Let your toddler be there when the new baby is born??

User - posted on 04/09/2012 ( 30 moms have responded )

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What did most moms due when there second child was born?? Did you let your toddler be in the room or outside waiting for when the new baby comes out?? Will it scare her or make her feel special she got to be there??

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Katherine - posted on 04/09/2012

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No, I didn't. I let her come after. But it's a personal decision. A lot of moms do it. If you explain before hand what is going to happen then ask if they want to be there maybe that will help with your decision.

Tine - posted on 04/22/2012

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I birthed my son at home, and wasn't sure how my nearly 3 yr old very sensitive daughter would cope. I prepared her by telling her what would happen, the noises I would make to help the baby come out, and by reading a few books on birth with pictures, and even showing her some videos of gentle home births.
We also hired a wonderful doula to be her own special support person, as well as the midwife to support me.
I was amazed. She was with me alone for most of the first stage and perfectly unfazed, then the doula and midwife arrived and my partner came home when things really got going. My daughter was not fussed at all, and my most treasured photo from the birth is of us cuddling after she came over of her own accord and put a little towel on my back (the midwife was putting hot towels on) shortly before the birth. She only left for a few minutes right near the end when the pushing was very intense.
I have lots of friends who have birthed at home with siblings present and they all say the same thing. Most watched the baby emerging.
It is a personal decision, but it is worth bearing in mind that children have more nouse than we give them credit for, and seem to have a better understanding than adults in our society do that birth is a normal thing. If they have a loving understanding support person (doulas are great because they understand the birth process) and are prepared, it can make the appearance of a new sibling far more normal and easier to accept than if they just appeared like something you bought at the shop!

Lisa - posted on 04/19/2012

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I don't see the big deal if you are not going through a natural birth.

Kirstin - posted on 04/15/2012

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My son who was only 13months old came into the room with me and my mum. I wanted him to see his little sister being born but he slept thru the whole thing which wasnt that long, and to wake to his siter he loved it. Even tho he was so young I think its a great experience for them to be apart of no matter what age. My kids have a very close friendship and often act like twins. Go for it.

Michelle - posted on 04/09/2012

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I personally wouldn't. It does depend on how your birth goes though. I feel that for a toddler to see you in pain and then realize that the little brother/sister caused that is a bit too much.



When I had my 2nd our 1st was in daycare and he was brought in later that afternoon.

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Lori - posted on 04/24/2012

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I just had my 2nd child (a boy) on April 7th. My daughter was not there when I had him. He was six weeks early and had to be in the NICU for a week. My daughter is not old enough to be able to visit him in the NICU (children must be at least 3 years old, she is 2 1/2). She did come see Mommy in the hospital and did see an ultrasound right before he was born. She didn't get to meet her brother until he was a week old and we brought him home. The original plan was to have her visit at the hospital and meet him after he was born in May.

I think depending on the age of the child that it would be fine. The child should be old enough to understand what is going on and probably not watch the actual birth, being off the the side and see the baby after baby is out of Mom. If the child is too young they should probably be in the waiting room or at home until after the baby is born.

Tina - posted on 04/19/2012

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My son who was 11 months and 3 weeks came into see me just after I had my second.(daugher). His grandmother watched him then brought him into the hospital a little while after I had my daughter. I wouldn't have a young child in the room I'd think it would be scary for them seing mum in pain. I would introduce her pretty quickly after the birth.

It was kind of heart breaking for me. I had drips and that scared him a little I think and he's not use to mum laying around not doing anything. Plus he was upset when he saw me holding another baby. It can be hard, at first for me. It seemed like my son wanted nothing to do with me. He was hurt. But I just kept making time for him and giving kisses and cuddles even though he acted like he didn't want me to. I know he really did.

Michelle - posted on 04/18/2012

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Depending on the age I wouldn't. They don't fully understand what's happening. It could be scary what's happening to mom. Personally I couldn't have my first come to the hospital at all do to the h1n1 scare. No kids the age of 12 or younger were permittmed on the floor so my son was 2 days old before mu daughter met her brother. I would let a older child experience it. Could be great birth control for later in life. But a fiddler I don't think is ready for ssuch a experience. Especially if scary movies is to much. Unless you handle it like a pro and there's no screaming and maybe a water birth. Its up to you and how you feel your child will handle it. Good lick whatever you decide.

Sharon - posted on 04/18/2012

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My 3.5yo DS was brought to the hospital shortly after DD was born. He really enjoyed being a part of it all. We saw no benefit to having him wait at the hospital. So we arranged for his favorite Grandpa to pick him up from day care, play a bit, have dinner, then come see the baby after she was cleaned up. Then he got to spend the night with Grandpa and had a fun special day with his great aunt while my husband spent the night with us at the hospital. He got a treat (normally goes to day care) and seemed to enjoy the whole experience.

