We’re adding a baby boy to our household in a couple of months. Naturally, we’re trying to prepare our 6 year old and almost 4 year old for the changes to come. The girls are both excited about the baby, but I’m not sure they fully comprehend the changes that will occur once he is here. They think everything is going to be exactly the same as it is now, but with a cute little baby sitting next to them while they watch My Little Pony.
So, I’m dropping hints about how much their baby brother is going to need me in the beginning. I’ve explained that I will be tired from taking care of him at night, and that I will need them to be big girls and do things for themselves sometimes. We’ve talked about how the baby will need my attention a lot, but that I will still want to snuggle them and read books with them. Of course we talk often about how special it is to be a helpful big sister, and I tell them both that they will always be my baby, too!
I’m sure many of you have been down this road of introducing your young child to the news they are going to be a big sister or big brother. Children’s books are a great resource for preparing your little one for the changes ahead. When we had our second child, we found a couple of books we really liked, and read them to our oldest a lot before she came. She was only 2 years, 8 months old when her little sister was born, so her understanding was limited. The books were handy again when the baby came home, and she would feel jealous of me holding and nursing the baby so often.
Now, with baby #3 on the way, I shopped again to see if there are any new baby sibling books out there. Here’s what I found:
In this Berenstain Bears book, Sister Bear has a lot of questions about the baby on the way. She attends Mama Bear’s ultrasound, and asks the doctor how the baby will come out. The answers to these big questions are handled very well, and very carefully. I found it on Amazon.
Yet another Berenstain Bears book (have you noticed I tend to recommend these a lot in my blogs? They’re just so sweet and traditional and have great values. Love them.). In this one, Sister Bear thinks the new baby girl is a nuisance and struggles a bit with all the attention directed toward her. By the end of the book, however, she learns that the baby just needs a lot of help while it’s little, and her parents did the same for her when she was a baby. Found it on Amazon, as always.
This book, by Joanna Cole, was our fave when we had baby #2. There is also one titled “I’m a Big Brother”, which is same story, but with boy illustrations. This one does a great job of showing the pride that can come with being a big sibling, and reinforces that the big sibling is very special to Mom and Dad, too. There is another (older) edition of this book out there with a different illustrator, but the story is the same. Here’s a link. (It is also available in spanish.)
The New Baby, by Mercer Meyer is not one that we own, but we have many books from the Little Critter series, and they’re all great. (The potty training one, and the Dentist one, in particular.)
God Gave us Two is another one that I haven’t purchased, yet, but it sounds very sweet. Here’s an excerpt that I found online:
Now that Mama polar bear has another baby in her tummy, Little Cub is bursting with curiosity. “Why do we need a new baby?” she asks. “If we don’t like the new baby, can we send it back?”
“Will you forget me when the new baby comes?”
Gently and lovingly, Mama and Papa assure their firstborn that the new baby is a gift from God they want very much, just as Little Cub was–and still is.
We have the sister version of this one (I’m a New Big Sister), but I can’t find it anywhere in our house! It does a great job of reinforcing how special it is to be big, and how proud Mom and Dad are of the new big sibling. Really good.
And lastly, I shared his book awhile ago on my list of recommended children’s books – How to Be a Baby, by Me the Big Sister. This would be a great one for a school-aged child, rather than a toddler or preschooler. An older child has different concerns than a toddler. For example, the crying, the chores that may accompany the new baby, the annoyances… But the overall theme of the book is humor and love and pride in being a big sibling. It’s very witty and entertaining for adults as well. I gave a copy to my big sister a couple of years ago just for fun. Love this book.
There are SO MANY cute books sibling out there, so please share YOUR favorites on our Facebook or Twitter pages! Remember that your local library may have many of these, so you don’t necessarily have to buy them. Also, check out these lists that found online: