And Then There Were Two
When you were expecting your first child, you likely picked up books on pregnancy, parenting, adoption or raising children for yourself. Now that you're expecting a second (or a third, or a fourth child) you might be seeking books to read to your younger children about what to expect with this new baby--from what is going on, where baby's come from, what's going to change and what isn't, and what babies can and can't do. These ten picture books are a great place to start when talking about pregnancy, being a sibling or welcoming a new family member.
What's in There: All About Before You Were Born by Robie H Harris
This fully illustrated, engaging picture books encourages older children to ask questions as they learn about the process of pregnancy, are introduced to accurate terminology and see the ninth month process from beginning to end. This book is also inclusive of adoptive families, multiple births, and its bright colors can engage young children while its strong writing invites them to be a more active big sibling and anticipate what is next.
Nine Months: Before a Baby is Born by Miranda Paul
Follow the pregnancy process from the inside and out. This book features well-drawn, accurate fetal drawings as well as illustrated glimpses into what is happening to families during this time--from doctor's visits, to setting up a nursery, to the birthing process. This book has lifelike illustrations of babies in the womb and out, but features simple enough language to engage young readers and show the magic of the process for all involved.
The Wild, Wild Inside: A View from Mommy's Tummy! by Kate Feiffer
Told from inside the womb, this fun book takes a bit of a fictional, outside the box approach to answering the question "what's the baby doing in there?" Full-color illustrations show the baby piloting a rocket ship, dancing ballet, playing baseball, and getting ready to be born. This is an excellent read for children who already know the basics and want to engage with the idea of babies and future siblings on a more relaxed level.
What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy? by Abby Cocovini
This large, illustrated book takes a nonfiction approach to pregnancy, breaking down what is happening inside the womb during each month of pregnancy. It provides an excellent opportunity to track fetal growth, explore the new things babies can do at each stage of development, and learn correct vocabulary terms. The illustrations are less model-like and more artistically done, which is great for children who may not like medical-like images.
Welcoming Babies by Margy Burns Knight
This heartwarming book about birth traditions and welcoming ceremonies all around the world features diverse cultures, religions, and family experiences. From blessing ceremonies, to baptisms, to tree plantings, to sending welcome cards, this book covers an array of experiences that will help older siblings understand how special they are and also the reverie accorded to new babies around the world.
Happy Birth Day! by Robie H Harris
This sweet book will help older children understand where they come from and how special they are as well as prepare them for what is to come with a new sibling. From exiting the birth canal to breast feeding to meeting new relatives and getting diaper changes, this book captures the process of birth as well as the love of parents and guardians and the unique relationship with a newborn baby.
The New Baby by Mary Packard
This "my first reader" book is excellent for emerging readers who want to use the prescribed spelling list to explore a future sibling. Capturing the realities of a household with a new baby, the book also introduces the joy a baby can bring to a new sibling and the role they can play in providing comfort and assistance.
Babies Don't Eat Pizza: The Big Kids' Book about Baby Brothers and Baby Sisters by Dianne Danzig
An excellent book for older readers, this book looks at the entire process of becoming a big sibling--from the hospital to the home. It covers where babies come from, what they need, how they communicate, what they like, and provides a little bit of hope for that sibling connection we all want.
Ninja Baby by David Zeltser
This fun take on bringing home a new sibling is perfect for fun-loving siblings who like the idea of teaching their new sibling something and having a new sidekick. With beautiful, delicate illustrations, this book doesn't necessarily teach anything about where babies come from, but it will provide a unique insight into how to be a big sibling.
Little Miss, Big Sis by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Introduce older children to the joy of being a big sibling with this sweet book that follows a child from being told about a new sibling to flourishing in their role. With simple words and clear illustrations, this book looks at pregnancy, birth, the developmental stages of an infant, and the bond between siblings that grows and grows. Told in rhyme, this is a great read for young readers who want to know what to expect next, especially visually.