Sharon - posted on 04/16/2012

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I didn't. The older child/children were with their gran when I went in. I didn't feel it was appropriate and the hospitals here wouldn't allow it I don't think. We always explained what was happening and that a new baby was coming. We had a small gift for the older child from the baby when they came in to meet their new brother ( we have 3 boy's) also I wasn't holding the new baby when they came in which allowed them to have adding hug and kiss without the baby being in their way. It depends on your child you know them best and how they ate going to react to the baby. Thus is a very special and happy time you and your family. I hope everything goes well for you. Take care. Sharon

Vanessea - posted on 04/15/2012

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It well make her feel so special. My daughter was 2 1/2 when her brother came although I had a c-section she waited with my mom and got to help give her brother his first bath, and everything. It really depends on there age for the video. I'd say if she's 4 its okay. Just be ready for lots of questions. She well want to be included no matter what.

Kirstin - posted on 04/15/2012

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It was just me and my mum when i gave birth to my daughter and if it comes down to it im sure she will understand. Id say dont let her watch a video it will just confuse her more. Plus if your first birth was easy and no worries than why not. You will no when the time comes and sometimes we just have to do these things.

User - posted on 04/15/2012

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I appreciate every ones comments they help alot, im only so interested in it since its just me, her and my SO and he just started a new job that can have him out of town. I dont have any family hardly anyhow and none in the state of Indiana. I want her to be a part of everything and know that she has an option? Did anyone explain to there child what is going on and the whole situation?? Im all about family and what a better way to strengthen a family in my eyes but at the same time can understand how she might be upset if im upset. She is very smart and comprehends very fast, anyone let there kids see videos of child birth before???

Bernadette - posted on 04/14/2012

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my daughter (who had only just turned two) stayed at my parents' place. My son was born via emergency c-section (as was my daughter) at 3.19am. I had been up to the hospital that afternoon for a check-up, as I was 8 days overdue and had been having contractions over night for the last two nights, but they were going away in the daytime. They decided to keep my up there for a few hours for monitoring, with another check-up to happen at 10pm to see if they were going to keep me in or send me home, so obviously I wasn't about to keep her up there with me. Just in case it did happen overnight, my parents took her home with them to leave my husband free to come back in a hurry without having to drag her out of bed and take her with him, or wait at home for someone to come over to look after her. Anyway, 10pm came around and they were too busy for the check-up so decided to just keep me in. Fortunately they did as I went into labour (well, properly anyway since I had technically been in labour for a couple of days). The labour wasn't progressing (as in, I just didn't dilate, at all, despite having extremely severe contractions that were consistent with much later stages of labour) so it was suggested to me that I go for a c-section before it got to the point where my son was in distress (as they were pretty sure that's what was going to happen considering how far off I was) as this is what had happened with my daughter. I agreed straight away as it was all just too hard, and I didn't want the same scary experience I had with my daughter.

Had it been a straight-forward labour during the day? She probably would have been waiting somewhere in the hospital with my parents. I had told my dad he was on babysitting duties (she is a grandad's girl) so no doubt he would have taken her walking around the hospital, so that she could come in and visit straight away. I would not have had her in there with me though. I don't think it's really the place for a young child to be, and it would have distressed her to see me in pain. Also, at that age she would be bored easily and probably get in the way.

Janice - posted on 04/13/2012

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My daughter was 25 months and we had family members ready to take care of her when I went into labor. We dropped her off with my sister on the way to the hospital and then my hubby left about an hour after our son was born to get her and bring her to meet her brother.



I think seeing mom in so much pain would be scary for most young children. Also you really cant be worrying about your toddler while trying to birth the next baby.

Audra - posted on 04/13/2012

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My son was 2 and 1/2 and a) I wanted my husband's full attention during labor and b) I felt my son was too young to understand why I was in pain. I felt it might be a bit frightening for him. Afterward, there is still quite a bit of blood and I was still in pain as the staff made minor repairs, and kneaded my abdomen. We had my in-laws bring our son to our room once we were there, and we had a gift for him from his baby brother that he could take back to my in-laws' and play with. I'm glad I could focus on my newborn and share that moment with my husband and then greet my toddler separately, let him know that I'd missed him, and let him have his little brother all to himself to hold and snuggle up to.

Jenifer - posted on 04/13/2012

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we set up a friend to watch our 3 year old for the night if i wasnt done with labor by bed time. we made it into a game, i think we even called it "super special sleepover"

Cara - posted on 04/13/2012

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My daugter will be three when the new baby is born. We are trying to figure put who my daughter can stay with when it happen. I think she is too young to see it.

