Where Do Babies Come From?

Last Friday during the chaos of getting the kids out the door for school, Ella asked us, "Where do babies come from?" Rob gave her a quick answer about two people loving each other and creating a baby. She replied, "Yeah, but how are they really made?" That's when Rob looked at me and said, "You want to take this?" Yes I do! I've been waiting for this day! I've never wanted sex to have an air of secrecy around it and here was my chance!

I told her the facts as best as I could including words like penis, vagina, sperm, egg, and sex. She took it all in without a single giggle. Rob, who talks about sex more than anyone I've ever met, was completely uncomfortable and squeamish with my candidness.

I could tell it was the first time she ever heard the word "sex". After I said it, she said, "Oh! I've heard the word sexy. Sex hmm. It's like the word six." "Yes," I said, "But it's spelled S-E-X. " She kept asking me questions throughout the day.  I'm so glad we were having these conversations. Only thing I forgot to do was tell her that it's a very grown-up topic, and to wait to talk to her friends at school about it. I assumed she knew? Oh great. I hope she didn't make a fool out herself.

She must have told her brothers everything she found out because the next morning Oscar woke me up with this question: "Mom, how does a worm get to the egg?"  I decided I needed some more backup so we all took a trip to Bank Street Bookstore (the best children's bookstore ever!).  After skimming over their selection of sex education books, I decided on two: It's Not the Stork! and A Child Is Born. Completely different books with a ton of interesting information.

It's Not the Stork! is luckily age appropriate for all my kids. The cartoon diagrams of boys and girls bodies are simple and easy to understand. The author, Robie H. Harris, does a really good job describing sex on page 28. And I adore the chapter entitled, "Okay Touches, Not Okay Touches." There are three books in the series for different age groups. It's Not the Stork! is for ages 4 and up. It's So Amazing! is for ages 7 and up. And finally It's Perfectly Normal is for ages 10 and up. I'm looking forward to working our way through the series. Ella's already said she wants It's So Amazing! for her 7th Birthday. ha.

I like A Child Is Born because of its scientific approach. All the pictures are large, stunning, colorful, and REAL. I think it's important to show my kids what an actual sperm looks like vs. the cartoon sperms in It's Not the Stork! The only drawings I found in A Child Is Born are of a vagina and a penis. But, again, they are realistic scientific drawings vs. cartoon drawings. The reading material is advanced (I was learning a thing or two!), so I suspect my kids will skim over the book and be fascinated by the pictures.

Very happy with my purchases. Owen fell asleep while I read through the books with Oscar and Ella for bed tonight. He's going to get an earful in the morning from the two of them!

How did you find out about sex? Have you tackled the sex talk with your kids? Do you have any good resources I could use? Please share!

Photo Credits in order:
1. Angel Dear (my boys modeled for them years ago! It was their last and only modeling gig. ha)
2.  Aubrey Trinnaman
3. Sperm Photo credit

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.


  1. yes i totally agree. i have since told my kids not to share the info with other children for that exact reason. :) i think the book It's Not the Stork gives just the right amount of info. :) no less and no more. have you read it?

  2. mary @ figwittageMarch 30, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Hilarious :) I'm not afraid of this topic, my kid is only 15 months old so I have a ways to go. I found out about sex in second grade at the Catholic school I was attending. I remember Mrs. Jansen was drawing reproductive organs on the chalk board. I also remember Sarah Mueller raising her hand and asking if we were too young for this. Mrs. J said 'no.' Later that night whilst my mum was tucking me in bed I asked her if private parts have to touch to make a baby and she told me we would discuss it later. Apparently, she was appalled and called the priest. None of the parents had a clue we were being taught. I'm almost 28 and think it's funny and I remember it fairly well.

    Thanks for the books suggestions! Will write them down :)

  3. I have to say that I love your approach and it's one I intend to take with my own children when the time comes. My mother took that path and as a result I don't really remember having "the talk" because it was an on-going, evolving conversation.

  4. I don't remember the talk, but I do remember 'where did I come from?' i thought it was great...http://www.amazon.com/Where-Did-Come-Peter-Mayle/dp/0818402539

  5. Hi Sharon,
    one of the best children's books on this topic in my opinion is a Swedish book - from 1982.
    It's by Grethe Fagerstrom, in Swedish it's called "Peter, Ida och Minimum", here are some pictures from the original: http://bokhora.se/wp-content/uploads/img_8825.JPG, http://bokhora.se/wp-content/uploads/img_8826.JPG - and this is the only English version I could find: http://www.amazon.com/Our-New-Baby-Picture-Children/dp/081205458X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326644637&sr=1-1
    It's a beautifully illustrated and tender story for sure. Give it a try, you'll love it!

  6. I thought my mom did the best thing and it was exactly what you did. I asked her (I was five) and being a nurse, she explained it very logically, calmly and used the correct words. I wasn't really phased by it, but I felt very pleased that my mom trusted me with the information when other kids were still believing in the stork.

  7. I think it is quite important to make sure that your children NOT share that information to other children. Because some children are not ready to hear it and I'm sure their parents would probably would like to be the first ones to share that information with them.

    My daughter got her first bit of that info in G3 (from her friend) not too long ago and she was in tears. She did NOT want to rub her tummy with someone else to have a baby!!! not at all.

