Need Help Explaining How Baby's Come Out to My 6 Year Old.

Updated on August 27, 2008
K.L. asks from Houston, TX
37 answers

I am 4 months pregnant and my 6 year old daughter is fascinated with the pregnancy. She has asked me several times how babies come out of the mommy's tummy. I told her the doctor takes the baby out and left it at that. I can tell that she wants me to be specific but I am not ready to discuss the birds and the bees with her. I think too much information at such a young age will do more harm than good. A friend of mine told me to tell her the doctor cuts the tummy open and takes the baby out. That would be great if I have a C-section but if I don't will she notice I don't have a scar? I could use some advice on how to handle this. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

I read her a book titled "How you were born". It answered all her questions and she really enjoyed seeing the pictures of what the baby looks like right now. Thanks for your help!

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L.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

This can be answered by a book from the library. Get one that is for the right age. They do not need to know all that much. Good luck

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S.M.

answers from Austin on

Remember that anything you tell her, she is going to tell her friends. Keep that in mind when you plan out what you want to say.

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R.M.

answers from Austin on

I never thought explaining how a baby gets out of the tummy to be a problem. I just said there was a special place. My oldest son was almost 4 when I had my second son. He too was very interested in the baby. My concern was would he ask how the baby got in my stomach. One day I thought that moment had come. We were discussing the baby and he said, "Momma there is something I have always wanted to know." I thought here it comes. His question was "Do flys have eyes?" He never asked the other question even when I was carrying my third son.

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A.S.

answers from Austin on

Tell her the truth....birthing a baby doesn't necessarily have to mean you have to talk about SEX....how a baby comes out, out of the vagina, has nothing to do with sex....unless she asks you how the baby got in there you don't need to go into the whole sex thing. There isn't anything wrong with telling your daughter about birth. You may need to paractice what you are going to say though, because it sounds like you are very uncomfortable with explaining the technicality of birth. RELAX, so your daughter won't pick up on your uncomfortable vibe and feel like there is something wrong and dirty about the whole birthing process, and the vagina in general.

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C.W.

answers from Austin on

Kids love honesty! I had the same situation, my daughter was 5 when our son was born. I was honest and told her the absolute truth. She didn't seemed that shocked or troubled by it.

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T.V.

answers from Houston on

My oldest is now 4 and expecting his 2nd sibling in the next few weeks. When I was pregnant with #2, my midwife gave me a movie to watch, so I popped it in and we sat down to watch. What I did not know was that it was ONLY crowning through first few breaths on video. I was stunned and a little distraught, but sat down so as not to scare #1 and we watched a few of the births me explaining as questions were asked. A few days later, while running a bath I had a hollering kiddo (who saw my naked backside as I bent to test the water) telling me "The baby is coming the baby is coming!"

Long story short, #1 witnessed birth via video and was fine for it, even at such a tender age.

I would suggest letting your daughter ask specific questions and answer those. Kiddos tend to ask what they want to know and if you stick to their questions they won't get too much info.

Good luck!

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R.L.

answers from Houston on

I know I'm late on this and you've received a lot of great advice, but I just wanted to add what worked for me. I explained to my 7 yr old son that their is a special place where the baby grows called the womb (or uterus if you choose.) I explained that when it's time the baby will come out through the birth canal, and then I told him that the rest will be explained when he is a bit older. He took that explanation and hasn't really asked again.

Good luck!!

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V.B.

answers from Houston on

If your child is curious about the process, it is a more than opportune time to give her a brief intro to where babies come from. My son could care less when I was pregnant but now he is 7 he asks more questions. It is far easier to give them information as they ask for it than to give The Talk all at once. Give her a simplified version. That babies grow inside until they are ready to come out and then they come out a little like a bowel movement. She may not ask anything else or she may ask from where. With my son, we have always answered his curious questions when they come so he understood that girls are different from boys. It was easy to explain that girls have a whole just for babies. He hasn't asked how daddy put the baby there yet but I know its coming. I hope this helps.

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J.H.

answers from Houston on

Just be very frank with her and tell her that God has a very special way to get the baby out and that when she is old enough to understand that you will explain it to her. If she pushes it, which she probably won't, just be firm and tell her
"Whan you are old enough I'll explain it". Than change the subject.

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A.J.

answers from Visalia on

i think that at 6, she's ready to know that babies come out of a mother's vagina. i think making up a story to "protect" her will actually hurt her later on because she will find out sooner or later that you lied to her. you don't have to tell her about sex. just tell her that a baby grows from a special seed inside mommy's tummy and when the baby is finished growing, he/she will come out through a special hole that mommies have called a vagina. it shouldn't be a shameful thing to explain, it's a beautiful and natural process. birth has nothing to do with having sex or sexuality. i think it would scare her to tell her that the doctor will be cutting you open! just tell her the truth in child's terms with as little details as will satisfy her curiosity
hope this helps

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D.B.

answers from Houston on

Likely you have already noticed she has known the parts of her own body since she was about 4 or so. It isn't too difficult to just share with her that when a woman is getting ready to have a baby those parts of her body get ready, too. Kind of like the elastic of a hair scrunchy or the waist of her pants or skirt grow bigger when she pulls them on, so the baby will fit through and be able to come out.

