Welcoming a new baby to the family is an exciting and joyous event…that can also be really hard to understand if you’re the expectant older sibling. Young children can have a hard time understanding why the new addition requires so much time and attention. They may also want to know why the brand-new baby seems to only sleep and eat. New babies are fun, but for kids they can also be confusing.
The good news for us parents is that there are lots of helpful books to help with the transition from only child to older sibling. Books like these work best in the context of larger conversations with your child about how life will be different after the baby arrives. Taking the time to read and talk about the new baby coming into your life will be a great reminder that no matter what, your older child is loved and has a special place in your family.
12 Books for Families Expecting a New Baby
My New Baby by Rachel Fuller – My New Baby is part of a series of board books by Rachel Fuller that are designed to introduce very young children to the idea of a new baby joining the family. I recommend getting all of Fuller’s books and reading them often as the pregnancy progresses!
The New Baby by Mercer Mayer – Little Critter is having trouble adjusting to the new baby in his home. She doesn’t seem to like the same things he does. Once he learns how to interact with her in the right way, he decides having a baby sister isn’t so bad!
Babies Don’t Eat Pizza: A Big Kid’s Book About Baby Brothers and Baby Sisters by Diane Danzig – This book might be my favorite on the list. It’s a humorous and straightforward guide that helps youngsters understand every aspect of having a new sibling. It addresses issues like multicultural families, adoption, breastfeeding, and babies with special needs, and even includes tips for parents.
You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan – The transition from only child to older sibling can be difficult. This book is a great reminder for oldest children that they will always have a special place in their parents’ hearts, and will be just as loved as the new baby.
A New Baby is Coming: A Guide for a Big Brother or Sister by Emily Menendez-Aponte – This book from the “Elf-Help” series helps young children understand all the changes that come with a new baby. It has a gentle style, with friendly elves to help guide the way.
I’m a Big Brother and I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole – You might recognize Cole as the author of the famous Magic School Bus series, but she’s also created these lovely picture books that are perfect for new older siblings. These books would be a great gift for a new big brother or sister.
Big Sisters Are the Best and Big Brothers Are the Best by Fran Manushkin – Manushkin is one of my favorite children’s book authors, and the books she has created for older siblings are incredibly special. In a kind and helpful tone, Manushkin lets young readers know why being the big brother or sister is such an important job.
Big Brother Daniel by Angela C. Santomero – Daniel Tiger is a loved by parents and kids for the patient way he teaches life lessons. In this book, Daniel welcomes baby Margaret to the family, and illustrates how older siblings can be helpful and kind.
The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby by Stan and Jan Berenstain – There is a Berenstain Bears book for almost everything, and this topic is no exception! This book shares how Brother Bear’s life was changed when Sister came into the family.
Baby on the Way by Martha and William Sears – Dr. William and Martha Sears are well-known authors of books for parents about raising children, and they also have a series for children about what to expect when a new baby comes. This book portrays many aspects of attachment parenting, so if this book suits your lifestyle, I highly recommend picking it up.
What Brothers Do Best and What Sisters Do Best by Laura Numeroff – The author and illustrator (Lynn Munsinger) of the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie… series have also created a book series for siblings. Big brothers and big sisters can do all kinds of cool things, but what is it that they do best?
Mama’s Belly by Kate Hosford — This gorgeous book explores all the excitement and anxiety around welcoming a new sibling into the family. A little girl helps her pregnant mother, and wonders with her what her new sibling will be like. This calm and soothing story will remind new older siblings that there is enough love in a family for everyone.