Our little Bear became a big sister only 9 months ago. All of the older siblings out there know the shift from being the youngest in the family is HUGE. It was for me, at least! I still remember some of the books my parents read at bedtime to help me get used to the idea of being a big sister. Anyone remember the Little Golden Book called The Bears’ New Baby? Mom, I bet you do, since we only read it half a million times!
New books are such a useful way to help everyone in the family imagine what it will be like once a new baby arrives, so today I thought I’d share with you some of our favorites that helped us through this big transition.
- Maple by Lori Nichols
It was such perfect timing that this book came in the mail from the Imagination Library while I was pregnant! The sweetest illustrations accompany this adorable coming of age story. When Maple was “still a whisper” her parents plant a little tree that grows along with her. Maple loves the tree and as they grow, she finds in it a friend through every season (though sometimes she wishes her tree were better at throwing snowballs). One day Maple is surprised to find a little willow sapling planted next to her tree, and soon learns a new baby is on the way, too. Baby Willow, as it turns out, needs trees as much as Maple. Bonnie still loves to go hug the crepe myrtle sapling we dubbed “her tree” after reading this book, and proudly tell me, “It’s growing up just like I am!”
2. You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan
Ok mamas, mascara alert! If you read this book while you are pregnant and hormonal, you’re gonna tear up. Truthfully this book was for ME. Your first baby teaches you how to be a parent. There’s just something a little nostalgic about looking back and realizing they’re not going to be the only one anymore. This book celebrates all the milestones you’ve shared, reminding your first born just how special they will always be. Each page brought back vivid memories – from Bonnie’s first laugh to her first steps – and with those memories, a growing excitement about experiencing that wonder all over again.
3. Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham
Some sweet friends who were thoughtful enough to remember Bonnie during all the baby crazy sent this book to her with a baby gift for Margaret. I love the bright, diverse artwork in this book and cool typography and design. And really, what two year old doesn’t love an interactive book? There are flaps to tickle baby’s tummy, change baby’s diaper, and even a paper doll baby that pops out to feed, swaddle, and rock. Bonnie loved learning how we take care of babies, and I loved that it showed how babies eat, sleep and play in so many different ways.
4. Big Brother Daniel
We love Daniel Tiger at our house! Bonus: his new little sister is ALSO named Margaret. (No, we did not name our Margaret after Margaret Tiger!) If you don’t know about Daniel Tiger, he is the next generation of Fred Roger’s legacy characters from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. The show teaches kids emotional intelligence, and honestly there are some good parenting lessons hidden in those annoyingly catchy jingles they sing every episode. In this short, simple board book, Daniel learns how to be a helper in his family after becoming a big brother. This book helped Bonnie understand that babies cry to tell us something, and she loved the familiar characters and story line from TV. I included this as part of her big sister gift bag that she opened the day Margaret was born and we have read it many times over since then.
What are some books you read to your newly promoted BIG brother or sister? Let me know in the comments!
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