We were so lucky that while I was in the hospital after the birth of our daughter, my parents and my brother and his wife took care of our son. He loved having the attention of 4 adults, two being his Aunt and Uncle whom he doesn’t see often because they live far away. They took him shopping and to playgrounds and out to eat and anything else special they could do to help him not miss having mommy and daddy around. It was a total blessing to have them around. My advice to those who don’t have family around is to encourage whoever is watching your older siblings to make it a special time.
Here are some little things you can do to help your older siblings feel special and included – these helped my son feel like he was a part of his sister’s life:
- Have them bring your kids to visit you if your hospital allows it.
- If they are old enough, take them to meet the baby. (Unfortunately our Jacob was too young to go in to meet his sister, but we did take him to see her through the window in the NICU.)
- Show them pictures and talk to them about the baby. (Jacob made a picture for Haley that we taped to her isolette.)
- Let them feel included in knowing what’s going on. (We helped Jacob pick out a little doll that stayed next to her bed.)