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Telling other children about a new baby

If you are expecting yoursecond or subsequent baby, your biggest worry can be how your existingchild or children may react to a new brother or sister. Here's how otherparents have tackled the issue and made preparations to integrate a newmember into their family:

"I talked to the twins about the new baby from when I was about fourmonths pregnant. Being a bit older they were interested and also hadthe patience to wait for a few more months. We watched programmes aboutbabies on the Discovery channel together and looked at books. It got thebirds-and-the-bees issue out of the way early!

"You can't forget how young they really are though, so when Alicewas born, they both got a present from her and I stuck lollipops in herhospital cot for them to find - they loved them even though they didn'tfind her so interesting to start off with."
Liz, mum to Oliver and Callum, five, and two-month-old Alice

"Emily was only 20 months old when Joseph was born, but she noticedme getting bigger and kept pointing and saying 'Tummy, tummy'. So I toldher it was a baby, which she seemed to take on board, and keptrepeating.

"Then whenever we came across newborns at friends or in the park, Imade a big fuss of her, told her how grown up she was and asked her tobe very gentle around them. I had Joseph in hospital at night andfortunately my partner Ian was able to get back home before Emily wokeup (his parents were staying), so that meant she was the first person tovisit the new baby. A present under his cot helped her to warm to him,too."
Stephanie, mum to two-year-old Emily and Joseph, five months

"Ryan was just three when Caitlin was born - it's hard at that ageto stop being the centre of attention. So we got him a card that said:'Now you're a big brother', and warned guests not to make a beeline forthe baby and miss him out when they visited.
"I spent my week's paternity leave keeping his routine as normal aspossible. I took him to nursery twice and to play with friends a coupleof times, so that everyday didn't revolve round Hannah and the baby.

"I think he really liked having me around more and though he took afew weeks to get back to his normal self, those first few days set thescene for the two of us having a much closer relationship. I feel hereally needs me as much as he needs his mum now."
Lee, dad to Ryan, three and a half, and Caitlin, five months