Reader I asks through email:
I have a question for the one of you who recently had a second baby. I have a 4yo daughter and am soon due with a second girl. Were there any books that you found helpful in preparing DC1 for what life might be like with a new baby in the family? (that are not aimed at toddlers) What did you do to prepare hir? My daughter is super excited about getting a baby sister, but obviously she has no real clue how her life is going to change.
We talked a bit about books for parents on sibling rivalry, but came up with pretty much a blank. However, there are a lot of books aimed at kids themselves.
We went through a bunch of books on what’s going on in mommy’s belly, though you have to scan through them because many are not age appropriate. For this we just hit the children’s nonfiction section in the library, and I read through a bunch before checking them out. Finding out more about what was going on made the process less scary, especially after I stopped throwing up so much.
Many sibling books tell kids that they’re going to be feeling jealous but mommy and daddy still love them. We avoided these books based on research about how educational television makes kids misbehave by providing examples of misbehavior.
The book we found most helpful was Dr. Sears, What Baby Needs. It’s great because it explains generally what is going on (you’ll still want more about the baby developing and stuff, most likely– we found that “what size fruit/veggie is the unborn baby” each week helped), and what big sibling can do to help. It’s upbeat, explanatory, and not preachy. DC1 read it over and over, and definitely liked the suggestion to cuddle with mom while she’s nursing the baby. (Ze also liked to mention that the baby doesn’t know how to do anything at first.)
There were some other books we had on the amazon wishlist but didn’t actually get. There’s a Mr. Rogers book that looked good, but we haven’t seen it so I can’t be sure of it. We also had some videos on the Netflix queue, but I can’t recommend the Sesame St. one and we never did end up watching the rest.
Grumpy readership, do you have any more suggestions for books for older siblings?