This is what I've got:
Preparing Your Child for Hospital Stay
- Take them on a tour of the hospital
- Explain Alternative plan for when you go into hospital
- Ask your child to take care of something for you while you are gone (a scarf, or pottery)
- Put a picture of yourself in your child's room
- Hide some small gifts around the house, and when in hospital tell them where to look for them.
- Make a welcome gift for the sibling (a bib,etc)
- Give your child the hospital number to call you if he or she is old enough
- Let your child help you pack for the hospital and remind you of items to put in
- Pack a suitcase for your child to open when you are gone (snacks, gifts and a note)
- Take a photo of your child to put in the hospital room- and tell them you are doing so.
- Have your child draw pictures to put in the room
- Write a letter to your older child describing how you felt the day she was born.
- Make a birthday cake and freeze it to have a little "birthday party" for the new baby when you are home.
- Make a "I'm the big sister/brother" t-shirt for your child to wear to the hospital.
- Have your child help prepare the baby's room.
When you are in the Hospital
- Make frequent calls to your child. Don't mention too much about the baby but say "I love you and I'll be home soon!"
- Ask your child to water the plants at home. Giving her responsibility makes her feel needed.
- Remember on visiting that your child is anxious to see you, more than the new baby.
- Don't allow other guests in when your child visits for the first time.
- Have a gift "from the baby" to give your child.
- Tape a photo of your older child to the baby's crib in the hospital.
And finally coming home
- Let your child come with Daddy to pick you up from the hospital
- Put a 24 hr hold on visitors and let this first day home be special for the family
- Plan to spend the first day in bed as a family
- Plan to indulge with a cleaning service, friends or family to help with household chores
- Have a special time each day for just you and your older child, or explain that babies come "with nothing" and need to get lots of things.
- Keep a supply of little gifts for your child when visitors shower gifts on the baby
- Have your child unwrap gifts for the baby
- Give your child "important" tasks like distributing snacks to guests, fetching diapers, helping bring the baby out to show visitors, etc.
Most of this info is taken from the book: Welcoming your Second Baby by Vicki Lanski
Love and preparation,
Kerry, the Momster