Bringing Young Children to the Hospital After Birth

Updated on January 13, 2014
R.S. asks from Chicago, IL
25 answers

Just wondering what others have done...
We have a four and a half year old and a two and a half year old, and I am 36 weeks pregnant. I recently had a conversation with my husband about bringing them to the hospital and he said he is unsure it is necessary. I have talked to some who would not dream of not bringing their kids, and others who said their little ones were fine talking or Skyping, and still others who said their husbands brought the kids but only for about a half hour. I know my husband will have his hands full while I am away. We have friends around who will no doubt give him a hand but no family, and my husband does not drive...which means we would have to arrange with someone who could bring them all and take them back home. I actually would love for them to come and visit, but not if it will make things worse for my husband ( i.e. If it will overwhelm him). I am not so worried about our older one...she is super excited and understands that Mommy will be gone for a couple days. Our son, however, is so sensitive and attached to me, and he will not have as sophisticated an understanding. When he was born, our daughter had just turned two. When I walked through the door after being in the hospital for two days, she was terribly angry. We had a rough time with bedtime for weeks after it represented a separation and I think she had tons of anxiety that she would wake up the next morning and find me gone again. In any case, all thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Loved reading everyone's thoughts on the matter and I definitely have more to think about now. Thank you all for sharing what worked for your families.

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

My oldest came to the hospital when his brother was born. After all, he had a right to see his new brother. My husband and him had long visits, which included having lunch and dinner with me. My son was two at that time.

More Answers



answers from New York on

As a mother to one, I remember excitedly receiving visitors at hospital. After the flurry of the newborn days, I think, were I to have another, I would be smarter about it, and use the 48 hours allowed to get as much sleep as possible while nursing staff catered to me and my newborn.

With that in mind, do what suits you and your family best.
Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Get a sitter who will stay with them at home while you and Hubby are off having the baby.
They don't need to pick up any germs at the hospital.
They are going to have an adjustment with having another sibling - it has nothing to do with whether they visit the hospital or not.
Your son won't be happy about you spending time with another baby.
No baby of the family likes it when the next baby comes along.
They adjust in time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

All of my children that have been a big brothers/sister have come to visit at the hospital when a new sibling arrived. My oldest was 12 months when his little brother was born, then 4 and 9 when his other siblings were born. My 2nd was 3 and 8 when his siblings were born, and my daughter was 4 when her little brother came along. They all stayed for 1 - 2 hours per visit, but we brought toys and a new movie for them to watch while they were there. I had a c-section, so was at the hospital for 3 days each time, so they visited at least 2 times. I think it helped them a lot to be able to see me. They also did a big brother/sister tour of the hospital about a month before baby came so that they could see where I was going to be and the room so that they wouldn't be too scared.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My kids came to visit me each time, but my mother brought them, and it was a short visit. I generally think it's fine to let young kids visit mom and new baby at the hospital, but since your little guy is so attached to you, it might be too upsetting for him. If you have any doubts, it would be better to have them stay home. You will just be gone for a couple of days and it will go by quickly.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My daughter occasionally had an extended business trip that took her away from her son, starting when he was a toddler. She planned ahead by getting him a small gift to open each day of her absence, complete with a loving (but not too emotional) card. She'd place a picture of the two of them in a conspicuous place, and mark on the calendar the days she'd be gone, so he and Daddy could cross them off (it was his only conception of time when he was little). He had some down moments, but survived admirably.

