You're going to have another baby, and it's finally time to tell the kids. You're excited, but what's the best way to share the news?

The timing is up to you. Some mothers wait until the risk of miscarriage has decreased, at about week 12. Some like to announce things sooner, as week 12 is the end of the first trimester and it's not always easy to cope with morning sickness on your own. Some moms like to have the family in on it so they can be helpful and considerate during that difficult time.

For very young children nine months is nearly an eternity, so keep that in mind when selecting the timing for the announcement.

Whatever you choose, make it a special, happy time for the family, even if the pregnancy was unexpected. Here are some ideas for giving out the good news to the other children:

Have a special dinner and arrange the table with baby accessories

For example, you could use bibs for napkins, sippy cups for drinks and pink or blue placemats.

Tell your child you want to take their picture - most kids love that

Then, instead of telling them to say "cheese," tell them to say "I'm going to be a big brother." or "We're going to have a new baby."

Some people like to use an ultrasound scan

as part of their announcement by wrapping it as a present or making it into a "birthday card." However, realize that very young children will have a difficult time understanding an ultrasound image and may find it unsettling.

Purchase a bunch of helium-filled pink and blue balloons

Place them in a large box and wrap it up. Tell your child you have a surprise and have them open the box - they'll love it when the balloons come whooshing out. They'll enjoy having balloons to play with, too.

After the excitement of the announcement is over, ask if your older child or children have any concerns. Sometimes, the older siblings can be worried about their mother going through pregnancy and should talk about their fears. Others may worry about their place in the family or in their parents' hearts. Make sure they understand their place is secure.

One wise father sat his older child down and drew a circle on a piece of paper. He labeled the circle "Mom and Dad's Love." He asked the child, "What will happen when the new baby comes? Will we have to split this in half, and each of you get 50 percent of our love?" He drew a line down the center of the circle and labeled one side with the older child's name, and wrote "new baby" on the other side. "So is this how it will be?" The child agreed. Then the father kindly said, "No, there will be a whole new circle." He drew another circle next to the first and labeled them both with 100 percent. "You each will receive 100 percent of our love. You won't have to share with the new baby, because new love will come."

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