Read these books to your little one to prepare them for their new role as a big sibling.
Reading aloud is a powerful tool to help children learn, so it’s a reliable way to prepare them for their new role as big brother or sister. These stories open the door to conversation with your little one as your family adjusts to the excitement and changes that a new baby brings.
Written by Catholic writer Regina Doman, this unique picture book tells the story of an unborn baby and how it might feel to be born and acclimate to life outside the womb. If that sounds a little odd, don’t worry: The story is told in a wonderfully gentle and age-appropriate way. This book is the perfect read for a new big sibling since it presents the baby’s perspective, helping your older child to have compassion and understanding for the newcomer in the family. The sweetness and creativity of this story guarantee it will be a family favorite.
If you get just one book on this list, pick this one. It lists reasons that it’s fun to be a “big kid” and reassures the child that he or she is very special to Mom and Dad. It addresses the emotions of becoming a big sibling in a positive, encouraging way.
Written by the attachment parenting guru (and a recent Catholic convert) Dr. Sears, it features practices like breastfeeding, baby-wearing, and the baby sharing a bedroom with parents. If that’s your family’s style, this book will be a perfect fit. It offers a thoughtful and realistic description of what kids can expect when the baby arrives.
This book really conveys the idea that a new baby is something to be grateful for. When the little boy in the story beams with joy at holding his baby sister for the first time, you can feel his love for her radiate from the page. Best of all, the story is true: The book was written by that little boy, who grew up to become the beloved children’s book author Tomie DePaola, who recently passed away.
This story is about a little boy struggling with the changes that come with the arrival of his new sister, ending as he happily accepts her presence. This is a great one to start a conversation about the range of big feelings that come with a new baby.
This is a little different from the others on this list in that it does not describe what to expect with a new baby in the house, but rather tells the story of a new big sibling who is upset about the changes the new baby brings, and decides to run away—to a new home under the dining room table. It’s a hilarious read. You won’t be able to get through it without laughing. It’s also a good tool for discussing feelings of jealousy big siblings may have, and makes clear their irreplaceable role in the family.
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