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Preparing for a New Baby? 8 Books to Read to Your Children About Their New Sibling

This blog post was written by guest blogger, Emily McDonald. You can find her on Instagram here. 🙂

8 Books to Prepare Your Child for the Arrival of a New Baby 

Welcoming a new baby brother or sister to the family is no small feat. Your kids may have a lot of questions about pregnancy, birth, and what to expect when the new baby comes. Your little one may have some (very common!) concerns about their place in the family with a new baby around. These books can help to answer your child’s questions and address their fears. Here are 8 wonderful books to read to your child before you welcome a new baby to your family. 

Monkey Not Ready For the Baby by Marc Brown

Monkey is becoming a big brother, and he is not ready— he would prefer to stay a little brother forever. Monkey is afraid of how different things will be with a baby in his house. But when Mommy and Daddy tell him the new baby is coming soon, everyone does their best to help Monkey get on board. They do lots of things to get ready, including putting together the baby’s crib, sorting through the baby’s clothes, and packing Mommy’s hospital bag. Monkey even gets to go to the doctor with Mommy to hear the new baby’s heart beat. Monkey learns that being a big brother is a big, important job. When the day comes for the new baby’s arrival, Monkey is ready. With delightful crayon illustrations and simple prose, Monkey Not Ready For the Baby is perfect for any child transitioning from the little sibling to the big sibling. 

Sophie and the New Baby by Laurence Anholt

Sophie can’t wait to be a big sister. But after the new baby’s long anticipated arrival, Sophie is surprised by how different everything is when her little brother joins their family. The new baby needs all of her parents’ time and attention, and Sophie feels like there isn’t any left for her. 

Describing all of the needs of a newborn baby, this book doesn’t shy away from showing just how challenging a new baby can be. Anholt cleverly uses the passing seasons to convey the changes families move through over time, acknowledging the tough season of adjustment that a newborn brings to a family. Lovely illustrations show scenery outside and inside the home, including beautiful depictions of breastfeeding. Sophie and the New Baby is a great read for children who are having difficulty adjusting to this new season. 

The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall 

When one curious little boy discovers that he is going to be a big brother, he wants to know where babies come from. He asks all of the grown-ups around him, getting a lot of different answers in return. Some say that babies come from the hospital. Some say that babies come from eggs. And most interestingly, some say that babies grow on trees! Can anyone tell me where babies really come from? the curious boy wonders. Frustrated and confused, the little boy goes to his parents for answers— and finds out that everyone is a little bit right. While the bulk of this book is a simple introduction for little ones, in the back of this book you will find a list of questions and answers about conception, pregnancy, and birth for older children (this section is appropriate for children around ages 6-8). 

Little Rabbit’s New Baby by Harry Horse 

Little Rabbit is proud to be a big brother. And when Mama’s pregnancy results in the birth of not one, but three new babies, Little Rabbit can’t wait to play with the babies. But the babies only seem interested in crying and sleeping. Little Rabbit is disappointed that the new babies aren’t the kind of playmates he was expecting. Frustrated with the babies touching his things and taking all of Mama’s attention, Little Rabbit tries to forget all about the new babies. But when the babies can’t get to sleep, it turns out that their big brother is the only one up for the job. With soft illustrations similar to the style of Peter Rabbit, Little Rabbit’s New Baby is perfect for families preparing for the arrival of multiples. 

You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan 

You Were the First is an ode to all of the “firsts” that mark the life of a little one, and the impact those firsts have on parents. From the first cry to the first smile, and the first crawl to the first walk on the beach, oldest children are assured that being the first comes with cherished memories that will forever rest safely in the hearts of their parents. This book reminds young readers that no matter how much love and attention a new baby may require, moms and dads will always hold a special place for the child who made them parents. 

How Big Is Baby? by Kirsten Hall 

This lift-the-flap book is a wonderful resource for kids who are curious about baby’s development in the womb. Each page covers a month of growth for the baby in utero, from month 1 all the way to full-term and delivery. Children can lift the flap over Mama’s belly to look in on the growing baby’s size, with brief notes on how the baby is changing. Not only does this book cover the more common growth comparisons to fruit (baby is now the size of a grape, an eggplant, a cabbage), but it also provides more details for children on what baby is now capable of doing, and how they can interact with the baby in the womb. How Big Is Baby? is a board book, so it is a little more durable; great for little ones who are tougher on books. 

Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson 

Gia is not excited about becoming a big sister. And she really wishes that everyone would stop talking about this ding-dang baby. Aren’t there other exciting things to talk about? Everyone thinks that Gia should be delighted about the new baby, but Gia isn’t excited by the change. Gia loved being with Mama, just the two of them, and this new baby is going to change everything. When Gia tells Mama how afraid she is of this change, Mama reassures her that she too will miss the time when it was only the two of them, and she will cherish it always. Pecan Pie Baby is a wonderful read for any child becoming an older sibling, but an especially great choice for the child of a single parent who is adjusting from “just the two of us”. 

Baby on the Way by William and Martha Sears

Written in second-person narrative, Baby on the Way speaks directly to your little one about the changes coming to their family. Written by an M.D. and an R.N. this book seeks to address the questions your child may have about pregnancy and birth. Unlike most other books of this nature, this one explains to little ones some of the challenges their mothers may experience during pregnancy, describing to young readers that Mama may be tired and uncomfortable during pregnancy, and how that’s okay. Cartoon illustrations show what the baby looks like in utero, and give an age appropriate explanation of how the new baby will be birthed. (There are more detailed explanations for older children, should your child have more questions). Questions on breastfeeding and newborn care are also answered. Little ones are invited to participate in the process through suggestions on ways to help Mom and Dad through this exciting new experience. 

Thank you for reading about 8 books to read to your child before a new baby comes.

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