We have a new baby! Hurray?
Adding a new baby to the family is a wonderful experience…unless, of course, you are the older brother or sister.
This picture was snapped at the moment that my older son Alex met his new sibling. Alex was four when he found out we were having another baby. He said he didn’t want one, he never asked any questions about it (except for “Mom, how is the baby going to get out?”), and he told me that if we had to have one, he wanted it to be a girl.
So when his little brother Nathan was born, Alex was not pleased. He would not talk to me, hug me, or even lean close to me.
About a month later, I was feeding Nathan yet again (he was such a slow eater), while Alex played on my feet—literally. He looked up at me and firmly said, “Mom, you don’t have to do this again. I never asked for one, you know.”
Their relationship has improved since then.
Below are several new books for older brothers and sisters who are dealing with the aftermath of a new addition to the family. Do you have any other favorite books…or stories about new siblings?
15 Things Not to Do with a Baby by Margaret McAllister (ill. by Holly Sterling). 9781847807526. 2015. Gr PK-K.
There are lots of things that an older sibling should not do with a new baby, and this is just the book to explain them. The warnings range from the somewhat silly to outright crazy. “Don’t…take the baby to school or swap him for the school guinea pig.” “Don’t…give the baby to an octopus to cuddle.” This book is not for the child who is feeling replaced or upset over the new baby, for none of the “don’ts” are mean-spirited and both siblings always wear a smile. Rather, give it to the youngster who might be a little too thrilled. The last pages of this excellent book explain what you should do. A plus: the family is bi-racial.
Behold! A Baby by Stephanie Watson (ill. by Joy Ang). 9781619634527. 2015. Gr PK-1.
An older brother is quite disgusted about all the new attention that is being paid to the new baby. What makes the baby so special, anyway? What fantastic phenomena, jaw-dropping talents, and stunning skills does this baby have to generate this much awe? Using the tone and expressions of a circus ringmaster, this book speaks to an older sibling who is jealous of the interest paid to the paltry abilities of the new baby. (it can eat a banana? I can eat TWO!)
Little Miss, Big Sis by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (ill. by Peter H. Reynolds). 9780062302038. 2015. Gr K-2.
Little Miss is so excited to be a big sis, but when the big moment finally comes (“WOW!”), things are not exactly what she suspected. “What now? / Sleep. Fuss. Eat. / Repeat.” Despite that, Big Sis is there to help as the baby grows and learns. This book shows the reality of life with a new baby (“Drool. Drool. So not cool.”) and toddler (“Sure, sometimes takes toys./ And sometimes annoys.”), and helps older sibs understand that the connection between the two are no match for the tough parts.
Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins (ill. by Molly Idle). 9781561458165. 2015. Gr PK-3.
Rodeo Red is a cowgirl wannabee, and she and her trusty stuffed dog Rusty are out to conquer the Wild West. They’ve pretty much succeeded, until Slim rides into town and steals Rusty. Slim is Red’s baby brother. Red tries to get Rusty back, but Slim’s not about to surrender him, and Red ends up in a holding cell, aka timeout. This book would make a great read-aloud (practice it first so you can perfect the cowboy drawl), and kids will be delighted to see how Red and Rusty get back together.
Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman (ill. by Zachariah Ohora). 9780316226141. 2015. Gr PK-1.
When the Bunny family finds a basket on their doorstep, Mama and Papa are thrilled to see the adorable baby wolf inside and adopt him immediately. Dot, however, is concerned. “HE’S GOING TO EAT US ALL UP!” As Wolfie gets bigger, she becomes even more worried. “HE’S GOING TO EAT US ALL UP!” Then one day, on an errand to buy carrots, Wolfie opens his mouth wide…and pounces! It’s not what you expect, and I enjoyed seeing how Dot stands up to protect her baby brother. This book is great for all sorts of older siblings, but especially for those with an adopted baby brother or sister.
Check out more titles about new siblings:
A Guide to Sisters by Paula Metcalf (ill. by Suzanne Barton). 9780553498998. 2015. Gr PK-2.
Here She Is! by Catherine LeBlanc (ill. by Eve Tharlet). 9789888240920. 2015. Gr PK-K.
Mission : New Baby by Susan Hood (ill. by Lundquist). 9780385376723. 2015. Gr PK-2.
The New Small Person by Lauren Child. 9780763678104. 2015. Gr PK-2.
The Newbies by Peter Catalanotto. 9781481418928. 2015. Gr K-2.
When a Dragon Moves in Again by Jodi Moore (ill. by Howard McWilliam). 9781936261352. September 2015. Gr K-2.