Above: Big brother Teddy's proud moment meeting his baby sister Jennifer on April 21, 2016.
Watching our children become siblings is a memorable and formative time. When my husband and I were expecting our daughter, Jennifer, we prepared our son (as best as possible) by reading him a lot of books about being a big brother, mommy having a baby in her belly, and what would happen when baby arrived. While he was a little under 2 at the time, these books have indeed become favorites that we still read now that he is becoming a big brother again to his new brother coming in March. Jennifer has a slightly different taste in books (word and board books are her favorites), but she loves babies SO MUCH that I am not quite as worried about her transition to becoming a big sister as I was with Teddy.
Since it's so cold in many parts of the United States right now, it's the perfect time to snuggle up with your little one(s) and read some good books, perhaps with a warm tea, coffee, or hot chocolate for yourself.
Here is a list of my top 3 favorite books about becoming a big brother or sister, in no particular order:
1. The New Baby by Mercer Mayer
This one is precious, especially because it emphasizes that the older child is indeed “so lucky” to get a baby sibling. It has a positive tone that getting a sibling is indeed a good thing, and that there are important ways the big kid can help with the new baby.
2. I’m a Big Brother/I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole, Illustrated by Rosalinda Kightley
Teddy has this one nearly memorized, which is absolutely precious. It does not hurt that he looks a bit like the boy in the book. I also like that you can get a boy or girl version of the book based upon which sex your child is. The story emphasizes that there are exciting things about being older, like being able to walk, talk, play with toys, and eat “big kid” foods and reminds the child of their parents’ unconditional love, even though that love is now being extended to the new baby too.
3. On Mother’s Lap by Ann Herbert Scott, Illustrated by Glo Coalson
This book was first introduced to me by my own mom. It is about an Eskimo mother and two boys. The older child enjoys being rocked by his mother and seems to be okay with his toys, special objects, and puppy also being rocked by his mother. However, when his baby brother begins crying, his mother suggests that she rock him too, reminding her older child that “there is always room on Mother’s lap”. Although he is a bit stubborn at first, he warms up to the idea eventually. My mom loves getting this as a present for mothers expecting their second child. The illustrations are captivating.
Will any of your older child(ren) be attending your birth? Birth Boot Camp has an excellent Sibling workbook on preparing your children for the birth of your new child. Check it out here!
What have been some of your favorite books to read to your kids during your pregnancy? What am I missing on my list?
By Liz Escoffery
Certified FertilityCare Practitioner & Birth Boot Camp Instructor
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