I suppose this isn't a secret anymore. . .it never really was "a secret," its just with big news you want to make sure some people don't hear second hand. . .but we're currently awaiting offspring number two. Of course, it will be a long wait. I'm due in late January. Still forever until we can even find out whether it is a girl or a boy. I think Matt really wants a boy.
I'm not sure if Coryn understands or not. I went out of my way to get some "mommy is having a baby" story books, and we've read them a couple of times.
I'm a big believer that parents should choose when and how and how much little kids learn about the "facts of life" or other issues that may be difficult, but carefully chosen stories can be a big help. Just make sure to read through before you read aloud. Sometimes librarians have "issue books" in a separate section. There will be books dealing with death and divorce an other things that might come up and be potentially difficult for kids.
Personally, I don't think a good book needs to explain too much, just to tell the story of a kid who experiences what your child is in for . . . Kids will ask their own questions. They're good at questions.
The three books I chose for Coryn's baby crash coarse were:
Sophie and the New Baby by Catherine and Laurence Anholt
There's a House inside my Mommy by Giles Andreae
The Baby Sister by Tomie dePaola.
The first is good because it goes over the full arc: Sophie is told there will be a new baby, endures a long wait for the new baby, experiences jealousy and feelings of neglect, and finally comes to love the baby. However, it does dwell a lot on the negative aspects towards the middle. Jealousy and anger may be a common part of introducing a new child to the family, but by over-emphasizing those in advance of the birth, I worry about Coryn coming to dread her little brother or sister's arrival. She did look a little concerned during a couple of our readings.
The second is a cute poem that talks about the baby growing inside the mommy from the child's point of view. It is cute (not at all medical) but Coryn doesn't care for it all that much. We read through it twice but she doesn't request it on her own the way she does the next (last an best) book on my list.
The Baby Sister is my personal favorite, if only because the little boy involved is so excited about the arrival of his sister. There is still some preparation, preparing the child for a mother's sudden departure to the hospital. The pictures are classic dePaola (one of my all time favorite illustrators).
I'm sure there will be many more library trips before the little one gets here, but these three stories are a good start.
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