Becoming a big brother or sister is a life-changing event.
You’re probably keen to do whatever you can to help make this a smooth transition for your first born.
In fact, you’ll probably spend most of your pregnancy worrying about the child you already have rather than the one growing in your belly.
To help your child prepare for the birth and the arrival of your new baby, you’ll need to let him know what to expect.
A new baby means big changes for your big kid and the more prepared he is, the better.
Books are a great way of educating your child about babies. You can talk through the issues raised, being sure to focus on what he was like when he was a newborn and how the new baby might be similar.
There are plenty of great children’s books which give age-appropriate information about birth, babies and breastfeeding.
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
This is one of the most beautiful books on the list and you’ll no doubt struggle to get through it without shedding a few tears (damn those pregnancy hormones).
Written by the late Jenni Overend and illustrated by Julie Vivas, it tells the story of birth through the eyes of a child. The story is told by the youngest child and features a gentle, calm and beautiful home birth.
The narrator explains mummy might make loud noises during contractions and also talks about the midwife and the items she brings with her to help with the birth. The book also touches on the dad’s role in supporting the mum during labour, something which will be useful for children to prepare for. After the birth, the whole family snuggle up together and fall asleep.
If you’re planning a home birth, or for your child to be present at the birth of their sibling, this is the perfect book to help prepare them for the experience.
It is beautifully illustrated, informative and, when you’re heavily pregnant and preparing for birth yourself, a real tear-jerker.
#2: My New Baby by Rachel Fuller
This classic board book is designed for younger children (approximately two and under).
My New Baby focuses on observations made by a toddler, giving you plenty of opportunities to discuss the needs of newborn babies.
The picture book features a beautiful breastfeeding illustration and the question ‘Why does the baby always have milk?’ The book poses lots of questions a toddler might ask when faced with a new baby, so you’ll be able to chat through these issues in advance and prepare your toddler for the birth of their new sibling.
For children of any age, the addition of a new sibling to the family can be worrying. For younger children, it may not be easy to put those worries into words. This book is a great starting point for your conversations about life with the new baby.
Rachel Fuller has created other books in the series, including a picture book called ‘Waiting For Baby’ which covers the pregnancy and birth. One of the books, ‘You & Me’, focuses on the sibling bond and features illustrations of young siblings playing together.
The books themselves don’t answer any questions, but they raise plenty and this will provide ample opportunity for you to discuss these topics with your child. The books give a simple and beautiful insight into life with a new baby, allowing your toddler to adjust to the idea of life with a new sibling.
#3: Our Water Baby by Amy MacLean
Written by an antenatal teacher, this book is perfect for preschoolers and up. Oliver’s mummy is going to have another baby and Oliver is understandably curious about how the baby will be born.
Through Oliver’s questions, the book explains in an age-appropriate way all about water births and giving birth at home.
Oliver asks lots of questions about water birth, including ‘will the baby know how to swim?’ Oliver even gets to help set up the pool for the practice run, filling it with water from the hose.
The book touches on things Oliver and the new baby will be able to do together when the baby arrives. The book explains Oliver’s mummy makes loud noises during the contractions but the aches and pains will get better once the baby is born.
The birth is an empowering home birth, with Oliver’s dad catching the baby in the pool. The book ends with Oliver holding his new baby brother for the first time.
#4: What Baby Needs by Dr William and Martha Sears
If you want a book to prepare your child for the reality of life with a new baby, look no further. Designed for children aged 4-8 years of age, this book not only explains what new babies need but also how older siblings can help out once the baby arrives.
This beautiful book includes images of breastfeeding, babywearing (both mum and dad) and co-sleeping. It’s a book designed with attachment parents in mind, so it’s perfect for families who follow this parenting style.
The book refers to the baby as ‘their baby’, hammering home this new baby will be a big part of an older sibling’s life. It also includes suggestions of how older kids can help out, such as buckling themselves in when they get into the car. It also shares ways older siblings can bond with the new baby.
The book is warm, insightful and positive, allowing older children to get excited about the arrival of the new baby. With a realistic approach, the book will help to prepare children for the reality of life with a newborn and the fact that the baby might need a lot of looking after.
#5: There’s A House Inside My Mummy by Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban
This book is gorgeous to read and colourfully illustrated. Written in rhymes, the book is told from the point of view of a soon-to-be big brother: “There’s a house inside my Mummy/Where my little brother grows, or maybe it’s my little sister/No-one really knows.”
The heart-warming story tells the tale of a little boy desperate to meet his new brother or sister. As well as touching on simple things like the growing bump, the book also covers food cravings, sleepiness and morning sickness, allowing little kids to relate to the pregnancy experience. The little boy talks to his mummy’s bump and sees the bump move when the baby kicks and moves.
The book ends with the little boy showing off his new baby brother. It’s easy to read and brings up lots of discussion points so you can talk about pregnancy, birth and babies to prepare your child for what is yet to come.
#6: Mama, Talk About When Max Was Born by Toni Olsen
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 she was pregnant; about seeing the doula and midwives; about preparing for Max’s arrival and finally his birth in their living room.
This book 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.
The book was inspired by the daughter of the author. Only a toddler at the time of her brother’s birth, she would request the story every bedtime, saying “Mama, talk about when Max was born”.
Grab this book from Amazon.
#7: Happy Birth Day! by Robie H. Harris
Happy Birth Day! is designed for preschool aged children and above. It covers hospital birth and includes doctors and nurses, for those who are choosing that birth option.
“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.”
Robie H. Harris tells a story to children about the day they were born, describing their cry what they could see and hear. With Michael Emberley’s beautifully rich illustrations, this book aims to show children how special and loved they were from the start of their lives.
Grab this book from Amazon.