by Mia Geiger
As the youngest of two siblings I became “the baby” of the family the second my parents brought me home from the hospital. But my sister got the grand prize: She instantly became the “big sister.”
I don’t know what my parents told my sister, then a toddler, just before they brought me home. I’m guessing they were probably so tired from taking care of a two-year-old that they just silently prayed things would go smoothly.
We got along well, without resentment at having to share toys or attention, although one time my mom found my sister upstairs trying to give me a haircut with a sharp object. Other than that, my sister has made my life richer in so many ways.
You never know what kids are thinking, though. A child might seem perfectly content at the prospect of a new little bundle, but inside they might be scared. They might wonder: Will my parents love me as much? Will I still get attention? Why do they need another baby?
Here are books to share with siblings and soon-to-be-siblings to make the transition to a bigger family a little more smoothly.
Brand-New Baby Blues, by Kathi Appelt; illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Ages 3-6, HarperCollins
A little girl, perfectly content to be the only child, doesn’t like all the attention her baby brother gets. But once she realizes she’ll soon have a playmate, she changes her mind.: “We’ll catch a ball and fly a kite …/it’s looking like, just maybe,/he’ll be a lot more fun/when he’s a brother, not a baby!”
Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth!by Sarah Weeks; illustrated by Robert Neubecker
Ages 4-8, Beach Lane Books
In her earnest, over-the-top speaking style, Sophie tells what new babies are really like: “If you try to pick one up, BEWARE, they leak.” and “When babies eat – TRUST ME – you don’t want to watch.” Bright, expressive illustrations add to the fun.
Baby Baby Blah Blah Blah, by Jonathan Shipton; illustrated by Francesca Chessa
All ages, Holiday House
Emily finds out her parents are having a baby and she’s worried that once the newborn arrives “it will be baby this and baby that and baby goo goo and baby blah blah blah. Everything will be upside down and inside out.” Her mom and dad, though, know just the reassuring words she needs to hear.
Babies Don’t Eat Pizza, by Dianne Danzig; illustrated by Debbie Tilley
Ages 3-5, Dutton
This informative book explains with honesty and humor what a newborn looks like; what he does; how he plays; and why he cries. The last page features 10 tips for parents to help the family adjust to the baby.
Mia Geiger is a freelance writer in the Philadelphia area.y