How do you prepare a child for a new baby brother or sister? That question has been crossing my mind lately. Hospitals offer sibling classes and Amazon is filled with books on the subject. But honestly, I don’t know where to start. Do I talk to him about it now? How much does he really understand? Do I avoid any changes to routines when the baby arrives (i.e. potty training, moving to a crib, etc.). Do I buy him a gift from the baby? So many questions…
For now, we’re starting with one book…Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready For Baby? by Barney Saltzberg. This adorably illustrated book brilliantly addresses a child’s questions and concerns about the arrival of a new baby. My husband’s cousin just had her second baby and the older boy asked his mother if the baby could play with him. That is Cornelius’ first question, and on the forefront of many young children’s minds. Cornelius proceeds to ask his what the baby CAN do…
Here is a little summary about this book, targeted towards children ages 2-5.
There’s a new baby in the house. Is Cornelius P. Mud ready? Not really! The baby may be getting all the attention, but he isn’t very much fun. He can’t talk. He can’t eat. He can’t play. Can they send him back? Does Mom love the baby best? Of course, fans of Cornelius know that even the arrival of a sibling won’t get this resourceful little piggy down for long. When he trots out his good humor — and his gift for entertainment — he soon discovers that the new arrival can do something very special indeed.
Many children, particularly when they’re young, don’t often realize that the baby can’t go “back” to where it came from. They worry that their parents may not love them anymore or “forget” about them. They may regress. Ultimately, focusing on the positives…the “cans” is what helps children get through this time of adjustment.
We’ve started talking to our son about the “baby” inside mommy’s tummy. We’ve started reading this book at nighttime. I appreciate how simple the language is. I enjoy the childlike honesty inherent in Cornelius’ questions. And I learned just a little something about how to begin to address these issues.
You can purchase the book on Amazon for $10.87.
About the Author
Barney Saltzberg is the author-illustrator of all the Cornelius P. Mud books, as well as three stories about the endearing Stanley Birdbaum: Crazy Hair Day (also available as a musical CD narrated by Dustin Hoffman and an educational DVD from Weston Woods Studios), Star of the Week, and Stanley And The Class Pet. He’s also well known for his books Peekaboo Kisses and Animal Kisses. This father of two writes, draws and plays music in Los Angeles.