The best thing for me is to watch my toddler son play with my baby daughter. He’s kind. He’s nice. When he cares for someone, they feel safe and secure. Not that he doesn’t sometimes crash a toy truck into her leg, but, well, that’s what siblings do.
It wasn’t always this way. When my mini man was first made “big brother,” he was nervous, confused, and even a little uninterested in his sister. It took a while. It took a lot of time. It took a lot of hugs and kisses to make her feel better. Finally, it took love. He now can’t get enough of her.
If you’re a big brother-to-be or a new big brother, we’ve put together a list of eight great picture books to celebrate National Brother Day (May 24). Children and their parents might find it hard, but it’s also very heartwarming when they make the move to a new home together. One of the best things about being a parent is snuggling up with your big boy and your new baby and reading one of these books together.
Olive Marshmallow, by Katie Saunders
Archie’s world is full of weird things. Most worrying is that his Mommy’s belly is growing so quickly. Then there’s the pink spare room. When his mother comes home from the hospital with Baby Olive in tow, he thinks his new sister looks a lot like a fluffy marshmallow. Archie is still wary of Baby’s charms, but with a little time and a little gentle prodding, he learns that “little sisters are actually really great.”
Big Brothers Don’t Take Naps, by Louise Borden and Emma Dodd
If you want to read a book about a little brother, this isn’t it. Nicholas is in awe of his big brother, James. All the cool things are his. He can read, write, and take the bus. It’s even better that James doesn’t nap. It can be funny, but it can help a new big brother understand how he can be both a role model and a superhero for his younger siblings.
I’m a Big Brother, by Joana Cole and Rosalinda Kightley
New people are at our house. The story is told from the point of view of a new big brother. It teaches kids about babies and how older kids can help, and it reassures kids that there’s always love to go around.
What Brothers Do Best, by Laura Numeroff and Lynn Munsinger
Brothers are good at so many things, and they can do so many things. Climb trees and push swings and play music. There is also a big sister version of this board book. It shows how special it is to be a brother or sister and how you make memories and grow together.
Michael and His New Baby Brother, Sarah Duchess of York and Ian Cunliffe
Michael is happy to be an only child. The news that he’s going to be a big brother comes as a surprise to him, and not in a good way. But soon, with the help of his parents, Michael starts to see the benefits of having a little brother.
Henry is a Big Brother, by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Dorothy Stott
A new baby brings excitement, anxiety, joy, and jealousy, especially for an older brother or sister. Henry has to learn how to deal with having a child at home, so he can be happy. He holds the baby, counts its fingers and toes, and tries to help his parents when they’re having a bath with their little one. He starts to enjoy his new job and can’t wait to teach Baby all kinds of new things. First, he’ll have to learn to be patient.
The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby, by Stan Berenstain
Small Bear has grown out of his little bed just in time, because a new baby is coming soon. It took all day for him and his Papa to chop, hack, and build a big bed for him. A new little sister has moved into Small Bear’s bed. As he leans in to see her, he gets hit on the nose. “She has a pretty good punch for being so small.” That night, he lies down in his new bed and thinks that “being a big brother is going to be fun.” While Mama’s belly grows, the baby appears to come out of nowhere and join her. Nonetheless, this is a good book for any young fan of the show.
What books do you think are good for new big brothers to read?
Big Brother Daniel, by Angela C. Santomero and Jason Fruchter
This cute book is based on a popular episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. It shows how preschoolers can help their parents with all the things they have to do with their babies. Daniel helps his mom feed Margaret, get diapers, and even tells his sister a story. Then, when she goes to sleep, he can have all of his parents to himself.
My New Baby By Rachel Fuller
As a follow-up to the Waiting for a Baby book, My New Baby helps young kids learn more about what having a new baby in the family means. The text in the story is short, with only one or two sentences on each page, and the images are clear and simple. It talks about breastfeeding, how to help your child understand what a new baby needs and how to help them learn about new babies.
How do you tell your toddler that you might be breastfeeding their new brother or sister? You can do this in a child-friendly way with this.
I Am A Big Brother By Caroline Jayne Church
The I Am A Big Brother book is one of the best books about becoming a big brother. Older siblings will be able to see cute pictures that will help them learn more about what having a new child means.
It also shows how important a big brother is in his parents’ lives and how important they are in their new role as a big brother. This is a great big brother book for kids who are younger than two or three.