We usually get a new game for each kid, some art and craft activities, and a movie or something and they hang out with their dad until they fall asleep. With DS 1, he was born before they fell asleep. DS 2 wasn't born until just after 5 in the morning, so they got to sleep while waiting for his arrival. My best friend checks in on them for me but she sticks by my side for the most part. My dh isn't much into the birth scene.
What kind of activities do you plan to or have you put together for older siblings?
Someone posted about the big castles and such that they can color during labor when I was in labor last time. We ended up getting one for Christmas that year from my mom (after he was born) and it would have taken them days to color it and they could play in it too. http://amzn.com/B005GQV160 You could also record books on tape for them to listen to. If you have a tablet like a Kindle or iPad, there are usually books that can be purchased for those that will already read aloud. I've heard of the kids baking a birthday cake. I don't know what I'm going to do with mine. I have a 10 year old, a 7 year old, and will be almost 2 year old. I have no one that can come watch them at this time and I have no place they can go. I"m wondering if the 10 year old can watch the 2 year old and the 7 year old (who loves watching birth videos; even mine) can comfort the 10 year old (who hasn't made it through a birth video yet). If an emergency happened, I guess, we'd have to call someone and hope they can hang in there for the 30 minutes it'd take for someone to get there.
I always felt much more relaxed knowing my children were close by when I was in labor. And my 17yo has cut all of her siblings' cords, as well as doing the same for our grand baby.
When my now-11-yo son was with me for the birth of his now-almost-7yo sister, he had a moment while I yelled as she crowned...he simply went around a corner and stomped that "he was just DONE.". . One of our older girls and one of our midwives checked on him, but there was no pressure for him to squeeze back into our tiny bathroom, where she was being born in the shower. He still remembers that, but it isn't a negative memory for him...it is more something he teases me about.
So, this time we have the same plan.
The last two times I have gone into labor at 3 a.m., it has worked nowhere to near my advantage. LOL Kids woke up with me and STAYED awake from there on out both times. We've never had anything specific for them to do, they usually just run around and live goes on. LOL Which is kind of nice because they've been able to see their siblings born and I think that's really special. This time I might try to have some little things for them to do, particularly because my eldest is REALLY involved in this whole thing and I know she will get really antsy if it takes a while. LOL