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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious as to when parents choose to tell toddlers about the future arrival of a baby?<br><br>
DS2 is 22 mos old and will be 26mos when this baby is born, I am wondering when to tell him about this.<br><br>
Also...<br><br>
I am looking for some ideas on a book(s) about birth that I can read with Ryan. I am trying to avoid any of the mainstream full of dr's and hospitals type of books.<br><br>
Any ideas would be most appreciated
 

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i found this from another thread months ago and saved it, so i am just copying and pasting, hope it comes through. my boy will be 2 when his new brother arrives... good luck to you!<br><br>
--from previous thread---<br>
Picture Books that prepare toddlers for new siblings<br>
Does anyone have any recommendations for "sibling" books? I've been hunting<br>
on Amazon and I'm having trouble picking a book to help prepare my 21 mos<br>
old for his new baby sister.<br><br>
Thank you ladies!<br><br>
__________________<br><br>
My fave so far has been Anne Kubler's My New Baby. It's only pictures, but<br>
we like it that way because we tailor the "story" to our experience. The<br>
nice thing about it is it shows the mommy b'feeding, dad changing a diaper,<br>
dad babywearing, and dad cooking dinner. In every picture there's also a<br>
nice "big boy" comparison--there's a sippy cup in the background of the baby<br>
nursing, the big brother gets to walk and hold dad's hand while baby is<br>
worn, bb will help make and eat the dinner but baby will nurse, etc.<br><br>
My ds is a "Little Critter" fan but that book annoys me--baby looks about 6<br>
mo old right out of the hospital, baby sis get a bottle, sleeps in a crib,<br>
etc. The Sears book (I think Martha is the author but not sure) is beautiful<br>
but a little advanced IMO--my 2.5 y/o doesn't need to know about my uterus<br>
just yet! But we glossed over that part, lol. Marc ? has an Arthur book<br>
about baby Kate which is nice, but maybe not relevant since Arthur and DW<br>
are 8 and 4 (I think) when she arrives. I got all these books at our library<br>
first before deciding to purchase, btw.<br><br>
I'd like to hear other people's rec's as well--DS loves to read about<br>
babies.<br><br>
__________________<br><br>
My son's favorite was Hello Baby!<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHello-Baby-Liz...%2Fdp%2F0517800748" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Hello-Baby-Liz.../dp/0517800748</a><br><br>
It does imply a hospital birth (grandma comes to stay), which is what I had,<br>
so it worked for us. We also liked My New Baby.<br><br>
Good luck!<br>
-e<br><br>
__________________<br><br>
I am not really sure you can 'prepare' a child that young for a sibling. It<br>
wont even be 'real' to them until the child is born and even then I dont<br>
think all the implications that come with that will be known to them. My<br>
friends dd who is the most clever girl her age I have ever encountered got<br>
herself a baby brother when she was nearly 3 years old - and though she<br>
could repeat everything that had been told to her, she really didnt<br>
understand it at all.<br><br>
However the LLL site has a list of lots of books on it - and some are really<br>
fab! 99.9% of really 'ap' and include homebirths and pictures of bf etc. And<br>
for the sake of them being just fantastic books to have around as many books<br>
dont include this kind of lifestyle - I suggest them all to you! hehe<br><br>
__________________<br><br><br>
"Where do babies come from?"<br><br>
"Baby on the Way" and "What Baby Needs" by Dr. Sears are two that my 26<br>
month old are really into right now!<br><br>
__________________<br><br>
The Sears' have a book called What Baby Needs, which we are reading right<br>
now and ds loves it. (It must be different than the one pp mentioned.)<br><br>
It may be advanced for a 1 yo, though-- the "big boy" activities may<br>
actually be things your ds isn't doing yet. I would recommend checking it<br>
out of the library to see if it's right for you.<br><br>
There are tons of books about siblings who are frustrated with the new baby.<br>
It's really hard to find a truly positive one, especially if you want it to<br>
so breastfeeding.<br><br>
(oops! cross posted with Gunter!)<br><br>
__________________<br><br><br>
We love love love "We Have A Baby" by Cathryn Falwell.<br><br>
It is exactly for that age, I got it for my ds who was 29 mo when dd was<br>
born. It has lovely illustrations, shows breastfeeding while the toddler<br>
cuddles with mom and has a snack, shows the whole family taking care of the<br>
baby. It has one line on each page. It's gorgeous.<br><br>
Heres' some other recommendations from LLL that show the ages the books are<br>
for:<br><br><a href="http://www.llli.org/cbi/bfbookshort.htm" target="_blank">http://www.llli.org/cbi/bfbookshort.htm</a><br><br>
__________________<br><br><br>
I'm a Big Sister/Brother Now by Joanna Cole.
 

