Can Toddlers Really Sense Pregnancy?

Can Toddlers Really Sense Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is not only a happy event for the expecting mother. It is a joyful moment that marks the beginning of a new life — and a new member for the entire family to fall in love with. As a pregnant mother, you can certainly feel the changes in your body as you develop a baby inside you, but can your toddler sense that a new baby is on the way too? In this article, we’ll highlight some remarkable stories of toddlers sensing their mother’s pregnancy and examine the truth behind it.

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Can toddlers tell when someone is pregnant?

Having another addition to the family is a big deal for siblings, especially toddlers. They might not be old enough to comprehend what is going on or why it is such a big deal, but they can feel the excitement and anticipation.

There are anecdotes in the media and around the web of toddlers who could sense that their mother was pregnant, sometimes even before it was confirmed.

Like this mother who said:

“My friends little boy would pull my shirt up and say baby before I knew. I would laugh and say no there is no baby in there. Low and behold he was right”

Or this mom who wrote:

“I had been keeping track with an app, since we were trying to get pregnant. I was late, but hadn’t tested yet and had no symptoms when my son told me “Good job growing a baby, Mom.” and rubbed my belly. He’s 7.”

And it’s not only the mother who feels all these emotions but also the entire family. Maybe even more so for siblings, as they can be curious about what is happening to their mother and why she is feeling different. 

So, are toddlers really able to sense that their mother is carrying a baby?

There answer is no. Although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of toddlers sensing their new sibling, there is no scientific basis to back up this claim.

So what, then, is the explanation behind these stories of children sensing that a new sibling is on the way? Perhaps it is the changes caused by the pregnancy.

The reason why toddler’s “sense” pregnancy

Toddlers are too young to understand pregnancy, let alone sense it. However, toddlers are still very much connected with their mother and can pick up on changes in her mood or temperament. The hormonal, emotional, and physical changes caused by a mother’s new pregnancy can be enough to signal to your toddler that something is different.

If a mother is pregnant, she may be moodier or more emotional than usual. She may also have physical symptoms like nausea and fatigue that can affect her behavior. If a mother is experiencing these things, it will be hard for her not to let them show in some way—even if it’s just a little bit of extra fussiness or impatience with her toddler.

Toddlers can detect a change in their environment and react accordingly. They may pick up on even the smallest changes in their mother’s mood or behavior. This could cause a toddler to begin acting up, cry more than usual, or become more clingy.

When and how to tell your toddler you’re having a baby

Telling toddlers that you are pregnant with their sibling is a big decision.

How do you determine if your child is old enough to understand the concept of a baby inside the mother’s belly? How do you decide when to tell your toddler that they’re going to have a sibling? Here are a few pointers.

A great way to tell your child that they will soon have a new sibling is by explaining what pregnancy is and how it works in simple terms. You can say something like, “Mommy’s body has been growing a baby for the last nine months.”

It can be helpful to explain that a new baby is like a tiny person who will need lots of love, attention, and care. It can also be a good idea to explain that the baby is inside mommy’s belly because it cannot yet live outside of her body. If you wish, you can explain how a mother’s body protects the baby and all its organs until it is ready to be born.

You can also explain what having a baby means: A new brother or sister will join your family.

In a nutshell

Toddlers cannot sense pregnancy and may not yet be old enough to understand what it means. However, they can sense that something is different about their mother. They may be confused or worried by a mother’s mood swings, but they will likely understand on some level that something is different about her body. You can explain what pregnancy means (in simple terms) and help them get prepared for their new sibling.

You can help your toddler cope with the changes in his mama’s body by talking with him about what is happening. Let him know that you will still love and care for him as much as before, even though you are going to have a new baby.

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