Questions and Answers About Sex: My Young Child Asked Me Where Babies Come From – What Do I Say?

embarrassed baby

Answer:
This question requires parents to answer more than once, because we don’t want to drop the BOMB on our two- or three-year-olds. An appropriate answer for a two- or three-year-old child is, “from mommy’s tummy.” That answer would never suffice for a seven- or eight-year-old child. It is important for parents to give age-appropriate answers. 

Age-appropriate books can be helpful in describing conception, including information about the sperm and egg, etc.

When a younger child first asks this question, they are not asking a question about the science or morality of how it happens; they are simply confused about the new arrivals all around them, and may also be wondering where they, personally, came from. 

As your child grows up, the question will change slightly and will build upon your initial answer. Your four- to five-year-old may ask, “How does the baby get out of mom’s tummy?”

Picture books about the growth of a baby in the womb and delivery can be helpful in explaining how a baby grows and enters the world. By six to seven years of age, your child may start asking, “How does the baby get in mom’s tummy?” Again, age-appropriate books can be helpful in describing conception, including information about the sperm and egg, etc.

MORE: Journaling Your Family's Memories }

Depending on your child’s questions, environments, and exposure to sexual information at school, or in peer groups, it is important for parents to personally evaluate how much information should be given, and when. The most important part is to not to be afraid of the question and to not to give magical explanations. It’s just like when your child asks, “How does a car go?” You wouldn’t explain the intricate details of auto mechanics a two-year-old – as your child’s curiosity grows, so should your explanation. Good luck!

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Questions and Answers About Sex: My Young Child Asked Me Where Babies Come From – What Do I Say?

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7 comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Sometimes I just have to tell my son that he is too young

  2. A_non__a_mus says:

    When my son was 3 years old he came home from the babysitter’s and proudly announced that he knew where babies came from. In my mind, I’m thinking, "Oh my God". So I told him to tell me – his answer was terrific for a 3 year old . Imagine if you will, in a thick southern drawl, he says "There’s this egg. It goes swimming down the river til it gets to the lake. It stays in the lake and gets bigger and bigger. When it gets too big for the lake, the mommy poops it out!" I was actually relieved to have heard this version – the babysitter told him in words he could understand. It satisfied his curiousity and there was no lying or cover up.

  3. Ralf says:

    Yes, don’t lie to your child. And they will always come back with any question they have. No matter how old they are.

    When these questions become more precise that’s also the age when kids start playing more actively with themselves. I remember my nephew playing with himself at any occasion. His mom would just tell him: "Do it when you are alone in your room, not here in the kitchen."
    And his smaller sister would keep watch and yell at him when she caught him: "Go to your room. Not here. I don’t want to see it." Which embarrassed him and he stopped.

    Privacy is a very important subject: "Your body is your own. Don’t let anyone do something you don’t like. And if your grandma wants to kiss you and you don’t like it, tell her. If she doesn’t stop. Scream! Same for everybody else."

    My nieces are not bothered by boys. They tell them off when needed. They knew about condoms when they were three, had sex as teenagers but are not yet pregnant at 20.

  4. Angela says:

    I will keep this in mind when my baby is old enough to talk. She is only 7 months so no questions, yet.

  5. tammy says:

    The picture of the baby boy is too cute!

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