Preventing New Baby Jealousy Part 1
The 10 Best New Baby Books
Reading these new baby books together is one of the simplest things you can do to prevent jealousy over the new baby.
Reading books together helps in two ways:
- Builds excitement for the coming baby and
- prepares your child for the changes coming so they won’t be a shock.
Small children like routines. They like knowing what to expect.
A newcomer will soon be getting most of mom’s or dad’s attention. That is going to be a shock.
It’s a BIG change in routine.
Just when he or she needs your comfort the most to deal with this big change, you are going to be busy with the baby. No wonder a lot of kids act out when new baby comes home!
BEST NEW BABY BOOK PREPARING KIDS
What Baby Needs by Dr Sears is a great book for preparing your little one for what life will be like with new baby, including the fact that mom will likely be holding new baby a lot (it will seem like all the time).
Not knowing to expect this can lead to huge upset because of the huge change in the amount of attention your first child gets from mom.
Avoid that rough patch by letting your child know this change is coming and highlighting ways your older child can help.
This new baby book also talks about how your older kid needed and got the same kind of attention when she or he was a baby and goes on to point out the perks of being an older child.
Natural Parenting or Attachment Parenting featured: What Baby Needs features a breastfeeding family and also shows bottlefeeding. Room sharing and babywearing (by both parents) are also depicted in the illustrations. None of these parenting choices are heavy handed and this book will work for most families as you can put emphasis on the parts that apply best to your family.
What Baby Needs is listed as appropriate for pre-school through 2nd grade, but it is a great book for many as young as 2 years old. However it definitely has more text and story than a board book, so will depend on your child. You can also summarize the text if it is too wordy for your child.
These great books explain so many things about birth and life with a new baby. They go over preparations for the new baby that will likely mirror your real life activities preparing for baby together. They also talk about the changes that will occur when baby is born. They do a good job of preparing a child for the new role of older sibling.
Assumes a vaginal birth at the hospital: there is a page that describes how baby is born with a simplistic drawing of the uterus. This is wonderful for parents who want to explain the birth process very simply with a little help. It is addressed tastefully and in terms that young children can understand. If you prefer not to cover this very simple explanation, you can simply skip this page. Those who will have cesareans can choose whether to skip the page or use it as a jumping off point for discussion based on your preferences and your child’s age/understanding level.
The book also covers mom’s absence when she will be at the hospital giving birth and discusses who your child will stay with at that time. Go ahead and change the words to fit your situation so your child will know what to expect during this sometimes turbulent time.
Little Big Girl by Claire Keane is a sweet and beautiful new baby book for 3- 5 year olds. It features a little girl who is thrilled to become a big sister to her little brother.
The illustrations are beautiful, sharing a style similar to Family Circus cartoons created by the author’s grandfather, Bill Keane, but with a retro spin.
The text is delightful and engaging to children, with repeated references to big and little.
SHORT & SWEET NEW BABY PICTURE BOOKS FOR TODDLERS (CHILDREN 3 AND UNDER)
For younger children, these simple new baby books help to depict what life is like with a baby brother or sister. They additionally build a sense of expectation and excitement as your little one begins to look forward to these new baby routines. Prepare for these new baby books to be requested again and again!
The sweet pictures make these new baby books popular among small children.
We Have a Baby by Cathryn Falwell is a great new baby book for discussing the various ways that your older child can help with the new baby.
This book has sweet pictures showing older sibling (could be a boy or a girl) helping with new baby in various roles.
The illustrations in this book are such that it works great for families of color and either gender child.
At the beginning it shows mom’s absence during the birth, giving a perfect chance to discuss that mom will be away for a day or two.
Be sure to talk to your child about who will be caring for them until you return with the new baby so they do not feel anxious. Talk it up as a treat, a sleepover, or a special visit!
En las Piernas de Mamá / On Mother’s Lap (Spanish and English Edition) by Ann Herbert Scott is the heartwarming story of an Inuit mother and son who learn that there is always room for one more on mother’s lap.
This beautiful new baby book focuses on the relationship between mother and son, and the reassuring message rather than specifics about life with a baby.
As no father is depicted, this book will work particularly well for any family without a dad.
This Spanish/English edition makes it perfect for Hispanic or Latin families as well.
Mama, Talk About Our New Baby by Toni Olson is a simple book that depicts a bi-racial family with attachment parenting practices.
Pictures include breastfeeding (and tandem nursing), babywearing, co-sleeping, and rear-facing carseats for new baby and older brother.
These new baby books give your older child a sense of pride in being older and knowing how to do more things.
They also have a lift-the-flap component which small children love. Kids see how baby does things, then lift the flap to find out the answer to how the older sibling does things.
The skills mentioned include reading a book, using the potty, riding a tricycle and sleeping in a bed instead of a crib. If your child does not do all of these things yet, this book could prove to be incentive for your youngster to adopt these big-kid behaviors. If your child is not ready for these activities, it may not be the best book for your situations.
Both of these new baby books depict diverse children, as well as a baby of either gender (each book features pages with a baby sister, and some with a baby brother; some pages with dark skinned family, some with light skinned family). If you know the gender of your baby or if baby has already arrived, of course, feel free to just read them all as either ‘baby brother’ or ‘baby sister.’
PICTURE BOOKS ABOUT NEW-BABY JEALOUSY
Peter’s Chair (Picture Puffins) by Ezra Jack Keats is about a family wrestling with new baby rivalry in a sweet and humorous way that children love. While not specifically about what life will be like with a baby, it can help to smooth the transition and is beloved by children!
Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson features a strong mother-daughter relationship and jealousy about the expecting baby. This new baby book also addresses ways that the older daughter can begin to build a relationship with new baby.
BONUS BOOK: GORGEOUS HOMEBIRTH PICTURE BOOK FOR KIDS
If you are having a home birth and your toddler or older child will be at the birth, my kids and I highly recommend Hello Baby by Jenni Overend.
This book is very realistic but not scary. The realism is important for preparing siblings for what they will see at the birth.
It shows mom pacing and making loud or strange noises. It does so without being alarming.
It shows realistic positions and how a baby emerges. And it shows what the new baby looks like without being too graphic.
All with beautiful illustrations and the warmest feeling of love and family throughout the book.
Once baby arrives, what can you do to help big brother and big sister appreciate the new addition? Check out my post on Preventing New Baby Jealousy Part 2 – tips for a new sibling!
If I missed a great new baby book that belongs on this list, I hope you’ll let me know in the comments!
This is my first post with affiliate links, and I hope that has not been abrasive. As I was writing this post and linking to Amazon, it occurred to me that Amazon might as well be paying me at least their small referral fee for those products so I went ahead and set up an account with them. So please also let me know in the comments your feelings about my using affiliate links in my post.