22. What can I do to prepare my older child(ren) for the arrival of new multiples?
Parents should prepare older children during pregnancy so they can feel like they are a part of the experience. Reassure children that your love and care for them will not waiver even with all of the changes that will result from having a house full of new babies. If your hospital offers a big sister/ big brother program, consider taking advantage of this opportunity even if a close family member must accompany the child(ren) to this program while you are on bedrest.
If the child is old enough and the NICU allows, give older siblings an opportunity to see the babies in the hospital. If not, try to bring home a picture of each baby for the sibling to keep. Be sure to answer all of their questions honestly and with age appropriate responses. Be aware that your child(ren) may also have real fears about your health as your level of activity changes, especially if you have an ante-partum hospitalization. Being honest and validating their concerns and fears is very important and should not be diminished since these feelings are very real to your child(ren).
Once the babies are born, be sure to reinforce the use of the word “We” and not a “Me” or “Them”.
MOST's book Expecting Multiples: A Comprehensive Guide covers a variety of topics related to caring for siblings during a higher-order multiple pregnancy with more information on siblings in our Infant Multiples Packet as well.
Read this sample Sibling's Spotlight article
To purchase articles on siblings, see the MOST Supertwins Store.
MOST also has a whole section of the MOST website dedicated to fun and safe online activities for children. Visit MOST Jr. today.
Copyright MOST 2005 Updated 7/23/10