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I told DD right away. We've been reading the 2 dr. sears books every day to her and she just loves them! They are full of images of nursing, slings, etc...<br><br><a href="http://www.askdrsears.com/store/detail.asp?pid=6" target="_blank">http://www.askdrsears.com/store/detail.asp?pid=6</a><br><br><a href="http://www.askdrsears.com/store/detail.asp?pid=7" target="_blank">http://www.askdrsears.com/store/detail.asp?pid=7</a>
 

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My dd is 20 months old and she is seeming to understand bits and pieces. She points to belly after we read one of books and says baby, stuff like that. Anyway, my favorite book I've picked up BY FAR is Hello Baby by Jenni Overend. It is told through the eyes of a young sibling who is witnessing his mother start labor and then give birth at home with a midwife. It has beautiful water color pictures and is written well for that age. Dd picks it out to read all the time and is one of the only books she will actually sit through to the end without just flipping through to look at favorite pictures instead. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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My ds is about 27 monthes and I've beed discussing it with him on and off for a while now. I just try to keep it light and interesting. Usually we talk about belly buttons (he loves his right now, knows where it is and likes to show it to people) so I usually ask him where his is and where his belly is. Then I show him my belly and belly button and tell him that right now mommy has a baby inside her belly. I don't think he really gets it but I think its about as much as he can handle right now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
We've read a few books but nothing in depth, just your basic Berenstain Bears, little Critter, Tomie de Paola (The Baby Sister)?. One good one I read was called something like "Everywhere Babies". That showed a lot of the things other people have mention (BF, BW, actively parenting dads, etc - if I remember correctly). And we get books every week from the library so when there is a baby in a story then we talk about how our baby is like that. Maybe I'll get some more specific books about having a baby later.<br><br>
My dd was about 19 monthes when my ds was born and she never had any problem with it. We never really talked about the baby a whole lot other than to say that mommy has a baby in her belly. She was a little confused when we actually brought him home but after about a week or so she just seemed to get that he was living with us. And now they totally love each other... well, most of the time, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">.
 