If she has more questions, there are library books for young schoolagers that give age-appropriate information in story form. Just call and ask a librarian to look for you.

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S.O.

answers from Houston on

There is a book about this I saw at the Christian book store before. Google Christian book store and then do a search like explaining birth to your children, or something like that and a list of books will come up and give you the rating and reviews from others. I would not tell her the dr is going to cut you either, you never know what go ons in the mind of kids, but I'm pretty confident that you can find a book for kids on that website that can explain it more easily that what I can think of to say. lol and good luck

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C.S.

answers from Longview on

I have 2 boys (12 and 9) and a 3 year old daughter. When I was pregnant with my 2nd, I don't remember my son asking that question while I was pregnant but I do remember us talking about it later and then again talking about it with my 2nd son when I was pregnant with my daughter. He was 5. I just told them it's kind of like going to the bathroom except you are in a bed and the doctor helps you have the baby. Your daughter may be a little more inquisitive than my boys were, but mine were pretty satisfied with that answer.
Best of luck on your pregnancy/delivery and explaining all this fun stuff!
C.

PS - I had a friend call me the other day and tell me her 9 year old son told her that my 9 year old son had told him that you had to have sex to have a baby or your baby would be deformed!! OH MY!! I have NO IDEA where he got that from but unfortunately your 2nd and 3rd learn things (or think they do anyway) A LOT faster than I care to admit.

D.F.

answers from San Antonio on

Hey K., It will be much better coming from you than from anyone else. My youngest, and only girl surprised us at 4 1/2 after starting kindergarten. She came home and told my husband she knew where babies come out. Not sure what she was going to come up with, he played along. Very matter of fact, she says, "My friend, she is in first grade, said that babies come out of your butt". Trying very hard not to laugh, he told her that was not quite right and to talk to momma. As soon as I got home he pulled me aside. We decided to tell her how she came out, via c-section! I sat down with her and and we talked. I showed her my scar, told her about going to the hospital and who was in the hospital room with us. Her birth story.
I got out the easy way, but I told her the truth. I thought she was too young, but I had no choice, especially after she had been given wrong information. We laugh about it now, she is 11 and knows that some babies are born vaginally.

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B.D.

answers from Austin on

Telling her the truth is going to do absolutely NO harm. Children have witnessed births for centuries - if not that of their own siblings than of the family or farm animals. My first birth experience was watching the family dog give birth to puppies. The miracle of birth is fascinating to children and explains a big mystery in their lives. My mother is a registered nurse and has been showing children pictures from books (made for children) for years. The children always come away from the conversation with understanding and confidence about birth. This is not a conversation about sex.

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B.

answers from Houston on

I agree with Alicia. I think that she is old enough to handle that and it's a great way to explain it without being too graphic or sexual.

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V.S.

answers from San Antonio on

Totally am in the same boat with Brandie. My son (7 in September) know so much. He asked. I answered. I really think it's all in the delivery (no pun intended!). Telling a child where a baby comes out isn't really a sex talk. He knows it comes out of Mommy's "front bottom". Forgive the vocabulary but that's all I could come up with when he asked. I just didn't want him talking about Mommy's vagina in circle time in school!!! To be perfectly honest, there were several times when we were out and about and I had to drag him into the bathroom with me when I was on my period. I couldn't leave him outside the stall in a public bathroom. I had to explain my period to him bc he thought that I was hurt. Again, all in the delivery. I just told him that is was something that all Mommys got so that they could have a baby. He's fine with it all. You know, kids don't associate vaginas with sex. That's only grown ups. To them, it's only a part of your body. If that is where the baby comes out of then to them it's no big deal. Just like boobs. To kids, you feed your babies with them. To husbands... well that's another story!!! : ) Good luck!!!

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G.J.

answers from San Antonio on

Seems to me she doesn't really want to know about sex persay but just how the baby gets from one place to another. You might find out why she wants to know - it may be as simple as looking at a baby and wondering how something that large can get out. She may even be concerned that you will be injured.
I am for answering questions. You needent speak about birds and bees - but there are many good books which will explain what is going on, how the baby is growing and "how the baby" arrives. 6 is not too young to see these books which show the miracle of life and birth.
She really doesn't want to know how it got there but what is going to happen. Knowledge is power and what children can imagine is going to take place is sometimes 10 times worse than the truth. What is wrong with showing a child how a baby develops and grows and then is born?
I believe that there is no such thing as too much information but there is such a thing as the wrong type of information.