Wishing you and your family the best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Per your younger child, your son: he is attached to you, as many kids are when that young. You can opt to have him/the kids visit you or not. But even if you do let them visit you... when your son has to leave and go back home, without you... will that not also, be a hard thing for him? Toddlers just have 'separation' troubles. ie: having to leave Mommy and Mommy is not coming home.... yet? Just a scenario that MAY happen, even if your kids visit you at the hospital. It is just that you are not around, at home. You are at the hospital. But sure, seeing you might be nice for them.
In either case, you and your Husband, talk with your kids, about the upcoming situation and that Mommy will not, be home.
Prep them.
And your Husband hopefully knows the home routines with the kids and can do it. By himself. When you are gone.
With each of my hospital stays (I had had 2 c-sections and was at the hospital for 3 days), I actually wrote down, a non-complicated "list" of stuff... for my Husband, of things to remember/do, per house/kid routines.
It was just a reference sheet. He could look at if need be.
So that helped.

And, if the kids do visit you at the hospital... then you and your Husband, better get plans made already... AHEAD of time, with someone who can drive him and the kids to and, from the hospital. Coordinate that, already. Not at the last minute. Because if it is at the last minute, it will not be pleasant for anyone, much less your Husband who would be rushing around to figure out transportation.
Also, assuming your Husband is at the hospital when you give birth... where will the children be, and who, will be babysitting them?
You need all of this... planned already. Beforehand.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

My second and third children were born at a free standing birth center. When we left the house in labor we brought the older kids with. They stayed at the birth center for labor and delivery which was very short for both of them (it was short for my first too for that matter). I only had to stay at the birth center for 6 hours after birth and went home. Even with my first, which was a hospital birth, I checked out of the hospital about 6 hours after birth. I wasn't going to stay there!
I do not regret having my older children present for the birth of their siblings. I made sure someone was there to be in charge of them so it was not something my husband or I had to worry about. The midwives were all supportive and encouraging of having my older children there as well. They were answering every question they had and everything.
The immediate bonding of the whole family is something I wouldn't trade for the world! I have the most fantastic pictures of my older children curled up in bed with me and their new sibling. There was never any jealousy, there were no feelings of being displaced, there were no feelings of separation. You can see the love and comfort in their eyes as I am sitting on the bed holding them both.
My first was almost 3 when my second was born. When my third was born my older 2 were 8 & 5.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I never thought of NOT having my husband bring our 3 1/2 year old son (at the time) to visit at the hospital after his little sister was born. I think it was great for him to see her and to see me, even though it was only a shorter stay. Also, you might want to see them too--I know I was pretty happy to see my big boy! Based on your prior experience (daughter being unhappy with not seeing you when your son was born), it seems like having them visit will be better for all, as long as your husband can work out the logistics of transportation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My husband brought my 2 1/2 year old daughter once or twice to visit. But I know it was hard on him when they got home - out of sight, out of mind with her, so the reminder that I wasn't at home was hard.

We did have quite the hilarious episode when he was there with my daughter, and my grandmother was visiting. My daughter had stripped to her undies and was running around the room with my husband trying to catch her. My grandmother and I were trying to change the diaper on my son for the first time and he was peeing over our shoulders onto the wall. Of course this was when the priest walked in to visit. I'm sure he prayed a lot for our family that night :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

if you are having a vaginal birth.. you can go home 24 hours after the baby is born. I couldn't wait to get out of the hospital with each of my kids..

I wouldn't bring the older sibs as it sound like a huge hassle.. finding a ride.. .. etc..

as long as you and the baby are healthy you can just go home the next day.. and it wil be easier on everyone..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

It's a nice gesture to have the kids come to the hospital but it would be better to have the time to rest and bond with your child before going home.

Since your son is so "attached" to you it might be better to have him stay home. As he will want to stay with you in the hospital and not understand why he has to go home. The Skype might be better since hubby does not drive. My son felt a bit out of place while I had his sister but I felt it would be better to be away a few days and then come home rather than have him come and then have to leave me. But each his own.

Also check with the hospital about having children in the maternity ward/wing and the winter illness. I was in hospital once and there was a bad flu epidemic and no visitors were allowed for anyone.

