12 best children’s books about a new baby: What we’re reading

These children’s books about a new baby will help a big sister- or big brother-to-be understand what’s coming, process their emotions and feel reassured that they’ll still be special even after the baby arrives. The post contains affiliate links.

12 best children's books about a new baby - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

When I was pregnant with Kiwi, Peeper and I read a lot of books about a new baby to help her know what was happening—and why Mom’s belly suddenly took up my entire lap. She had a lot of questions, which books helped us answer in a comforting way.

Kid’s literature also gave a reference point for us to talk about what would happen when our new baby was ready to come—and after.

12 best children's books about a new baby: Ten Thousand Hour MamaHow to help Big Sister adjust to a new baby: children's books about babies. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

When the Big Day came, Peeper was more calm and comfortable with everything that happened—and I’m convinced these children’s books about a new baby were a big factor. All the changes were more familiar and less scary because she’d read about them many times.

Rereading these books with her and Kiwi now, I finish with stories about when they were born: like the very first time Peeper met Kiwi in the hospital, she came in and sang her new baby sister “Happy Birthday.” Awwww!

And although their relationship has had its rocky points, they have become the best of pals.

How to help Big Sister adjust to a new baby - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

If you’re looking for children’s books about a new baby to explain what it means to be a big sister or big brother, start here. Add them to your cart or request them from the library: You and your child will want to read—and reread—them even after Baby arrives.

Our favorite children’s books about a new baby

Hello in There bookHello in There! by Jo Witek. In this delightfully illustrated book of waiting, a big sister talks to the baby growing inside her mom’s belly. (Not coincidentally, the mom’s belly grows bigger on every page, too!) Peeper loved opening the flap showing the baby’s in utero antics—swimming, dancing, sucking a thumb. My favorite part is when the big sis says, “You are already part of the family. When mama comes to sit with me, I feel like we’re all sitting together.” Awww!

 

Hello Baby! bookHello, Baby! by Lizzy Rockwell. A whole slew of details about babies is packed in with this straightforward plot so by the end, big brothers- and sisters-to-be will better know what to expect from their newborn siblings. The book’s big brother accompanies his mom to the doctor’s office, where he learns about umbilical cords and listens to the baby’s heartbeat; waits at home with his grandma when his parents are at the hospital; and helps take care of the baby once she arrives home. This book hits the perfect balance between sweet and informative.

15 things not to do with a baby15 Things Not to Do with a Baby, by Margaret McAllister. It can seem as if little kids are always told what not to do with the new baby—don’t grab, don’t wake her, don’t bop her on the head with that toy hammer. Big brothers and sisters will love the silliness of this story, though. Don’t give your baby to a kangaroo and don’t plant him in the garden—these are rules kids can live with and definitely giggle over. (The utmost rule about what they should do with a baby will warm your heart, too.)

 

Children's books about babiesLittle Miss, Big Sis, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This rhyming book covers the whole experience of becoming a big sister with few words and expressive illustrations. From the excitement and anticipation to the surprise and noise and finally to the joy and pride, welcoming a new baby into the family triggers a lot of different reactions. This book helps normalize each and every one of them, with a feel-good ending that shows all the drool and hair-pulling is worth it.

 

101 Things to Do with a BabyThe best children's books about a new baby for Big Sisters and Big Brothers. Ten Thousand Hour Mama, by Jan Ormerod. Big siblings have plenty they can do with a new baby, and this book’s beautiful illustrations show a whole day’s worth. From tickling Baby’s tummy to watching out for hair pulling, big sisters and big brothers have, yep, 101+ ways they can play with a new baby. I love some of the humor, like when Big Sister gives Baby a bouquet of dandelions—and then the baby eats the flowers! Parents will recognize so much in this relatable book, like having to re-do laundry and carry both Baby and your older child.

Olivia: A Guide to Being a Big SisterOur favorite children's books about a new baby help Big Brother or Big Sister adjust to a new sibling. Ten Thousand Hour Mama. We’re big fans of the feisty, precocious pig Olivia, so it’s no surprise the kids love her how-to on being a good sibling. In classic Olivia style, she shows how she helps out around the house (like fixing her little brothers breakfast, leaving only a few dirty dishes behind), sets a good example and takes care of her siblings. She sums up the pride she takes in being a good big sister like this: “Being a big sister or big brother is the most important job in the world. Maybe even the universe!” We feel you, Olivia.

