22 answers

My Almost 8 Year Old Is Asking Me Where Babies Come From.....

My almost 8 year old asked tonight where babies come from. I want to tell her the truth, but in words that she understands without giving too much information. She is very smart and I want to give her a balance of information that answers her question, yet doesn't overwhelm her.

This is my older daughter, so I haven't been through this before. My husband feels that it is my job to educate our daughters about this so I am on my own here.

So any suggestions you might have I will definately take into consideration.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First of all, thanks for all the advice. I had a long talk with my husband last night. He originally said, why can’t school teach her this information. I was very upset at that. I explained to him that I wanted both of our girls to be able to come to us with ANY questions they have & know that we will tell them the truth. I would rather they ask us & learn the truth then find out incorrect information from a kid in school. He agreed with me when I put it that way. I also told him that if they had questions for him in the future, he couldn’t always put it off for me. That isn’t fair to me or to the girls.

My girls are almost 8 & almost 4. I have always taught them the correct words for their body parts. They both knew that babies were in mommies bellies They also knew that I had the babies cut out of me (c-section) because they had asked me about my c-section scar. . So that they knew all this before I got asked “THE” question.

Based on our beliefs we wanted to give her the truth. My older daughter would not be satisfied with God put the baby there. But I am not about to have the full on sex talk with her now either. So I was going to tell her basically what Marta said (thanks Marta). But I wanted to make sure I was answering the right question. So I asked her exactly what she wanted to know. Well she wanted to know how the baby got into the mommies belly. I told her that the daddy puts an egg in the mommy & the baby grows from that. Then she wanted to know how he did it. I told her it was something that Mommies & Daddies did in private & she accepted this. I have told her that this information is private and I don’t want her sharing it with others. If a friend is asking for information or giving the wrong information, she should tell them to ask their parents for the correct information. I also bought the book that Crystal suggested. I looked it up online & it looks perfect. I hope that the next time she has a question she will come to me.

Thanks again for all the wonderful advice. I read every suggestion & took out of it what was best for us. I really like this site.

Featured Answers

The right thing to do is tell her the truth without giving too many details. My son's first week in kindergarten we had to sit down and tell him how babies were made because some of the girls there were told wrong and led him to believe babies came from several different weird places. We sat down and told him that a husband and wife love each other so much that they want to share that love with children. We explained the birds and the bees minimally on his level. Basically all he cared about was that a baby comes from an "egg" enough said. I just had a baby 4 months ago and again we had to sit down and explain where babies come from. He understood better this time. Honesty is the best policy and I would much rather my child hear this from me than from other kids at school.

My cousin is 9 years old, and her mother found her a book. It's called "It's Not the Stork", but unfortunately I don't know the author. Maybe you can Google it or something. I looked through it and it goes into a lot of detail but I don't think it's inappropriate.

More Answers

R.,

I am a mother of two beautiful girls, 16 & 12. Let me say very clearly that I am no psychologist and I really wish I had had time for all of the "how to" books, but with little ones, I barely had time to shave my legs! lol!! I'm sure all you busy moms can agree with me!

I can say, though, that I have actually successfully dealt with that question...twice. My husband, like yours, thinks that the "sex education" needs to be on my list of things to take care of because he refuses to deal with that subject.

When my oldest came to me, she was almost 4 years old. I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. I just responded as carefully as I could (trying not to say too much and incourage more questions, or at least more uncomfortable questions...with answers she was too young to hear). I responded by saying: "Well, God helped me and daddy plant a seed to help the baby grow in my tummy." The next question from her was..."How did God help you and daddy get the seed in your tummy?" Okay, some people might disagree with my response but I was trying to keep it simple. My response: "We prayed really hard and eventually the seed was in my tummy and your little sister is growing now!" I realize that my response was a little vague; however, I didn't lie...we did pray for her. I also realize that you aren't dealing with a 4 year old child. If I was dealing with an 8 year old, I think I would explain it by saying something like: "well, your dad and I had to plant something like a seed inside me" of course, his/her next question will probably be..."How?" I would then just try saying "well, by doing something that only mommy's and daddy's do....or only what married people should do" (Whatever you feel comfortable with saying) You will just have to go from there with whatever you feel comfortable with. I mean, if you feel comfortable using the "sex" word, you could always bring it up (not necessarily EXPLAIN it), but I wouldn't think you should be scared to say the word. I can say from experience that the more you act uncomfortable, the more they seem to pick up on that and the more curious they seem to get...and more questions come! And so many times, they have already heard that word...they just don't necessarily know what it means.

