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Teaching the Birds and the Bees to Little Children

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Telling Your Child About the Birds and The Bees

“Mommy. Where do babies come from?”

Do you have your answer ready? Here are your choices:

A) A stork drops them off at the door step.
B) They grow in a cabbage patch.
C) They come from a fertilized egg, only it’s not like the eggs we get at the grocery store. This is a very special tiny egg that mommies have inside them. It is fertilized by tiny sperm, which daddies have. That is why every baby is made up of part mommy and part daddy! The fertilized egg grows in a special place in mommy called a uterus. It takes 9 months for the fertilized egg to grow and grow and grow until its a baby that is ready to be born.

I hope your answer is (c). Doesn’t that sound as exciting as dinosaurs and volcanoes? Well, it’s about the same for children, so don’t get all caught up in your own adult taboos. Just give them the information and try to look like you are not crapping your pants at the same time.

P.S. This will be the first of MANY talks. Next they’ll want to know how that sperm got there. Are you ready for that?

About Alyson

Alyson has been blogging parenting advice for over 15 years. She has been a panelist at BlogWest, Blissdom, #140NYC and more. Her content appears on sites across Canada and the US, but you can read all her own blog posts right here.

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4 Responses to “Teaching the Birds and the Bees to Little Children”

  1. Amy

    There’s a wonderful book called “Where Do Babies Come From” by Margaret Sheffield which addresses this in a beautiful and sensitive way. It’s very thorough, and serious without being grim. The illustrations are both beautiful and accurate, not cartoony or diagrammatic. It’s out of print now but worth getting from the library or second-hand.

  2. Alyson Schafer

    Thanks Amy! I’ll check it out. Anyone else have a favorite? Some one just asked me about how to disclose to their child that they were conceived by invetro fertilization (IVF) from a sperm donor, after hearing another child declare “my daddy was a needle”. Got any book recco’s for that?

  3. Julie

    Hi Alyson,
    I think I got this one right !
    At first, my family was all in shock but now they’ve warmed up to the idea that the kids understand the basics. After all – it is just Biology.
    I may have gone a little too far with the explanation but it’s kind of cute hearing my 4 year old, after the explanation of the egg and seed, say: “… and when I was ready to come out I comed out mommy’s vag#$%”
    Oh well !

  4. Melissa

    I have a question about how to teach my 4 year old son about privacy and what is no longer appropriate behavior now that he is getting older. My husband and I are both health practitioners and view the body and nudity as natural so we haven’t worried about him seeing us naked getting out of the shower or anything like that to this point. We have also answered any questions he has about babies or our bodies openly and honestly (but age appropriate). However last week as I was getting dressed he reached up and began to “play” with my bare breasts. I didn’t say anything about the behavior, I just told him I had to get dressed and I needed him to stop. He is old enough that I am not totally comfortable with this behavior but don’t know how to tell him that it’s not appropriate without him thinking that mommy’s body is off -limits or that touching is bad. I should also mention he has a 1 year old brother who just finished nursing within the last 3 months.

    Do you have any suggestions on how I can talk to him about this?


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