A mother’s experience of how she introduced a new arrival
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We’ve been speaking to parents about their experience introducing a new sibling into the mix. These conversations took place in the run up to publishing our new picture book The New Baby and Me, which is out now. Here is what one of the mothers we talked to, Ruth, had to say about introducing a new arrival:
I’m never one to say that anything I did went really well, but this did. I had my little boy when my little girl was two years and two months. I found out that I was pregnant when she was 18 months old. To prepare my little girl I used to go to the library and read books on little girls who get a little brother or sister. I used to read them to her at night, and I remember that she absolutely loved them.
Telling my little girl that when he arrived she would have to look after her little brother helped get her excited. From the day he arrived she was absolutely brilliant. Now I don’t know if this was chance; her personality means that she liked to be in charge and be the boss. She is good at looking after people. Or perhaps the stories helped her process and think through what was going to happen. They made it familiar. I remember one of the stories was about a little girl knowing that at a picnic the new baby would not be able to have the fun things which the little girl had. They just had to have milk, and the little girl must make sure that the baby was looked after. These types of books helped her visualise and imagine what being a sister would be like.
Of all the things that have been successful in parenting, telling stories has always worked. Looking at the pictures and hearing me telling the stories helped them to become familiar to my little girl. I cannot put a price on illustrated story books. Different stories can be used in all scenarios, from moving house, schools and countries. It becomes less alien and more familiar. It worked a treat. Story books spell out what is abstract.
The New Baby and Me tells the tale of five brothers who eagerly imagine what their new brother will be like. Will be a scientist, a dreamer, or an explorer? They all think he will be just like them, but they are in for a big surprise!
The New Baby and Me is available to buy now.
- Read a review of The New Baby and Me by Parents in Touch
- Check out an interview with Hoda Haddadi the illustrator of The New Baby and Me
- Check out the author of this book, Christine’s, response to our wordless picture books campaign
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