15 answers

Bringing Toddler to Hospital to Meet New Sibling

Hi,
I'm all set to give birth any day now to my second child. My first will be two on Saturday. I'm not sure whether or not to bring her to the hospital to see her new sister or me. My concern is that she won't understand what's going on and it will scare/confuse her to see me. Also, she's really attached to me so leaving me at the hospital will definitely not be easy. Assuming I have a vaginal delivery and, therefore, a 24 hour stay in the hospital, would it be easier on her if mom and dad disappear for a day or so and then return with a baby? My sister has been with us for awhile to help out so there's no worry about her staying with someone she's not familiar with or getting too far out of her routine while we're at the hospital. I've been looking forward to the whole meet and greet at the hospital experience but now I'm not sure and can't decide. If you've had this experience, how did your toddler handle the hospital visits? In hindsight, would you have kept your toddler away?

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So What Happened?™

I had the baby Wed. night. My sister brought my daughter to the hospital Thurs. afternoon. She brought a gift for the baby and the baby had a gift for her. Things went really well. The toddler was super curious of the baby and just happy to see me and her father. Thanks for all your advice.

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My son was 20 months when I had my daughter. He was very good and so excited to see her. I had her very early in the morning so dad went to pick him and his older sister up later in the afternoon. He was also very attached to me and did not understand why I had to stay. He did get upset but if I had to do it again I would still have them come to the hospital. I think it was a great for him to be included in everything.

1 mom found this helpful

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I have not had my second yet but i was at my best frined birth of her second girl.Her older girl was 3 at the time. They went shopping befor hand and got her present from the new baby and had her get a present for the baby. At first when she came into the room she was toldly freaked out. Her dad just sat down on the floor with her and they played with her new toy for about 30 mintues. But after that first little bit she was ready to go and see mom and her little sister. To this day her oldest still takes about getting the baby from teh hosptial and shows everyone several times her present that she got. She say look how thoughtful my little sister was. It really is to cute.

You know your child the best and if you think she well not handle well then leave her at home. But i would send some pictures home and maybe a small gift with you husband. That might make teh transition a little easier on her

Congradualtions on the new baby!!!

A.

2 moms found this helpful

My son was 21 months when my daughter was born. We went into the hospital in the evening, and she was born in the wee hours of the night. In the morning, my husband went and got big brother and brought him to the hospital to see us. He was absolutely delighted to see the baby and me, and just spend some time there as a family. He even ate lunch on the bed with me. It wasn't scary for him, since I was obviously not sick. It was a happy, exciting time for us all, and we got a lot on video.
Incidently, by daughter just turned 5 and we put that video in to watch and they both thought it was the greatest.
I think your daughter will probably do better with the experience than you imagine, and you will have a special family memory. And congratulations on the coming baby!

1 mom found this helpful

My son was 20 months when I had my daughter. He was very good and so excited to see her. I had her very early in the morning so dad went to pick him and his older sister up later in the afternoon. He was also very attached to me and did not understand why I had to stay. He did get upset but if I had to do it again I would still have them come to the hospital. I think it was a great for him to be included in everything.

1 mom found this helpful

My son was 21 months when my second son was born. Since, I didn't give birth until late afternoon, we chose to wait until the next day to bring my oldest to the hospital to visit. We planned it for after breakfast when he was always happy. We also made sure that the baby was in the nursery when they arrived. Dad and son came by my room for a visit first with just me. Then they headed down the hall to the nursery. When they came back to my room with the baby it was more like "hey mom! look what I found for us!" He was excitied to show me our newest member of our family. Also, we had a gifts for him from the baby. It was a great success. I wish you luck and much joy. My two sons are now 10 and 8 and are still best friends!

Congrats! My oldest was 22months when I had her sis, now 3 1/2 and 23 months. I was very concerned as well, my sis and mom stayed with eldest while I was in the hospital, I was very worried b/c we practice attachment parenting and had never been separated for more than 2 hours, no had ever put her to bed but me. I was pleasantly surprised, she loved having aunty and grandma read her a book for bed. I only stayed in the hospital for 18 hours b/c of worry and wish I had taken it slower. Eldest visited within hours of baby being born. My doula suggested dad hold the new little one, while I welcomed my older daughter. she climbed up into bed with me and I asked if she was ready to meet her sister. She said yes and we held her together in the bed. It was beautiful. She felt very special b/c all the family was there with us, smiling at us. There was no problem with her leaving, we told her mommy was very tired and needed to rest. she was happy to leave with auntie and grandma. I worried over nothing! She was fine with the hospital visit and I only wish I had stayed a little longer to rest before rushing home.
Good luck!

Hi E.,
My oldest daughter was 2 1/2 when I had our 2nd daughter. I had the same concerns as you. We decided to have her come to the hospital on the day we went home(I had a c-section). She was a little scared at first and then relaxed. She got to meet her baby sister and then we all went home together. We were able to have the meet and greet at the hospital and then went home as a family. This worked great for us and I didn't have to worry about the stress on my daughter of seeing me in the hospital and then having to leave. She was able to take part in bringing the baby home, instead of us just showing up at home with the baby. I wouldn't change a thing.

My son was 2 and 4 mos when my daughter was born. Loved having him come visit and wouldn't have changed it. No probs on his end... I was sad to see him go home!

I definitely think you should let her come to the hospital. Maternity wards aren't as scary as regular rooms and are usually quite cheery. My son was 29 months when my daughter was born and that night was the first night he ever spent away from either of us. It was really hard on him and he really needed the reassurance the next day (although he did give me the cold shoulder for about 30 minutes when he got to the hospital) This had nothing to do with the baby, he was just angry I left him at bedtime. (My daughter was born in the evening). My husband went and picked up my son the next mroning and he spent the entire day at the hospital with us. The nurses did a really good job at making him feel proud of being the big brother too. We also did the present from the baby thing, but it was a pretty big present, so we gave it to him on the day we came home from the hospital. It took him about a month to really warm up to the new sibling, but he loves her so much now and is very protective of her. (She'll be two tomorrow). He wasn't scared of the hospital at all and actually quite enjoyed spending the day there. I also ended up having to stay an extra day, so don't count on being able to go home after 24 hours. I thought I would be able to also, but they wouldn't let me go since I was strep B positive, they had to monitor the baby for an extra 36 hours. Anyways, congrats on the new baby and if the hospital does freak your daughter out, they can always take her out right away.

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