Best Books to Help Your Child Adjust to New Baby Sibling

by Ivy B
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I’m no expert on this, but I had finally gotten my daughter to agree to hug and kiss her new sibling.   It only took many months into my second pregnancy for her to accept that there would be a new baby in our lives.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I asked her if she would hug, kiss, and help out with the new baby.  “No” she’d respond sternly.

As long as I can remember, she had never liked babies.  In fact, she’d always wanted to divert our attention from them and remind us SHE was the baby.  It wasn’t until she was about 3 years old that she started to become more comfortable around babies as she’s had a new baby cousin and lots of new babies in our playgroup.

When I realized she needed a little help understanding what being a sibling was like, I knew I wasn’t going to be offering much in the way of positive experiences to help her want to be a good big sister.  In my own upbringing, my family didn’t do much in the way of making a new sibling a positive experience for me.  I’ll spare you the details about my childhood experiences with a new baby brother.

I only know I didn’t want the same experience(s) for my daughter.

I wanted her to want to be helpful and enjoy having a new baby in the house.

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I wanted it to be fun, but I also wanted her to know that she is just as important to us as she was when she was the only child in the house.

And, I needed to remember that my choice to have another baby didn’t mean that I should let her handle some of the dirty work when I wasn’t wanting to get left out of something.

That meant, in order to prepare her for being a good sister, I needed to prepare myself for trying to offer her a more positive experience as a big sister and first child.  So, I began borrowing books from the library so that we both could read up on bringing a new baby into our home, and what it means for all of us.

books new baby sibling

I found the following books useful to help acclimate my daughter to the idea of having a new sibling.  And, I thought you might also like to purchase, or borrow from your local library, some of these!

I have included affiliate links to show you the books, so if you make a purchase after clicking on them, I will earn a small commission.  This is not a comprehensive list and not in any particular order.

A few books to help your child prepare for a new sibling

Hello in There
Big Brother Daniel
Big Brother Daniel by Angela C. Santomero (also available in DVD format)
Big Sisters/Brothers are the Best
Big Sisters are the Best by Fran Manushkin (also available for big brothers)
What to Expect When Mommy's Having a Baby
note: This book uses some mature language about body parts – just want you to be aware that this is a very informative and educational book that isn’t dumbed down.
 
I'm a Big Sister/Brother
I’m a Big Sister (and I’m a Big Brother) by Joanna Cole

I’m sure there were other books we’ve read, but pregnancy brain has gotten to me (and I didn’t think to write a list every time we picked up a book).  Ooops!
These were helpful and my daughter has come around more to the idea of having a new baby in the house.  I have also found that letting her know there are so many things she gets to teach the baby (like brushing up on our sign language and spanish vocab) has her more excited.  And, when she finally got to see the baby move in the belly, her face lit up with pure joy.  I’m certain we still have quite a ride when the baby arrives, but I’m feeling more confident that it’s not a huge disappointment for her.

More Books for Big Sisters | More Books for Big Brothers

Do you have any books you recommend for families to read with their children to help them prepare for a new sibling?  Please share!  

This post originally appeared July 2015 and has been updated.

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1 comment

Scarlet August 5, 2020 - 8:42 am

These books are such a great idea because they are great at starting conversations and helping the toddler know what to expect when new baby arrives. I wrote a journal with prompts and activities for exploring that further. It is important for the older sibling to be reassured.
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