Our family just got bigger. To help with the transition to being a family of four I registered our preschooler in the Big Brother, Big Sister class at Tucson Medical Center. Adjusting to the needs and joys of a newborn impacts the whole family, and amid all the excitement and craziness of a new baby in the house, older siblings can feel a little left out. My preschooler and I recently spent a Saturday morning in the company of six other soon-to-be older siblings learning some skills to aid in the transition.
Nikki, a TMC for Children's Child Life Specialist, led the ninety minute class, energetically involving the participants in play as they learned how to swaddle, feed, diaper and hold a baby. Nikki skillfully coaxed the children to discuss their feelings, excitement and concerns, about a new sibling as the children made bookmarks. Nikki highlighted the special role that siblings have for their new infant siblings, making them laugh, playing gently to encourage them to interact using jingle bells and rattles. The class was perfectly pitched to my near five-year old and engrossed her for the full ninety minutes. My daughter left excited to try her new found skills on her new sibling, well all except the diapering. She still isn't convinced about changing a dirty diaper.
The Big Brother, Big Sister class is offered every month for just $15, you can find out more here.