A few weeks ago I posted looking for recommendations on books for my 2.5 year old DD about having a new baby. Here are my personal reviews of the books that were recommended.
What Baby Needs by Dr. Sears - My DD loves this book and recites entire passages from it "baby has a tiny tummy and needs to eat very often, day and night" etc. It's gentle and talks about what it's like to have a new baby. There is a page that shows the dad giving the baby a bottle. The description specifies that "when baby is older" and "mom needs to be away" that the baby might get "mommy's milk in a bottle", so the verbage is ok, but I personally don't like bottle imagery and don't want DD, who never had a bottle, to expect our new addition to get a bottle. Also, when talking about sleep they say that baby needs to be "close to mommy" but they show the baby centered in a co-sleeper probably 2 feet away from mommy. My DD still sleeps practically on top of me and we've been talking about how the baby will be in the bed with us, right by mommy. I don't want her to think that putting the baby on a seperate sleep surface that far away from me is an option at all.
We Have a Baby by Cathryn Falwell - this is a very sweet book, with sweet illustrations. The older sibling is very gender neutral. The text is very very simple "a baby to kiss," "a baby to feed," etc. The mom is shown nursing the baby. There are no cribs or the like shown. It would be a great book for a very young toddler expecting a new sibling. It's a bit babyish for my 2.5 year old, but she enjoys it anyway.
Wind Rose by Cresent Dragonwagon - Wow, I
this book. It's just beautiful and makes me cry. It's out of print, but I easily found a used copy for under $10 including shipping. If I'd known I'd love it this much, I would have bought a slightly more expensive copy in better shape. It tells the story of a pregnancy and homebirth as told to the child. There is a page that shows the parent's embracing in bed (only their heads/shoulders show and the rest is under covers). It says something like "your father was inside of me and that's when we thought to you. We had too much love for 2 and so we thought of you." I personally think that this is a beautiful, honest, and not at all vulgar or too much information way of presenting conception to a small child. DD has not asked any questions about it. It's a very hippy type book - they weave a basket for the baby themselves and build shelves themselves, the clothes are handmedowns, etc. While we don't do this exactly, I'm happy with the presentation. The birth scenes mostly show the mother's face straining, and take place in the bed at home with a midwife attending.
Welcome with Love (aka Hello Baby) by Jenni Overend - DD adores this book too. We're reading it several times a day at the moment. It's out of print and hard to find a reasonably priced copy. I found it at my library! Since it's such a favorite, I went ahead and ordered us a copy. It tells the story of a homebirth from the perspective of a small child/toddler older brother. There are also 2 older sisters present at the birth. It shows the birth with mom naked, leaning on dad, and the baby's head coming out with the midwife supporting it. It also shows the naked baby (clear penis with the statement that they could tell it was a boy) with the cord still attached, and the placenta is shown on the next page. The book talks about mom making a lot of noise and mom pushing the baby out. DD has definitely taken to these phrases, and I'm glad to be introducing these ideas to her.
I probably read these 4 books at DD's request at least once a day each right now.