My eldest was 2 when we found out we were having another. Of course we were very excited as although we hadnt exactly planned on baby number 2 quite yet, we did want another one.
My toddler however was in the phase of believing that the whole world revolves around them and I was worried about how he was going to share the limelight with a new baby.
I wanted my boy to learn about the baby from us so I made sure he was one of the first to know. He was vaguely aware of babies in tummies as he had seen friends of mine heavily pregnant. I think he had a vague notion that these tummies were popped and a baby exploded out! I was very conscious that no two year old can keep secrets so I didnt tell him or many other people until after 12 weeks, by this point I was showing so people were starting to guess!
I tried not to make a big deal of it when we told him, we made sure it was a calm and peaceful environment and we had just read a couple of stories featuring new babies. These books were great, Topsy and Tim, The New Baby and also little one loved Theres a House Inside my Mummy. We do a lot of reading and I have always enjoyed using books as a learning tool to explain new things like using the potty.
After he and everyone else knew we were expecting baby number 2 we could start planning and preparing. We reused a lot of our things from our eldest but we did need a few things so when we did a shopping trip we also got our eldest a present and let him choose a present for the baby. We did have to persuade him that the new baby was unlikely to play with the sort of toys he wanted to choose!
I was careful not to blame my morning sickness or tiredness on the baby as I didnt want toddler to blame their new sibling for mummy not being as playful as usual. I also asked a few of my friends with newborns if we could spend a bit of time so my eldest could understand what we would be having in our house. That backfired slightly as when my toddler was peering in to the wrapped up new bundle that was my friends beautiful new baby, I asked do you like her? Of course the answer was a resounding No! But that could be because it is his favourite word!
Expecting baby number 2? How do you tell your toddler about it?
One of the things that was most successful was showing my toddler lots of pictures and videos of them when they were a baby. It is important that they know that your love isnt going to be split between them and their new baby brother or sister.
Most important of all, dont get stressed about it. Your toddler will feed off your emotions so if you treat this as a big deal then so will they. Of course they will love their baby brother or sister. Involve them as much as possible as they are extra special now, they are a big brother!