Hand to Hold believes that the premature birth of a baby, a baby born with special health care needs or the loss of a baby due to these and other complications affects the lives of all family members. Like parents, siblings need support, encouragement and information to navigate through some of life’s most challenging circumstances. The sibling relationship is unique, being viewed by many as the most influential and longest lasting relationship in the family unit.
Hand to Hold recognizes the need to increase support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters. The goal of the sibling support program is not only to support siblings but also to increase the understanding of sibling issues by parents, health care providers and the community at-large.
Support Now Available
- You can request a peer match with another family who has faced issues with supporting the unique needs of siblings.
- 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, who has passed away or has special health care needs.
- Follow the latest developments on our PreemieBabies101 blog sibling category.
- Download a free printable activity book just for siblings from our printables page.
- If your baby is still in the NICU, bring your sibling to the next Sibling Sundaes event (see below) so they can learn more about their baby brother or sister.
- Of course, you can call Hand to Hold at any time for advice, resources and support from a parent who has shared your situation.
SIBLING RESOURCE LIBRARY – Articles about Supporting the Siblings of a NICU Baby
- Answering Your Children’s Questions about a Baby in the NICU by Laura Romero (NEW)
- What Causes Children Stress: Understanding Children’s Developmental Stages and Common Stressors by Laura Romero (NEW)
- I’m Special Too: Ways to Help Siblings Feel Important by Laura Romero (NEW)
- Growing Together: Ways to Involve Siblings in a NICU Experience and After by Laura Romero (NEW)
- We’re a Family Now: Setting Sibling Expectations by Laura Romero (NEW)
- For the Love of Cameron – Siblings and Their Needs by Laura Romero (NEW)
- Don’t Forget the Siblings: Ways to Support the Entire Family During a Hospital Stay by Khris Ford
- BONUS: Download a list of books we recommend for children. (NEW) PRINT
Check out Hand to Hold’s Pinterest Board: For the Brothers and Sisters of NICU Babies
PROGRAMS JUST FOR KIDS: Sibling Sundaes
Having your little brothers and sisters in the NICU can make life a little rough! Kids need support as much as parents do! Come Join Hand to Hold for the next Sibling Sundaes event. The next date will be scheduled soon.
Hospitals participating in this program include:
St. David’s Medical Center (Austin, Texas)
St. David’s North Austin Medical Center
Siblings will 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 Laura Romero or call 512-924-8655 or toll-free 855-424-6428 ext. 2 to find out more about this program.
For more information and to get involved, contact Laura Romero, laura [at] handtohold [dot] org