If your family will be adding a new baby, there are many ways to prepare your children for their sibling’s arrival. One effective way is through books about pregnancy, birth, and babies.
When to read
I like mixing these in with other books you’re reading to your child so they’re just part of the rotation. But don’t force them on your child. If there’s a day they only want to read the truck books or the butterfly books, that’s totally fine. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to chat about the baby without it being something that blocks your child from what they want to read about in any given moment.
What not to read
There are a lot of books about sibling rivalry and how awful it is to live with a new baby. I would not read those before the baby is born. We don’t want to set things up with the assumption that it will be bad! If it is hard for your child once the baby is there, then definitely check out those books with them, but let’s not start there.
While it can be helpful to read books that talk about some of the challenges of life with a baby, you don’t want that to be the full focus of what you read as you prepare.
What to read:
Books about Pregnancy and Birth
- Waiting for Baby / Esperando Al Bebé by Rachel Fuller (2009). For ages 1 to 4. Tells of a sibling’s trip with mom to the doctor, helping prepare for the baby, and meeting the baby at the hospital.
- Mama’s Belly by Kate Hosford (2018). For ages 3 to 5. A girl asks her mother questions about the pregnancy and what it will be like when baby arrives.
- Hello Baby by Lizzy Rockwell (2000). For ages 4 to 7. Touches on all aspects of the baby-to-come, from prenatal development and doctor appointments to meeting baby at the hospital.
- We’re Having a Homebirth!! by Kelly Mochel (2012). For ages 4 to 7. Simple illustrations and brief details about home birth.
- When you were Inside Mommy by Joanna Cole (2001). For ages 5 – 8. Discusses fetal development, explaining the umbilical word, using the word uterus, etc.
- Babies Don’t Eat Pizza by Danzig. Ages 5 -8. Covers prenatal development and how baby is born “through an opening between mom’s legs”. Compares what the baby can do to what they can do.
Books for Children about Babies and Siblings
My New Baby / Mi Nuevo Bebe by Rachel Fuller (2009) or My New Baby by Annie Kubler (2000). For ages 1 to 4. Tell the stories of new families. In each, the mother breastfeeds, and the father participates in all activities.
Tenemos un bebé / We Have a Baby by Cathryn Falwell (2008). For ages 2 to 4. A simple bilingual board book about loving a new baby. Multiracial family.
I’m a New Big Brother/Sister by Nora Gaydos (2010). For ages 3 to 4. A positive story about what it’s like to be a big brother or sister.
How to Welcome a New Baby by Jean Reagan (2022). For ages 3 to 6. How to prepare for and welcome a baby. Multiracial family.
I’m a Big Sister / Brother by Joanna Cole. Age 3 – 4. This story talks about what babies are capable of and what they need.
I Used to Be the Baby by Robin Ballard (2002). For ages 3 to 6. This book positively portrays sibling relationships and how a sibling can help the baby.
I like these month-by-month tips in the back of Gaydos’ books:
There’s a Baby (DVD) by Penny Simkin (2013). For ages 3 to 8. A children’s film about a baby coming to Maia’s family. At https://pennysimkin.com.
If you’re looking for more children’s books about sexuality, pregnancy, and how babies are made, check out Books for Children about Sexuality.
About the Links:
Each book includes an Amazon affiliate link to make it easy for you to learn more about each book. If you click through on this link and then purchase anything, I do receive a small referral bonus at no extra cost to you. These books may also be available at your local library. If you would like to preview the content try searching YouTube for “[title of book] read aloud” and there are videos of many of the books in this list. I do encourage you to then go on to purchase the book itself to support the books’ creators.
Note: a similar post also appears on PCNGuide, a blog about pregnancy, childbirth and the newborn written by Janelle Durham, author of this blog.