Second Pregnancy: Telling Your Toddler

When I found out I was expecting twins, I wasn’t sure how that news would go over with our then 18-month-old daughter, Grace. The thought of introducing a new baby into the already hectic mix of our everyday life of a family of three was scary. Adding two more? It seemed crazy!

I had so many questions racing through my mind! Had we waited long enough? Was our house ready for the upheaval of infant-life again? How would she react to Mama not being as physically active with her? What would she do once she met these new babies?

I know now in hindsight (fifteen long and glorious months of hindsight) that I was being absurd, but the concerns were real, and they shaped how we eventually shared the news with Grace.

Our pediatrician has always been a matter-of-fact, strong, and supportive caregiver of Grace. He saw her, and maybe even as importantly, us, through a rocky premature start, fraught with jaundice, lack of weight gain, and colic. At one of our last appointments with a solo Grace, he shared with me some of the wisest words I had ever heard spoken on the subject of siblings. He said that siblings were the best gift we could give our child. That we should never feel sorry for the fact that she would no longer be an only child. She would adapt as easily to her new life as a big sister as we would allow her, no looking back. It was then that I realized that telling Grace about our new addition to the family was harder on us than it was on her.

I was so thankful for the clear-headed and reasonable advice that I nearly cried. I sat with Grace a few days later and read her a children’s book on having younger siblings.  Grace was overjoyed, and so were we.