Promoted to big brother or big sister…
The arrival of a new sibling is the most earth-shattering event that most young people will have faced. The realisation of change can come at different stages for different children. For some, their mother being pregnant and not able to play with them in the same way or carry them as much as before is the big adjustment. For others it is the moment a new baby appears in their life or maybe a few weeks later, when they realise this new “toy” is here to stay and is inevitably taking away some of the attention from them. Other children enjoy their new baby, but once it can crawl or walk and wants to play with their toys, that is when the jealousy can set in.
Your older child will need lots of extra love and attention as a new baby joins your family. We find that one of the best ways to smooth the transition is to read and discuss books about it together. This will help new big brothers and sisters normalise and process the events and emotions happening in their own lives. Here are five of our favourite books that we have found helpful in establishing a loving early relationship between siblings.
“One day, Sophie’s mum tells her some big important news: there’s going to be a new baby in the family! Sophie is very excited but then, one winter’s night, the baby is born and everything changes…”
Charming illustrations guide you through this story with the four seasons marking the passage of time. It acknowledges the emotional highs and lows of a new baby in the family and gives a great starting point for discussions with your child.
Meet the Bunn family: Mr and Mrs Bunn, Lucy, Tom, Spock the dog, Bertie the cat, and don’t forget baby Bunn who is soon to make an arrival. This traditional family tale is part of the Usborne First Experiences series, designed to introduce young children to unfamiliar situations. The storyline is simple but there is lot to spot in the pictures, including finding the signature Usborne yellow duck hidden on the pages.
Fans of Spot the Dog will love this book as Spot welcomes his little sister Susie to the world. As in the original story, there are flaps to lift on every page and exciting discoveries to be made. This book shows the joy a little sister can bring and how fun it can be to be a big brother. A good choice to read with young toddlers to get them excited about the imminent arrival.
Another good book for younger children, this time the baby is a boy joining his big sister, Za-Za the zebra. Told from Za-Za’s perspective, it explores a world where her mother is tired, people always seem to be busy and she is always having to wait for the baby, but where there is lots of new love and fun to be had. Bright, colourful illustrations from the creator of the Maisy books keep children’s attention as they explore the ups and downs of a new family addition.
Written in rhyme, this book focuses more on pregnancy rather than the arrival of the baby. It explores why Mummy’s tummy is so big, why she is tired and eating so much. We find that little children relate well to the familiar images of home life including traditional toys, mealtimes, railway sets and bathing. Squeezing into the bath with Mummy, her bump and bath toys doesn’t leave much room!
Featured image thanks to ShanieLeigh Photography via Pinterest.