Big Brothers, Big Sisters Need Preparation

To the average person, it looks like a group of kids playing with dolls. But soon, this special group will be cuddling up to the real thing.

As five-year old Lainey Schmelzle explains it, "a baby's coming in mommy's tummy."

"I'm really excited!" she says.

Lainey and several other kids spent an evening in a sibling class at Stormont-Vail Health Center. Their parents brought them in hopes of learning some important lessons.

"We wanted her to see what it will be like to be a big sister and learn some things about babies," Lainey's father, Willie Schmelzle, said.

Instructor Lori Hamilton, an occupational therapist, covers it all. She explains what baby will look like when they first see him or her, as well as the proper way to hold a baby and what burping entails. They also discuss how much the baby will need mom and dad, and how a big brother or sister can help.

"Parents have had babies before, but kids haven't had siblings," Hamilton said. "It's a big change! A lot of these children are only children. They've not shared time. They haven't had to share anything to this point!"

The class also includes a stop at the nursery, where Lainey and the others were lucky enough to see a newborn getting a bath. From there, it's off to the hospital room where mom and dad will stay. It's hoped that by knowing what to expect at the hospital, kids and parents will be prepared for what to expect at home.

"It usually helps with the adjustment for the whole families," Hamilton said.

Upcoming Classes
For Children Ages 2 to 4
January 13
February 10
March 9
April 13
May 4
*All classes are from 3:30 to 5 pm at Pozez Education Center; cost is $5 per family

For Children 5 years of age and Older
January 16
February 13
March 12
April 16
May 14
*All classes are 6:30 to 8 pm at Pozez Education Center; cost is $5 per family

To register or for more information, call HealthConnections
(785) 354-5225

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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