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.
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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.
19 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!
These books are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
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!
I recommend sharing this book with kids ages 4 and up.
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.
This fantastic book is great for children ages 4 and up.
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.
I recommend sharing this book with children ages 3 and up. Be warned, it’s a tear-jerker!
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.
This information filled book is great for kids ages 6 and up. We also recommend books from the Elf-Help series on our list of books about divorce.
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.
These books are perfect for sharing with toddlers and preschoolers.
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.
This book is great for toddlers and preschoolers.
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.
Children ages 3 to 5 will love this sweet book.
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.
I recommend sharing this book with kids ages 4 and up.
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.
This book is best for kids ages 4 to 9.
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?
I recommend sharing this book with toddlers and preschoolers.
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.
This lovely story is perfect for kids ages 5 and up.
Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats
Peter watches intently as his father paints his old crib and cradle pink for his new baby sister. But when his parents want to paint his chair, Peter decides this big brother thing is not for him. He decides he is going to run away with his dog Willie, because he feels his family doesn’t need him anymore. What Peter learns is that his new role as a big brother is very important, and he matters to his parents just as much as his sister.
I recommend sharing this beautiful classic with kids ages 3 and up.
Brand-New Baby Blues by Kathi Appelt
This rhyming story follows a little girl as she adjusts to life with a new baby brother. The new baby is taking her old clothes, her old bed, and all of her parents’ attention. The young narrator is not sure what this kid can do to win her love…but somehow, he softens her heart.
This book is an excellent choice for toddlers and preschoolers.
Will It Be a Baby Brother? by Eve Bunting
Edward’s mother is having a baby, and Edward has strong opinions about it. He wants the baby to be a “James” and not a “Sara.” When the big day comes, Edward doesn’t get what he wanted. However, he learns that having a little sister isn’t nearly as bad as he thought.
This gentle story is a fantastic book for sharing with kids ages 2 and up.
Bobo and the New Baby by Rebecca Minhsuan Huang
Older siblings aren’t the only ones who have to adjust when a new baby comes. Bobo is a little dog who loves being the center of his owners’ world. That all changes when a new baby enters the picture. Bobo is not sure about this new arrangement, but he learns to love the new family member, and even becomes protective of the baby. Bobo learns that change can be a good thing.
This sweet and gorgeously illustrated picture book is perfect for children ages 4 and up.
Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn
Lola loves to read, and she can’t read to her new baby brother. Before the new baby comes, she reads all about how to be the best big sister she can. When Leo arrives, Lola reads to him, helps care for him, and uses books to show Leo how much she loves him.
This book is so happy and fun, and I recommend sharing it with kids ages 3 and up.
There’s Going to Be a Baby by John Burningham
This classic story follows a dialogue between a mother and son. The mother is expecting a new baby, and the son has lots of questions. Following this conversation will help children answer many of their own questions about adding a sibling to the household.
This book is great for reading with kids ages 3 and up.
We Are Brothers, We Are Friends by Alexandra Penfold
As a mom of three boys, I especially love this story. In it, an older brother shares with his young sibling about all the fun things they will do together. The older brother promises to teach the younger everything important, like how to play games and how to be a dinosaur.
This fun story is excellent for sharing with children ages 3 and up.
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