In some families, it is a wish that older siblings should be involved when a baby sister or brother is born. It requires a little thinking and a lot of planning before the birth. Be sure to prepare children as best as possible regarding what to expect, so they are mentally prepared for what they might see. Also give them a way out in case it gets too much for them and they suddenly want to leave the room. This is slightly easier in a home birth setting as older children can go play in a familiar environment.
It is also necessary to explain to them that it is likely there will be little or no communication with them throughout the later stages of the birth. Towards the end, particularly as contractions hit full power, many women do not have surplus energy to communicate much with other children. Children must understand this and know that there is nothing wrong with them and that they have not done anything wrong. It is necessary to have an adult to help out, if only to be with the child.
Did you have an older sibling at your birth? Would you have sibling there in the future? From what age would you consider it appropriate for them to be at the birth of a sibling? Share your thoughts.