You may remember that back in June I began providing coverage in NICU. While I am in no way a child life NICU expert, I wanted to share some tips and tricks in working with this unique population and their families. Luckily, my NICU already had a sibling program set in place when I arrived. Siblings ages 3-12 are able to visit their new baby brother/sister for 1 hour each day after completing the child life sibling program. I, of course, lead the sibling program where I go over why their baby is in the hospital, introduce medical play opportunities along with therapeutic activities, and orient them to the hospital. I then accompany the siblings to their baby’s room and help foster that first connection between the siblings. In doing these sibling visits I’ve witnessed some of the most tender, precious moments and I’m so thankful that I’m able to be a part of it.
Here are some of the things I use during my sibling visits
1. The Big Brother & Big Sister Guide to NICU; this is a workbook I made that goes over everything we need to cover during our sibling program. It includes pictures of things the siblings will see, a dictionary for things they may hear, the rules they must follow while in the NICU, and some therapeutics.
2. Big Sister/Big Brother Award; these I got for free on teacherspayteachers.com. I laminated them and then fill in the sibling and the baby’s name with sharpie; very official!
3. Baggie filled with medical play materials to take home.
5. I’m a big brother/ I’m a big sister stickers
6. “Your New Baby is Here!” coloring book. I found this coloring book on NATUS.com. Not only are they cute, printable, and developmentally appropriate but you can download them in 6 different languages!
7. (not pictured) gold medal to celebrate sibling for being a great big brother/sister.
For all of the resources mentioned above:
Click here for PDF printables: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1SgijvFCj2Yj5fqNK_eY_wG2D21qDNdUX
Click here for Must Have items for NICU Siblings: http://a.co/6fv0Eav