How to Tell a Miscarriage to Your Toddler

Dealing with the loss of a new or unborn baby or sister is immensely difficult even for children. It is confused because it does not get any babies and wonders where the child is in Mama's stomach. And if it sees you suffering, then it also suffers - because your feelings never go past your child.

Like adults, children also respond differently to this loss: the way they express their feelings, or whether they need to talk about it. Regardless of their age and stage of development, some children are more inquisitive and more sensitive than others. You know your child better than anyone else, and that fact will help you decide what to tell him when.

What do I have to explain?

Maybe you have decided that your child is still too young to understand what happened. Or maybe you also want to avoid a possibly necessary difficult or frightening explanation. If you had an early miscarriage, your child may not have known about it yet. However, if it came to a late miscarriage, stillbirth or a newborn death, then maybe your child was already involved in the preparations for the baby and had some expectations. Then it has to find out what happened.

Even if they do not fully understand it, even very young children intuitively understand many adult emotions. They know very well when something is wrong. Maybe you were sad or unfocused in the presence of your child or a physical separation from you changed your daily routine. Children need reassurance that everything will be fine again.

How will my toddler react?

Toddlers respond in a variety of ways to grief and loss. Do not be surprised if your child suddenly becomes very affectionate, puts it back in his pants or does not want to go to kindergarten anymore. After all, your child's daily routine has probably changed. It tries to understand why his parents are suddenly so sad and maybe his environment is suddenly more threatening to your child than ever before.

Maybe your child does not show any reaction to the loss or his moods fluctuate within minutes from sky-high jubilant to death sad. This is quite normal, although difficult for the parents to cope with. Children handle their emotions bit by bit, not all at once.

How can I explain the loss?

Do not avoid your child's questions

Children often ask ""Where is the baby now?""Curiosity about what's happening is normal for a toddler, so answer his questions easily and gently.

Give short, simple answers

Little kids can come up with too much information At this age, it is probably most helpful to limit yourself to explanations of what organic reasons the baby could not live off as a complicated conversation about why it happened: ""The baby is in the belly of Mummy was not up to it and was not as strong as you. It has died, the heart has stopped beating. It eats, sleeps, and sees nothing, and feels no pain. ""

Talk about the loss of the baby

If your child knew it should have a brother or a sister, but not really now it might feel guilty about the baby's death, or it's sad because now it's not going to be the ""big one"" you've already told him about - explain to your child that babies are dying If you're old enough, you might suggest that you draw a farewell picture or make a farewell present for the baby.

Talk about your feelings

Mourning is an important part of children's and adults' processing process - tell your child that sometimes even adults have to cry, and that you are sad because you miss the baby, and your child is very sensitive to your mood good and it will be worried if it detects that something is wrong and you try to hide it.

Avoid euphemisms

Adult language phrases for the word death, such as ""gone from us"" or ""resting in peace"" do not tell a child anything. Children take everything very literally at this age, so avoid expressions such as, ""the baby is asleep"", ""lost"", or ""walked away."" Maybe that will make your child afraid of dying too when falling asleep, or worried that you will not return when you work or go shopping.

Be Careful of Religious Explanations

Of course, what you tell your child about the death and desire for a life after death depends on you If you are a believer, this could comfort your child, but you should think carefully about what you say to your child, since words of comfort can confuse a small child.

sentences such as ""Lea is happy now, because she is in heaven ""can confuse a child who thinks,"" How can Lea be happy when everyone here is so sad? ""Say,"" Leah was so good that God wanted her with her, ""it might think: If god Leah, is he going to get me?Shall I be good to be with Leah in heaven, or rather bad, so that I may stay with mom and dad? Words like ""We are so sad that Lea is not here with us and we will miss her very much, but comforting us to know that she is with God now, and that he will take care of her"" will reassure your child and do not raise new worries.

Be Prepared for a Variety of Reactions

Like adults, children feel guilty about a loss, are angry or sad. Many are worried that something they have said or done, or have not said or done, is the cause of the baby's death. Assure your child that it is not his fault.

Do not be surprised if your child is mad at you, the doctors, midwives or nurses, or even the baby. Just expect these tantrums to occur more often - either to express your own grief (even if the tantrum seems to be something else), or in response to the tensions and grief in your household.

Expect the theme to keep coming up

Be prepared to answer your child's same questions again and again because your child needs to deal with the irrevocable loss of death. There will probably always be new questions as your child learns more about the meaning of death. Do not worry about these repeated questions - it does not mean that you have given bad answers. This kind of questioning is normal, because most children just want to make sure that the information has not changed. Answer your child as calmly as possible.

Do your best to make sure your child's life is back on track

Try to keep your child's daily routine or activities as good as possible. So you give him a sense of security despite the loss suffered. The grandparents and good friends may be able to assist you with practical matters. Of course, the routine will always be a bit interrupted or changed, but the sooner everything returns to normal, the easier it is for your child.

Your child needs regular sleep and wake-up calls, regular meals and, when they go to kindergarten, contact their friends there - and above all fun and games. Make sure that it gets as much as possible - if your powers allow it.

Do not try to be perfect

It's perfectly alright to cry in front of your child, and you should not expect yourself to answer every question perfectly the very first time. Ask friends and relatives for help, and remember that you are more helpful to your child now and later, though you take care of yourself.If, after a few months, you feel that you are not getting along with your daily life or are getting worse, it is important to discuss this with your doctor, midwife, or psychological counselor, and possibly ask for help.

Estimated response to further pregnancy

It may be that your baby may be worried about another miscarriage in another pregnancy. This fear will not be foreign to you. Some parents do not tell their child about a new pregnancy until after the third month of pregnancy. Parental support in a similar situation can be found in our Grief Group in the community.

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