Preparing your kids for the new baby

Your Child's Helper

It's essential that each sibling present at the birth has a familiar adult who will be with the child all the time and who will offer cheerful and confident support. Here are suggestions for your child's helper:

Talk in advance with the child about what you will do while Mom is having the baby. Bring the child's favorite food, drinks, toys, book, blanket, and pillow. Get down at the child's level and see what he is seeing and explain things at his level, for example, why the nurse is listening to the baby's heart beat.

Respect the "open door" policy. The child always has the choice to come and go during labor, and you must accompany him. Small children often wander away.

Helping children get ready for a new baby is not only interesting and fun, it helps them understand birth -- one of the most fundamental events in human experience.

A Video for Preparing Siblings. Lizzie and the Baby: The Childbirth for Children Video is for children ages 2-8. This is the standard sibling class video in more than 2,100 hospitals. To order call 1-800-326-2082.

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