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Preparing for a Sibling

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Cloud Montessori

By: Cheryl Chretien   |  March 23, 2023

For your young child, the idea of a new sibling may feel like a very abstract concept, until that new baby is physically in your arms. Children are visual learners and will benefit from reading with you and discussing the changes ahead. Share ultrasounds, look at old baby pictures, feel the growing belly together.


For young children, the stories in books can be a great way to prompt conversations around life events.  Sharing a book about the potential new sibling is an opportunity for you to engage their minds with what it may look like and empower their role in the new family dynamic.  After reading together, you can strike up relevant topics with them. “This story is important because we will be welcoming a new baby too! I am so excited to see you take on being a big brother/sister and here are some ways you will be able to help us.”

Recommended books

Hello in There!

A sister-to-be is so eager to step into her role that she’s starting early! She sticks close to her mama so she can sing songs to her sibling-to-be (loudly, of course) and explain all the great things waiting in the outside world (cupcakes! strawberries! swimming!).

With quaint line drawings, lovely patterns, and a variety of playful flaps showing the new baby blissfully tucked away in its mama’s belly, this interactive picture book is a joyful and celebratory ode to a growing family and the perfect gift for any big-sibling-to-be.

You’re a Big Sister

A new little one brings lots of changes-- some unexpected, some confusing, some exciting -- and all a wonderful adventure! An endearing story, You're a Big Sister celebrates all the best parts of a growing family. With adorable illustrations and heartwarming charm, You're a Big Sister overflows with anticipation and joy -- the perfect congratulations for a big sister!

You’re a Big Brother

From the author above, tailored for the expectant big brother.

Peter’s Chair

The award-winning, classic stories about Peter and his neighborhood friends from the Caldecott Medal-winning author, Ezra Jack Keats. Peter has a new baby sister. First his father paints Peter’s old cradle pink, then his crib. Then his parents want to paint Peter’s chair! “Let’s run away, Willie,” he says to his dog. And they do. This is a gentle and reassuring story about sibling rivalry.

After Baby is Born


When friends and family visit with gifts for your newborn, find a way for a gift to be provided for the “new big brother/sister” as well.  This will share some of the attention with your eldest child so they feel special in their new role in the family.  


Try and find one-on-one quality time you can spend with your first born, it will be important that they still feel connected to you.  Take a walk together, go on a coffee/tea/hot chocolate date so they have ample time to share any thoughts with you and have conversations with your undivided attention.


Offer them purpose; helping pick out the baby’s outfit for the day, helping throw away dirty diapers, standing on the step stool to assist with diaper changes.  If they are old enough, they can help track when the baby needs to be fed with a calendar or by checking the time.  They can help pack up a diaper bag for an outing, or even feed with a bottle.


Invite your first-born to imitate your behavior with a doll.  Change the doll’s diaper, feed the doll, burp the doll, rock the doll to sleep.  


Create a routine around your newborn’s feeding time.  When the baby is feeding, your eldest can snuggle next to you with a book, or enjoy a snack, etc.  Create a space during that frequent time so that they feel included.

Cloud Montessori is a parenting resource empowering parents to raise confident, independent, and successful children.  Co-founded by two local moms and experts in their fields, Cloud Montessori uses the Montessori educational philosophy to provide support and guidance for families in their home and on adventures.  Follow @cloudmontessori and learn more at

More from this issue:

C’est la vie, Parenting in Marin! Read>>

Finding New Friendships Read>>

Hard Decisions of Parenthood Read>>

Healing Joy Bonds Read>>

How to Select Plants for Your Garden Read>>

Parenting as a Foster to Adopt Family Read>>

Preparing for a Sibling Read>>

Put Down that Sharpie! Read>>

Trial by Fire: Parenting Through Crisis Read>>

Why Printing your Photographs Matters Read>>