I tried to be as casual about it as possible so it didn't "peak" more interest. I hope that makes scense. If you think about it, the stranger someone acts when they are telling you something...the more you pay attention and the more interested you become in what they are saying...same thing applies with a child.

I hope this helps. It might sound a little crazy to some...but it worked for me. I was worried that by saying too much, I was going to get a call from the Pre-school teacher asking me what in the world I told my child...or, a call from one of her friend's mothers asking me what I was thinking. Just keep in mind that they are going to get educated somewhere, it might as well be from you...where you can at least control what is being said!

Good luck and let me know how it goes! :)

1 mom found this helpful

R.,
My husband and I are both in health care, so we have always used the "real" names for body parts. So when my daughter asked me where she came from (she is seven), I said well...when I got pregnant with you, you lived inside my tummy in a place called the uterus. While you were in there, you were fed by a little tube called an umbilical cord. The umbilical cord was attached to your belly button and attached to me and that's how you ate. When you were born, they cut off the umbilical cord because you didn't need it to eat anymore. I told her that when it was time for her to come out, I went to the hospital and pushed real hard and she came out of my vagina. She thought that was funny at first, then she thought about it and asked if it hurt. I said...yes it hurt but when the pain was over I had a beautiful baby to show for it. I have not told her "how" exactly I got pregnant yet. We have told her that it takes a mommy and a daddy to get pregnant, and that's why she looks like daddy, but acts like mommy. We told her that God made her just the way He wanted her to be, and that there is no one else on earth just like her. Even though she came from us and looks like us, she is unique. There have been times when my husband and I were in our room with the door locked (having sex quietly), and she knocked on the door and asked what we were doing. I told her that me and daddy were spending some time alone, and that we would be out in a little while, for her to go watch TV or to her playroom and play. I know I will have to explain sex eventually, but for right now, I think she knows enough. I know I can't wait forever, but I guess I feel like, somehow, I'll know when the time is right. I am looking forward to reading your other response, because it will help me too. Good Luck!
M. May

1 mom found this helpful

The best book I've ever seen on this subject is How Babies Are Made by Andrew C. Audry and Steven Schepp, illustrated by Blake Hampton. It's a TimeLife Book copyrighted in 1968. I learned about the subject this way, and loved the book. Over the years it was loaned to others who lost it, but I found another copy on either Ebay or Amazon.com. It's worth seeking out. It starts with flowers, then chickens, then puppies, and gets to then people. It explains conception in only a few words per page, accurately but simply, in a non-threatening way. The pictures look like paper cutouts and don't shock. GREAT book!

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't gotten to this point with my own daughter yet, but speaking from my own personal experience I would suggest you be very open. My mom is great, but all she did regarding this subject was give me a book and let me read it. It would have probably been a great book, as it was written with children in mind and had good illustrations (all clean of course) and descriptions, but it would have been a lot more helpful had my mom actually talked it through with me and let me ask questions. Honestly, without her knowledge, I really didn't know much more after reading the book than I did before. So, get a book or don't get a book, but whatever you do, just be honest with your daughter. Give her a chance to ask questions and make it a subject that she feels comfortable talking with you about.

Tell her the truth in an abridged version- no fairies and storks and such. Then let her ask all the questions she has. I was 8 when I learned it all from a friend of mine with 3 older sisters. I got some really interesting stories about the birds and bees that weren't exactly correct. I think it would have been a lot less confusing if I had heard the straight story from one of my parents.