Elfrieda - posted on 04/12/2012

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My son will be almost 3 when our second will be born, and it never even occurred to me that he would stay for the birth. I assumed I'd ask my parents to come and get him for a sleep-over.

But my husband thought that it might be nice to have him there, or at least in the house (we want to have a homebirth again), especially so that he doesn't feel like the baby intruded on his house and his parents while we had him shipped out of the way.



Overall, I still don't think it's a great idea in our case. I'd be afraid of scaring him if I made noise. He's very empathetic and gets quite distressed when we hear a baby crying in the grocery store or a dog whining or one of his cousins having a tantrum, so I don't think it would be good for him to see Mama hurting.

Jenifer - posted on 04/12/2012

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most hospitals wont let siblings in the room during the actual delivery. its a safety issue. on my second i delivered alone, well with no family, while my husband was taking my little girl out on a fun day., same will happen now with my third, however as soon as your toddler is in the room MAKE SURE TO OOOZZE attention onto them, make them feel very special, because it is very easy to loose yourself in the new baby and make your first born feel replaced. Let them help even if it really snit helping or make every task you ask of them even to just get wipes a huge and mighty task that only they can do. ^_^ good luck!

Jordan - posted on 04/11/2012

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It sounds like almost everyone agreed it is not the best decision. I had a 2 yr old when I gave birth to my second child and she watched part of the video of me giving birth and she FREAKED OUT and started bawling because I was crying in the video. I think under 10 is too young. He/she will be too young to comprehend and it won't be "special" like you hope. They will be too young to remember in the future anyway. Not a good idea in my opinion.

Maren - posted on 04/11/2012

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When I had my second my 2 yr old girl was in the room. She was in there for almost the entire time, it was only the first hour or so that she was not there yet. She was very interested in everything there, asking questions about what was what, and very curious as to what was going on. My husband, and both my parents were there also, we all answered her questions very honestly letting her know what was happening. As labor got more intense she was so good, and sat over on the side of the room just very good and starying out of the way. When it was time to push, she actually sat on a bench directly across from me watching the entire thing while eating fruit snacks, it was kinda funny. She was so good and had no issues.
If I had to do it all over again I would have here there, without question.
Now that she is 5 I will not have her or my son there for the next one.
As long as you are fine with it I do not see any problems with it. It is a personal decision that only you can make, but I think it is a wonderful opportunity.

Crystal Zollinger - posted on 04/11/2012

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I had my 3 yr old stay w grandma cuz I didn't feel it was the rite thing to do having him in room when I'm givin birth. Plus all the questions he would have asked. If I was u let grandma watch ur kid n bring them over once New baby is born

Sarah - posted on 04/11/2012

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I am not big on having my kids watch. For one there are just some things that my kids don't need to see of me if I can help it. For two I get crabby when I am in pain and I don't want to be crabby to my kids (hubby is fine ;) ) this is a special time and I want to make it special and me being crabby at them would not make it special for them. I also never know how that birth will go. There are things that can scare me I don't want them to be scared. For a toddler they are not going to know the difference from visiting after baby is born to being there during. They may be more in the way during. A toddlers attention span is not very long and trying to entertain them while you are in labor can be frustrating and disstracting. To me from a toddlers point of view labor and delivery would be a very scary thing and something they are not going to really understand.

Laura - posted on 04/10/2012

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When my kids were born the 'family birthing center' was in its infancy. My daughter, then not quite 3, spent the morning of her brother's birth playing at neighbor's house while her dad and I were off to the hospital. After the birth her dad went home to tell her the news. She came to visit that evening demanding to hold her brother! It all worked out great.



The birth process is a gritty, no nonsense event. It really would have never occured to me to bring the other kids in. I would think they would be an unnecessary distraction.

Medic - posted on 04/10/2012

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My son would not have known what to do. He probably would have been bored. He stayed with my parents and they all came up after she was born.

America3437 - posted on 04/10/2012

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He was in the room up until I had to push. I just didn't feel he needed to see the birth but came in right after and seemed fine with all of it. I think it just depends on the child and what you feel is right.

Vicki - posted on 04/10/2012

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We haven't crossed that bridge yet but several of my friends have had homebirths, often with other children present. If we have number two I would talk to my son about birth a lot, show him some videos of what it's like, play with what sounds Mum might make (being silly with grunting and shouting etc), involve him in midwife appointments. When in labour I'd arrange to have someone there as a support for him, probably my Mum, to make sure his needs are taken care of. If he's happy and I'm happy I'd have him there but if he's scared/upset/bored or I don't want him there then Mum can take him out to the park or even to her house.



Generally small kids accept it all very matter of factly. From hearing friends experiences they don't seem fazed by it at all, often spend most of the labour watching tv in another room, come in to see the baby coming out and that's that.

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