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Bringing Toddler to Hospital to Meet New Sibling

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.

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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!!!


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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.

It's true that toddlers will not completely understand the arrival of their new sibling until the baby arrives. I will never forget the shocked look on my daughter's face when she first saw her new baby sister - and then the huge smile that didn't go away for hours! Definitely let her come to the hospital. The nurses were so good with my toddler, and let her watch them give the baby a bath in the nursery. Then - excitement of all excitements - she got to eat the jello they brought in on my lunch tray! All in all, it was a pretty grand experience for her and we got some great pictures of the new sisters together.


Congratulations on the new one coming any day now! My suggestion is to have your husband take your daughter to the gift shop and get her a big sister gift and then have her pick something out for the baby. Make it a happy celebration for her-emphasize her being a big sister etc. Have her come in to greet you and the baby for a brief time and then tell her you will be bringing the baby home with you when you are out of the hospital. I wouldn't keep her out of it- she will want to be a part of what the big change is in the family. Good luck and I hope that you have a fast, safe, painless delivery!


I think you should keep talking to her about the new sibling and make her feel special about becoming a Big Sister. Kids react differently to different situations. I am sure she will be happy to meet her new baby sister. She will be a little upset to see you out of your normal habitat but you can distract her. One of my friends had her daughter have a very long day with her caretaker at the Little Gym. After a very tiring day her daughter saw the baby and was very happy. Later she cuddled with mom and slept. After she was fast asleep she was taken home.
I hope this helped. My best wishes to you and have a safe delivery.

My first was 18 months when my second was born. I couldn't stand being away from her, even over night, so my husband went home and brought her back to visit me and meet the baby. She was pretty young, but I do think the hospital made her a little nervous/confused, so we put the baby in the bassinet while for a few minutes while I held and cuddled the oldest. It only took a few minutes of us giving her our attention before she got comfortable, and only then did we introduce the new baby. I really wanted to make sure she felt secure before we thrust the baby at her. I'm glad we had her come to the hospital, and plan to have both of them come when our third is born in Oct. It was a very sweet family moment for us. Maybe you can have your husband plan on taking her on a daddy daughter "date" after the meeting. They could get an ice cream or go to the park for a little bit. That way she could have some special time with him to look forward to to help make the good-bye from you a little easier. Best wishes!

You'll probably be the best judge because every tot is different. If you really think it will throw her for a loop to see you in the hospital and it will be too traumatic, then maybe it's for the best if she stays home. If the only thing you're worried about is having her cry when it's time to leave...don't worry, as long as you keep the goodbyes short, she'll stop crying probably by the time she's in the car. The saying outside my daughter's classroom is "quick goodbyes leave dry eyes"...pretty true.

It might be less confusing for her to see you in bed with a brand new baby and the hospital than if all of a sudden you walk through the front door with a baby...like you just got him/her at the store or something.

My daughter was 3 when we had a new baby. So, she was a little older, but she got to wear her new "I'm the big sis" shirt. I also went shopping ahead of time with her and let her pick out a blanket and a stuffed animal for the new baby, which she brought to the hospital. Once she arrived, I also had a gift from the baby for her. So, it was an exciting time with fun things surrounding both kids.

Congrats on the new babe! Have fun!

My Daughter was four when our youngest daughter was born, I had her at Good Samaratan in San Jose, they had a class for the older siblings that was one hour or so and very age appriopratly showed them where there moms would be and gave them big brother big sister shirts. When my husband brought her to see me I made sure that I had changed into my own clothes and no longer had the IV in, so it wasn't scary for her at all. So it shouldn't be to hard for her, but you know her best and should do what you think is best. Though if you don't have her come to the hospital you should explain to her what is going on, since it may be odd for you to just show up at home, or have her arrive home with the baby with out any for warning to her. Good luck

Hi E.. My daughter turned 2 ten days before my 2nd daughter was born. I was dying to see her and she did great when she came to the hospital to meet her sister. The baby is 8 months old now and just the other day my oldest was telling me about "when she went to get her baby sister" so I think she really remembers going to the hospital. Just wanted to share that we didn't have any issues and my kids are pretty similar in age to yours, but of course you know your child best and they're all different :) Good luck!!!

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