Preemie question ♥Wishing&Hoping 1 angel baby; Fresno, California 8072 posts8th Apr
If you had a preemie that had to stay in the nicu for an extended period of time, how did you help their older siblings understand what was going on? My cousins fianc
Elle With FOUR! 4 kids; Kansas 18928 posts8th Apr
My daughter wasn't a preemie, but she was a heart patient...we had 4 months of hospital stays, and numerous more to follow. Explaining to the boys has always been rough, especially my oldest, who is a very typical protective older brother. However, we just did the best we could to tell him that she didn't feel good and the doctors were trying to make her all better so she could come home and learn how to play with him. I gave him pictures of her (with minimal tubes/wires/etc) to tote around with him and do with as he pleased, and he liked to know that she had pictures of him with her, too....not that she really knew what a picture was, but, it made HIM feel better...so we'd make sure and get the pictures of him at the foot of her bed in as many pictures to show him as we could.
lolajessup Due July 25; 18 kids; 1 angel baby; Beaverton, Michigan 44034 posts8th Apr
We just told my dd that she was too small and was still supposed to be in mommys belly and that she needed some help. She wasn't in very long but if she had had issues breathing and such (which we had prepared out dd for cause we didnt know how early or sick she'd be) we explained that she could have issues breathing because they can't breathe that early cause they're body is still growing and it's not ready to be born. And we did prepare her for death as well because we are very real about things and she knew I was scared and sad so why lie to her? We just said that she had an issue and she could bleed to death and thrs why mommy had to be in the hospital so that the drs could take good care of us in case something happened. My dd is 5. But 5-6 are old enough to understand how bodies work with growing and breathing and all that and they understand hospitals and drs helping when were sick. They just need to be honest and tell him on a level he can understand. And tell him what they are comfortable sharing. Kids don't think te way we do. They're pretty matter of fact. They don't have the emotional response we do. He might be sad or scared for the baby but they see things as they are. They should just answer his questions the best they can. If they don't have an answer they should just say "we don't know yet, the doctors are keeping him safe right now and we just have to be patient and wait". And if they believe in god it helps to pray with them and show them how to pray when they may feel sad or scared.
HamHam 18 kids; India 3485 posts8th Apr
We told my 3-yr old DD that baby brother was at the hospital because he was not well enough to be at home yet, and the doctors were helping him get big & strong. She is a big helper and was excited to do "big sister" stuff, so she would draw pictures for DS' "room" in the NICU, she took care of his stuffed animals, and we have each other updates about how things were going. I gave her updates about baby, and she gave updates about how the stuffed animals were doing. I spent a lot of my day at the NICU for 4 weeks ( as well as 1.5 weeks hospitalized before his birth) and explained to DD that I was there to give baby milk, to tell him stories about big sister, and to make sure the nurses were helping him get big and strong. We also spent 1-2 times a week at the hospital. She couldn't go in the NICU for a while due to it being flu season, but they have a kids area and family resource center that we spent time in. It helped her understand the hospital was a "good" place for brother.
Faith & Serenity's Mom 50 kids; Illinois 26316 posts10th Apr
I had my daughter 6 weeks early back in October. I showed my oldest pictures & explained to her why her sister couldn't come home yet. We tried to involve her as much as possible but it was hard when she wasn't able to go into the nicu because of it being rsv season & her being young.