Care and Support
Caring for siblings at home
Siblings need support and need to be thought of. This will be a difficult time for you. You will feel torn between being with your baby in the neonatal unit and being at home with your family. Be gentle with yourself – you can only be in one place at a time. Let them know what is happening and that you will need to be at the hospital every day until their baby sister or brother is better and can come home.
It helps to try to be fully present wherever you are – whether in the neonatal unit or at home.
Sometimes taking a step back, focusing on just loving your children, and enjoying time with each of them can go a long way in making everyone feel safe, important, loved, and supported.
Suggestions to help you involve your baby’s brothers and sisters
- Tell them about their new baby sister or brother.
- Show them videos or photos of the new baby.
- Explain in simple terms the reason why their little brother or sister is in hospital.
- Discuss any concerns they may have about him/her at a level that they can understand.
- Encourage them to make drawings or ‘Get Well’ cards for the baby, which can then be ‘given’ to the new baby.
- Offer for them to send in a photo of themselves for their baby sister or brother to ‘see’.
- Involve them in planning for baby’s homecoming.