Books for a New Big Sister or Big Brother when Baby Sibling is Born
Adjusting to a new baby can be difficult for older siblings- books about being a big brother or sister can help prepare your child
The transition for your son or daughter when a new baby is born can be a challenging road but so rewarding and fun if handled well. One of the best ways to help your child adjust to being a big brother or big sister is through story telling. It can help them understand how their life will change but that your love for them never will. Children need a lot of reassurance during this time. A nightly story can help ease their worries and is a great way for some alone time with your son or daughter. When buying a baby gift for a newborn it's nice to get something small for older siblings so they don't feel left out. Books about a new baby or being a big brother or sister are thoughtful and inexpensive presents for older siblings.
Siblings are the people who will know you the longest. Your parents will die, children come later and friends come and go. Brothers and sisters are lifelong companions who in old age will remember the youthful you.
I'm a Big Sister - New baby book by Joanna Cole
This is the book I bought for my daughter to help her adjust to the idea of a new baby brother. I got it months in advance of his due date and we read it all the time. Though she was under two she understood I was pregnant. She couldn't express her feelings but she would kiss my belly so I knew she understood what was going on, at least to some extent. She loved this book so much that I have the entire book memorized word for word. I now always buy this book or the big brother version for the older siblings of my friends or family that have a new baby.
This book is great because it sets expectations of how to handle baby, and most importantly that the big sister will always be loved just as much as always. It also highlights all the positives of being older:
"The baby is so little. Too little to walk. Too little to talk. Too little to play with toys. Too little to eat pizza or apples or ice cream."
I'm a Big Brother - New baby book by Joanna Cole
I liked the girl version so much that I bought the boy version when I was again expecting for my son. This book is essentially the same as the big sister version just geared towards a big brother instead. One thing I like about both these books is the younger sibling's gender isn't clear so it's appropriate whether your new baby is a boy or a girl.
Big Sister Meets Little Brother
Tips to help adjust your child adjust to a new baby - (Aside from reading new baby books about being a big brother or sister)
- Spend time going through your child's baby pictures so they see how cared for they are and that they were once that small
- Many hospitals offer classes to prepare siblings for a new baby. Check with yours
- Take your child to pick out an outfit for the baby and let them pick one for themselves. Compare the difference in sizes and remind your child that they once fit into the baby sized clothing
- Have the new baby bring your older child a gift when they're born. I like personally like something sentitmental but it could be anything. My son brought my daughter a beautiful butterfly jewelry box.
- Make sure no matter how busy you are that you spend some alone time with your older child once the baby comes
- Try to keep your routine with your older child as similar to what it was before the new baby was born
- Have your child help you pack for the hospital and let them know you'll be thinking of them and missing them but will be home soon
New Baby Book for a New Big Sister
Prepare your daughter for the birth of your new baby by reading her a book on becoming a big sister. It can help her get excited for her new sibling, understand she still has her special place in the family and how to handle the baby in a safe manner.
New Baby Book for a New Big Brother - Prepare your son to become a big brother
These books will help prepare your older son to welcome a new little sibling into the family. They feature an older big brother meeting his new younger baby.
Gender Neutral New Baby Book
These are particularly great options if you're preparing an older brother and sister for the arrival of a new baby so they both can relate. They're also a good choice if you have a big brother and a big sister that will be welcoming the new baby.
How many children do you have? - If you don't have any yet how many do you want?
How many children do you have/want?
Let your older child be a part of caring for your new baby
The biggest cause of resentment among siblings is rivalry for attention. If you make older siblings feel like they are a part of things, they are much less likely to harbor a grudge against their new younger brother or sister. The more they love and care for their sibling, the more the feeling will be returned. Their relationship will be off to a good start and will continue to grow as they age and can do more activities together.
Let your older child hold the baby (with permission), give them a bottle, hand you a wipe when you're changing baby, pick their outfit for the day and give the baby a kiss when they're about to go to sleep. Ask their opinion if they think the baby is cold, hungry or tired. This will help them to feel valued and a part of things. Just be careful to spend some time alone and don't let all your time together be focused on baby. Make some special time just for you and your older child.
© 2012 Melissa Miotke