18 Big Sibling Books to Prepare for a New Baby
Adding a new baby to a family is a big adjustment for everyone – and perhaps nobody more so than the new big brother or big sister.
It can be difficult for older siblings to grasp the implications of the upcoming arrival of a new baby, especially if the older sibling is only a toddler. To help you prepare your child for a new arrival, we’ve rounded up 18 fantastic big brother books and big sister books. These are a mix of some of our well-loved favourites, as well as some excellent books that I’ve discovered more recently.
1. The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby, by Stan & Jan Berenstain
This is a sentimental favourite that I remember reading as a child. The Bear family welcomes Sister Bear to the family, and Small Bear becomes Brother Bear. It is a little strange that Sister Bear arrives while Small Bear and Papa Bear are out building Small Bear a new bed, but if you can overlook that minor detail it’s a cute book. This book doesn’t have much practical information about what life with a new baby is like, but may help get them excited about the arrival of a new sibling.
Once we had kids of our own (and picked up Berenstain Bears books again for the first time in 20 years) I was shocked to discover that the Berenstain Bears had added a new baby to their family! There are two newer Berenstain Bears books that focus on Sister Bear’s adjustment to Baby Honey’s arrival:
The Birds, the Bees and the Berenstain Bears helps explain pregnancy and delivery at a very basic level (which – fair warning – may lead to more questions!).
Baby Makes Five is one I would recommend only if the older sibling in your family is having a tough time adjusting to a new baby’s arrival. It touches on Sister Bear’s jealousy about the attention that Honey Bear is receiving, and explains that a new baby requires a lot of care and attention, just like the older sibling did when they were a baby.
2. Franklin’s Baby Sister, by Paulette Bourgeois
Franklin is a Canadian series of books, about an adorable turtle named Franklin. The series features Franklin grappling with issues that many children can relate to – such as being afraid of the dark, or the arrival of a new sibling. In this book, Franklin endures an excruciatingly long wait for the arrival of his baby sister. With a mix of humour, and an added science lesson about seasons and plants, this book will appeal to the child who can’t wait to be an older sibling.
3. I am a Big Sister!/I am a Big Brother!, by Caroline Jayne Church
I’m partial to rhyming books for toddlers, because I find them much more enjoyable when I’m reading them over and over (and over and over!). This is a sweet rhyming book that looks at some of the fun an older sibling can have with their new baby.
4. I’m a Big Brother/I’m a Big Sister, by Joanna Cole
This book contrasts what an older sibling can do as compared to a new baby, and talks about how the big sibling is special to Mom and Dad (“I’m the only me in the whole world!”).
5. Babies Don’t Eat Pizza, by Dianne Danzig
This is a lengthier book, aimed at older kids (ages 4-8). It’s very matter-of-fact and informative, with a dose of humour that older kids will appreciate.
6. Little Frog’s Tadpole Trouble, by Tatyana Feeny
If you think adding a little brother or sister to your family is a big change, imagine adding nine little brothers and sisters! That’s just what happens to Little Frog. Although he’s not too impressed with his younger siblings at first – or the attention they take away from him – he eventually realizes that little tadpoles grow into little frogs, which means he’s gained nine new playmates.
7. You’re Getting a Baby Sister!/You’re Getting a Baby Brother!, by Sheila Sweeny Higginson
This is a cute, rhyming book, that takes a humourous look at the reality of having a baby brother or sister. Unlike many other big brother/big sister books, this one looks at both the positive and negative aspects of having a new baby. It also emphasizes the importance of older siblings being a role model to their younger sibling.
8. Best-Ever Big Brother/Best-Ever Big Sister, by Karen Katz
A fun lift-the-flap book that contrasts what a big brother or sister can do as compared to their baby sibling. Ends by reassuring that one day baby will be able to do what their big sibling can, when they’re “big like me”
9. You Were the First, by Patricia MacLachlan
Appropriate for an oldest child only, this book is very different from the other books on this list. Instead of preparing the older child for their new sibling, this one reassures little ones that no matter how many younger siblings may come after them, they will always hold a special place in the family. This is a sweet book, which may very well make you cry the first time you read it to your oldest (especially if you’re pregnant with your second at the time!). My only criticisms are that some of the examples in the book are very specific and not applicable to us. Also, it focuses on the oldest child only, so it’s not one that we pull out often these days, when we’re usually reading with all three kids.
10. Big Sisters are the Best/Big Brothers are the Best, by Fran Manushkin
A very positive book, focusing on how special big brothers and big sisters are, and all of the ways they can help with the new baby.
11. The New Baby, by Mercer Mayer
Little Critter books were a favourite of mine as a kid, so this is another sentimental favourite. This is a sweet and simple book, all about what you can and cannot do with a new baby.
12. You’re All My Favorites, by Sam McBratney
Not new-baby-specific, this book reassures little ones that there’s more than enough love to go around, and they are each special in their own way.
13. What Brothers Do Best/What Sisters Do Best, by Laura Numeroff
Laura Numeroff, best known for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, brings us this delightful book about what brothers and sisters do best. It doesn’t focus on the new baby years, but rather the fun that you can have with your brother or sister when they’re older.
14. You’re a Big Sister/You’re a Big Brother, by Marianne Richmond
This one is adorable! It’s short and sweet, it rhymes, and there are a few parts that melted my heart (baby’s first smile at their big sibling!). It has some great lines, like “Yes, our days will be busy with baby, it’s true, but we’ll always find time for just me and you.”
15. Little Miss, Big Sis, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
A short and simple rhyming book, celebrating the growing love between a little girl and her new sibling. The illustrations are adorable, and some of the text was touching in its simplicity (“Admired. Inspired.”).
16. Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Baby?, by Barney Salzburg
Cornelius questions what his new baby brother can do – and if his mom loves the new baby more than him. My four-year-old loves the song that Cornelius makes up (“You’re a little baby, short and stout/Here is your head and here is your snout!/When you’re a little older, we will play/But now you’re like a lump of clay!”).
Related: Should You Have a Third Child?
17. Big Brother Daniel, by Angela Santomero
I haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy of this book, but have watched the episode that it’s based on MANY times. This will be a good one for Daniel Tiger fans, who want to be a “big helper” just like Daniel.
18. Hello in There!: A Big Sister’s Book of Waiting, by Jo Witek
This is a unique book featuring mom‘s growing tummy on each page, with a flap to peek inside at baby (cute illustrations, not anatomically correct). This one would be good for toddlers up to school-aged children. It doesn’t include any practical information about what it’s like to have a new baby in the house, but is a good book to help build excitement and anticipation for the impending arrival.
Do you have a favourite big brother book or big sister book that I didn’t include? Let me know in the comments below.