Reading new baby stories with your toddler is one of the best ways to help prepare them for the imminent birth of a brother or sister, especially if they don't yet have any siblings.
A good new baby story enables you to throw a positive light on the whole event. It helps you discuss the new baby with your child in a relaxed way.
It might even help you to explore potential problems that the older child could experience once the baby comes along.
Here are some 'welcome the new baby' books that I read to my toddler when I was expecting my second child. I found all of them helpful and my son Louis enjoyed them as well.
Spot's Baby Sister, by Eric Hill. Puffin Books, 1989.
This was Louis' favourite. The story revolves around Spot the dog and his interaction with his new baby sister Susie. It shows him excited at her arrival, then problems such as Susie taking his toys.
Louis loved this lift-the -flap book, and the illustrations are bright and attractive for a young child. I liked it because it prompted me to ask questions like "Do you think our new baby will bring you a present?" and explain "Susie is just a baby. She doesn't know the bone is Spot's".
The New Baby by Anne Civardi, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright. Usborne, 2005.
This book is part of the Usborne New Experiences series and covers the time when the parents go to hospital, and visiting the new baby (also called Susie!).
After this it covers feeding, bathing and going out with the new arrival once home from hospital.
The pictures are very clear but they also have alot going on in them - discussing what is in the illustrations is a good way to involve your toddler in the whole process. I also liked it because it prepared my son for his grandparents coming to stay (just like in the book) and also visiting me in hospital.
There are a lot of new baby stories to choose from, and most offer good opportunities to discuss your own situation with your toddler.
Make sure you get the most out of them, but don't keep pushing them until your child is sick of the baby before s/he even arrives! Drip feed the idea of a new brother or sister, and there's less chance of a rebellion happening.