Three Books About New Baby Siblings

So... have I mentioned we've got a new baby on the way? Yeah? Once or twice? 

We've got a new baby on the way. And Matilda knows all about it (things she can tell you about babies: they cry; they learn to crawl; they can't talk yet; her baby is growing in my tummy; it's nice to hold their hands when their parents go to the toilet; they're - universally - cute).

Despite this wealth of knowledge (that was originally written in a sarcastic tone but, to be fair, it's about as much as either Steve or I knew when she was born), we wanted to get a few books to help her understand what was going on. The trouble is: I'm fussy about kids' books. They have to not only explain the concept; they have to look good doing it. Which, frankly, rules out most of the New Baby Sibling shelf.

So, here's what we chose (Matilda loves all three of them):

Books About New Baby Siblings

Hello In There! by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey

A lift-the-flaps book - always a winning option!

On the left of each double page spread is a picture of the mother's increasingly large tummy, with a flap you can lift to see the baby (just a baby - no umbilical cord or placenta or anything); on the right is a little girl, singing and chatting to her new sibling about how excited she is to meet them and all the fun things she's looking forward to doing with them.

There are downsides to this book: it does say it's for "a big sister" which might put the parents of big brothers off buying it; some of the things the big sister is keen to do with the baby aren't going to happen immediately after the birth; and I'm not entirely comfortable with the big sister making herself pretty in front of the mirror while she waits for the new baby to come home.

On the other hand, it's nice to read something about an older sibling feeling excited rather than jealous; I love the "we are already family" sentiment; and Matilda absolutely adores lifting the flaps and shrieking, "It's a baby!" every single time.

Books About New Baby Siblings

Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham

I bought this because we have and love all of the empowerment series books Sara Gillingham illustrated (they're written by Stephen Krensky) so, quite simply, I knew it was going to look good - but it's also a lovely book and lots of fun for little kids.

First up: it's completely unisex. All of the babies pictured are in gender neutral clothing and are referred to as "my baby" rather than by sex, so it's suitable regardless of your children's sexes as well as ticking my feminist boxes.

Secondly: there's no judgement in it. For example, it says that some babies drink milk from their mums and some from bottles. I'm all for books which don't make mothers feel bad.

Thirdly: it's fun! Your kid can - amongst other things - tickle the baby, change the baby's nappy and tuck the baby up in bed. Incredibly tedious for grown ups who have to sit through all of these actions twenty times in a row, but brilliant for small children.

The only downside, for me, is that it's in American English so we have to change some of the words ("nappy" instead of "diaper" etc), but we're getting used to doing that with a lot of cute kids' books...

Books About New Baby Siblings

Topsy and Tim: The New Baby by Jean and Gareth Adamson

Okay, let's face it: this isn't exactly the most beautiful, innovative book about new babies you're ever going to pick off the shelf. But it's Topsy and Tim. They're staples of British childhoods, and Matilda's a big fan of the TV show (also of the one Topsy and Tim book in our local library - the one about the twins catching nits).

Anyway, Tony Welch is becoming a big brother. The twins get to feel the baby kicking, help prepare the nursery, and then excitedly meet the new baby; Tony, meanwhile, is given a toy car, feels a bit jealous of the baby and then helps to give him a bath.

It covers most of the basics in a straightforward way, giving you a chance to talk about any aspects which are of particular interest/relevant (hello, jealousy) to your kid. And there's a game at the end.

All three of these books have been on heavy rotation in our house recently; all three of us can recite them all off by heart.

Are there any new baby sibling books you would recommend?

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