An Idea for Introducing a New Baby to an Older Child

I’m due with my second child in about four weeks, and my to-do list is pretty long (e.g., my hospital bag isn’t packed, the nursery isn’t set up and the infant car seat is nonexistent). The past eight months have been a mix of intense excitement and, at the same time, longing for things to stay exactly as they are at home. So, I’ve dawdled. A lot. But there is one thing I’ve been thinking about since day one…

The meeting of an older child and a new baby in the hospital seems like an especially sweet parenting moment — and sets the scene for a huge family transition. I’ve daydreamed about it 100 different ways. Maybe the baby stays in the bassinet next to my bed when my four-year-old son, Jasper, comes in for the first time. Should we offer Jasper a small gift “from the baby,” which I’ve heard can help with jealousy? What did did you do?

This weekend, a friend gave me an idea I hadn’t thought of: Before the older child arrives, she said, send the baby to the hospital nursery. “You can catch up with Jasper for a few minutes, and then make a big adventure out of going to find his sister together,” she explained. This idea sounds really lovely, especially since Jasper already calls her “my baby,” heads out into the world wearing one of his own babies these days and delights in any kind of mission. It would be so cute to see him peer through the glass window and try to pick her out of the line-up. Then we can bring her back to our room and be a family of four for the first time. Pass the tissues!

Of course, things don’t always go as planned for one reason or other, but I love this idea and would be thrilled to hear your thoughts…

An Idea for Introducing a New Baby to an Older Child

P.S. More on siblings: Preparing your child for a new baby, Toby meeting Anton for the first time, going from one to two kids and five tips for sibling rivalry.

(Photos of Jasper by Christine Han.)