Introducing Big Siblings to New Baby

Updated on March 05, 2014
A.A. asks from Tulsa, OK
16 answers

I'm just curious here, I don't think there's a right or wrong answer. #2 will be arriving very soon, and we've been making plans for DS (almost 3) to stay with grandparents while we are in the hospital. He's very used to staying with both sets (both at their houses and at ours) so I'm not concerned at all that he will be stressed to be away from us for a bit, he also understands that we will go to the hospital for Baby Brother to come out, and then Mom and Dad AND Baby will come home to be with him.
I recently had a conversation with my brother and sister in law, they were shocked that a mutual friend didn't have their 3 year old brought to the hospital to meet their new baby until 4 in the afternoon (baby was born around 10 am). When BIL and SIL's youngest was born, their oldest came to the hospital with them and stayed in the waiting room with relatives during the delivery, he was about 2.5 at the time, so waiting that long was completely weird to them. After thinking about it, I don't think I want my son brought up until later in the day or even the next day if he's born in the afternoon, I think some time to recover and meet the new one would be nice. Our hospital is also about 45 minutes away, so it's not like a quick trip to visit is a possibility. I'm sure BIL and SIL will think I'm completely nuts, but that's ok. How long did you all wait to introduce big sibs to their baby brothers/sisters? There would be a huge difference between an older child and a 2 year old, so include how old they were, please!

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Thanks for the different perspectives!

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answers from Chicago on

We brought the kids to the hospital to meet the new sibling the day the baby was coming home. I needed a little bit of time to be able to get up and down lol.

My daughter was 6 when new baby was born.
Daughter was 7 1/2 and son was 15 months when next son was born. Daughter came to hospital son did not.
Daughter was 13 when next son came and boys were 5 1/2 & almost 7. They all came to hospital that time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We had my oldest 3 1/2 brought up the night that my youngest was born. We had a special chair that we got for him waiting in the hospital room when he came. He did not stay real long but did want him to meet the baby right away.

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answers from Dallas on

I have to agree with your BIL/SIL. It was imperative that my oldest was the first in the delivery room before any adult after his brother was born. They are 3 years apart. I told all adults it would be the 4 of us for an hour, then and only then, would anyone else be allowed in. I wanted him to feel special that day too. I didn't want him to harbor any type of resentment or think this addition to the family did not include him. We are a family, which meant he did not wait to meet his brother or meet him last. It paid off - my oldest never regressed nor gave us any behavior problems when the baby came home and they are great friends...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

My second and third were born in a free standing birth center. When it was time to leave in active labor all siblings were put into the car and went with. We arranged for my mom to bring "goodie bags" with activities for the kids while I was in labor and delivery (which were very short). They could go between the room I was in and a separate room. They had gone to all the pre-natal appointments as well so they were very familiar and comfortable with the location. They met their new sibling moments after birth.
My first was not quite 3 when my second was born. When my third was born, my first 2 were 8 & 5.
If I had another I would do it all the same again in a heart beat! Some of my most favorite pictures are of me holding my newborn with my older child/ren curled up next to me on the bed. The look of contentment on my older ones that there was still room for them and we weren't leaving them behind for a new one. My second favorite pictures are those that were taken by my older child/ren that they got to take themselves. We gave our first a couple disposable cameras when our second was born. We gave our older 2 an old digital camera when our third was born.
Forgot to add: We only stayed at the birth center for 6 hours after baby was born, then went home. We had a pediatrician visit the next day and a home nurse visit the day after that. I also checked out about 6 hours after birth of my first son that was born in a hospital.

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answers from Phoenix on

My son was 6 weeks shy of 3 years old when his baby brother was born. Baby was born at noon, met his brother at 5pm. I had a natural delivery and felt GREAT afterwards, thanks to all those endorphins. If I had a c-section or rough delivery, I probably would have waited longer.

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answers from New York on

Next day IMO. Take some time with the new baby. A three year old will be very bored in a hospital room. For my first three siblings were not allowed. Quite a while ago. For my fourth one they were. OMG. They came saw the baby, then started playing with the bed, buttons etc. told my husband if he cherished his life, not to bring them back lol. He did not.

Take the time to bond with your new baby and let your son enjoy all the special attention he is getting.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Well, so much depends on the circumstances here and how everything is going. I am expecting #2 this summer and my DD will be 6.5 at the time. I am also having my baby at a birth center instead of a hospital and the average stay there is only 4 hours after the baby is being born...I left the hospital after a few hours with DD, so I am pretty comfortable with this.

For us it will depend when I go in labor and how fast I progress. My daughter was born 4 hrs after the first contraction so I am hoping for another speedy birth.

If I go into labor late in the evening or during the night I will probably bring baby home to her, rather than wake her up and have her come to the birth center.

If it happens during the day she will come with us to the birth center, probably hang out in the room with me until things get rough and wait out the actual birth in the very nice and cozy family waiting room they have with her sitter. Then she will get to meet her brother as soon as he is born.

I think with a younger child I can understand wanting some time to recoup and bond with the baby, as they don't always understand that you are not 100% available to them right away.
I think there isn't really a right or wrong, you do whatever you are most comfortable with.
Good luck.

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answers from New York on

I think your plan is a good one. the sibs will get to have the rest of their lives together. your older one won't be put off for having to wait till the following day, unless of course someone puts it in their head that it might be done otherwise.

Many wait till mom & baby come home. Why expose a pre-schooler to hospital germs, and cause concern about mom's wellbeing while in a hospital bed.

