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Books for New Brothers and Sisters



By Denise Altman

Every new parent worries about their firstborn when they are expecting their second child. They wonder if their oldest will feel left out or unloved. They read articles about aggression and regression and make plans to put off potty training.

Sibling adjustment doesn’t have to be negative. There are lots of opportunities to prepare the big kid, as well as to focus on her. Reading to your child is a great opportunity.

Find what you need
A good place to start is the local library. Many libraries now have online catalogues, so if your time is short or you are not up to a long outing, you can do a search right from home. In addition, if you have set up your card for online transactions, you can reserve the books you like, then simply pick them up at the desk.

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Children’s librarians are also a wonderful resource. Think about it: Most librarians have at least a master’s degree within their science — that’s a lot of learning about books. Librarians enjoy helping patrons locate books on any given subject, and helping with new baby information is a fairly common request. If you find a book that you and your child really like, you can also renew it online.

Independent booksellers are a great resource as well. They often know when new books are coming out on any given subject and also have great familiarity with their stock. They can make suggestions based on your needs, and if your book isn’t in their shop, will often special order without extra charge or shipping fees.

The benefits of readingWhile you are pregnant, the benefits of reading for you are many. You can sit with your feet up to reduce swelling, or lay on your side to reduce high blood pressure or contractions. This also gives you a much-needed opportunity to rest! All your child knows is that this is her special quiet time, just with you.

After delivery, the benefits of reading continue. Story time is a great way to entertaining a wiggly older child while caring for an infant, especially when breastfeeding. For example, while you latch the baby on, simply send the big kid off to pick out a story from an easy-to-reach shelf. By the time he is back, the baby should be on and nursing. The big kid can climb up beside you and sit for a story (and attention). You will probably find this pretty relaxing yourself!

Great Books for New Siblings
Ages 0-4
I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy
Oh Baby, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Suess
Babies by Gyo Fujikawa
Hello Baby by Lizzy Rockwell
What Does Baby Say? by Karen Katz
Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers
What Shall We Do With The Boo-Hoo Baby? By Cressida Cowell

Ages 4-7
A Baby Sister For Francis by Lillian Hoban
The Baby Sister by Tomie dePaola
I’m a Big Brother by Joanna Cole
I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole
Dear Baby: Letters From Your Big Brother by Sarah Sullivan
Julius, The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
The New Baby by Fred Rogers
New Baby by Mercer Mayer
Baby on the Way by Bill and Martha Sears
Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman
Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Arthur’s Baby by Marc Brown

© Denise Altman

Denise Altman RN, IBCLC, LCCE is a private practice lactation consultant and nurse educator in Columbia, SC. The name of her business, All The Best, reflects the skills, service and products she strives to offer expectant and new families. She is also the mother to twin girls and a son. Denise can be found at www.feedyourbaby.com.

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