Have a quick, safe, happy delivery.

the other S.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My husband brought the three when fourth was born. They played with the bed and anything else,they cold get their hands on. Told him I would divorce him if he brought them back lol. I was glad they got to see their sister once. Then I wanted so e time with the new baby that was about to be thrust into this wild and wonderful family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I assume you're in the city and yoru husband will have access to mass transit? I think a short visit is in order - have people come & help. A close firend or family will want to help and they'll want to come see you - so they can do it all in one. They can accompany your husband to the hospital with the kids - and after a short afternoon visit the friends/family member can take the kids away with them (back to theirs or your house). I think it's important for kids to experience the excitement of going to see baby in the hospital - and to feel that they already know the baby when mom & baby come home. It's also possible that you may have a c-section and be in the hospital for 4 days. My first child was a vaginal birth, my 2nd child was breach & a c-section - which I was totally NOT prepared for and my 3 yr old missed me so very much. We both would have suffered if she couldn't have come to see me and baby. It gives the older kids some "buy-in" or ownership in the growth of your family. Begin discussing it with friends/ family now and see who will volunteer to help. When some one says "I'd love to help, let me know if there's anything I can do to help..." Then offer this as a HUGE help - make sure they understand there's no pressure. But it's certainly worth a try.

Finally - be sure to make it a short visit. Afte my c-section the lady in the next bed had visitors all day. Her husband and brother (or BIL) came with her childlren. Two little ones - with no toys, no coloring books or any kind of entertainment. They parked there for the entire day so you can only imagine the chaos that ensured with two little kids and nothing to amuse them. I was glad that she was only inpatient for two nights and gone the following morning....!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If you're doing the typical 48-hour stay then I can't imagine NOT bringing the kids in for a visit. When I had my second baby, my husband brought my oldest son and step-daughter (both 6) in the next day after school for a visit. My 3rd was born in the morning so he brought in my older boys (ages 8 & 2) that evening and we had dinner together and then they went home. It was important to me that I see my kids, especially my 2-year-old, even though that time I was only staying 24 hours. The following day he brought them all in with him to pick me up and bring me home.

The only time the kids didn't come in was when I was a surrogate. I delivered twins at noon and my husband planned on going home and bringing the kids in for dinner with me. He fell asleep at home instead (leaving my kids to fend for themselves for dinner!) so they didn't come in. I came home the following day while they were in school.

I think that if you have a friend who is willing to drive them all in and bring them home, you should try to arrange for that. My kids were all really excited to meet the new baby and see me ASAP. Having the visit in the hospital made things much easier than being separated for 2-3 days would have.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Our hospital (Prentice) had an older siblings' class which included a tour. We took our almost-3-year-old before her younger brother was born, and then my mom brought her for a brief visit the day after he was born. I think this was really helpful for her. I totally understand your husband's being overwhelmed, but if you can get your kids to see the hospital either before (now) or after the baby is born, it would probably help them (especially the 2-year-old) understand a bit more what's going on.

Good luck!
From another R. S.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Our decision was to bring our 2 kids to the hospital for visits when I was having my 3rd. My 2 were very attached to me because one was 20 months and the other was 9 days shy of his 3rd bday, so they were very young. With all the awesome technology like FaceTime, you will have plenty of options.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

When I had my 2nd, my older daughter was almost 3 and I would have loved to have her come visit, but the hospital was not allowing any children in, even siblings because it was a swine flu year or something. I remember I was SO disappointed, I really wanted her to have the excitement of seeing the baby in the hospital, and I myself missed her a little bit. But it was fine, she had dad and grandparents to take care of her and before we knew it, we were all home and she got the excitement of meeting the baby there.

I'm having a baby in 7 weeks and this time the siblings will be allowed to visit (different hospital). I will definitely have my husband bring them in for a visit. Since we can. I think in your case if it seems too hard on your husband, since he can't drive, it may not be worth it. They'll be fine meeting the baby at home.

How are you getting to the hospital and who is taking you home if your husband can't drive? Just curious. Maybe the kids can go along to pick you up when it's time to come home?

