Another Baby for Siblings

It is understandable that, like you, your children may become anxious and worried when you have another baby. Often, after the death of a sibling, children may be very protective of their mother during a new pregnancy, and show great concern about something happening to the new baby. Your child may require some reassurance from you that you will be careful.

“Jared asks questions about whether we will have another baby. But I don’t know whether we will be able to have another baby or when that might happen, and his questions are really hard to answer.” (Kylie)

“My older girls seem to have the same fears that I have. They mother this new baby. They don’t allow her to cry.” (Josie)

“Since the birth of our subsequent children, we often see Dylan sitting watching them while they are sleeping making sure they are alright. It seems no matter how much we reassure him that they will be OK he still has that underlying fear.” (Toni and Richard)

Some young children see life and death in a very matter-of-fact way. You may come across comments such as: “If this baby dies too, then you can have another one.”

Other children may experience and express feelings ranging from anger and fear to guilt and joy.

“When I knew Mum was pregnant with Patrick, I was pretty annoyed. I was quite angry because I was thinking we have had enough.” (Tom)

“I asked: ‘Is this baby going to die, too?’” (Tom)

“When Jack died, I kept on praying that he would come back and when I found out that my mum was pregnant, I thought it was because I was praying… I was happy that I was going to have a sister.” (Steven)

“I felt that if I came into contact with another baby, something bad would happen.” (Melissa)

“I was afraid to become attached to another baby and it took me a long time to get over that.” (Melissa)

This article was prepared using extracts from What about the Other Kids?1 The full text is available online or contact Red Nose Grief and Loss Services on 1300 308 307 for a printed version.

Last reviewed: 2/12/21