Is it time to tell your child how babies are made?
|Photo by Vlad Krpan|
How Babies Are Made
Recently, Princess Pea (aged 4 3/4) has asked how babies are made. Or more specifically, just exactly how they get inside their mummies' tummies. She is a very inquisitive child, and she wants details.
I have to admit, I really wasn't prepared for this question already (I'm sure I was 8 before I considered this question - and I learned about it at school as part of our Babies unit). So, as we do these days, I turned to the internet to find advice.
Here are some tips for when this topic comes up at your house, if it hasn't already.
1. Gone are the days of the 'Birds and the Bees' talk. It's best to be honest and answer your child's questions directly.
2. The Big Talk is also a thing of the past. These days, educating your child about sex and baby-making is an ongoing conversation over years. Keeping the conversation going keeps the lines of communication open - very important for setting the stage for open communication with your child in the teenage years.
3. Use body language - the real thing. It's recommended that you teach your child the real words to describe the various body parts, rather than using 'cutesy' words.
4. Answer your child's questions as they come up. The 'right age' to tell them particular details is when they ask for them. There's no need to tell them more than they are asking, as they aren't yet ready for it. Answer just what they ask, and when they're ready for more, they'll ask for it.
5. If you feel uncomfortable talking about this subject with your child, try your best not to let your child see your discomfort. Talk about it casually and matter-of-factly, the same as you would if you were explaining how the planets orbit the sun. Remember that for young children, this topic isn't taboo - until you make it taboo.
One of the best ways to make a topic clear to young children (or children of any age, really), is through age-appropriate illustrated books. Two great titles I can recommend are How Your Body Works, and the Flip-Flap Body Book, [affiliate links] both from Usborne. They cover a variety of body-related topics, including how babies are made. I just bought them both, and I can't tell you how excited Princess Pea is about them! (She was actually jumping up and down and screaming 'This is SOOOO INTERESTING!!!'). Also, another one that was great for introducing her to pregnancy and the birth of a sibling was Baby On the Way [affiliate link] (we seriously must have read this book about 300 times during my pregnancy!)
Now she wants to know all about skeletons and what happens to your food. So those are our next topics for discussion.
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