Parenting is a Journey
An Adventure of Discovery Not Only of our Children But of Ourselves as Well
What could be more exciting than a new addition to the family? For siblings, so many feelings can come with the announcement or arrival of a new baby— anticipation, eagerness, nervousness, worry and sometimes lots of different emotions at the same time! Older siblings might feel proud and excited to help with a new baby, but also concerned about their shifting place in the family. They might want to discuss their feelings, or they might need encouragement to express their (maybe mixed) emotions. As parents, we want to reassure our kids that they are loved and important, no matter what.
Books and other media are such a wonderful window into the variety of feelings that kids may have around new babies, and are a great springboard for discussion. When our second child was born, I appreciated content that gently presented and normalized a whole spectrum of feelings about new babies for our older daughter. Below are some of our favorites.
For more, check out SmartFeed’s hand-picked media suggestions:
Family Movie Night
Games to Play Together
Great Bedtime Stories
— -and much more. Enjoy!
Apps for New Big Brothers and Sisters
Sago Mini Babies (age 2-5)
I love all the Sago Mini apps, and Babies is no exception. Users get a chance to feed, dress, and play with a collection of impossibly cute baby animals. Really well designed—and fun!
The New Baby (age 3+)
Featuring Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter characters, this sweet, interactive story follows Little Critter as he meets his new baby sister. Engaging, fun, and straightforward enough for the youngest users.
Books for New Big Brothers and Sisters
The Baby Tree (age 4-8)
A young boy learns that a new baby will be joining his family, and wants to know where the baby will come from. A series of well-meaning friends, neighbors, and grownups provide pieces of the answer—but their answers are confusing! Ultimately the boy’s parents explain how babies grow. A helpful list of questions and answers follows the story to guide parents whose children want additional information. Whimsical illustrations are beautiful and engaging.
The New Small Person (age 3-8)
Elmore Green starts out life as an only child, and delights in arranging his small toys without interruption, eating jellybeans (and not having to share the orange ones, his favorites), and enjoying the attention and adoration of his parents. But the arrival of a new, small person (his baby brother) changes everything. A funny but heartfelt story of sibling rivalry and acceptance. A favorite at our house.
Everywhere Babies (age 0-3)
A sweet celebration of babies and their families, their triumphs and challenges, and the love that families share. A perfect first book for little ones, and a gentle introduction to babies for young siblings.
The Family Book and We Belong Together: A Book about Adoption and Families (age 2-5)
Illustrated in Todd Parr’s signature style, these books celebrate all kinds of families and the people in them. Nice choices for young readers.
A Baby Sister for Frances (age 4-7)
Frances has a new little sister, and she’s not sure how she feels about it. So many of the mixed feelings a new sibling can bring are represented here, and in such a loveable, true way. This one is an oldie (expect pretty traditional gender roles) but still a goodie!
Pecan Pie Baby (age 5-8)
Gia’s going to be a big sister, but she is jealous of the new baby who gets all kinds of attention, even before it is born. Through reassuring conversations with her mother, she begins to warm to the idea— and understands the ways she and her family will always be connected.
A Movie for New Big Brothers and Sisters
Babies presents an amazing and intriguing look at babies and families around the world. This documentary follows 4 babies—in Japan, Namibia, Mongolia, and San Francisco—and takes an in-depth look at their first year of life. A great choice for older children and adults to watch together and discuss.
A TV Show for New Big Brothers and Sisters
Ruby’s Studio: The Siblings Show (Age 4+)
This creative, fun show features real world problems that siblings encounter, and presents creative, compassionate ways to solve them. Features an adorable cast of kids and catchy music and dancing.