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“Mommy, where do babies come from?”

It's a topic all parents will have to answer at some time, but explaining how babies are made to your child may make you feel uncomfortable.

While your child does not need to hear an explanation of what sex is until he or she is about five or six years old, you can begin discussing the differences between boys and girls during the toddler years.

From an early age, teach your child the proper terms for body parts like vagina, penis, uterus, and breasts, and attempt to instill in your child the idea that their body is beautiful and should be loved, not something to be embarrassed of.

What to do when your child asks the big question?

You might think you’re years away from discussing the birds and the bees with your child, but they might start asking you about it far sooner than you think. Why not be prepared rather than being caught off guard when your innocent three, four, or five-year-old asks you where babies come from? Here are some approaches to dealing with your child’s inevitable queries.

Return the question to your child

When your child asks you how babies are formed or a similar topic, ask them how they believe it happens. It’ll most likely turn into a sweet and entertaining conversation (have your video camera ready!). “You take mommy’s head off, stick the baby in her tummy, and tape mommy’s head back on!” one mother told us her four-year-old said. “Love from daddy leaves from his head, travels down to mommy’s toes, and makes its way to your belly button, where God kisses your belly and makes the baby develop,” said another child. Isn’t it priceless? Furthermore, this method will most likely buy you some time before the matter comes up again.

Use child educational books

There are numerous children’s books available that explain the conception and birth of a baby in an age-appropriate manner. You should definitely look through the book with your partner before sitting down with your child to ensure that the visuals and language correspond to how you wish to teach things to your child.

Popular titles include Where Do Babies Come From (for children aged 4 and up), Before You Were Born (for children aged 2 to 6), It’s Not the Stork (for children aged 4 to 8), When You Were Inside Mommy (for children aged 4 to 8), and How You Were Born (for children aged 4 to 8).

Use straightforward, honest, and age-appropriate vocabulary

Stick to words that your child is already familiar with and keep them as simple as possible. For instance, say: “A special type of seed, called sperm, comes out of a daddy’s penis and swims up a mummy’s vagina to find her egg. When they meet, a baby can start to grow.”

Stop at the appropriate time

If your child responds with a “yuck,” laugh with them and explain that it’s something grown-ups do to feel close and show affection. Stop the conversation if there are no more questions. It indicates that your child has enough knowledge and needs some time to process it.

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