Peter’s ChairOur favorite children's books about a new baby help Big Brother or Big Sister learn about a new sibling—and adjust to the big changes. Ten Thousand Hour Mama, by Ezra Keats. This classic children’s book about a new baby (by the same author-illustrator who created The Snowy Day) shows a big brother’s jealousy in a concrete, relatable way. Peter gets mad because his parents gift all his old things to his new sister. (“It’s my high chair,” he grumbles when his dad paints his old high chair pink.) So Peter takes what’s left—his old, tiny chair—and runs away. I loved the sweet ending, and I bet you and your kids will, too.

 

Children's books about a new babyReady, Set… Baby! by Elizabeth Rusch. Author Rusch used to write a column for Child Magazine where she interviewed kids to find out how they experienced everyday things—and she discovered that their perspectives differ quite a bit from adults’. This children’s book about a new baby, then, takes a big brother and big sister’s POV to tell readers what welcoming a baby is really like. My kids love books with dialogue bubbles and finding out what everyone is saying, and this title uses that comic book technique well. I love how this book recognizes what a new big sibling probably feels (“I know you’d rather eat a worm than watch a diaper change”) but is also reassuring (“but it’s really not so bad”).

Children's books about a new baby. Pecan Pie Baby, by Jacqueline Woodson. Kids who are less than enthusiastic about a younger brother or sister will feel reassured—and understood—by this picture book about a new baby. In it, soon-to-be big sister Gia is fed up with that “ding-dang baby,” and it hasn’t even been born yet! She’s tired of everyone talking about the baby, bringing it presents and having to make room for all its stuff. Most of all, she’s worried about what will happen to her special relationship with her mama once the little one arrives. Her feelings are shared (but seldom acknowledged) by many older siblings, which makes this a wonderful conversation starter around the harder parts of bringing a new baby into the family.

Children's books about a new baby. There’s Going to Be a Baby, by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury. Parents of toddlers know that kids process new information over weeks and months—and they have no filter. This children’s book about a new baby shows that beautifully in a back-and-forth conversation between a pregnant mom and her firstborn son. The book shows them talking about the new baby over the course of months, wondering what the baby will do—but also showing that Big Brother is skeptical about the wonders of having a baby. (“Mrs. Anderson’s baby threw up all over their new carpet,” he interjects at one point, apropos of nothing.) The book also shows that given enough time and enough conversations, even reluctant big siblings can come around to the idea of a new baby.

Children's books about a new baby. Babies Don’t Eat Pizza, by Dianne Danzig. I’m a big fan of providing information (medically and scientifically accurate info, to be specific) to my kids—it helps satisfy their curiosity and respects their intelligence. This kid’s book about a new baby provides plenty of details in a way even young children can grasp, such as how a baby eats in the womb and even what happens if a baby is born too early or is sick. The book also shows what big siblings can do to help, from entertaining the baby to showing her how to turn a pot into a drum. This book is also reassuring, saying that feeling left-out is normal for kids and adults, and that big siblings will still be special to parents.

Children's books about a new baby. Vampire Baby, by Kelly Bennett. This super-silly book about babies entertained Peeper but cracked me up. It’s all about a big brother who is convinced his baby sister is actually a vampire. Parents will recognize the baby’s behavior as classic teething—heck, I still have some scars from baby bites! It’s a great starting point to discuss teething to big siblings who may be fed up with a baby chomping on their hands, and it will also make everyone laugh. After reading this picture book, I also got to tell Peeper all about how she used to bite everything—just like Vampire Baby. Her eyebrows shot right up!

I hope you and your littles enjoy these books about a new baby, whether you’re welcoming a new member of the family, if your child is gaining a new cousin, or just if they want to learn about babies.

Do you have any favorite children’s books about a new baby?


If you’re already in the midst of parenting two (or more) and you need a little encouragement, pop on over to my post that reassures you raising two kids does get easier.

2 thoughts on “12 best children’s books about a new baby: What we’re reading

  • January 31, 2018 at 9:31 pm
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    Your daughters are SO adorable together. I do definitely think that talking to the first born about the new addition is important, and these book suggestions are perfect.

    Reply
    • February 1, 2018 at 9:25 am
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      Thank you Erin! Talking about the transition, through books or any other way, definitely helps everyone better understand the changes ahead!

      Reply

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