F. B.

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answers from Phoenix on

My daughter was 10 days away from being 2 when her brother was born. My in-laws picked her up from us in the hospital parking lot and kept her until we were ready to leave the hospital. My son was born at 9:40 am and they arrived with our daughter sometime in the late afternoon, after her nap. They came back again the next day when we were waiting to get discharged.
Fast forward 2 daughter was 4y2m and my son was 2y2m when son #2 was born. Same procedure dropping them off with the in-laws. Baby was born at 4:40 am, in-laws arrived after lunch, but my oldest son had a stomach flu and couldn't come up onto the floor. It was really sad not to have all the kids together at once and that the boys had to wait to meet.
I was grateful for a few hours rest and recoup, but wouldn't want to wait more than that to have my kids meet.

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answers from Miami on

I will tell you what we did - but I really think it should depend upon how the birth goes, how you and baby are doing and what you and dad want!!!

I went into labor around 4am and we headed towards hospital and my parents house (4 blocks from hospital) at 6am on a Wednesday. We went to my parents house and my 4.5 year old was taken to pre-K by my mom at 8:00am. (Daddy and I were still there and 4.5 year old knew we would be heading to hospital to have baby before he got home from school at noon). As it happened, we were still laboring at my parents house at noon so she picked him up, took him to lunch and then to my house for a nap. By that point, we were ready to head to hospital and after his nap she brought him back to my house. Labor was long and baby was not born until 9pm on Thursday! Big boy went to school on Thursday also and came home to make cupcakes for the upcoming birthday party for new baby. My parents came to the hospital around 11:30pm on Thursday to meet baby and see us. (They left my 4.5 year old with my brother but he was sleeping and never knew that they had gone to the hospital.) In the morning on Friday, my mom told him that the baby came overnight and that he would get a day off from school so that he could go to meet his new baby. She did not tell him boy or girl so that we could tell him. He came to the hospital with his cupcakes that he had made and birthday party treat bags for everyone! We introduced him to the baby (a baby brother) and had a birthday party. I had a private room so we were able to do whatever we wanted in terms of "visiting". My big boy stayed maybe 2 hours and then came back that evening for another visit with mama. Daddy went home with them that night to put big boy to bed at grandmas and then came back to spend the night with us. The next night we all went home to my moms for a week - really tough birth!

Check with your hospital to see if they offer a big siblings program where they can see the hospital and newborns in advance. We went to one and it was awesome and my son was able to tell my parents all about it - plus the hospital was familiar to him. He still remembers it and his brother is 3!

Congratulations! People will be telling you what to do with your kids and when to do it the rest of your life. Do what you think is best for you - you are the mommy.

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answers from Los Angeles on

first time I had three year old come the day after. For third baby, 3 and 6 year old came the day of my discharge from hospital on the third day post c-section. Hospital also a 45 min distance for caretakers. I think its best to let things settle a bit before bringing siblings in. Take the first 24 hours to really focus on your new baby. I think this allowed me to really enjoy seeing the siblings meet new baby by not packing it all into the same day. It also takes planning on the part of the care taker for naps and meals to treck over there and back, so not good when there are so may unknowns that first day.

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answers from Los Angeles on

2nd baby was born when my daughter was 2 3/4, almost 3. She was with the grandparents, and met the baby in our house when we came home from the hospital. She did come to the hospital with the grandparents, but was not allowed in because of swine flu season. My husband was able to go out and see her though, and show her pictures.

3rd baby, my girls were 6 and almost 4. Same deal, they came to the hospital but couldn't get beyond the waiting room. Actually the 4 year old came, the 6 year old was at school. The 4 year old met her brother when we brought him home. The 6 year old happened to be at Knotts Berry Farm that day with her cousin, so she met him when she came home that night at like 10 pm.

Both times, they wouldn't have come to the hospital at all, except the grandparents themselves wanted a quick visit and a chance to hold the baby.

Also, the first time, hubs pretty much stayed with me except to go home and shower. 2nd and 3rd times, I sent him home after the birth to be with the kids, and he only came back to "visit" me and to bring the baby home.

Now that I have done it a few times, I don't think the initial meeting is such a big deal. They have the whole rest of their life to live with the kid, right? Whatever you decide will be the right choice.

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answers from San Antonio on

My oldest was 2 weeks away from being 2 when my baby was born, she stayed with my aunt when I went into labor (9am) baby was born at noon, I saw my oldest at 7pm. gave me time to rest for a bit. I stayed in the hospital 4 days, They brought her to visit for 2-3 hours each day then when i got out of the hospital we picked her up on the way and went home. I wouldn't have wanted her bored all day at the hospital

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answers from Rochester on

Our daughter was 2 when our son was born. I think it was the next day that Daddy brought her up. (I had a C-section so we were in the hospital three days.) They stopped and she picked up a baby gift for her new brother on the way. We also had a Dr. kit wrapped up for her from the new baby. We had her there early enough that she could see his first bath. We also had her with us when we took baby home. I don't think I would do that again. It took a long time for them to discharge us and she got really tired and cranky waiting.

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answers from Grand Forks on

My younger son was born around 6:00am and my three year old came to visit after supper that same day, so about twelve hours later. The very idea of having a bunch of people in the waiting room, including my three year old son, waiting for me to deliver my baby would have driven me right over the edge! I did not want anyone seeing me until I was cleaned up and rested.

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answers from Bloomington on

We didn't have our 3 year old come to the hospital . We waited for them to meet at home. I didn't want him to be scared that I was at the hospital & get upset that he was leaving & we were still staying there.

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