Hendricks Regional Health Blog

Itís Big-Bro Time! Introducing Sibling and Baby

Posted by: Laura Shumaker   |   Thursday, October 25, 2012   |   Latest Articles   |   Back to Blog

big brother, big sister, family, sibling preparation

Wondering what you can do to prepare your child to become a big bro or sis?

The announcement
My friendís had the sibling-to-be wear a ďBig BrotherĒ shirt. It was surprising to hear that many didnít notice the shirt until they mentioned they were pregnant!

We wanted our son to say ďIím going to be a big brother!Ē but all he was able to get out was ďBig BrotherĒ. This was funny because my sister-in-lawís favorite TV show is ďBig BrotherĒ and she thought he was talking about that.

Creative ways are fun, but some may take a little explaining!

To the doctor we shall go
For my 12-week appointment, I took my two-year-old son along.

Luckily, itís a pretty short appointment, but even so, as Dr. Mazdai and I were talking, he opened a drawer and discovered a gigantic cotton swab. You know, the ones that they put you know where! I was mortified, but we laughed and told him it was a drumstick. He was thrilled to take it home!

When we heard Little Beanís heartbeat as he sat on the table with me. After she put the monitor away, he said ďDo it again!,Ē and she did!

I didnít know how much he took in, but now when we get ready to leave, he says ďGo to mommyís doctor, I come!"

Sibling preparation class
Hendricks Regional Health offers a sibling prep class for ages 2 and up. My family thougth the class was a fun way to spend time together before our new babyís arrival. It offered lots of interaction, and attention is focused on the sibling instead of the baby to help them embrace their new role.

I wasnít sure how much our son was able to understand, but the next day, he showed us how to hold a baby!

A gift exchange
Before the big day, take the sibling to pick a present for the new baby. Also, secretly select a gift from the baby to the sibling too.

The grand introduction
As a private moment for parents and siblings only, have dad bring the sibling in alone. Be sure to have the baby in the bassinet so you focus attention on the older sibling.

Donít forget to play up your excitement to see them!

After a few minutes of mommy time, introduce them to the new baby. If they want to hold the baby, thatís great, but donít push it. Remember, a short and sweet visit is much more enjoyable than a tiring visit that ends in tears.

A BIG help
Let siblings lend a hand, even if it takes longer. Itís a great way for baby care to be a family experience. Fetching diapers, clothes and burp cloths are easy tasks for little hands.

Itís normal
Hang in there! Things may be a rocky at first, but itís bound to get better as everyone adjusts (and gets more sleep).

A tip for breastfeeding moms: make nursing a special time for the big sibling too. Keep a few of your child's favorite books close by and read aloud while baby eats.

Hereís wishing you a smooth transition!

~Laura Shumaker

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