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My wife is in the early stages of pregnancy with our second baby. Our daughter, who is 1 year and 5 months old, has been acting unusually cranky.

Some family members have mentioned that she's acting that way because she can tell her mommy is pregnant.

Is that possible?

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To clarify: you're saying your daughter is unusually cranky, and want to know if that could be because she can somehow sense that your wife is pregnant, even though you haven't told her? Or have you explained to her that there's a brother or sister on the way? –  Beofett Oct 31 '12 at 12:39
So you haven't told your daughter yet? –  Beofett Oct 31 '12 at 13:36
I'm not 100% certain, but it sounds like you haven't told your daughter about the pregnancy yet. I've made some edits based on that assumption. If my changes don't look right, please feel free to edit or roll-back. –  Beofett Oct 31 '12 at 19:42
Actually, we did told her about the baby and I thought that was part of the reason why she was cranky.I got myself carried away about what people said.She was starting to develop ear infection...feel bad about that! Thanks for your replies! –  Alex Nov 1 '12 at 12:35
A few years ago, my 4 year old told us that "God told him that mommy was pregnant and going to have a boy". This was before we knew or even took a test. She was, and did have a boy. A lot of things are possible! –  gahooa Nov 4 '12 at 4:48

6 Answers 6

Um, I'm sure it is possible, but I don't really understand the point?

If your daughter is unusually cranky, I think it's better to investigate the more likely sources. Has her schedule been disrupted? Is she getting enough sleep? Is she teething/hurting? Are you spending quality time with her?

And, if your wife is pregnant, this may be changing your wife's level of crankiness which would then affect your daughter! So make sure your wife is as comfortable as possible, too.

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When I read your post, it got me thinking...She was developing ear infection.We're giving her antibiotics.Thanks! –  Alex Nov 1 '12 at 12:37
Yup. Always pay attention to unusual crankiness, particularly in the under 8 crowd. They're not very good at letting you know what's wrong through other means (often because they may not know themselves what is wrong). –  Christine Gordon Nov 1 '12 at 15:10

If by "6th sense" you mean "intuitive" then certainly. Kids are amazing at picking up on little signals, some you give out naturally and some you give in response to what they do.

Your actions and reactions will have certainly changed to some degree with this news. As a guess, I'd say she's noticed (probably unconsciously) that things have changed somehow but doesn't understand how or why. This uncertainty is bothering her and it reflects in her behavior. It's always the unknown that scares us the most.

And then it could be something completely unrelated. :-) Aren't kids fun?!?

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As an aside... When it does become time to tell her (don't wait arbitrarily), make sure you involve her as much as possible so that she feels part of it all and not "outside" even in the slightest. This event will quite possibly affect her more than either of you. –  Brian White Oct 31 '12 at 14:45

I don't think it is possible for a 1 year and 5 month old baby to know if his mother is pregnant or not. He may be acting that way because of other reasons but not because your wife is getting pregnant. Better to observe your child's behavior and check what he actually needs. By the way, congratulations for your wife's second baby.

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It is best on this community, whenever possible to include information about your expertise as it relates to the question. Can you add experience or resources to back up the idea that it is not possible? –  balanced mama Nov 1 '12 at 22:53
thanks for your comments, I am taking up masters in Guidance and Counseling and I've studied psychology and I am also a graduate of Biology. Based on the child's age, they can't yet comprehend these things. –  Ayls Billones Nov 19 '12 at 10:22

It is not likely your 1-year-old child comprehends that your wife will be having a baby and all that entails. However, it is possible that your behaviors have changed in some way that your child has picked up on. Is your wife struggling with morning sickness? What kinds of aspects of it are you discussing in front of your child assuming she won't understand what you are saying? It is likely she has picked up on changes that she doesn't understand and it is completely possible it is stressing her out. Then again, she could be teething - those molars are somethin' else!

Just to be sure. I'd suggest talking to her about the pregnancy. Use some picture books like, "Arthur's New Baby" to help her preview what having a baby in the house will be like and what her role as big sister will be. Since she is so young, she won't understand it all and will need a lot of time to process the information so read your books and talk about it with her often and don't get frustrated when she asks the same question 100 times it is just part of her process. Get her a new doll with diapers and a stroller and a bottle etc. And role play how baby will be cared for down to diaper changing and burping. The earlier you start, the less the shock when the baby really comes.

Deal with her behaviors with understanding. She isn't even two yet so none of it is pre-meditated. Her behavior may or may not have anything to do with your wife's pregnancy so just do the normal, making sure she is getting enough rest, food, activity and loving attention etc. And this too shall pass.

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Yes! And, don't forget to set aside special 'big girl' time too! She can otherwise get lost in the shuffle, but she still needs your care and time, and not just in the capacity of a big sister, but as her own self, too! –  Christine Gordon Nov 2 '12 at 3:07

I believe the younger children can tell and its been proven by my youngest 4 yr old who was shaking my belly wks before I knew anything. Children are smarter than we are.......their spirits so loving and kind and brand new They are born blessed .....God does not make mistakes n we need to hang on their every word.

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My 2 year old son was the one who told me that I was pregnant when I didn't even know I can't explain how he knew but he sure did. He pointed at my belly and said baby he did that a few times a day I decided to get a pregnancy test and he was right I'm 7 weeks pregnant and still amazed.

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