There are many stories about toddlers discovering mommy’s pregnancy even before the mom. However, there is no evidence that a toddler can tell when one is pregnant. Might it then be true that toddlers have a sixth sense that makes them foresee situations? Despite all the tales, there is no concrete scientific proof to support this narrative. However, it is true toddlers can sense changes in mood or stress level more than adults can imagine.
The belief that toddlers can tell when someone is pregnant has been fueled by stories shared by mothers on how toddlers could tell they were pregnant way before them. These claims, though fascinating, have no proof. A pregnant mother may pick the statement among the many a toddler makes due to the sensitivity of the topic.
However, some women can swear to these stories. A mother once told a story of how her toddler’s kindergarten teacher called to congratulate her on her pregnancy, yet she had not shared the pregnancy news with the toddler. These claims may just be mere coincidences. There are other millions of wrong predictions that are not shared on the internet, nullifying the anecdotal evidence. When the toddler’s guess is correct it is the right time to tell them about the pregnancy.
Can Toddlers Tell When Someone Is Pregnant?
When a woman is pregnant a lot of changes occur in her body. The progesterone and estrogen levels rise, causing notable changes in her mood and other behaviors. Babies know more than we can think. A child might have heard the parents talk about pregnancy or having a younger sibling.
A child can also easily pick clues from TVs and other sources and connect them to what a pregnant woman is going through. High levels of stress, caused by the ever-changing hormonal levels can send cues to toddlers who can easily connect the dots or even have a wild guess.
Pregnancy comes with physical changes; pregnancy glow, enlarged breasts and tummy, nausea, vomiting, and frequent urination among other signs. A toddler can notice when such changes occur. The physical and hormonal changes a woman experiences could easily lead her to push the toddler away unconsciously.
The attention the toddler yearns for may not be forthcoming, leading them to be clingy. The most obvious guess, due to rivalry or even excitement, will be the presence of a sibling in mommy’s tummy, and they might verbalize their dream or fear. The toddler will also notice when parents or the pregnant woman start preparing for a newborn, buying baby clothes and items, and the excitement if the baby was planned for or stress if unplanned.
Toddlers guess things all the time. They might be over you talking about a baby in mommy’s tummy. This could just be a result of their ever-active imaginative brains. Some could overhear their friends or adults talking about a new baby, and their imaginations arise. With the internet, they get lots of information that they try to relate to their situations.
One right guess might not be a reason to imagine that they know that you are pregnant. It is just a lucky guess, just like many other unlucky ones.
Less Play Time
A pregnant woman might get more tired often than before, reducing the energy level you had for playing with the toddler. You may also be taking more frequent rest breaks. A toddler will sense the changes and can easily connect that with a pregnancy not out of knowledge but out of guesswork.
When to Tell a Toddler You Are Pregnant
If your toddler hasn’t made that correct guess you will need to tell them. Some people advocate for one to wait until late into the pregnancy when the toddler can see the changes by themselves. The argument is that the young toddler might not fully comprehend the process without seeing any tangible change.
On the other hand, some hold that when a toddler is told about pregnancy early enough, they will be psychologically prepared for the newborn. It also may not be a good idea for the toddler to learn about the pregnancy from other sources. A child needs to get the news from his parents. Early sharing will help create a bond between the siblings and the parent. You should not burden him with lots of details, be as simple as possible.
How Will Your Pregnancy Affect the Toddler?
Children react differently when it comes to news about pregnancy. Some become excited, others may not understand the impact of a newborn while others will be upset. If your toddler gets upset, you need to reassure him. The imagination of losing mommy to someone else might elicit jealousy or worse still, hatred for the unborn baby. Be patient with him, he will soon turn around but this is highly dependent on how the situation is handled.
How to Help the Toddler Prepare For the NewBorn
- Try to have a bonding time where the toddler can touch the tummy and talk to their sibling.
- Have them weigh in on potential names for the newborn
- Take them for baby-related shopping. It makes them feel like a part of the baby’s life.
- Teach your toddler how to interact with the baby
- Explain the role of a big sibling in a simple way
- Reassure your toddler of your love, and engage them in fun activities. It prevents resentment towards the expected sibling.
- Let the toddler help you pack the hospital bag. Involve them in other preparations, such as preparing the sleeping surface and assembling strollers and car seats.
In conclusion, a toddler cannot tell when a woman is pregnant in the early months, but with the physical and hormonal changes, they could get to know. The anecdotal shreds of evidence cannot be proven, and are therefore not reliable.