Tara Karels, a registered nurse and certified childbirth educator at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, offered the following tips for parents to help prepare older children for the arrival of a baby.
* Try not to make too many changes in your child's routine near the time of the baby's birth.
* Call your child when you are in the hospital to say how much you love him/her.
* Allow your child to visit you and the baby in the hospital.
* If you cannot arrange to have your older child with you when you are discharged from the hospital, try to have someone else carry the baby into your home so you can go straight to your child and give him/her your complete attention.
* Consider buying a special gift for your child from the baby.
* Remind visitors to pay attention to the baby's siblings.
* Include your older children in pictures.
* Accept any regressive behavior and allow your children to talk about their feelings, no matter how hurtful they may be.
* Spend time alone each day with your older children.
* Remind your older children of their worth in the family and your love for them.
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