I've been blogging about trying to conceive, pregnancy and birth on steadyhealth.com for three years now. I am passionate about fertility, enjoying a healthy pregnancy, and going into labor and delivery as well as parenting in the most informed, satisfying way possible. Still, there comes a point at which you feel like you've said it all.
I'm a mom of two kids, who are four and seven at the moment. I have some experience with talking to kids about these sometimes complex issues, but I thought I'd do something different today. If you are pregnant and wondering how to prepare your kids for big siblinghood, you need the advice of someone who has truly been there :). So, I decided to ask my seven-year old for advice.
Can you tell me about pregnancy, labor and birth?
Pregnancy is when you have a baby in your uterus. The baby gets bigger and bigger, and it has a thing that it gets food from called an umbilical cord. That is connected to the mommy. Babies are born through vaginas. Sometimes they cut your stomach open in hospitals to make the baby come out when it can't come out the vagina. Sometimes the baby has a little bit of blood on it. You cut the umbilical cord after the baby is born and put clothes on it. Some people give birth in baths. Some people do it in the home, but not in a bath. Some people do it at a hospital.
What do you think pregnancy is like? How about giving birth?
Your body changes a lot when you are pregnant and you might vomit a lot. You get fat, but after the baby comes out you get thin again. You are also tired a lot and don't have so much time for fun things. A lot of people hurt when they give birth. They sometimes cry and scream. But they are happy when the baby comes out.
What happens after the baby is born? Can you play with the baby?
After the baby is born, it can't have toys yet because it is pretty tiny. You usually see little babies sleeping and sometimes crying. Sometimes they laugh. They can't take things out of people's hands when they are very, very tiny like newborn. You can stroke them and hold them if you are a big kid, but you can't play real football together because he's so tiny and he can't stand up yet and he can't kick yet. Well, maybe he can kick but he can't stand.
Newborns first need diapers and older babies can try to go in potties. You have to change the diapers they wear quite a lot, because they poop and pee in their diapers. After they are dirty, you throw the diaper away if it is made from paper or put it in the washing machine if it is made from fabric. They are born without teeth so you don't brush their teeth. You can either hold them in the bath with your hands, or you can buy a little baby bath that you put water in.
Sometimes shops have baby shampoo for washing their hair (makes rubbing movements on her head). Little babies eat milk. The milk comes from mommy's breasts. Sometimes, people buy it and put in a little bottle but it is better to breastfeed because it is healthier. You can carry your baby around in a carrier or you can use a stroller. When they get older they can walk a little bit and when they are pretty big they can play with toys already.
Can you tell me what it is like to be a big brother or sister, of a baby and of a bigger kid?
A big brother or sister can hold the baby if she isn't too heavy. I would love to have lots of kids, babies are a lot of fun. You can help them go to sleep by singing to them, and you can kiss them. I think it wouldn't be boring to have another baby sister or brother because I could play with him or her. My brother is four years old. I don't like to be by myself and it is nice to have at least one kid to play with all the time. Sometimes we play very nicely, with Legos or drawing together. Little brothers are sometimes annoying when they spit at you or pretend to kill you. I think girls don't do that so much because they don't like killing so much.