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8 Books about Adding a New Baby to the Family

February 16, 2017

When we lived in London, I made friends with a fantastic woman with a little daughter right between the ages of my two girls.

We met at library storytime and since she was also an American living in London, we had lots to talk about and started going to the park after storytime together, going to local events with our girls, and basically just enjoying having a friend.

Since it was kind of lonely knowing almost no one in the entire city, she was a complete lifesaver for me.

A while after we left to return to the US, she emailed me to tell me she was expecting a second baby and asking if I had any recommendations for books that introduce the topic of a new sibling.

I had no suggestions, but told her I’d look into them. And then we moved across the country a week later and I completely forgot about it, so hopefully her daughter adjusted smoothly, no thanks to me.

Her baby is a year old now, so this is a LITTLE late for her, but hopefully it’ll be helpful to someone else. Plus, as we’ve prepared for our newest addition, it’s been a fun project to read plenty of books about new siblings.

A Baby Sister for Frances by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban
Oh, how I love Frances. I like that this book is more about the baby a few months down the road, when life has settled down some, but is still a little bit different than what it was before. Frances decides to run away, but she only goes as far as the dining room table because she needs to be close to cookies (my kind of girl!) and gets to hear her parents talk about how much they love her and what a great sister she is.

Little Miss, Big Sis by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
This short rhyming book is just completely upbeat and happy – so many of the new baby books I read were pretty negative (which I can appreciate because it’s a stressful time for so many small children), but it’s nice to read something that’s all about the love and fun between siblings.

You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
It’s been a long time since Ella was our only child, but this book brought back such warm feelings for me about how special that first experience as a parent is, when your whole world is just that one child and every new experience is the first. I think this is such a sweet book to introduce to oldest children so they know how deeply loved they are even as new babies come along.

Babies Ruin Everything by Matthew Swanson, illustrated by Robbi Behr
This book is definitely a little more on the “babies are upending my world!” side of the spectrum, but I love that the older sister realizes that perhaps she’s the problem and that maybe what the baby needs is a better big sister. I love the illustrations in this one and it makes me laugh every time.

Olive Marshmallow by Katie Saunders
As someone just starting to see my girls REALLY play together a lot, this book warmed my heart so much as Archie discovers that the fluffy pink marshmallow his mom brought home from the hospital is turning into a constant companion and playmate. Give me all the books about siblings who love each other.

King Baby by Kate Beaton
I died laughing over this book about an infant who declares himself King Baby and enjoys the attention and demands full loyalty from his subjects (er, parents). As he grows up, he thinks maybe it’s time not to be King Baby anymore, which is good because Queen Baby is ready to make her royal entrance. This one is just as funny for parents as for a sibling.

Babies Don’t Eat Pizza by Dianne Danzig, illustrated by Debbie Tilley
This one is LONG but my girls loved it and we read it many times together over the past few months. It really answers so many questions about new babies, from how they get out (either through an opening between moms’ legs or through a cut in their tummy) to what babies will look like, how they’ll eat and act, the feelings older siblings may experience, and how they can help out around the house. If you’re looking for something age-appropriate but pretty thorough, I thought this was an excellent one.

Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham
I’m a huge fan of Sara Gillingham’s style and this board book lets you shush, rock, swaddle, and kiss a new baby, making it good practice and interactive reading for almost-big siblings.

Any books you’ve used to talk about a new sibling with your children?

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  • Reply McKenzie Clawson February 16, 2017 at 5:38 am

    We (my two year old and I) love “Julius, Baby of the World” and “Boss Baby.” “Boss Baby” is about a first born and I wouldn’t describe either of them as helpful, but they are hilarious both for her and for me.

  • Reply Tina Ristau February 16, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Supersister by Beth Cadena. Super cute!

  • Reply Tina Ristau February 16, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Or How To Be a Baby By Me The Big Sister by Sally Lloyd Jones

  • Reply Diana February 16, 2017 at 6:01 am

    We haven’t dealt with a new baby (yet) but my son is a BIG fan of Boss Baby and Bossier Baby (the second one involves a new sibling) by Marla Frazee. We’ve read them so many times he can recite almost the whole books!

  • Reply KT February 16, 2017 at 6:11 am

    My big boy had a really, really hard time adjusting to our twins, and I actually had to quit reading books about new babies because so many of them started off negatively (they all end positively, but he definitely wasn’t catching that message!!). I did read Babies Ruin Everything to myself though and thought it was absolutely hilarious.

  • Reply Sara February 16, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Great list!

  • Reply Amy // Sunlit Pages February 16, 2017 at 6:51 am

    I really love Maple by Lori Nichols.

  • Reply Jessica February 16, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Our sweet librarian read 15 Things Not to Do with a Baby, by Margaret McAllister during story time when I was VERY pregnant with my third, an obvious choice especially for my kids. It makes my kids laugh hysterically and then at the end it tells them what they can do, like give lots of love. I’ve heard my toddler repeat lines from the book and then give her sister a kiss or a squeeze, so it definitely helped with our transition.

  • Reply Ros February 16, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Excellent timing, as I sit on the couch, 40 weeks pregnant with my second. 🙂

    The Daniel Tiger episode where he gets a baby sister (can be found on CBC’s YouTube channel) has a spin-off book, and the entire thing has been HUGE help in preparing my toddler for sisterhood.

    Also, “what makes a baby” has been super helpful in explaining what makes a baby in a really inclusive way (no mentions of “mommies and daddies”, which is good because some kids at daycare are raised by single parents and some of our friends are gay families, so… yay to modelling the reality she sees?)

    Oh, and my mom has a book from the early 80s that’s basically coloured photography of fetuses in-utero. My daughter finds it FASCINATING to see what the Baby in mamas belly looks like now. it’s been out of print for about 20 years, but a librarian should be able to help find a more recent version.

  • Reply Heather February 16, 2017 at 10:29 am

    We love the Maple books (Maple and Willow) and another one called “God gave us two”.

  • Reply Marissa February 16, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    How fun to open your page today and see this post! G still talks about your girls every time we visit the library (which, so sadly, is closing this month and we’re no longer going to have a neighborhood library! Waaaahhhh!). We managed to find a few good books before L was born, and a friend actually gave us Little Miss, Big Sis which was my favorite by far! All the best to you and B and the girls as you all get ready for the newest addition to your family!

  • Reply Emma February 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    I agree that so many are negative! I liked You’re a Big Brother/Sister by David Bedford and Susie Poole. It’s upbeat (though notes parents will be busier), and talks about the things babies can and can’t do and how much fun it is to show them things. It’s great for the younger age range too which isn’t always the case with these books. And I love the illustrations!

  • Reply Mandy February 16, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Zaza’s Baby Brother by Lucy Cousins and The Swap by Jan Ormerod – although this may be more for the amusement of parents!

  • Reply Claire February 21, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    I love this post so much! Our baby sister is 9 months old so not super “new” anymore, but my three year old is now dealing with the reality of a baby who moves and steals toys and it’s been a bit of a rocky road, so this is helpful 🙂 We stumbled upon “There’s Going to Be a Baby” at a library sale and even though I had never read it before, it’s become a favorite. I can’t wait to check these ones out!

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