Sibling Support


Hand to Hold knows that the premature birth of a baby, a baby born with special health care needs or the loss of a baby affects the lives of all family members. Like parents, siblings need support, encouragement and information. So Hand to Hold has created comprehensive programs and services to support both you and those you love.


Or goal is to not only increase support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters, but also to work with families and providers to advocate for sibling issues. If you need help, you’re not alone. Connect with other families and with new resources:

  • Talk to people who understand. Request a peer match with another family who has faced issues with supporting the unique needs of siblings.
  • Download an activity page. Hand to Hold has a sample activity page just for siblings (see below).
  • Learn about the power of play and professionals who can help. Read What Does a Child Life Specialist Do?
  • Find appropriate books. Hand to Hold has reviewed select children’s books that can be useful when talking to a sibling about a brother or sister who has come early, has special health care needs, or has passed away. And when you shop at Amazon Smile they will make a donation to Hand to Hold.
  • Read about issues you care about. Follow Hand to Hold on our PreemieBabies101 blog.
  • Connect with other parents. NICU Family Forum is Hand to Hold‘s Facebook forum dedicated to idea that support from other families is the best kind of support.
  • Learn about in-NICU support. If your baby is still in the NICU, Hand to Hold offers our Sibling Sundaes program in select NICUs. Email support [at] handtohold [dot] org to learn more about bringing sibling support to your NICU or to volunteer.
  • Of course, you can call Hand to Hold at any time for advice, resources and support from a parent who has shared your situation.



NICU Tour for SiblingsA  NICU Tour for Siblings FREE VIDEO FOR SIBLINGS – Hand to Hold has produced a NICU Tour in English and Spanish specifically for siblings who have a brother or sister in the neonatal intensive care unit. Use this video to extend family-centered care practices in your NICU. Hand to Hold’s tour is led by a NICU graduate, Jackson, who explains what a NICU is, about the care babies receive there, how siblings can show their love for their sibling even if they can’t visit them in the hospital. This video answers common questions and prepares big brothers or sisters for baby’s homecoming. Special attention is paid to the importance of hand washing!

Activity Pages for Siblings – Hand to Hold has produced a series of Sibling Activity Pages in English and Spanish to not only provide siblings with something fun to do while visiting the NICU but to help educate them about their baby brother or sister’s NICU stay. The following is a sample of those pages which are available.

Print these pages in English or Spanish.

Hidden Pictures Activity Page - H2H English          Hidden Pictures Activity Page - H2H Spanish

SIBLING RESOURCE LIBRARY – Articles about Supporting the Siblings of a NICU Baby


 Check out Hand to Hold’s Pinterest Board: For the Brothers and Sisters of NICU Babies


Sibling educators with an isolette

Having your little brothers and sisters in the NICU can make life a little rough! Kids need support as much as parents do! 

Siblings enjoy ice cream and a full-program of family-centered activities. Siblings learn about why babies are in the NICU, see first-hand the medical equipment used to keep babies in the NICU healthy and safe, are taught how to keep germs away from babies, and create a special craft for their own baby sister or brother. Contact our Family Support Navigators at support [at] handtohold [dot] org  or call toll-free 855-424-6428  ext. 702 to find out more about this program or to volunteer.

siblings enjoying blue bell ice cream  Siblings at Ice Cream and Isolettes now Sibling Sundaes


Sibling Sundaes Diploma




  1. This is such a great project! Keep us posted!