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B.T.

answers from Houston on

This may shock a few! My son is a very very curious 5 1/2 yr old and loves science/health. He has examined our ears, noses and throats since he was 3 or so. His pediatrician has let him use his tools to examine me (mom) everytime we have gone! He knows more about anatomy than most kids his age I assume. With that said.... he knows what his body part is called but not what us girls privates are called. He wanted to know where he came from which was a c-section and has seen the pictures but also knows that babies come out of the "baby hole" that mommas have. He has even seen a vaginal birth with the sound off. We are trying to get pregnant this month and our son will be involved in the whole 9 month process as much as my dr will allow.

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P.D.

answers from Houston on

Hi I too had a similiar situation with my daughter last year, I told her the truth , but kept it simple. when mommy & daddy love each other they make a baby, I did tell her briefly about eggs, becasue she had seen a chick hatch. Wehn it came to paart of how they came out I told her mommy loved her verymuch and pushed her out. She asked about s-section meaning c-section, her frineds mommy had one. Again honesty, I told her sometimes the baby wiggles so much they get turned around, and it is too dangerous to push the baby out, so they have a surgery, where they make a cut to take the beautiful baby out. She was fine with conversation, and it appeased her intrest. YOu know your daughter best, mine being the modest mommy has always asked questions and she will not stop until she get the answer. Go with your gut and their are some books availbale if you want to use them, check out barnes and noble or local library.

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J.T.

answers from Victoria on

Our neighbor girl is 5 she was told that babies come out of the belly buttons. At the time I didn't understand why she wouldnt just tell her they came out of mommies privates? Still not sure why that would be too much information for a kid to handle. But hopefully telling her the belly button would help you. Congrats on the new baby. Remember to play up the whole your going to be a big sister, and a big brother soon. Good luck.

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C.H.

answers from Houston on

Hi K.,
We told our kids the baby comes out of the "birth canal". Then the dr. hands the baby to the nurse who wipes the white cream off the baby. That is there to keep the baby's skin from being dry since it is inside where the baby has been living and growing. That satisfied them for a time. Mine were older before they asked where that was. Having another bit of info after "birth canal" switches them to thinking of that. Explain how if you have had a lot of sun/swimming you need lotion, etc. Kudos to you for not giving more explanation than what they are emotionally prepared for! HTH

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K.L.

answers from Houston on

I have a friend that I thought did a great job with this question. She has 2 girls and the younger one wanted to know the same question. I think she was 4 at the time. My friend told her that mommies are special and they have 2 holes. One is there just for babies to come out when they are ready. She didn't get too detailed but answered the questions as honestly and age appropriately as she could. Her daughter was thrilled that she was special and one day she would be able to have a baby too. I have two boys and when my second one was born my other son (3 at the time) was simply told that his baby brother "popped out". This satisfied him for awhile but I was shocked about 4 months later when he asked, "mommy, where did he pop out?". I couldn't believe my 3 year old had been thinking about that for so long. So I told him I had a specail place for the baby to "pop" out and he was satisfied with that answer. I really do believe that something as close to the truth would be best without all the gorey details. If you tell her they cut you open it might upset her and she may think that she will have to be cut open someday too. I would steer away from that. Good luck!

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R.

answers from San Antonio on

Facts are rarely harmful, if delivered as matter of fact. When my five year old asked this question, regarding her baby sister, I explained that the baby comes out through my vagina and the doctor is there to help. She only became concerned when I went on to explain that sometimes a c-section is necessary, as the idea of mommy getting cut was very upsetting to her. We have always used the technical terms for body parts, so she was not at all concerned or confused by this explaination.

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N.D.

answers from Austin on

I highly recommend the book "Why boys and girls are different" by Carol Greene. It talks about how God made our bodies different. The first one of the set is for ages 3-5 and there is a series and some parent tips on how to talk to your kids. My 5 year old wants to read it all the time. She has been very interested in bodies and this book has given her an outlet and opened up both me and her to conversation. I want to build this strong openness now as when they are older I want them to feel like they can come to me with questions as I didn't feel like I could ask my mom about things when I was younger.

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A.O.

answers from Sherman on

What about letting her watch A Baby Story on TLC? My 2 older children (2 and 3) loved watching it when I was pregnant and it answered a lot of questions without specific details. My 3 year old knows that some babies come out of a mommy's bottom and some babies have to be cut out of a mommy's tummy.

