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Anticipating a new sibling can be both an exciting and anxious time for kids. Becoming a big brother or big sister is a momentous occasion in their little lives. But big moments also can cause big shifts in the world they’ve come to know.
They may have their own expectations of talking with or playing with the baby as soon as it arrives. And they certainly don’t have any way of anticipating the constant needs a newborn requires and will likely be missing the focused attention from their parents.
Books are a great way to start conversations and set expectations as children look forward to meeting a new sibling. Books can help acknowledge a child’s feelings (or frustrations) as well as answer their innocent questions like, “Why is mommy’s belly getting so big?”
Here are some of our favorite kids’ books to help ease the transition for older siblings and generate excitement about your expanding family.
Ezra Jack Keats
In this award-winning, classic story, Peter gets a new baby sister. But when his parents paint all his old things pink, he decides to run away with his dog Willie.
A lift-the-flap book to help big siblings feel proud of all they can do.
Caroline Jayne Church
A sweet board book to get kids ready to be a big sibling.
This imaginative story is perfect for parent-child bonding as a family anticipates the birth of a new baby.
Sheila Sweeny Higginson and Sam Williams
This rhyming board book addresses what to expect when a new sibling arrives.
Stan and Jan Berenstain
The classic story of when Small Bear became Brother Bear.
Jo Witek and Christine Roussey
A whimsical and interactive book to help siblings waiting and waiting for their new baby brother or sister to arrive.
Silvia Lopez and Ziyue Chen
Meili, who is 6 years old and adopted from China, learns that her parents are going to adopt a baby from Haiti. Meili isn't happy and thinks their family is just right as it is, until she understands more about her important role as a big sister.
Angela C. Santomero and Jason Fruchter
Daniel Tiger is learning to be a good helper after his new baby sister Margaret arrives.
Katura J. Hudson
This charming picture book explores the anticipation, excitement, and pride a young girl experiences as she helps to welcome a new baby to the family. A 2019 Ben Franklin Gold Medal Award winner.
Patricia MacLachlan and Stephanie Graegin
An adorable picture book sure to be loved by parents and kids with a story celebrating the first milestones in a new family. This one will make siblings who have a new baby coming feel extra special.
Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr
Funny and sweet, this story follows the frustrations and realizations of having a new baby in the family.
Elmore Green started out as an only child, but when a new small person comes along and disrupts his life, Elmore must adjust.
Delia Berrigan and Lizzie Walkley
A beautifully illustrated picture book showing all the things sisters can experience together.
Laura Numeroff and Lynn Munsinger
A sweet story about all the fun things brothers can do together.
This cute book celebrates all the exciting parts of a growing family and prepares a little girl for becoming a big sister.
Maple and Willow are sisters who love to play together ... until they need a break from each other.
Flip and Flop are brothers who love to play together until one of them wants to play with a new friend. A cute story about siblings and friendships.
This tale shows there are two sides to every sibling story. And when a new baby arrives, they learn it helps to have someone on your side.
A companion book to "You're a Big Sister" by author Marianne Richmond, this is a similar story perfect for getting a little boy excited about becoming a big brother.