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How To Explain To A Child Where Babies Come From

Published November 28, 2011        by Sarah


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:

  • Babies come from God. They are his special gift to moms and dads.
  • Babies come to moms and dads when they love each other very much.
  • It’s a mystery. Isn’t it amazing that babies grow in a mommy’s tummy and then one day they’re born?
  • A baby is a sibling gift - a play mate, and a best friend.

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:

  • A baby is half mommy and half daddy. See how you have brown eyes? They are just like daddy’s. See how your hair is curly? It’s just like mine.
  • Sometimes babies are born into a family and sometimes they are adopted. We are going to have our own little baby who will look like us because she grew in my belly, but the Randalls down the road have adopted a baby. Nice people can choose to bring a baby into their homes if they aren’t going to have one of their own.
  • God is the only one who can make a baby. He has special powers and he creates a new human being where there wasn’t one before. He’s awesome, isn’t He?

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.

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