How Can I Let My Stepdaughter Know She Is Not Going to Be 'Replaced' When New Baby Arrives?

QUESTION:

"For the last couple weeks, my stepdaughter has been saying that she is going to be ‘replaced’ by the new baby coming after showing nothing but excitement for the last five months I’ve been pregnant.

I’m not too sure where she got in her mind that she was going to be replaced. It’s bothering me so much it’s breaking my heart. I don’t call her my ‘step’ daughter. She is full-blown my child as much as she is her dad’s in my heart and mind.

I don’t know what else to do. I have involved her in every little thing we possibly could. From picking clothes, nursery decor, letting her come to doctors’ appointments (as much as we can with the pandemic). Etc. Shoot, for a moment, she almost had her way with the baby name. How did you mamas and families overcome this? Or was it natural when the baby was around?"

RELATED QUESTION: My daughter is acting out: Advice?

TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):

“My first thought was usually this doesn’t happen unless someone has been telling a child this… which is sad someone would be if it’s possible u may wanna get to the bottom of it quickly… but reassure her it’s not true. Y’all need to do things that don’t even relate to baby. Take her on a girls’ day. Do mani-pedis, movies, just a date for y’all and dad do the same and keep doing this after baby is born.”

“Do a date with her. Tell her how much you love spending time with her and doing favorite activities like spa stuff or going to a diner together or a you-guys shopping spree. Everyone’s trying to tell you where it came from but it really doesn’t matter at this point. What’s done is done you need to tell her otherwise now.”

“Maybe plan some things that are solely based around her and not the baby. Maybe do a spa night with you and her and maybe Daddy and her can plan that Daddy daughter Day. This way she still feels important.”

“I think she may feel different when the new baby arrives, but all children I think feel like that when a new baby comes. Maybe let her know you will have a certain day to do something with her without the baby if possible or while your baby is sleeping.”

“Very very natural reaction. It’s absolutely brilliant that she’s voicing it. She was going to think it, the worrying this would have been if she’d bottled it up. This is something that is going to take time, as baby arrives and she sees first hand that love grows, it isn’t divided, and that she is still just as loved, just as cherished, she’ll move past the idea. But for now, just keep reassuring her.”

“My son made a couple of comments to me like this when I was pregnant with my second child. Turns out it was his dad telling him that we would only care about the baby (what a cruel and sick thing to say to a 5-year-old) we reassured him that we will love both of them the same and that there is no #1 in this house and we all love each other. We also got him “big brother presents” for when we brought baby home from the hospital. Special toys just for him or activities we could do with him like water balloons, crafts, games and he absolutely loved it and felt so special!”

"Tell her no one can ever replace her: she is unique in all the world. There is only one of her just like the new baby will be completely unique. Our kids are our “babies” for life and nothing can break that bond of love. She will be loved as always but will have a new and important role as a big sister plus a whole other person to love her in addition to her parents. And as others have said, find out if anyone said something to her and if so, put a stop to it.

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17 Likes

Who got it in her mind she will be replaced
Someone has said it to her.
Reassure her that she won’t be replaced and she is a huge part of the new babys life.

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I think she may feel different when the new baby arrives, but all children I think feel like that when a new baby comes. Maybe let her know you will have a certain day to do something with her without the baby if possible or while your baby is sleeping.

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My boyfriends daughter done the exact same thing only to find out her egg donor and family was telling her that Bc they replaced her just about when her egg donor had a new child I had to sit her down and just talk to her

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I just had a daughter with my husband and our 8 year old from his previous marriage went through the same thing. Once the baby was born she completely changed. Back to excited. Three months later she still loves her new sister to the moon and back. Kids have feelings and worries too they get past them in time. Your doing a great job it’ll be fine once she sees the new baby!

My husband’s kids were so happy when I was pregnant until their mom found out and one of them told us she literally told them he wasnt going to love them anymore. Not saying that’s deff the case with her mom but something to think and chat about.

Ask her why she thinks that spend some one on one time just to chat and do things together reassure her nothing will change maybe she can help pick out some stuff for baby try to involve her (not saying you don’t do these things but sometimes it helps)

Sounds like someone’s telling her this, how old is she

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All kids go through that…BUT to verbalize with the word “replaced” someone put that in her head…her birth mother…a friend…something she saw on tv or phone. Sit her down and tell her you love her unconditionally. Explain the baby will take a lot of your time…but that no way changes how you feel… and no matter how tired you are…give dad the new baby…and you spend a little time with the old baby everyday. And let her help as much as possible.

Her age would be nice. Involving older siblings is a good idea. But it’s all about baby. Nothing is about her now. So obviously she feels replaced. Take baby off the front burner for a bit. I don’t mean don’t prepare for baby or stop including her. Just don’t put all the importance on baby. Make her feel important again. If she has a room at your house maybe do a redecorating day. Paint the walls if you can, new pictures, bedding etc. If you know how to crochet, knit or sew maybe spend a day helping her make matching blankets for her & baby. Take her shopping for new clothes. Whatever she likes. Spend time with her, for her. Make her irreplaceable & important again.

The girl’s mother is the culprit.

I think at some point all kiddos feel this way step or bio. Lots of reassurance and ask her if anybody has said anything.

Do a date with her. Tell her how much you love spending time with her and doing favorite activities like spa stuff or going to a diner together or a you guys shopping spree. Everyone’s trying to tell you where it came from but it really doesn’t matter at this point. What’s done is done you need to tell her otherwise now.

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Make sure she continues to always be involved once baby comes. We always made sure that when baby came it didn’t seem like we were only giving the baby attention.

My first thought was usually this doesn’t happen unless someone has been telling a child this…which is sad someone would be if it’s possible u may wanna get to the bottom of it quickly… but reassure her it’s not true. Y’all need to do things that don’t even relate to baby. Take her on a girls day. Do mani pedis, movies, just a date for y’all and dad do the same :purple_heart: and keep doing this after baby is born.

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Someone has to be putting that into her head :disappointed: continue to involve her and when the baby is born have her “help” in any way she can. And maybe set aside a few nights just for her for anything she wants to do like dinner and choose a movie to watch.

Maybe plan some things that are solely based around her and not the baby. Maybe do a spa night with you and her and maybe Daddy and her can plan that Daddy daughter Day. This way she still feels important.

i think just let her work thru it. my sister (whos like my daughter) was feeling replaced also. but i sent her a long text and i told her everything she means to us. i say instead of just including her in the baby things maybe go get pedicures or stuff like that. pump her up on how much fun its going to be for yall to have a baby to dress up. or talk to her about how shell have a partner in crime to grow up with. :slight_smile:

Tell her that the family is growing and It adds love to all. More love for her and the baby. Help her to understand that the baby won’t be able to do stuff on it’s own and it will feel hectic but the love and she will still be there with you.

Been through this exact situation …come to find out someone was putting it in her head !