I'm in the same boat with an almost 8 yr. old son who hasn't asked the big questions...yet. I know it's coming so I'll be interested in your responses.

I've had to explain on a 4yr old level because I was pregnant with my 2nd son. But at that age they are pretty satisfied with "when a mommy and a daddy love each other so much that it is more love than just the two of them can hold in, a baby starts to grow in the mommy's tummy." From there we were more concerned about the baby growing and getting out than how he got in there. I did explain to the 4yr old that a cord connects the mommy and baby to feed the baby and that belly buttons are here the cord was attached. The birth was covered with "when its time for the baby to come out we'll go to the hospital and the doctor will help get the baby out". Having laid the ground work I expect to have to build on this with further details as he gets older.

My generally policy is honesty and emphasize the baby as a creation of love. Give general information and then let her questions determine how much detail you give her. Use language appropriate for her to understand. Some 8yr olds are more mature than others so tailor it to her personally. She may ask just a few questions but then appraoch you again a few days later once she's "digested" the first answers.

Considering what they are exposed to in school these days, I think it's very wise to educate early and correctly! Last year when I was pregnant with my daughter I had to explain it to my 5 year old son....thank goodness he never got around to asking 'HOW' Daddy helped make the baby, but I did have to explain about how she was going to get OUT of my tummy!
There are loads of books that do a great job of explaining things in easy to understand terms without going into 'too' much detail. It might be worth a trip to the bookstore or library ahead of time so you can see which ones you feel most comfortable with. Many books are geared toward specific age groups so I'm sure you cold find one that would be right for your daughter. The more information she has, the better off she will be in the long run when she starts getting 'incorrect' info....especially since it seems that girls are starting to develope and hit puberty earlier and earlier these days! Good Luck!

This is such a hard question but one that we all will have to address at some point. I have found that being as open and honest as you can is great up to a point. You want to answer her questions honestly but at a level that she can understand, without giving away the "Big Reveal" too soon. I have a book called "It's Not The Stork" that lets you reveal as little or as much as you want to. There is also a book by American Girl Called "The Care and Keeping of You" for girls only. I have a son, so I do not have to explain some things that you will have to explain at this age. I have told my son that I asked God for a baby and that He put him in my tummy and that I thank God every day for His blessing. Now, I know that I will have to have a few more conversations later but that was fine with him so I left it at that. One of his little friends told him that sex was when a married couple got together in a bed, got naked and kissed. I told him "Yes" that is what it is but we are not to talk about it with anyone, EVER!! I love that he was told that married people do that. He was, of course, appalled that anyone would do that. Good luck to you. Maybe you could check out these books on Amazon.com. I hope that I was some help.

The right thing to do is tell her the truth without giving too many details. My son's first week in kindergarten we had to sit down and tell him how babies were made because some of the girls there were told wrong and led him to believe babies came from several different weird places. We sat down and told him that a husband and wife love each other so much that they want to share that love with children. We explained the birds and the bees minimally on his level. Basically all he cared about was that a baby comes from an "egg" enough said. I just had a baby 4 months ago and again we had to sit down and explain where babies come from. He understood better this time. Honesty is the best policy and I would much rather my child hear this from me than from other kids at school.

Hey R.!
My friends have just had to go through this with their daughters and we were discussing how and when and what to say.
There is a book out by the American Doll series that covers this topic so delicately and one that you can read aloud and discuss. I know that there was a book that my mother read to me, when I was little and I cannot remember it, so that doesn't help you.
I think books are great, they can answer so many of the questions with child specific answers. (less the graphics)
Preview this book first, I have not read it yet, to see if this is something that you and your husband agree with. :)
Best wishes to you and your daughter!

When my 6 year old son asked the same question I answered about the same way as Marta w/o going into the technical terms.God put his brother in my belly to grow and that evenutally the doctor would get him out. When he asked for more details, I would explain that he was six and that these answers would come in time.
Best of luck to you.

