If you’re having your second baby or more, you’re probably interested in what you can do to help prepare your child for the birth, as well as having a new baby in your home.
A gentle introduction into what to expect without frightening your child is probably foremost on your mind.
BellyBelly is here to help.
7 Books To Prepare Children For A New Baby
Here are a selection of our favourite books for children, who will soon be welcoming a brand new little brother or sister into the world!
#1: Hello Baby by Jenni Overend
Hello Baby is one of my personal favourites, written by the late Jenni Overend and beautifully illustrated by Julie Vivas. It tells the story of a family preparing for birth, from the eyes of a child. The birth is a gentle, calm and beautiful homebirth, where the family snuggle up in bed at the end of the very special day.
“On a winter night, in a cottage far away from the town, Mum’s baby is ready to be born. The midwife arrives and the whole family prepare for the home birth. In this honest and moving portrayal, Jenni Overend and Julie Vivas celebrate the birth of a baby at home with warmth and joy. This is a book for the whole family to share in preparation for a home birth or the arrival of a new baby.”
#2: My New Baby by Rachel Fuller
A more basic book designed for younger children (approx. 2 and under), ‘My New Baby’ focuses on the observations made by a toddler, including, ‘why does the baby always have milk?’ Includes a beautiful and appropriate breastfeeding illustration.
“There is so much to find out when a baby is born! What does it smell like, and when will it walk? When does it sleep, and what does it like to eat? A new addition to any family is exciting, but the experience can also be worrying and confusing for siblings. Coping with the new situations and emotions that arise can be very challenging. This series of four board books deals with the anticipation of waiting for the new baby, the excitement of the arrival itself, and the beginnings of the special relationship that develops between siblings. The simple conversational text and lively illustrations are carefully designed to encourage further dialogue between reader and child.”
#3: Our Water Baby by Amy MacLean
If you’re planning a waterbirth, this is a great book for children from the ages of 2 and up.
“The baby was going to be born in the water, in a special pool in the kitchen. “Will the baby know how to swim?” asked Oliver. “When babies are born in water, they know how to hold their breath. The baby will not have to swim on his own,” said Oliver’s daddy. “That’s good,” said Oliver. He was relieved. He loved to swim, but he wouldn’t want to swim on his own!”
Grab this book from Amazon.
#4: What Baby Needs by Dr William and Martha Sears
Designed for children approximately 4-8 years of age. Includes images of breastfeeding, babywearing (both mum and dad!) and baby sleeping in a co-sleeper next to mum and dad’s bed.
“When a family brings a new baby home, there are many changes. Older siblings may find it hard to understand the needs of the new baby, as well as the demands placed on mum and dad. Based on the attachment-parenting theories of the foremost authorities on parenting and childcare, William Sears, M.D., and Martha Sears, R.N., this book clearly explains baby’s needs. The text emphasises how siblings can be helpers to both baby and parents, while forging their own relationships with “their baby,” and outlines the positive aspects of being an older girl or boy. Here is a warm, insightful book that will help the whole family joyously and lovingly welcome the newest member into their lives.”
Designed for children approximately 2 to 5 years of age. It is written in verse and explains that sometimes mummy feels sick or sleepy.
“There’s a house inside my Mummy Where my little brother grows, or maybe it’s my little sister No-one really knows. A gentle and tender story of a little boy waiting for his little brother or sister to arrive. Told with humour and a simple rhyming text, this is the perfect picture book for all expectant brothers and sisters!”
“Mama, Talk About When Max Was Born” tells the story of Max’s birth, which takes place at home in water. Max’s older sister likes to hear all about when Mama first learned that she was pregnant; about seeing the doula and midwives; about preparing for Max’s arrival and finally his birth in their living room. “Mama, Talk About When Max Was Born” is a sweet and normalising look at home water birth for young children. While this does feature a home water birth, it is equally fitting for home birth families. This story was inspired by the author’s daughter, who was 23 months old when her brother was born. For months, she would say at bedtime, “Mama, talk about when Max was born”. It was the bedtime story that she always wanted to hear. Now we are sharing that story with you!”
Grab this book from Amazon.
‘Happy Birth Day!’ is designed for preschool aged children and above. It covers hospital birth and includes doctors and nurses, for those who prefer it.
“From the first moments of her life, she is able to breathe, open her eyes, and gaze at her mother's face. Soon she will nurse, suck her thumb, and sleep. With text as tender as a newborn's cheek, Robie H. Harris tells a story to children about the day they were born, describing how loud they cried and how they could see light, hear sounds, and even sneeze. Together with Michael Emberley's extraordinary illustrations – each one carefully observed and deeply moving – HAPPY BIRTH DAY! shows children how very much they were loved right from the start. In this new paperback edition, HAPPY BIRTH DAY! includes an illustrated bookplate that lets parents or gift givers fill in the details of a special baby's birth.”
Grab this book from Amazon.