Having a preemie is an experience for the entire family. Older siblings may be both excited and confused by all of the information involved in helping your new baby to get settled at home.
Some of these tips can help quite a bit.
Point out that the Baby Has Different Abilities and Needs
Siblings who have never been around a premature baby or a special needs child may not understand yet that they’re different. It’s important to make sure that they know what the preemie’s needs and abilities are so that they can accommodate both. Even very young children can understand what makes their younger sibling a little bit different.
Introduce Siblings to the Preemie’s Daily Routines
Chances are very good that your preemie has some special routines and things that need to be done. For instance, there may be medications your preemie needs or breathing treatments. Involve older siblings as much as possible in these routines so that they become a normal part of every day.
Set Aside Time for Other Children
It’s also a good idea to set aside special quality time with other children and older siblings. This might not be as easy as it seems at first, though, especially when you’re trying to keep up with all that each child needs. Having help from pediatric home health care providers helps to ensure that you’re able to devote that time to older siblings while knowing that your preemie is in capable hands.
Be Patient as Older Siblings Adapt
Older siblings may need to have some extra time to adapt to what is going on. Although children are extremely adaptable, it can still be a process for them. Make sure that they know they can ask you questions and that you’re willing to help them to understand.
Take Time for You, Too
You also have to remember that you need time away, as well. If you’re not already taking at least a little bit of a break regularly, you might want to determine how you can change your schedule. Pediatric home health care providers can help you figure out how to do this, too.
Adjusting to a new sibling takes time, of course, but these tips can help your other children to adjust more quickly to the situation. Now that everyone has a new role to play and an understanding of the new family member’s needs, they can all pitch in and help.