Helpful Tips to Get Your Children Involved in Your Pregnancy

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Image adapted via Flickr/ rahego

The first time you're pregnant you get all that time to soak in all the moments of awesome. You can rest your feet at the end of a long day, take a relaxing bath before bed, and, oh, those Sunday morning sleep-ins were the best.

When you are pregnant for the second, third, or so-on time, those small but wonderfully awesome things get replaced with making sure you have everything ready for your new baby and preparing your older children for the chaos of new life. It's exciting to watch your children get excited for the new arrival as well, and getting them involved in your pregnancy is vital to helping them bond once the baby is earthside.

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If you're pregnant and have an older child or children at home, and you're looking to help them become involved in your pregnancy, here are some tips that worked for me.

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Image via Flickr/ Philippe Put

Tips for 1- to 2-year-olds

At this age, they're really too young to grasp what is going on and understand the big changes that are coming. They will still notice something's up but won't have the language or abilities to express that. This means, they could be a little harder to manage than usual, but you'll be OK!

To get your young babe involved in your pregnancy, reading books with them is the best way. Choose books that explain what they were like as young(er) babies and share with them what they're going to have in a brother or sister. My two older kids are only 14 months apart, and the older one really had no idea what was going on during my pregnancy or even after the baby arrived.

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Image via Flickr/ edenpictures

Tips for 2- to 4-year-olds

At this age, your child will have a better grasp of what's going on and can see the changes in your body through pregnancy. They'll understand more about what is about to come and may have more fears than happiness about the situation.

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To get your child involved in your pregnancy, it's all about how you frame it. Make these changes seem like a good thing (they are!) and take your child along with you to some doctor's appointments (not all, but a few), and allow them to choose some items for the baby. These small things can go a long way for them.

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Image via Flickr/ elleinad.

Tips for 4- to 6-year-olds

This, in my opinion, is one of the more fun ages to have while you're expecting a new baby because they're old enough to get what's going on and are able to see how it's going to be exciting, but they're still young enough to have sweet questions about the process.

To get your kid involved in your pregnancy, it's all about being well rounded. At this age, they'll be pretty preoccupied with how this change will rattle their lives, so keep that in mind. Take them with you to the fun doctor appointments where you hear the heartbeat or get an ultrasound. Have them throw their baby-name suggestions into the ring, and answer their questions honestly as they come up.

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Image via Flickr/ james_gordon_losangeles

Tips for 7 years old and up

At this age, your kids will seem old enough where you may think they don't care, but trust me, they do. They're at the age where they can feel all the feels about the baby, your changing body, and how all this new stuff is going to affect them. They will have a much easier time grasping the concepts of pregnancy and newborns, so talking often with them is key.

To help get your older kid involved in your pregnancy, call on them for help, but not too often. My son was 8 years old when I had my youngest child, and during my pregnancy, I had him help out with some things I couldn't do anymore because of my pregnancy–simple things like reaching down into the laundry machine (my belly was, like, way big) and carrying in the heavier groceries. It helped him feel grown up and ready for the changes, and he's a boy who loves to feel grown up.

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What is your favorite tip for involving other children in your pregnancy? 

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Helpful Tips to Get Your Children Involved in Your Pregnancy

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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