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We told my daughter pretty much within a few days of finding out I was pregnant, but she was older than your son is. Also, she'd already "called" the pregnancy before I knew about it. (She wanted to buy stuff for "the baby in your belly, you know, the baby named Dorothy.") After we found out at 14 weeks we were having twins, my husband realized that our daughter had been talking about "the babies," "our children" for awhile, too (she likes to be expansive when talking about her dolls and all her "children" so I just took it to be an extension of that habit.) But who knows?<br><br>
Anyway, her age & the fact that she already seemed aware (and kept bringing up the subject), plus my difficult time with nausea and vomiting, all influenced our decision to tell her pretty much from the beginning. I think that waiting IS hard, though, and could be harder for an even younger child. It might be possible to read books and familiarize the idea WITHOUT actually telling him that YOU are having a baby. Actually, we sort of did that with our girl when she was about your son's age (we weren't expecting. Just explored the subject of birth and babies in children's literature.)<br><br>
Actually, we started reading books about birth with my daughter when she was (I just checked my amazon ordering history to find out!) a little over 18 months. That's when we bought them, and we started reading them with her in the next couple of months.<br><br>
The ones we got were:<br><br><b><i>Welcome With Love (Jennie Overend)</i></b> This is a large picture book about a homebirth with a midwife. It's told by a young boy who has two older sisters and is hoping very much for a baby brother. He knows that his biggest sister remembers seeing him born, and he's excited about their preparations for the new baby. He's a pretty matter-of-fact narrator and the story is simple and sweet. We are not having a home birth but I love that my daughter has been exposed to this idea of birth, that it can be totally normal for kids to be present, for it to happen at home, etc. etc. I think she almost expected it to be that way when I think back to our first conversations about my pregnancy (remembering what she suggested and seemed to expect, what she asked about), though she effortlessly accepted the idea of hospital birth, too. It's a very cozy family story, and very lovingly told & illustrated. It gets a lot of points across about babies, their size & newness, labor, birth, what moms need, etc. But not in a didactic way at all, just through the story that's told.<br><br><b><i>The New Baby (Fred Rogers)</i></b> This book is kind of an old classic. It sets up the whole idea of babies and the kinds of care they require, and also suggests (subtly) how many different things are possible for bigger kids, contrasting how much care they needed and how much they are able to do now (getting dressed, playing in playgrounds, eating lots of different foods.) Some people have said they don't like the fact that Mr. Rogers puts the fact that you can have mixed feelings about a new baby right out there. Some parents have the instinct of not wanting to suggest that before the fact. I feel that way in books (usually when the story suggests things like kids not liking certain foods, or having attitudes, etc! Why suggest or model behavior that we'd like to avoid or delay?) but I think it's easy enough to soft-pedal or gloss over that aspect in this book if it bothers you. I wouldn't say he comes at it from the negative, though. It's more his typical straightforward and realistic directness. He does deal with things like many people wanting to come over and see the new baby, how lots of gifts come for the new baby, and how a person might hear things like "not too loud, the baby's sleeping" and "not right now, wait a minute" which could make a person grumpy. And the fact that babies don't/can't do much in the beginning. Those kinds of things are the things he puts right out there. He has some comment of reassurance about how you always are special to your mom and dad, whether they have other children or not. That doesn't change. He talks about sharing things (your old clothes & toys) with the new baby, but that there are some things nobody should have to share (a special toy, etc.) He talks about how babies do grow, and how they look to you (the big sibling) with so much interest and how there are so many things you can teach them just by helping sometimes (photo of sibling putting baby's booties on her feet) and by doing the things you do best (climbing, sliding in the park) while they are there enjoying watching you. He talks about how your new baby needs you, too, in hard times and happy times, for loving and growing. It's overall a pretty realistic and family-reinforcing message. I think his approach in the very beginning is to assert how much care you needed as a baby, to contrast how "little" a baby can do with how "much" you can do now (maybe to lay the groundwork for working through potential jealousies....like the baby can "only" have milk but you can have so many interesting things), followed by acknowledging that feelings about a new baby aren't always happy but that's normal and families are there for each other through happy and sad times--for growing. And that having a baby and being a big sibling is a new way to grow, and to be part of a family. The book is illustrated with photographs of a couple of families with young children and a new baby. My daughter has liked this book very much from the first time we read it. (And we had to read this book SOOOOO many times through her twos....well before we actually were expecting. She'll be turning 4 tomorrow!)<br><br><b><i>On Mother's Lap (Ann Herbert Scott)</i></b> We got the board book edition of this very sweet book. It's not about birth or new babies, but it's about how a baby fits into a boy's life & relationship with his mother. It focuses on his pleasure rocking in his mother's lap, how he goes and gets all his favorite things like his boat, blanket, puppy (and in the process, he goes in the room where his baby sister is sleeping and she eventually wakes and cries. The text doesn't detail her waking, but you see the process unfold in the illustrations.) The boy insists there's no room, but his mother makes the gentle point that there's always room on mother's lap, and in the end when they all are snuggled in the rocking chair she asks him how it feels and he agrees that "It feels good." It's a positive and lovely little book. There's a bigger picture book edition that probably does the illustrations justice more than the small board book does, but the latter edition is nice for toddlers!<br><b><i><br>
How Was I Born? A Child's Journey Through the Miracle of Birth (Lennart Nilsson)</i></b> I have heard that there's an older book along similar lines (maybe it's called How I Was Born--not sure) by the same author that is only available used, now, but is supposed to be really good. Better photographs (in terms of the photos of birth) and all. This later book that is still in print is the only one I've seen, and I like it. I haven't actually seen our copy of this one in awhile; I've been thinking we should try to find it. (Now that we're expecting and all. Dur!) It is a pretty "advanced" book in some ways, but what I liked is that there's no set way to read it. When my daughter was under two, (she liked the book a lot), we just would look at the pages and talk about the photos. Maybe read one line from the story (enough to get the names of the children and the rough story) then turn the page when she was ready. There's "science" info on the left side and a narrative on the right, generally. There are photos to support both....some info (photos) about the developing fetus, and photographs of a family that is expecting a third child, and going through the mom's pregnancy. They go to an ultrasound with her, so that page has the family at the hospital and the transducer and all, as well as the ultrasound image on the "science" side. It is told from the point of view of the younger of the first two children, Mary. From when they find out about their mom's pregnancy, to a few months after the birth. It follows the seasons, she describes her parents & her brother, the kids in her preschool class, her friends, getting out old baby clothes (to get ready for the new baby) and how tiny they are, feeling the baby kick in their mom's belly, the birth (hospital), the new baby, bathing him, playing with him, how he grows. She basically tells a kid-focused story of her own life over the nine months, in which the prospect of having a new baby comes up now and again (in the summer they're at a birthday party, having fun, and while they're there the baby is kicking so strongly that their mom can put a glass of juice on her belly & they can see it shake. Or when they actually go to a prenatal appointment or something.) It was a long time before we actually were reading the narrative text in its entirety, though (there's a fair bit to Mary's story), but I didn't feel the book was "useless" until that point. Like I said, my daughter would ask for that one and seemed to enjoy it. I am pretty certain we've never bothered with the "science" side, though that might actually be useful now so I really should look for the book.<br>
This isn't the best book for a young toddler. It really depends on the kid. My daughter has always been very patient, intrigued, interested, and intense when it comes to stories, so all of these worked for her even when she was pretty young.<br><br>
There's another great book that is not about birth at all, or even specifically about babies, but it's a lovely story with winsome illustrations and there is a baby sibling in the story. It's <b>Only the Cat Saw</b>, by Ashley Wolff. The girl has a cat and a baby brother, and the book is basically the story of one night at their farmhouse and all these simple things that happen that "only the cat sees" because the others are busy setting the table, smiling at the baby, bathing big sister Amy, sleeping in the middle of the night, nursing baby Sam in the wee hours, or whatever it is they're doing. So the cat sees the sunset, the owl flying, the rainstorm, the sunrise, etc. It's not a "we're having a baby" story or a "babies are like this" story, but having a little baby is integrated right into the action and it's just a special book. We all have a lot of affection for that story and it was a hit with my daughter immediately at 18 months. (I saw it on a bibliography of recommended books by LLL and I'm so glad I got it!!)<br><br><br><br><br><br>
So this annotated bibliography I've created might be more than what you needed, but I hope it is helpful! Sounds like there are some other good books on this subject out there, too.
 

