any other siblings present during birth? — The Bump
May 2012 Moms

any other siblings present during birth?

Hi, mamas,

Did any of you have your older kids at the new baby's birth? Our daughter will be 3 and a month when our second is due, and we're debating whether to include her in our birth experience. 

Any advice or stories (good or bad)? 

Thanks in advance! :-)

Re: any other siblings present during birth?

  • I haven't had my second baby but we don't plan to have our son with us. It was so much chaos last time and DH was trying his best not to pass out. I doubt our son will stay in one place very well.
    I will say, we don't live near family so if our sitter options fall through he may end up being there. My hope is a nurse can keep an eye on him in the waiting room when it comes time for delivery.
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  • We just had our second a few days ago and DS was not there for it. I didn't want him in the room because I didn't want him to see me in pain like that. I figured he would get bored really fast in the waiting room. His grandparents brought him up about two hours after the birth. He actually only stayed about an hour because it was getting close to bedtime and young kids get pretty bored in a hospital room and want to play with the equipment and such (at least mine did).
  • Thanks, mamas (and congrats on your new little one, maryxc1!). We were considering it, but there seem to be a lot of really good reasons not to have my daughter there (in no order):

    1. I wouldn't want her to associate the baby with mama suffering, and we want to focus on the birth and not be worried about her well-being, too. (So, no matter how things go, we can be free to focus on the new baby and mama pushing it out, rather than worrying about how an active, curious, easily bored/impatient/needy little one might be reacting and internalizing all of that.)

    2. We wouldn't wake her up in the middle of the night for the birth, so we'd need to have some kind of plan in place in the event of a night birth anyway. So, we might as well just have a plan for the birth, period.

    3. I've heard of families who tried to incorporate the older child, and the father ended up so preoccupied with taking care of the kid that he was basically MIA for the woman trying to give birth. I even heard a story of a dad who missed the birth because the older child insisted on leaving the room just before the mom gave birth. No, thanks!

    So... yeah. We're probably not going to have her there with us. It makes me a little sad-- the nice stories of the child holding the mom's hand while the new baby came out and feeling like they were a part of the birth experience, etc. do sound so beautiful, but it just seems a little risky. Maybe my little girl will mature a bit in the next 19 weeks, though, so we're not totally set. I've heard it's a good idea to show them some kid-friendly birth videos so they know what to expect and then ask them if they'd like to be there. Seems like an intense question, but I guess we'll see how it all plays out. 

    We've signed up for a sibling class about a month before my due date, and I know that this topic will be discussed, so we'll see how that all goes, too. Thanks for your feedback! :-)

  • I think if you are having a home birth and have someone there to specifically watch the older sibling, it would probably work out ok.  There is absolutely no way that my 3 year old will be in the hospital delivery room with me.  First off, I've seen the stuff that lands on the floors in those rooms, and I definitely don't want my 3 year old crawling, rolling, playing, coloring on them.  I also completely agree that DH would have his hands full with her.  I mean, keeping her in one room for 2 hours is a struggle, 4 hours or 6 hours or 28 hours of labor?  No.  And if I had to get rushed into a c section or something?  DH would have to stay with DD and wouldn't be in the room with me. 

    DD will be staying with grandparents and may visit after baby is born.

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  • I have three and would never had wanted the there for active delivery or pushing but I did stay home laboring until transition with my youngest, cooking, bathing the kids, and cuddling. That was nice and made labor so much easier to deal with than being in the hospital that whole time!! I got to the hospital after laboring ALL day at home at 7 he was born 7:20:)
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  • Holy moly,  bellelamb! I just saw your post now-- you delivered 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital?! Wow, you're amazing! :-)
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