Published November 28, 2011 by
Ah, the age-old question. A little one peers up at you with those big, adorable eyes and asks, “Mom, where do babies come from?” You’re caught off guard. You’ve got nothing ready. You hadn’t expected to have this conversation so soon. You can relax. You’re in good company. Many an unsuspecting mom or dumbfounded dad has been hit with this questions and lived to tell about it.
Think about your child’s age and level of understanding. If you’ve got a four year old, now is not the time to take out medical charts and extensive textbooks. A simple answer will do. To a small child, this question bears no more weight than, “Why is the sky blue?” So don’t feel like you have to give a scientific explanation. Here are some things you could say:
Chances are these responses will be enough to satisfy your small child. If it’s not enough and your child persists in asking, you can say something like:
If you have an older child, gauge just how much information will be right. If you have a fourth grader, it’s probably still not appropriate to get out the charts and diagrams. You can be more direct about your conversation, but don’t list body parts and internal organs. You may puzzle your child and leave them more confused than they were before. For an older child, you can simply say:
“Babies come from mommy and daddy when they love each other. Mommy and daddy loved each other and we made you. Now we want to make another baby to share our love with and grow our family. Won’t it be fun to have a brother or sister?”
There may be additional questions. Try to answer them in a way that makes both you and your child comfortable. Remember, she’s just curious. So treat every question with great care and don’t dismiss her questions as a nuisance or unimportant.
For older children, you can seek out books that are appropriate for their ages. Chances are they will have gotten some of the information from school health classes, but they are looking to you for your version to see if it lines up. Many books will show photos of a baby in the womb that they will think are really cool. Start there.