New babies bring a lot of changes for everyone but particularly the new big brother or sister. I think it is important to try and prepare them for the new arrival but as they are usually toddlers or preschoolers that can be easier said than done. One of the things we found really helped E to anticipate what having a baby around would mean was to read books together about new siblings. Here are a few of my favourites and some recommended by some blogging chums.
There’s an Ouch in my Pouch! – Jeanne Willis
This is a book we all love reading together because of the wonderful rhythmic language. Willaby Wallaby is grumpy because there is an ouch in his pouch so off he hops to try to find a new home. He approaches Mummy Wombat and Mummy Possum but their pouches are no good and then he bumps into scary Ma Dingo. Luckily, Willaby bounces back to his mum and finds out that the ouch is just his new little sister. Mum explains that there’s always room for them both in her pouch but Willaby realises that he’s a big boy and he doesn’t need a pouch after all (he likes being free to do bounces and hops!) so he doesn’t mind sharing it with his sister. It gives you the opportunity to talk about Willaby feeling pushed out, how his mum still loves him and how he can do more things now he is a ‘big boy’. Simple enough for toddlers to grasp.
My Little Sister, Doris – Liz Pichon
This is one we still read now and is probably more suited to preschoolers rather than toddlers. Moris is really fed up when his new baby sister, Doris, arrives and spoils all his fun. Having to be quiet and Mum and Dad being busy are just some of the things making him cross but eventually she wins him over and he realises that he quite likes her really. I love that this book acknowledges some of the real downsides of having a baby around rather than trying to gloss over them but shows that things can soon get back to normal.
Za-Za’s Baby Brother – Lucy Cousins
A recommendation from Kelly from Domestic Goddesque, this brightly illustrated book finds Za-Za feeling neglected when the new baby arrives but then she finds that she likes hugging the baby and gets time with Mum later on. Kelly said ‘Lovely illustrations and a very clear story. I swear it made all the difference.’ Ruth from Geek Mummy was a fan of this one too.
There’s a House Inside My Mummy – Giles Andreae
Penny from Being Mrs C suggested this one. It’s a simple story of a little boy waiting for his little brother or sister to arrive told in rhyme with cute illustrations, great for younger kids.
The New Baby Sticker Book – Anne Civardi
Rebecca from Here Come The Girls had double the explaining to do when she was expecting twins and recommends this colourful and fun sticker book. Over 50 stickers can be used throughout the stories to replace key words and help young children build their vocabulary.
My New Baby – Annie Kubler
Helen from Kiddy Charts’ daughter was only small when she was pregnant so she recommends this picture book without words. Helen said ‘We just chatted to her about it – she loved it well beyond her brothers arrival’.
I hope you’ll find those useful and if you have a book you enjoyed do share it in a comment.