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Books & Your Older Kids (Plus: Our Favorites!)

One of the main challenges of a growing family is balance. When you have a new baby, your older kids still have their own needs. I’m not talking about food and shelter here. I’m talking direct attention, affection, and affirmation.

Now hopefully, your friends, family, and postpartum doula were able to fill in for you in your weeks after childbirth while you cocooned with baby and enjoyed postpartum rest. But when your husband returns to work and the visitors fade, you’re your kids main squeeze again. I worried about this when my third was born – babies have rightful and all-consuming needs. How would my boys get the attention they needed?

One of my simple answers was reading books! Easy, right? We have a small bookcase full of kids’ books and I try every day to spend time with them in this way. I don’t know about your kids, but mine love books. As soon as I start one, their heads pop up like prairie dogs and they all scamper in to listen, no matter what they were previously doing.

I love the flexibility of this activity. If we read on our couch, I can hold and nurse a baby while my older kids snuggle in on each side. They take turns fetching books for me to read, all the while getting personal attention from me. It’s an easy way for us to connect every day.

After 756 hours spent reading to our kids, we have some favorites:

Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type

Giggle, Giggle, Quack

Freight Train

Hurry! Hurry!

Anything from Olivier Dunrea

Rose’s Garden

Plant A Kiss

Goodnight Moon and its parodies:

Goodnight Goon and

Goodnight Loon (especially awesome if you’re from Minnesota)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Grouchy Ladybug

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Guess How Much I Love You

Love You Forever

The Giving Tree, and anything else from Shel Silverstein!

Where the Wild Things Are

The Widow’s Broom

Anything from Jan Brett: our favorite is The Mitten

Sandra Boynton Books

The Napping House (current favorite!)

Millions of Cats

Make Way for Ducklings

Blueberries for Sal

Steam Train, Dream Train

One Duck Stuck

Tap the Magic Tree

How simple! To make it even more enjoyable, try my tea time idea or take regular trips to the library to freshen up your stock of books and find more favorites.

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