How I Told My Daughter Where Babies Come From

Nine years old…what an age! They are still children, but their curiosity and ability to process real information is growing.

Between the ages of 8 and 9, Penelope learned the tooth fairy was not real, Santa was not real, and even came to realize the magic at Disney is all staged. Damn, this getting older really sucks.

The Questions

Penelope has been inquisitive her whole life. She asks many questions and we have always promised to tell her the truth…an age appropriate truth. So when she asked how babies “got inside the tummy” we told her it was a miracle that happened with the help of G-d. When she asked how the babies “got out of the tummy” we told her the doctors took the baby out. These answered seemed to be sufficient until Penelope realized there had to be more to the story.

At eight years old, Penelope continued to ask, “HOW do the doctors get the babies?” Keeping to my word of being honest and realizing eight is not that young, I told her how some women have a cesarean and the doctors make an incision and take the baby out that way AND I told her how women push the baby out through their vagina. VAGINA. Yes, I use the appropriate terms. I explained to her where exactly the baby came out and the only question that followed after hearing the ultimate truth was, “So you push the baby out, like you push a poop out?” YEP. That about sums it up.

This year, Penelope asked again HOW the baby got in the tummy and she followed with, “Please tell me more than just G-d’s miracle.” Sigh. Well, here goes nothing.

The Explanations

I sat Penelope down and used the words vagina, penis, eggs, and sperm. I explained how the penis went inside the vagina {in the same hole the baby comes out of} and then the penis has sperm which comes out and travels to the eggs that live inside the woman’s body. I explained how when the sperm and egg make contact, the egg and sperm together, create a baby. I kept it SCIENTIFIC. I did not use the word sex. I did not use the word orgasm. I did not use any words other than the necessary words that explained how a baby was created. Penelope was not grossed out. She wasn’t embarrassed. She wasn’t anything I had imagined. Penelope had no follow up questions other than is this how all babies are made and I said yes, all babies are made with eggs and sperm.

The Reaction

The funny thing about children {at least mine} is that they typically ask questions when they are ready to hear the truth. There is nothing wrong with a nine year old girl knowing how babies are made, how babies come out, about puberty, her menstrual cycle, tampons, pads, bras, breasts, pubic hair etc. This mama has discussed it all! I stick to real words, not slang, and try to break it down piece by piece. I answer what she wants to know without making a fuss and without bringing up topics that she is not ready for.

Penelope knows all these conversations are private and that she is not to discuss these topics at school or with her friends. We have gone over how mommies and daddies are the ones to explain all this to their children when they feel the time is right.

I did, however, tell Penelope that she is MORE than welcome to tell Pandora all of this information because after all, that’s what big sisters are for!

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Michele is a native Houstonian and loves everything Texas, including the Longhorns. She and her husband were married in January 2002 and are parents to the most wonderful girls, Penelope {August 2008} and Pandora {August 2011}. A former educator, Michele is passionate about education and student learning. She spends most of her days volunteering at her daughters' schools and tutoring neighborhood children in reading. Michele loves her big family and enjoys traveling to see all her relatives as well as being the fun aunt to her nieces and nephews. Her daily goal is to laugh each day and enjoy the moments. Becoming a mom was the greatest gift for Michele, and she treasures it all, even the tantrums. You can read more about Michele, her life, and her parenting adventures on her personal blog The Adventures of Tomboys in Tiaras.


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