Books are a wonderful tool to prepare older children for the birth of their sibling.

Parents of young children can use the stories and illustrations as a tool to discuss birth. The books listed below are generally targeted towards younger children, but could be used at any age to explain the birthing process and what they can expect.

My Brother Jimi Jazz – Chrissy Butler

This book begins with a family preparing for the birth of a precious baby. It is told from the perspective of the older sibling and walks readers through co-sleeping, breastfeeding, pregnancy, to a natural and calm birth at home. Family involvement is key, with midwives supporting the peaceful arrival of Jimi Jazz. The illustrations are whimsical and engaging, and the language is accessible and warm.

Hello Baby – Jenni Overend

This beloved book is a wonderful story of birth at home, from the viewpoint of the youngest child in the family. It follows the mother during labour, the arrival of the midwife and her equipment, as well as the noises mum makes during labour. A family-centred home birth, the story shows siblings of different ages being involved, the role of dad during labour, and the normal side to birth.

Mama, Talk About When Max Was Born – Toni Olsen

This book tells the home birth story of a little girl’s brother, Max. The story covers pregnancy, with the little girl being involved in the prenatal appointments, setting up the birth pool at home, and so on. Each image is natural, calm and true to life – baby is held skin to skin after birth for example.

Birthing River – Rachel Nixon

We’re Having A Homebirth – Kelly Mochel

Kelly has written and illustrated a simple, colourful and contemporary book for preparing children for normal birth at home.

The illustrations are fresh and clean, showing topics such as the development of baby in utero, what the midwife does, what to expect on the birthing day, how to help mum during labour, what mum might sound and look like, and what happens after the baby is born.

Our Water Baby – Amy Maclean

A beautiful book showing a family preparing for a water birth at home, with the older sibling asking fantastic questions about water birth. The story discusses other topics such as the noises mum will make during labour and how she needs to concentrate, dad’s role in supporting mum, as well as the role of the midwife. There is a special ending which demonstrates the bonding between new baby and older sibling. The illustrations are lovely, with engaging toys framing the scenes, making it more accessible for children to engage with.

For more ideas on preparing children for the birth of their sibling, take a look at Preparing Children for Birth and Videos to Prepare Children for Birth.

 

Written by Sam McCulloch. Images by The He{ART} of Motherhood.