    With so many teenagers having babies so early these days, I think it's also important to follow up with the RESPONSIBILITY part of having babies. Being responsible as a mother and as a FATHER.

    Gosh, I feel like they find out about these things or are interested in it, a bit too early...

    But yes, when the time comes, it's probably best to go give them as much as they can handle but no less and no more.

  8. thank you! i'm so glad i've already had "the talk". what a relief!

  9. yeah, I skimmed over that book at the store. it seemed like a good one! my friend joanna said that's the one her mom used!

  10. cool! thanks for the resource! looks great!

  11. I really appreciate this story! I was so mortified and embarrassed when I was taught about sex - I would hate to pass on the awkwardness to my children. I think that the lack of openness in my family really had an impact on my ability to share with others, and I am committed to breaking this streak when I start a family. Thanks for the encouragement!

  12. i LOVE this sharon. i love that you don't want an air of secrecy around sex -- that is awesome and so refreshing and liberating. your kids will be able to make smart educated decisions about sex, instead of trying to figure their way through a maze of unknown choices. yay, good for you!!!! i love your family!!!

  13. Thank you for your candidness. My parents were never "weird" about talking to us about sex and I am so glad.

    In general, I love your blog. Thank you so much!

  14. Oh, wow... I don't have kids yet but right now I as read it, I started thinking of how I would do it... How old are your kids? I am just curious when kids might start thinking about it.

    As for me, I think my mom was the initiator of almost all serious talks and when a certain situation/tv program would come up she would just start talking on an appropriate topic. I think she was very wise in doing so.

  15. I had the talk with my oldest when I was pregnant again (he was 7.) I told him it's what married people do and he said "Ew, I'm gonna have to do that with my wife?? I never want to get married!" hahaa

  16. Hi Yana. Good question: My daughter is 6 years old (1st grader) and my twin boys are 4 years old.

  17. My mom was always up front and honest so I plan to follow .... but I'm glad you shared these book suggestions! I have a 7 yr old and 4 yr old and I haven't really been asked yet! Time to get prepared!

  18. This is exactly why you are so great. Ryan and I had a good laugh about how Rob talks more about sex than anyone you know. Awesome. I'm shooting for this kind of an approach too. Thanks for sharing and feel free to follow up as the conversation with your kiddos continues to evolve!

  19. Thank you Sharon! Love your approach, thanks for giving such great detail about the books. My own experience as a child was positive, my mom answered all my questions and I felt comfortable asking her anything the rest of my life. My husband's experience was so different... basically, his dad popped in a sex ed video in the VCR, left the room, then came back and asked if he had any questions. That was it! Sex was never talked about ever.

    I do think there's a balance in all things, but good for you for answering your children's questions with honesty (and bravery!). Miss you guys.

  20. I have to tell you that Cameron and I are the same way with our kids. No lies and Full on info. We want our kids to know that it is sacred but not secret. Also wanted to share with you a little story that happened to our little community just under a year ago. I have a very close friend, her and I raise our kiddos pretty much the same and one morning after they had ben out the night before and had had a baby sitter her three year old son came to her and said. "Mommy the baby sitter touched me on my penis and I had to touch his." They knew for sure something had happened and later found out that this 13 year old boy had been molesting a few boy's a little younger then him for two years. The police where very pleased in how descriptive her three year old son was and how he had used proper terms. I to this day never regret telling my kids exactly the truth about sex and what is good and what is not. I want them to always know they can talk to me about things no matter what. Sorry to be so descriptive but I wanted to share this with you and tell you good job on the appropriate way to educate your children. Miss The good old day's in San Fran.

  21. Love Bank Street Book store! I learned about sex during "Maturation" class (a one-day wonder) in 5th grade. No lie. My parents told me NOTHING. Ever. I think you are doing an awesome thing being so open with your kids about this. I have no advice -- haven't had to tackle this one yet.

  22. i just "pinned" this post for future reference. thank you! i hope i can be as easily candid as you were.

  23. was just thinking... from one mom to another =), when do you think is appropriate to bring "it" up if the question doesn't get asked? i also have an almost 7 year old daughter (as well as a 3 year old daughter.)

  24. Honestly, its the one issue of parenthood I've been nervous about even before having kids. I will be happy when the initial conversation is over!

  25. Hi, I hope you don't mind me answering you. I have a 8 year old girl. I think it's probably best to wait until they come to you unless of course your children are the type who keeps everything inside and doesn't like to discuss things. But I'm sure you will see "it" coming when she talks about kissing, boyfriends, kids in the bus teasing regarding boy/girl relationship and etc. Just look for opportunity to open up the conversation and see how much she knows and if she is interested in it at all. but less then know better for now. 7 is still really young...

  26. Hi Sharon, I have not read yet. I will have to look it up now since you recommended it! Thanks!

  27. thank you Yon for your comments! sorry i didn't respond sooner Stephanie! "It's not a Stork" is totally age appropriate for a 7 year old. check it out, read it, and see what you think. It's a fabulous resource to start the discussion on a very basic level. :)

  28. Our friends also purchased "It's So Amazing" last year when their daughter asked about sex, and we purchased it as well on their recommendation, though I'm still waiting to be asked. Their daughter absolutely LOVED the book and wanted to share her knowledge with each and every kindergartener, so they had to have a second talk with her, this time about keeping the sex talk to themselves. They had hoped that the book would help them convince her to wear underwear, but no luck.

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