Siblings at Ultrasound

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Bring 3 year old to ultrasound?

Nov 1996

I would love to hear any advice about whether or not to bring a 3 year old to an ultrasound. Our little boy is very very interested in my pregnancy, and talks to the baby daily. He has expressed the desire to see the baby, and I've heard that some parents take their children to see the ultrasound. Did it work? Was the picture too fuzzy and unclear for them to understand? What about just listening to the heart beat?

Thanks, Kateri

I just wanted to share with you my personal experience with my (5) year old and my ultrasound, I am due december 22. I was encouraged to let my son sit in on the ultrasound by my doctor and everyone else, but when the time came it was totally a different story. I am a member of the Alta Bates medical group inwhich they send you to there lab on 58th and Telegraph, I went there all prepared to have my son present and had prepared him also for the experience. When they called me in I stated that I wanted him to come in with my husband to see the ultrasound, they told me he could not come in it was their policy he had to be at least 11 years old. I was totally disappointed along with my son who couldn't understand why he couldn't come in when I had promised him.

The technician told me that children his age have a problem sitting still which interferes with what they have to do, in addition they also need quiet when they are working. An experience I will never forget. Ask questions first before you use the energy of taking your child with you.

good luck!

I will be having my first ultrasound at Kaiser in January and the form they gave me said in big bold letters not to bring children. I know that at Kaiser they print out pictures of the baby (my cousin is 18 weeks pregnant and just got her first ultrasound done, and showed the whole family the 4 pictures she received), so pictures might work just as well. Some places you can get videos too. I believe the reason they don't want children there is for 2 reasons, 1-they might be distracting or get in the way and 2-If there is anything wrong, you wouldn't want to have a young child there when you find this out. My best advice is to call the office where you'll be getting this done and ask them. I called because I'm bringing along my 14 year old sister-in-law and I didn't know if she'd be considered a child. They told me that she could come, but she'd have to wait outside until we knew that everything was okay with the baby. I hope this helps a little.
Good luck!

I would definitely take your son to the ultrasound. After they finish checking all the organs, they'll show you a few clear profiles, which your son will be able to see as well as you. My daughter was 3 1/4 when my son was born. I didn't have an ultrasound with him, so she didn't see that, but I regularly picked her up from preschool to take her to check-ups with me. My midwife was great -- she let her listen to the baby's heartbeat and feel the baby's head.

My daughter was also there when my son was born, and unless your son is particularly squeamish (and most 3 year olds aren't) I highly recommend it. The hospital required that there be another adult present (besides the parents) to take responsibility for the child, and that's a good idea because if your son gets upset, you don't want your husband to have to leave you and take care of him. But, my daughter was not at all upset by the birth, despite the fact that she hadn't yet attended the birth preparation for siblings class (my son arrived 3 weeks early, and she was scheduled to take a class the day after he was born).