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My New Baby also has a prequel called Waiting for Baby that we love. Especially since it doesn't have words, you can make the story all about your own child and what they like/are experiencing.
 

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my dd is 26 months and we told her from the get go. she has nemed the baby, sings to my belly, thinks it is funny thatthe baby pees in my belly etc...<br>
she is really into it.<br>
thank you everyone for all the GREAt book suggestions. i am going shoppin'
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OH WOW all these lovely book suggestions!!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I am also going shopping <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
DS will be 2 in May so I think I will get some of these books for his birthday and then we can start telling him about the baby. Two months hopefully will be the right amount of time, dont want to tell too early.
 

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Youtube <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
As far as telling toddlers... I think each one is different so tell as much as you want but enough for them to understand that they will get a new sibling .... If you dont want to deal with the constant nagging about when the baby is coming then tell them later <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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DD is 2.5 and she's known since just before everyone else.. she's just starting to get it... BUT it is a long time for her to wait. She keeps asking about baby...<br><br>
Today was the first day she was upset... she said to me this morning "Mama, I NEED my baby brother or sister to come play with me" and tonite she told my husband "Dada, I want baby to come play but it can't" and then walked away pouting.<br><br>
But she's been hugging baby and talking to baby more, she keeps wanting to be 3.. I told her baby has to come first. So I hope that's going to work for a bit <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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