If you already have children, a new baby may be an exciting idea for them or they may seem uninterested. Let small children adjust to the idea of a new brother or sister at their own rate, without expecting them to be either positive or negative.
Very young children may be mostly concerned about where the baby is located; they may be confused if told it is in “mommy’s stomach,” as if the baby were nestled alongside mom’s dinner. Simple pictures from a good book for children, and straightforward answers to their questions will tell them what they need for now.
Older children may worry about how a new baby will affect their lives. Where will the baby sleep? Who will take care of the older child while mom takes care of the baby? Again, talking and providing clear answers will give older siblings the reassurance they need to look forward to the day the baby comes home.
Most hospitals provide a sibling class that helps expectant siblings talk about their concerns and discuss what life will be like with a new baby at home. Plan to have your child take the class about one month before your due date, or closer to the due date for 2- to 3-year-olds so it will be fresh in their minds.
This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.
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