Okay, at least your kid is ASKING! My 12 & 10 yr old sons never have asked "how" anything, and neither has my almost-9 yo dtr! Last summer when we got a new bunny, my oldest said he hoped it was a girl bunny so that she could have some babies someday - but we had no other bunnies! I assumed that from watching Animal Planet they had picked up on the "mating" theme and knew there had to be a daddy involved in more than the raising of the kids. And from talking about who our kids look like in the family, they know SOMETHING comes from each parent. But I have been very reticent to ruin their innocence too soon and have not had "THE" talk with any of them. They know about hormones changing thier bodies and what girls have to go through, but no particulars about sex yet...

My hubby and I are preparing ourselves now by reading all the Bible says and some good books on being honest with the kids, but not giving them too much info that they may not be mature enough for. Like a few others have said, answer only their questions, don't elaborate with the gory details unless they ask. I have a friend whose 5 yo son asked "how" when she got pregnant with their second one - her reply to him was simply "Mommies & Daddies have to love on each other in a special way." - That was all he wanted to know and was satisfied with that answer at that time.

I do wish I had spoken more on the subject with my own kids earlier, but I figured I'd wait on them to ask so I wouldn't overwhelm them or freak them out. Now I feel like they have heard some things but are confused...

And as far as it goes on WHO does the talking, James Dobson recommends that both parents be involved, but that the mom should do the initial talk with the boys and the dad with the girls, to give them the opposite sex's perspective and see them as someone they can talk to and it makes them more sympathetic to the opposite gender. Your hubby doesn't need to bow out and not be someone his daughter can come to - we have a friend whose dtr is almost 9 also, and his wife passed away 3 yrs ago - he is terrified of telling her things, especially the "female stuff" so his sister is going to help him, but he is her only Go-To person on a daily basis, so he will HAVE to be there for her! What if your daughter gets her period when only Daddy is home? Is he gonna freak? That would only make her feel more self-concious about it...right?

From a mom's perspective of wanting my hubby to be the one initially bringing it up with the boys, I totally understand his view of it, except that I DO want to be someone they can talk to about it, so I want to be involved. I also want them to be sensitive enough to their female friends and future girlfriends that they won't be jerks about anything! They need that opposite sex perspective in there somewhere! And I read somewhere that Daddies should take their little girls on dates and show them how boys should treat them and never to expect or put up with anything less! Sounds good to me! I plan on starting "dates" with my oldest soon as well, and letting him know how to be a gentleman and how to have fun without having to be physical all the time... Truth is, I am terrified of them growing up to get carried away in the heat of the moment!!! I do NOT wanna be a grandma before I even turn 40!!!

Wishing you the best with this! Mamasource rocks!
A.

She is eight and eight is pretty mature these days from all the tv etc. Tell her the truth. It might make future problems less.

R.,
This is not an easy subject, but I'm glad your daughter asked you and not a friend from school.
I'd answer only what is asked for now. She may want to see what a baby looks like while inside the mom's tummy, so I'd pull up a diagram online of a 9th month of pregnancy. She may be satisfied with that alone. If she asks questions like "how does it get out?" -which usually does come before "how does it get in (yikes!), explain to her the birth canal and how it is made to open for the baby to come out. - again, only answer what she asks. Don't offer the "how did it get in" unless she asks.
When that question comes along, I answered all four of my children with , "God gave daddy a seed and he put it into mom and a baby was made". I'd stop the conversation there for now, even if she does ask how he puts the seed in. At 8 she's probably not ready for that answer.
My daughters actually figured the answer to that one on their own. One morning my oldest (they are twins so we dealt with this with two at the same time) she came to me and said, "I think I figured out how the seed gets there." when I asked what she thought, she said "S - E - X" . She actually spelled it out. I said, "yes. that is it." She blushed terribly, but we didn't make a big deal about her knowing now. We just treated it as a subject that she needed to talk about with only me, her mom. I explained to her that she should encourage her friends to ask their moms too if they came to her with questions because this is a very grown up topic and not everyone is ready for all the information at the same age.
Discussing sex with your kids is not a comfortable thing to do, but it is a necessity. They are going to learn about it eventually from someone. It needs to be from the parents so that your morals and beliefs are passed on to them and not someone else's.
God Bless and good luck,
L. C.

