Books to Prepare Toddler for Arrival of New Baby?

Updated on October 24, 2009
K.C. asks from Lawrence Township, NJ
8 answers

We are expecting our 2nd baby in March, and our daughter will be 25 months. It's hard for me to imagine that she'll be able to fully understand what's about to happen, but I'd like to find some books/videos to help prepare her as much as possible. We're planning to give birth at home as we did with our daughter, so I'd like to find books that don't focus on Mom going to the hospital (since that most likely won't happen in our situation and it might make things more confusing for her). Does anyone have books in mind that were helpful preparing a very young child for a new sibling?

Thank you!

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answers from New York on

I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole.

I read it to my daughter often and now she says the lines all the time from to book as she is trying to understand her baby brother.

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answers from Binghamton on

Baby Come Out! by Fran Manushkin. It's the best and it's a home birth too. On Mother's Lap is a nice one, not so much about birth but about having to share mommy.



answers from New York on

Hi K.,
Congratulations on your pregnancy! We didn't use any books when I was having my second baby - which was a wonderful home birth. Is your 2 year old going to be at the birth? If so, you could try to find a copy of Children At Birth, but it's an old book and out of print. My daughter was 4 when I was having the baby, and she did ask about how he was coming out, so I showed her the most discreet birth video that I had (I'm a childbirth educator). She did not end up being at the birth - because she did not ask to, if she had asked, I would have allowed it.
Involve her in the preparations as much as possible. Show her everything that you're bringing into the house for the birth and for the baby, and show her pictures from when she was at the stage where she used those things too
Good luck!



answers from Rochester on

Go to your local library and ask the children's librarian. Our library had a booklist made up on this very subject and the librarian was able to lead me to a book that was perfect for us. It was nice to be able to browse through the books to find a good fit.


answers from Rochester on

We did not read a lot of books, but some that we liked were Froggy's Baby Sister, and A Baby Sister for Herry (Sesame Street book). There are also some nice Little Critter books about siblings. My boys should have been about 22 months apart but the little guy came early. If your daughter already likes any specific characters, see if they have some books about new babies. Don't worry if the genders are different--kids can enjoy the story anyway. I would also suggest getting her a special babydoll to use to show her how you will be caring for baby, which can help when you have the little one so she can feed her baby while you feed yours, etc. Most of the stories are really sweet because because they remind the older child when the baby is napping that mommy and daddy still love them. has some great lists if you do a search, and you can read reviews and exerpts of a lot. Also, try your local library. Children's librarians are awesome! :D



answers from Philadelphia on

Here are a few books you and your daughter might like:
The Berenstain Bears' New Baby by Stan & Jan Berenstain;
A Baby Sister for Frances by Russel Hoban; and
I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole.
None of the books address where the new baby was born. I like that they each emphasize different aspects of being an older sibling. My daughter was 24 months when her sister was born and all 3 of these books were helpful.
Best of luck to you and your family!



answers from New York on

Hi K.,
First of all, congratulations! We read lots of books to our son when preparing for the second arrival. The few that come to mind are "I'm a big brother" by Joanna Cole (they make big sister too). Also, "The new baby" by Mercer Mayer. Those were my son's two favorites. The don't focus on birth or the hospital, but more on what happens after the baby arrives (crying, sleeping, needing mommy a lot). I know they're are more out there, but no others are coming to mind at the moment. Good luck and congrats again.


answers from New York on

Hi K.,
Believe it or not, your daughter will understand. Just make sure that you get her involved in your pregnancy. Let her rub your belly and feel the baby moving, and even talk or sing to the baby. Emphasize in how she is going to be a big sister and how much the baby is going to love her. My first born son was 20months old when my second one came, and my second sone was 18 months when my girl came along, they were both very excited each time with the addition to the family. As a matter of fact, my oldest at 20 months let go the pinky because the baby was going to need it and he was going to be a big boy and a big brother. The second one follow his footsteps when my girl was born. I also went out and bought a present for them each (each time) and gave it to them as a gift from "the baby"; so they would feel wanted by the baby and not displaced.
Congratulations on your new arrival, and hope this helps you.

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