “big sister” or “big brother” shirt and let them know it’s going to be them! Have the baby write a nice note explaining how excited they are to meet them in a few months.
  • Read A Book Together – There are lots of great stories about families welcoming new siblings. Read one with your child to get the conversation started. We’ve rounded up a list of our favorites, below.

At the end of the day, you know your kids better than anyone. Which means you’ll know best how to answer the question, “when do I tell my kids I’m pregnant?” Pick the timing that works for your family and deliver the message with love. Your kids will be as excited about the new baby as you are!

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