The arrival of a new baby is a reason for celebration in any household. The joy can be punctuated with the anxiety of an older child who may not look at the new addition to the family as welcome. The reason for this anxiety could be that s/he thinks that the new baby will usurp his/her importance in the family or that s/he might not enjoy as much attention and care as before.
It is a good idea to prepare your child for the arrival of a sibling, and what better way than to do it with books!
Here are 10 books that you can get started with!
Recommended for ages: 2 to 5
1. The Berenstain Bear’s New Baby, by Jan & Stan Berenstain
If your little one is a fan of the incredibly lovable Berenstain Bear Family, then s/he is going to lap this one up. In this story, the older bear sibling grows to accept and welcomes his sister to the family, with the help of Mama and Papa Bear.
2. My New Baby, by Rachel Fuller
This simple, colourful board book is ideal for preparing young toddlers for the new baby. It doesn’t contain a story line. Instead, the book is a collection of snapshots of how daily life is with a baby in the house and how relationships begin and bonding develops between siblings. It is perfect for kids at this age as they have short attention spans and may not be able to focus on a lengthy story.
There is another board book “Waiting For Baby” by Rachel Fuller on the same theme.
3. I’M A Big Sister, by Joanna Cole
This colourful and engaging picture book will help your older child get ready to the idea of being a big sister/brother without being too preachy. The gender of the baby is not revealed, hence you can just insert the name of your new baby while reading it to your child. There is an equivalent for boys – I’M A Big Brother, available too.
4. What Brothers Do Best, by Laura Numeroff and Lynn Munsinger
This beautiful board book celebrates all the wonderful things that makes an elder brother super special. Brothers can push little siblings on a swing, make music with them, and take them to the library. It prepares the child for an expanding family and shows him that in spite of a new addition, he is as much loved as ever. As there is not much text on each page, it is great for young kids who have just begun to read and/or have short attention spans.
5. On Mother’s Lap, by Ann Herbert Scott
It is a beautiful book that doesn’t touch the tiny details of welcoming a new baby and being an older sibling. However, it teaches young children something incredible, that even though there is a new baby in the house, there is always time and room on the mother’s lap.
Recommended for: Ages 5+
6. I’M Going To Be A Big Sister, by Brenda Bercun
This informative book is less of a story, and more of a how-to manual for introducing the idea of a new baby to an older sibling. It discusses, tactfully though, how the baby comes out of mommy’s tummy and how older siblings can play an active role in the life of the baby. The book comes with handy tip sheets for the older child and a CD containing short, peppy songs.
7. Benny & Beautiful Baby Delilah, by Jean Van Leeuvan
This beautifully illustrated book deals with baby envy in a sweet and heart-warming manner. Benny has a new baby sister, Delilah, who cries a lot and doesn’t even play trucks with him. He doesn’t like her much and wants a new baby who doesn’t cry. But, one day he makes the baby smile and that smile wins his heart over.
8. Little Miss, Big Sis by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
This rhyming book is about Little Miss who is about to become a helpful big sis. The book provides readers a glimpse into the life of a big sister. It not only covers the first few weeks of the new baby, but also the time when the baby starts walking, talking and hugging. Simple illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds make this read all the more charming.
9. Babies Don’t Eat Pizza, by Dianne Denzig
This book is not about pizza at all. In fact, this Mom’s Choice Award Gold Recipient book, gives older brothers and sisters an idea of what life will be like when the new baby arrives. It talks about how babies eat, sleep, cry a lot, pull hair and even about their stinky bottoms. It teaches older kids on what they can do to help parents care for and entertain the baby.
10. What Baby Needs, by Christie Kelly, Martha Sears, and William Sears
Meant for slightly older siblings, this book helps children understand why baby gets attention and what mom and dad are going to be doing with a new baby. The book also talks about breastfeeding, co-sleeping and baby wearing.
Take your pick mommies and tell us which book you are your older one enjoyed the most together!
Also Read: 4 Books You Should Read to Your Children
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