Looking after siblings when a baby dies Losing a baby is a devastating and uniquely personal experience and for many it is a heart-breaking and challenging reality. Our counselling team has many years of experience in providing support and understanding at the most difficult of times. Here our family counsellor Yvonne shares her thoughts on how to look after brothers and sisters when a baby has died. We hope you find it helpful. Yvonne says: “The sorrow felt when a baby dies is immense – the pain of knowing that the loss is permanent, along with the loss of hopes and dreams. “Children of all ages mourn and yearn for their baby brother or sister. “In our experience, grief is best managed when it is out in the open and siblings may cope with loss better in a caring, safe and warm environment that encourages the expression of emotion. “Sharing emotions with young children is healthy, telling your children how you feel and why you feel for example sad, angry or frustrated can help them to face and sort out their own feelings. “Children can be more anxious when they have a feeling something is wrong but things appear normal. “Be honest, reassuring and patient with the children as they experience their own grief. Your physical warmth and touch will provide a sense of security and create trust, letting your children know you are there for them in this difficult time. “Avoid excluding and isolating children and make time for them even though you are bearing your own grief. “Your special attention demonstrates love and support when your children need it the most. “There are many books available for children with information about grief. Often children love it when a parent reads to them and this can be therapeutic and provide closeness.” Yvonne particularly recommends Are You Sad, Little Bear? by Rachel River, and Always and Forever by Debi Gliori and Alan Durant. Hope House Children’s Hospices offers counselling and bereavement support to children and families living in Shropshire, Cheshire, Mid and North Wales who have been affected by the death of a baby, child or young person up to the age of 25 years when they died. Our service is free and confidential. For more information please email counselli[email protected].