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J.P.

answers from Austin on

I had a similar conversation with my DS when my son was about to be born. I had planned on a natural and ended up with a c-section.
First, I was honest and drew a simple picture that there is a pouch in mommy's tummy that holds the baby. Its not in my stomach! When the baby gets big enough, the pouch can't hold it anymore and the baby makes the pouch squeeze and the baby comes out. From where you say? From a special hole down in mommy's pants. Yes, all girls have one but yours wont be ready until you are ready to be a mommy too. Sometimes if the baby doesn't come out that way, a doctor can make a special cut it mommy's tummy way down low and take the baby out that way too.
(THE BIG ONE) How did the baby get in your tummy? Well when a mommy and daddy love each other very much, GOD lets a miracle happen!! (Yes, she actually bought it!! Sure beat the real birds and bees conversation).
Drawing pictures and explaining things easily works for most kids that age. There really is no need to get into any grosser detail.
Right now, I am preggo and explained this to my 4 year old and he understood it just fine too!
Good luck. It's better to find out from you than someone else! Plus, it takes the fear out of it all.

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H.F.

answers from San Angelo on

Honesty is the best policy and information beats ignorance. The good news is that your daughter didn't ask how babies get IN your tummy! How they get out is easy. Women have a vagina, a tube that goes from their tummy to the outside, and the baby will come out of there when its ready...that's the easiest, least confusing answer I think. Good luck.

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M.S.

answers from Killeen on

Wow, too bad you cannot just have her see something puppies or kitties being born.

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S.S.

answers from San Antonio on

The "What to Expect . . " series has a great book for kids that address this very well. I don't remember the exact name but its something like "What to Expect When Mom's having a baby". It answers all of the questions that she's probably asking in an age appropriate way without being too graphic.

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M.K.

answers from Houston on

Hi K.,

This is sometimes and awkward subject to talk about especially to younger children. My four year old wanted to know how the baby would come out. I told him that there was a special baby hole that the baby would come out of. Then he asked where it was. I walked right into that one. I said that it was in between the pee pee nad the poo poo hole. That seemed to do the job. There are always those baby shows that show how everything happens.

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C.G.

answers from San Antonio on

We just had this issue come up,from our 6 yr. old son. And I am not pregnant. We just simply told him that we would explain it when he is older. He was fine with that. ps both he and his 3yr. old sister were born by c-section. Anyway,good luck

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S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

There's a hole in Mommy's body under where Mommy goes to the bathroom called a vagina. God helps make that hole big enough so that the baby may come out. Sometimes Doctors will help by cutting a hole when necessary. But, the baby will come out my vagina.

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S.O.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I too am having a baby and due in November. My son who's almost 5 is very inquisitive about how his little brother is going to come out. I am having a C-section, so I told him that the doctor will just make a little cut in my tummy and pull him out. Well, let me tell you...I did not get the reaction that I thought. He freaked! He thought I might die. UGH! It has been a rough hump to get over. I explained to him that when I had him that's what happened (I did have a c-section with him as well) and everything is just perfect...He and Mommy are ok and doing great. That has helped, but after reading your advice I may try to get a book or try another way to explain this to him.
Good luck!

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P.H.

answers from Austin on

The key to talking to little kids about the big issues is only answering the questions they ask,but not giving them more info than they can handle. So she wants to know how the baby comes out (not how it gets in...yet!)
My son was 4 when his second little brother was born and he had all the same questions. I showed him a booklet (I think it came from my ob's office) that showed a birth. I told him the baby comes out the birth canal, which is down by mommy's bottom. Of course he asked if it's the same place pee or poop comes out, and of course I told him, no, it is a special place that opens up just for babies to come out. I think that answer is truthful but put in terms a young child can handle. He's now 7 and hasn't asked any more questions since!
Kids can handle the truth and you really don't want her to find out from someone else. She needs to know you are the one to come to when she wants to know something. I read somewhere that it's okay to tell kids "that's a great question, but can I think about how to answer it and we'll talk again tomorrow?" (or something like that). You can then buy some time to think about your answer, gather books or info, etc. It's not too much information if your child is asking you first. That means she's already thinking about it, versus you telling her something she's not ready to hear. Maybe you can show her photos of babies developing and really share this early bonding experience with her.
Good luck with your growing family!

P. (mom to three boys ages 7,5,& almost 3)

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D.S.

answers from Houston on

The baby just "pops out".

This is what my husband told my daughter when I was pregnant with her little brothers. BUT my daughter was only 3 1/2 yrs. and not 6. My daughter is now almost 9 and her brothers are 5 and we still say babies "pop out" and they are fine with that. We all laugh and move on...no questions asked.

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C.Z.

answers from Killeen on

If she is asking, then she is ready for an answer...but don't answer questions she isn't asking.
If she only want's to know how the baby comes out, you don't necessarily need to go into detail about how it got there in ght first place.
Keep it simple and honest.
This approach has worked with my two older sons when I was pregnant with my youngest. They were 6 & 9 at the time.

Blessings to you.

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