How do I tell my children?

Whether you have lost a baby the children didn’t know about and they are wondering why you are so sad, or if you have come home from the hospital without the promised brother or sister, explaining the loss of your baby to your other children is bound to be difficult. 

In many ways, it is best to be as straightforward as possible. Children understand far more at very young ages than most people realize, and overheard conversations can make them feel even more afraid and alienated from their parents. 

One concern of children is that whatever happened to make the baby go to heaven will also happen to them. Explain to them that they are safe with you. They can also worry that something THEY did caused the baby to die. Another concern is the attention they may be losing to your mourning process. Sitting with them to write a letter to the lost sibling or to plant flowers as a memorial can help give them something concrete to do and feel. Try to keep these concerns in mind as you deal with both your own grief and the sad confusion you see in your children. 

A number of children’s books have been written to help parents explain the loss of an unborn sibling or early infant death. I highly recommend We Were Going to Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead. You can sit down with your child and watch this video together, where a little boy reads the book aloud.

Here are links to children’s books to learn more about them: 
We Were Going to have a Baby,
But We had an Angel Instead

for the loss of an unborn sibling.
 
Something Happened:
A book for children and
parents who have
experienced pregnancy loss.

 

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