How to Explain to Five Year Old About How a Baby Gets Out?

Updated on January 14, 2010
L.M. asks from Columbia, SC
11 answers

My five year old little girl is very excited about becoming a big sister. Only problem, she is very curious. She has asked how the baby got in there, and more specifically, how it comes out. I took her with me to my first baby appointment, and let her be in the room during the exam. I thought this might explain without having to actually sit her down and explain. I am all for being honest with my little girl, and don't believe that telling her a stork brings the baby is fair. However, I don't want to explain so graphically that she goes and explains it all to her classmates at daycare, and her ruin another childs innocence on the subject. Any suggestions on books or how to go about this without scaring her?

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all the advice. I am not having a c-section, so all of those responses, I can't use. I also am having a natural childbirth with a midwife, so I can't use the medicine parts. But, all in all good advice, we are going to try and find a book that is appropriate, and have the talk with her this weekend. Thanks for everything.

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answers from Washington DC on

My son is 3 and we were talking about the baby coming out when is has finished growing and he asked me where the door was - LOL. So, I sort of used that as a starting point. I just told him that there is a special door at the bottom of mommy's belly that can only be opened when the baby is finished growing and only the doctor knows how to open it and let the baby out with special care. He was satisfied with that.

On the topic of how the baby got there, if and when he asks, I thought I would tell him that mommy and daddy love each other so much and that sometimes their love comes together and when taken care of, grows into a little baby so that they can share this love with the world. However, it has to be kept in a special place and taken care of until it grows big enough to be able to come out on its own. So, mommy takes care of it until it's ready to meet the rest of the world. I felt like it was the truth, but also on his level and something that I wouldn't worry about him sharing.

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answers from Norfolk on

An age appropriate explanation? You could tell her it grew there from being very small and there's a secret escape hatch that opens when baby is ready to come out and meet his/her big sister. Definitely an over simplified explanation, but more or less accurate.

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answers from Atlanta on

I haven't had to go into a lot of details about this with my daughter yet. On the how did it get in there. You can let her know that all mommies have eggs inside of their bodies that can grow into babies. You can also let her know that it's the same way with animals too. She will probably like that part of the explanation. With my daughter when she asked how babies get out of the belly, I informed her that they come out from your XXX area (whatever she calls it). But sometimes babies come out from an incision. So you can explain it depends on what the doctor decides. At her age, she should be able to understand it without getting scared. It's just normal stuff.

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answers from Atlanta on

I can't wait to see the answers. If I had not had a miscarriage a year ago, I might have a good answer for you (my twins are currently five). We've managed to skirt the issue so far, though it sounds like you and I have the same concerns about being honest without having a talkative 5-year-old conduct a sex-ed class. My husband's unhelpful suggestion was "mommy goes to the hospital and the doctor gets the baby out." I suppose that could work for some, but as his wife who proudly and naturally birthed three children and would never teach my daughter that birth is a medical emergency at the mercy of doctors, I pretty much responded, "WHAT?!?" Congratulations on your new baby.



answers from Atlanta on

Less is more. Unless she asks, I wouldn't offer info. Once, when my daughter was about 4, she saw A Baby Story on TLC and asked afterward, "Mom, do babies come out of your privates?" "Uh, yeah." "Oooooooh! I don't want to have a baby!!!!" So, I comforted her with the thought that she won't have to worry about that for a long time and that she'll want one when she's grown up and that there is medicine so the mommies don't have to hurt. She's never asked how they get in there in the first place and I've never offered the info. If she did ask, though, I think at this point, I'd just say that it happens when there's a husband and a wife and God gives them a baby. Less is more, sometimes!



answers from Augusta on

I just told my kids (age 3 and 5 when their sister was born) the truth. I don't really consider that to inappropriate- it's basic anatomy and probably a lot less scary than what they could imagine. I think we said something like Mommies grow babies in their tummies and when the baby is done growing it comes out of mommy's belly through her vagina. We had an age appropriate book that had pictures that were not too graphic. The book was Welcome with Love but it is geared towards homebirthing and it doesn't sound like that's what you're planning. I am sure there are others out there geared towards various situations.

I also wouldn't be comfortable telling them either that babies are born through a cut in mommy's tummy or that doctors take the baby out. Just kind of rubs me the wrong way in an empowering women sort of sense.



answers from Atlanta on

My sons were 3 and 4 when their sister was born. My oldest asked questions all the time. As far as how the baby got there I just told him that mommy and daddy got married and when you do sometimes a baby grows in the mommy's belly. That worked except now he always says I got married 3 times. He is wondering if dad and I will get married again so we can have another sister. Oh well. And as far as how it came out I just told them that sometimes the doctor has to make a little cut in the mommy's belly to get the baby out. I didn't tell them that was always the way they came out but it caught their attention and they focused on that idea so much that I didn't even have to go into the other way. I just told them that I would have medicine so it wouldn't hurt. Once the baby was home they were so excited about seeing her that the topic never came up again.



answers from Charleston on

When my son was asking questions about babies, I simply told him that he came through a birth canal to be born. That was enough at his age and he never asked again.



answers from Atlanta on

The less self-conscious and "just the facts" you are, about this and other "facts of life" the better taken it will be. My daughter was 4 1/2, also VERY smart, and she wanted to know about her baby brother. I told her that Mommy and Daddy each give a cell, and they grow together to make a person. No details on how, just that we’re both part of the child.

I got an age-appropriate book from the library that showed what the uterus and womb and baby looked like inside as it was growing, and even discussed that the baby came through a special opening in the Mommy when it was ready to be born. This book was great and very specific and not embarassing.

I also talked about how we are different but the same as cats and other animals so she would understand it as just another natural thing.

Good luck with your explorer:)



answers from Savannah on

I always found the best way to handle it is to ask her how she thinks the baby comes out. She may already have an idea (if you watch Baby Story or any of those type shows). My daughter was about 5 when she asked me where they came out and when I asked her she informed me that they came out a woman's private parts (yes I watched a baby story lol). The cute part was she also told me that she used to think babies came out your baby button but that was when she was little lol. When she let me know that she already knew I just confirmed it. There were no follow up questions and none of my kids have ever asked how the baby got there in the first place. Kids can let you know fairly simply how much information they need.



answers from Atlanta on

Until you are willing to go into specifics... we told our children that God puts the babies in and then mommy goes to the hospital to have the doctor take it out. If you get a C-section then it's a bit easier. Just say that the doctor cuts open your tummy to take the baby out.

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