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What to Expect When Mommy's Having a Baby (What to Expect Kids) Paperback – January 20, 2004

3.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With a little handholding (or paw-holding) from Angus the Answer Dog, Mommy's first-born can be guided happily and intelligently through the often bewildering experience of becoming an older sibling. For children who are about to lose their only-child status (or their youngest-child status, in larger families), this read-aloud book is a treasure. On each two-page spread, Angus asks a question: "Where is the baby?" "How did the baby get in there?" "Can the baby hear and see me?" "Why doesn't Mommy feel well sometimes?" and more, each question anticipating the next. He answers these queries with clarity, sensitivity, and attention to age-appropriateness that will be a huge relief to parents and children. Each section has a little game or idea to help children understand what's happening in their family. The introduction invites parents to add to or edit the information provided, according to their own child-rearing philosophies.

Heidi Murkoff, coauthor of the bestselling pregnancy book, What to Expect When You're Expecting, writes lucidly and honestly in all the books in the tremendously appealing What to Expect series for young children, including What to Expect When You Use the Potty and What to Expect When You Go to the Doctor. Laura Rader's cartoonish illustrations are fun and reassuring. Poor Angus will be dog-eared in no time! (Ages 2 to 5) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Heidi Murkoff is the co-author of the best-selling series that began with What to Expect When You're Expecting. She has appeared as a parenting expert on national TV, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, Good Morning America and 20/20.



Laura Rader has illustrated many popular books for children, including A Book of Hugs, A Book of Friends, and A Book of Kisses, all by Dave Ross. She is also the author and illustrator of Who'll Pull Santa's Sleigh Tonight? and Santa's New Suit, which Publishers Weekly called, in a starred review, a "holiday outing [with] plenty of panache." Ms. Rader lives in Southern California.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: What to Expect Kids
  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: HarperFestival (January 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060538023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060538026
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
I got this book for my daughter last spring, when I was pregnant with her sister. The book is wonderful. It answers kids' questions in a way that they can understand. My daughter was 3 1/2 at the time and the book was a favorite -- it satisfied her curiosity in a more "grown-up way" than most other sibling stories, but without giving too much information. I have found that many books just treat the pregnancy as a very vague and "untouchable" topic for kids. This brings it home in a sensitive and caring way.
The questions asked (Where is the baby? How did the baby get in there? How can a baby fit inside Mommy? What makes the baby grow & how can I help? How does the baby eat? Can the baby see and hear me? What does the baby do all day? Why doesn't Mommy feel well sometimes? Why does Mommy go to the doctor so much? When will the baby come out? & How does it come out?) cover most aspects of pregnancy. The "How did the baby get in there?" section does use correct terms (sperm and ovum) but does not get too "graphic" -- it explains conception as pieces of a puzzle fitting together. The book also uses terms like umbilical cord and birth canal, but in a way that is not intimidating to kids. The book gives a good overview and makes the sibling feel connected and part of the process (each section refers to something they can do to help out or experiment to help them feel what the baby may be feeling). I would have loved if the book had covered what happened once the baby came home -- but I see now that topic is a whole new book!
I highly recommend this book! Enjoy it with your soon-to-be big brother/sister! It can promote a lot of discussion & create some special moments together before the baby comes -- it did for us!
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I'm not a big fan of What To Expect When Your Expecting books but I wanted a way to explain to my 20 month twins that we're having a new baby in a month. This book goes into details such as "How did the baby get inside Mommy?" and "When will the baby be born?" It uses anatomically correct terms such as sperm, ovum, and vagina, which was more detail than I would have gone into. I was looking for a book that would explain what would happen in the house after the baby was born, and this book stops once the baby is born. It does not cover any of the post-birth issues such as how a child can interact with their new sibling or the range of emotional experiences they may go through with a new baby in the house.
A friend gave me Mercer Mayer's book "The New Baby", which my children love to have read and re-read to them and actually deals with how they can interact with the baby after it's born. Also Joanna Cole's book "The New Baby in the House" goes into some of the feelings a child may have about having a new baby brother or sister.
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Format: Paperback
Great book with lots of info, but it's written more for ages 4 & up even though it says it's for 2 & up. The terminology is that which most 2 & 3 year-olds will not understand even if it's explained to them. And the "How did the baby get in Mommy's tummy?" section is one I've skipped over when reading the book to my son. A little too much intimate detail for a 2yo to comprehend. Overall, an excellent book, but keep in mind that there are a couple sections you'll probably skip if your soon-to-be older sibling is under 4.
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By A Customer on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
thank you what to expect when mommys having a baby! it helped me so much. i am pregnant with my 2nd child.. and my 2 year old daughter was having a hard hard time dealign with it. but with alot of help from this book and angus.. she is finally understanding and even welcoming the new baby. i wish there was more than 5 stars to give it! i would give it 1000000000000 stars!
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By A Customer on June 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
I got this book for my 4 year old daughter and soon-to-be-big sister. She had many questions like, "How did the baby get in there?" and "How will the baby get out?" that I wasn't sure how to answer. I wanted to be honest AND age-appropriate, but felt a little overwhelmed. This book asnwers these questions and many more in simple words for kids to understand. I'd suggest this book for anyone with a preschool aged child who is about to have a new sibling. My daughter also enjoys the activities suggested with each question. This book has made it much easier for me to discuss many aspects of childbirth with her.
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i read the book as soon as i got it because i wanted to see what the hubbub was about. i don't get the hubbub.

i bought this book for my 2 year old because of the books that i had already gotten about having a new baby, they all just sort of gloss over the pregnancy part like it doesn't comprise a huge portion of the year. i wanted a way to illustrate for him why i'm not feeling well. he just turned 2, he's very active, and i'm not always up for it. it's also hard to explain to him something that is such an abstract concept. i also feel that knowledge helps us accept, and it's going to be kind of weird when my tummy keeps getting bigger.

the book is short, concise, age appropriate, and doesn't dumb it down. it shows pictures of the baby growing, uses technical terms without being graphic, and in general lays out the process pretty well.

i can only imagine that the parents who complained that the book is too graphic are the types to refer to genitalia as a "pee pee and a poo poo" or some other cutesie name, or a very generalized "down there". my son is 2 and has known that he has a penis and where it is for some time now, and i have no problem with the one time that the book mentions a vagina because i have one. i've used the word around him, and at some point he'll realize that the reason why i don't stand to go potty is because i have a vagina and not a penis, and that those differences (biologically speaking, as transgender is another breed of beast) make me a girl and him a boy.

if you don't do your children the service of giving them proper names for their genetalia (proper names help them assert themselves should they ever happen to be sexually abused) then don't get the book.
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