Our oldest two kids are going to be 4.5 and almost 3 years old when baby No. 3 arrives. I have no doubt that they will make a great big brother and sister, but I’m a little nervous my baby-obsessed daughter may sneak the baby into her room in the middle of the night. My son might try and see if the baby can catch a baseball. When I learned that Olathe Health offered a siblings class, we immediately signed up.
The class was held on a Saturday morning so my husband was able to come along as well. The kids each found a seat, and we sat right behind them so we could help them out when needed. Each child got to introduce themselves so they could get familiar with one another and then the teachers read them a book about being an older sibling. After the story, a short, kid friendly movie all about babies and their needs was shown, along with snack with juice! I didn’t know this was going to be provided so I was relieved because the 90-minute class fell over snack time.
Next, it was time to practice on the baby dolls. The big brothers and sisters learned how to hold a baby, how to swaddle them, change a diaper and what kind of toys are and are not appropriate for babies. I loved that they used an empty toilet paper roll to show that if a toy could fit through it, it was too small for a baby. I was surprised that even my 2 year old did a pretty decent job changing a diaper. Looks like I have built in babysitters when I need a nap… kidding… kind of.
The last part of the class involved a tour of the labor and delivery floor and a peek through the nursery window at a real newborn! Since the new birth center isn’t quite open (opening in May), we toured the old one but the kids still got to see what mommy’s room will look like, and all the gadgets they might see when they visit. This can be a really scary time for siblings, so it’s a good idea to take them on a tour before the big day. At the nursery, the staff showed the siblings the bracelets the baby will have on as well as what their belly buttons will look like. Also important details that can catch a child off guard when they first meet a newborn.
We left with big brother and big sister certificates and a goody bag. We were all so pleased with our experience, and I think the kids are better prepared. My husband and I are a little less nervous about bringing another tiny human into our home.
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About the author: My name is Sarah and I’ve been a Kansas gal my whole life; born and raised in Manhattan but have been living in KC for 6 years. I have a degree in Family Studies and Human Services and I’m wife to Derek and mom to Collins (4), Brooks (2) and baby 3 who will arrive this Summer. We are big K-State fans and also cheer for our Royals and Chiefs. We are lucky enough to have a lot of family close by so we enjoy spending as much time as we can with them or doing all the fun things KC has to offer.