December 6, 2012

Siblings Class at the Hospital

waiting in the lobby for class to begin!

I first heard about this from a friend who's hospital offered this class, so I asked my OB if ours did. The date it was offered at our hospital didn't work for both hubby and I to attend, so we found one (looking online) at another local hospital we could attend.

I think this was more for parents than kids, but for an hour or so of our lives, it was worth it. M brought his own baby doll (the one that my dad balked at me buying for him when hubby and I found out we were pregnant).

We started with a tour of the maternity ward - got to see some brand new babies through the glass getting their first baths. The instructor talked about how this would be where mommy would come have her baby.

holding a shirt for his baby
Then we walked to the classroom to watch a video, Silly Siblings (got some giggles from the kiddos)

Some of the highlights were:
- baby will enjoy watching you dance
- you can help with the baby (bring things to mommy or daddy, bathe)
- babies only drink mommy's milk, or formula (this got some "ew's" at the breastfeeding scenes)
- babies cry - a lot
- feelings (briefly) and what you might do (safely) to express them

Then the kids got to take items out of a diaper bag and talk about what they were called and what they were used for (wash cloth, nose bulb, diaper, baby wash, clothing, teething toy, rattle).

They got to practice holding a baby (sitting, with crossed legs, pillow in lap, mommy brings baby to you, use gentle touches). She pointed out how heavy the baby was (demonstrated with a weighted doll)

taking off a diaper

The kids also got to practice helping with the bath for their babies.

The instructor pointed out that us parents should cut our kids a good amount of slack in the first while after baby is born. She equated it to getting a new Sister Wife (you know, like the TV show?), and having her wear your clothes and use your kitchen - how would you feel at first?
- don't expect a kid under 5 to behave and reason like a 7 or 8 year old
- don't always resort to time out for minor infractions or as a first reaction
- greet your older child first (and without the baby) in the hospital when s/he comes to visit, and when you get home from places. This goes for visits from grandma and grandpa - and others - too. Even though the excitement is around the baby, greeting the older child until their attention wears out won't really take long. Then see the baby.

- keep a few small toys, wrapped, on hand in case a guest brings something for the baby, but forgets something for the older sibling (they are too young to really appreciate why this is)

holding the real-weight, real-sized baby,
while sitting cross-legged, with a pillow...
 supporting her head (sort of)

- get something for the older sibling as a gift from the baby on the first visit to the hospital

- Expect some regression - potty habits, wanting to use a bottle, asking to nurse. These will all be short lived, especially if you don't make too big of a deal about it.
- Learn to talk to your kids so they know what they expect, and you don't have to be threatening.
- She recommended reading the book, Siblings Without Rivalry. Its on our wish list!!

- Also, the 'new' thing is to care for the umbilical stump by keeping it clean and dry, and not by rubbing it with alcohol (which is what they told us to do for our son, two and a half years ago).

1 comment:

  1. Neat idea! I had no idea they had these classes. I am sure M will do just fine.

    Yup, we didn't do anything to the stump and I am not complaining about that! It just came off in its own time.