Also, whatever happens with the 2 year old (visit or no visit, anger, anxiety, or attachment issues) he will not remember any of it in the long run. He's too young. But I still remember at age 5 being able to go TO the hospital when my sister was born, and look at her through the window, but not being old enough to go see my mom in her room (while my other two sisters could because they were older than 10 or whatever the limit was back in the 80's). That stuff sticks at that age!


answers from Chicago on

As long as they are not sick, they should visit you in the hospital. They would like to see you and the new baby and I'm sure you'd like to see them too!


answers from Grand Forks on

My husband brought my older son (who had just turned three) for a short visit. He got to see where I was, that I was OK, he got to meet his new baby brother and he posed for a few pictures. That was good enough for all of us. I was only in the hospital for a couple of days.


answers from San Francisco on

My husband brought our then-2.5 year old to the hospital when her baby sister was born. I think it was a good experience for her. She had a general idea that I would be having a baby, but at that age, they don't really and truly understand what's going to happen, until it happens. Also, I think it was good to introduce my toddler to her baby sister on neutral ground. She brought the baby a gift (a small stuffed animal) and ahead of time, we had bought a gift from the baby to her (a baby doll). That helped ease the transition, I think. I can see how it might have been difficult if she had had to go for several days without seeing or hearing from me at all, and then all of a sudden I come home with this screaming, squalling infant who took up all of my time and attention... yeah, that wouldn't have gone over very well.

I think if you can swing it, your husband should try to bring your kids to meet the baby at the hospital, even if it's only for 10-15 minutes.



answers from Rochester on

My husband brought our 2 year old daughter when our son was born. They stopped on the way so she could buy a gift for the new baby. We had a gift (a doctor kit) for her from the new baby. She loved visiting! Our hospital has a family room so we were able to hang out in there where they had some toys. The nurses were great with her and gave her Popsicles from the little kitchen they have. She got to see his first bath and we have one of the best stories from her visit. Daddy was changing baby brother's diaper and she was standing near the bassinet watching. Baby brother showed off his waterworks and peed right on her head. I think it helps the transition when baby came home.

Talk to your hospital and see what they allow. Some hospitals are stricter about who can come in and for how long. If possible, maybe the kids can come one at a time. That might make it more manageable. I would also say to keep the visit short (under an hour).

One of my first memories is my dad taking me to the hospital when I was about 2 1/2 and holding me up to the window outside so that I could see my mom and my new baby brother. That was back in the day when kids weren't allowed in the hospital at all!


answers from Seattle on

My son was almost 3.5 when his sister was born. Of course we brought him to see his new sister. The first words out of his mouth, after not seeing me for 2-3 days (I'm a SAHM, and have been since he was born), were: Can I hold my baby sister now? He has been an absolutely WONDERFUL big brother, from the beginning. Yes, my kids bicker like cats and dogs, but let ANYONE other than them try to hurt the other, and all hell breaks loose on the outsider.

That being said, he will be 10.5 when this little girl is born, and his sister will be 7. We plan on bringing them both to visit after baby is all cleaned up and we're settled into a room. They would be mad if we didn't. My daughter is THRILLED to be a big sister, and to be having a little sister. My son is ambivalent.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Our hospital had a siblings class that helped prepare young kids for this. You should see if yours does. It was really great. They had the kids bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal, and talked about how mommy had to go away and would come back with the baby. They gave all the kids a "Certified Big Brother/Big Sister" button at the end of the class. My son was 3 at the time and he loved it.

We did have him visit in the hospital, but just twice in 4 days, and only for a short visit each time.



answers from Chicago on

My husband brought our kids for my daughter's birth, they were 9. Then for my son's birth (C-section, 4 days) he brought the older 3 and our then 3 yr old. But we found it was best to cut it short. After about 45 minutes, they pretty much get bored and start to get ansty, especially the younger one. I think if you believe it would help them understand where you are, a short visit would be great.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions