You’re finally getting to the point of being accustomed to your new routine with your baby. Perhaps you’ve decided that there’s room for one more, or maybe you’ve received the most awesome surprise. (Definitely a surprise!) Either way, you might ask how do babies act when they know you’re pregnant.
This can be a challenge depending on the age of your older child. At nine months or younger, trying to explain to them that a new little brother or sister is on the way won’t have much of an effect. When they are two to three years old, communication is vital to how well they receive the new addition to the family.
Behavior to Expect from Younger Babies
Consider this situation: your baby is only 9 months old. He or she is now in an established routine for meals, naps, and bedtime. Therefore you might wonder if your pregnancy might throw off the daily schedule. After all, it is still a big change to contend with.
For starters, this life-altering event would affect you most if you are still breastfeeding (source). So the one behavior to watch out for is your baby turning away during feeding time. Here are reasons why:
- Pregnancy hormones affect almost everything including the smell and taste of your breast milk.
- This sudden change in your baby’s food might cause him/her to go on a “strike” and not want to eat.
The one key answer to this dilemma is to never give up. This might involve more use of the breast pump and more creativity in regard to milk delivery, like a spoon or a dropper. There are also more solutions to try that we will look at later on.
Possible Regression to Watch For during the Toddler Years
Once you get into the toddler years, which range from 15 months to 2 ½ years old, then the behavior is easier to detect (source). However, the solutions become more complex. (More on that later!)
For example, if you’ve started potty training, don’t be surprised if your toddler goes on a bathroom strike. Just remember that patience and positive reinforcement are very important when dealing with accidents.
Also, you might notice that your once happy-go-lucky toddler has turned into a clingy and whiny stranger. That independence that your baby relished in has all but disappeared. Your child wants to be held more often instead of walking. They might even reject the sippy cup and spoon and in turn, want to go back to the bottle or breastfeeding.
Take heart! This regression won’t last forever. Better yet, there are solutions that you can apply to alleviate your child’s anxiousness.
How do babies act when they know you’re pregnant? Solutions to consider.
So many of the possible solutions vary with the age and developmental stage of your baby or toddler. As you can see there are many ways to answer the question of “how do babies act when they know you’re pregnant".
Two important factors to keep in mind, however, are patience and consistency. Both give the reassurance of security that any child needs.
For younger babies, especially those who quit breastfeeding, some tactics to try are:
- More cuddling to reassure that they have your attention
- Return of the skin-to-skin contact to remind them of the security and bond
- A change in routine or feeding position
- Elimination of distractions or finding a quieter environment for feedings
As mentioned before, try your best not give up. Your baby might pick the pace back up. Besides, you still need to prevent engorgement.
In relation to toddlers, some suggestions are:
- Indulging once in a while: If your child needs to cuddle, then cuddle. Include him or her in a story time with the new baby or just with the two of you.
- Building in some one-on-one playtime: Take a short outing together or play a game of hide-and-go-seek while the baby is napping. This gives you a chance to check in with your child and inquire about his or her feelings.
- Maintaining structure: Try your best to stick to the same or similar routine as before. That way your child feels that the loving security of home has not changed. (source)
- Staying flexible: At the same time, expect the unexpected or don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends.
Additionally for toddlers, here are some books that might help with communicating about the big change.
Tag Team to Ease the Transition
Just like any aspect of your relationship with your spouse, parenting is a team situation. Enlisting Dad’s help with either child, whether for changing diapers or spending time with the older child, can ease the transition from a family of three to a family of four.
Also, remember that the best gifts you can give your children are two happy and healthy parents. So try to take just a few moments out of the day to rest, regroup, and communicate with one another.
So when the time comes, you rest assured that you will help your baby or toddler adjust to the new member of the family by following any of these tips.
And don’t forget the following hints as well:
If you have any comments or tips of your own, please feel free to share those with us. We look forward to hearing from you.