We had our first ultrasound last week and saw our baby dancing around and showing off for the “camera” in 3D/4D. Technology is absolutely amazing. We also discovered that I was actually closer to 11 weeks at the time rather than 12 weeks and I gained back another 7 days of my pregnancy!
KC, our 4 year old daughter, has been asking for a baby sister or brother for awhile. She is very excited and I’m loving all of the random belly kisses and belly rubs that she gives me. I’m also aware that no matter how excited KC may be for our new baby, it will still be a huge transition from youngest child to her new big sister role. I’m all about making this transition as smooth as possible and now sounds like a great time to start.
My mom, a retired teacher and reading specialist, has hand-picked this selection of books to help steer us moms and dads in the right direction for this task of preparing our children ahead of time for a new baby. Thanks, mom! If you’ve already had your bundle of joy…congratulations! These books will help at any point in the transition.
Since each of these books mention the words “big sister” a lot, I took this opportunity to introduce KC to the sight word “sister” and plan to practice this sight word/high frequency word more very soon. Start by pointing to and saying the word “sister” as you drag your finger under it. Next, trace each letter with your finger, saying the letter aloud to your child. Then drag your finger under the word as your say “sister” again. Now that you’ve modeled this for your child, ask them to say the word, trace each letter, and say the word again as they drag their finger underneath it as you did. Repeat this each time you come to the word “sister” in your books and eventually your child will recognize it and be able to point and say the word when you come to it without being prompted. We will elaborate soon on how to practice more with this new sight word/high frequency word at home with your child. Perhaps the next high frequency word we learn will be “brother”! (No, that’s not a hint…we don’t know what we’re having yet!)
I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole – The illustrations are darling and give an inquisitive child a lot to ask questions about. This book also sparks great conversations about how your child will be able to help (safely) with the baby, how the baby has different needs and limitations and won’t be able to play with them yet, explains why babies cry, and most importantly reiterates how special the older child is and will always be to you. (We actually have the potty training book My Big Girl Potty by Joanna Cole as well, which I highly recommend if you are potty training now or in the near future. KC still loves to read her potty books when she’s going even though she’s already potty trained!)
Best-Ever Big Sister by Karen Katz – Your child will love lifting the flaps to reveal what things big sisters can do that a baby can’t do yet. We like to talk about how fun it will be for KC to help teach her baby sister or brother to do the things she can already do, like dress herself, ride a bike, and eat with a fork and spoon. The repeated phrase “But I can…”, is easy for your child to catch on to and read along, and I’m sure they’ll enjoy flipping the page up and finishing the sentence.
What Baby Needs by William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., and Christie Watts Kelly – This book is written by a pediatrician and registered nurse and reflects a parenting style known as Attachment Parenting. I have never associated myself with any specific parenting style, but I do like this book and how it prepares a child for the importance of birth bonding, breastfeeding, being flexible with sleeping arrangements, and the value of a baby’s cry. This book helps make your child feel special as it speaks directly to them, with “What About Me?” and “Making Friends With Your Baby” sections geared towards addressing common feelings and questions they may be having.
The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby by Stan & Jan Berenstain – I mean, who doesn’t love a Berenstain Bear book, am I right? This book does a great job helping to prepare your child for sharing their things that they’ve grown out of with the new baby. KC’s favorite parts of this book are when Small Bear (soon to be Brother Bear) realizes that it’s been harder to fit on his mother’s lap lately because her stomach was growing, and also when the baby pops her big brother in the nose. We have a growing collection of Berenstain Bears’ books and are thrilled to add this one, which must be one of Stan and Jan Berenstain’s earlier titles.
See above for details on the Big Sister versions of these books. I would imagine that they are very similar!
Please share with us any ideas or methods that have worked or are working for you as you prepare your family for a new baby! We’d love to hear from you. – lifeasallison
Here is KC showing off the very first picture of her baby sister or brother! Follow us on Instagram for some more daily fashion fun.