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Three Great Reasons to Take a Sibling Class!

January 14, 2013

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Annabelle’s 1st Birthday! Big Brothers Owen (7) & Chase (4)

Having personally gone through the delicate new sibling introduction twice and guided hundreds of new parents as they welcome new babies over the years, I’m acutely aware of how incredibly helpful it can be to prepare for the transition ahead of time. Yes, every family and child is unique and will react in various ways, but the bottom line remains that it’s not easy for young children to accept a newborn into the home. With a new sibling comes added responsibility for them—they’re suddenly expected to be more patient and open to sharing everything from their homes and toys to their parents’ love and attention. That’s why it’s so important to consider and learn about the best ways to ease kids into it, starting during pregnancy, and monitoring and being prepared to handle a myriad of situations in a positive manner once the baby is born.

When I set out to establish our Boston Baby Beginnings’ Sibling class I knew it would be important to design it with kids as young as one and two-years-old in mind (as opposed to typical sibling classes geared toward three- to seven-year-olds). Caring for patients/parents directly on the postpartum unit for years and helping them prepare for the first visit (typically at last minute) of their little one(s) gave me great insight as to what worked and what did not.

Before I knew it, I had compiled a plentiful outline with invaluable tips for (and straight from) parents, as well as effective ideas for sibling-welcoming children’s activities. To elevate the course even further I partnered with my dear friend, Amanda who is an educator and owner of Excited 2 Learn. With her guidance and expertise on board we thought strategically about the curriculum and modified each activity for younger and older children so that everyone—parents and siblings of all levels aliketruly benefit from attending the class.

Thus, Boston Baby Beginnings’ mission is to not only provide professional guidance for each family’s new sibling transition, but also through our activities to create treasured keep sakes.

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The impossible task….a photo of all three

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Big Brother Owen loves reading to his siblings

So, why attend a Sibling Class?

Insider Information: When you attend a sibling class you are made privy to tried and tested tips on everything from sibling preparation before your new baby is born to first introduction best practices and how best to handle inevitable situations that arise in the first postpartum weeks. For example, one recommendation our Boston Baby Beginnings’ Sibling Class shares when it comes to the first sibling introduction at the hospital is to have Dad/Partner bring the older sibling onto the unit as opposed to another relative or family friend. (Whether a grandparent drives the little one in and Dad/Partner meets them in the lobby or Dad/Partner goes home to get them is up to the parents.) Mom should be contacted prior to their arrival so she can bring the baby to the nursery so that when the older sibling arrives, they get to greet just Mom. This gives the sibling and mom time to reconnect in a less intimidating setting and then the entire family can go to the nursery and meet the new baby.

Two-fold Validation: During a sibling class your child will be able to see that other kids are expecting new babies too. That alone paired with the content of the class helps them validate any feelings they have. And for parents it’s nice to be able to connect with families that are going through similar things—and many even end up keeping in touch outside of class!

Activities and Keepsakes: The activities done in class to welcome your new baby can be used as framed decoration in the baby’s room, brought as a gift to the hospital, or saved in a baby book. We make sure parents have heartfelt “take homes” they can share with their family members and eventually the new sibling for years to come.photo(5)

The bike trail is a family favorite.

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