With the addition of a baby, will there also be a new big brother or big sister in your house? Have you thought about the effect a new baby will have on your children?
Many siblings feel excited and can’t wait to meet their new little brother or sister. Other children may not handle the transition as well, experiencing feelings of jealousy or anger. It is important to discuss with your child what changes to expect when the new baby comes home.
Allowing children to participate in the care of their sibling can be a fun way to get them involved. While you are still pregnant, siblings may enjoy listening to the baby’s heartbeat at a doctor’s appointment and helping to decorate the baby’s room. After baby has arrived, older siblings can change diapers and help swaddle babies, while younger ones can be a “runner,” bringing parents needed items such as diapers, pacifiers, etc.
The Women’s Hospital provides a Big Brother/Big Sister class for new siblings to help them learn about their new role. The class discusses topics such as proper handwashing, gentle touch, and quiet voice. Older children practice the skills of diapering, swaddling, and burping, and all children tour the hospital (restrictions apply). For more information and class registration, visit www.deaconess.com/healthybaby and search 'big brother/big sister.'