Hi, R.. This one can be a little tricky. I've got two little boys (only 3 and 5yrs old) and we've already had to come up with age appropriate answers to the baby question. I think you are one the right track wanting to tell the truth, but not overload her with information. The key is to answer satisfyingly enough so that there aren't a lot more specific questions. And these days the whole "when a man and woman love each other very much..." just doesn't cut it. We are a Christian family, so I am ok filling in a few more mature blanks with God while at the same time telling my kids in a way that also expresses my belief that babies should be the result of a loving marrige. You need to decide how much of the sex part you are comfortable disclosing. The biological part you could compare to flower fertilization forming a seed, maybe get a picture of a flower and it's parts and show how when this part from the male flower and this part from the female flower get together, they form a seed. In a simiar way when this part of a man and this part of a woman get together they form a baby. I'd probably get some pics or diagrams of both, and just see how much info your daughter really wants. I hope this helps a little.
A.

My cousin is 9 years old, and her mother found her a book. It's called "It's Not the Stork", but unfortunately I don't know the author. Maybe you can Google it or something. I looked through it and it goes into a lot of detail but I don't think it's inappropriate.

First I think your husband is wrong. It is both of you guys responsibility to make sure she grows up informed and does not find information she is seeking from the wrong source. He has some responsibility to give the man side of information when the time is right.

Second she is probably not asking for the details you think she wants. She is just wanting to know a little and can signal to you when she has had enough information. I have two 13 yr old girls, one 5 yr old girl and one 4 yr old boy. Both my little ones can tell you what the correct names are for their gentials and that babies come from mommys' stomachs. When my daugher that is 5 asked me how they get there I told her that when you are old enough and have a husband, with the help of God a baby grows in the mommys belly. She is probably not wanting specifics. Then again she may have asked for specifics.

I am very open with my kids. I do not hide information from them because I dont want them to experiment on their own. I only answer what they ask. With my two 13 yr olds they will ask a question and I will answer. Sometimes they wish they would have never asked but I prefer to be the one that tells them instead of them experimenting with some boy.

Go to Barnes and Noble if you can and buy one of the books in the children's section that helps explain it. I have seen quite a few there that were educational and informative,but helped parents and children talk about it without it being too technical, overwhelming or "fairy-tale" like. I wish I had a title for you, but I know that they have them located in the kid's section. This would be a great way to introduce this subject and would give her something to read and look at on her own after the talk, so that she could come to you with any other questions she may have about it all. Just a suggestion. Good luck and take care!

I understand you situation my daughter is almost 6 and starting to ask questions. I was 6 when my mom talked with me about all of it and it was a bit embarising and overwellming then, due to that my husband and I talked about answring simple questions first (before all the details.) At 8 she is most likly more currious than wanting to know all the details. When my daughter asked me last night in fact I told har that Babys were a gift from God and that they need both a mother and a father, so when two people are married they sometimes get lucky enuff to be blessed with the gift of children. Also that their is a special place in a mommies belly where a baby grows. We are planning to go to the library this weekend to get a childrens book that has the anatamy to be able to show her and talk alittle more.

I hope this helps you. Best wishes

Babies come from God.
Mommy and Daddy are given a very
special love.
Then they share their love together.
Bringing forth a beautiful child
like you.

I hope this does give you an idea.

R.,

I have a cousin that is a phycologist. Her office has always been in her house. One day I was there and looking for something to read and I went into her waiting room. There was a book that was geared towards children your daughters age that deals with where babies come from. Go to your local bookstore and see if they have anything or maybe you can find it on Amazon. I am sorry I don't remember the name of the book but I do remember it was very good and explained everything they need to know in language they can understand.

Good luck.

E.

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