“Where do babies come from?” At some point, you can count on being asked this question by your child. It is a good idea to prepare ahead of time so that conversations are more casual, natural, and more productive.
Children ask: “Where do babies come from?” because they are curious. It’s not about sex. They want to know about where They They came from before they were even born. The question is a healthy and normal part of a child’s development. Around the age of three to four, many children begin to notice pregnant women. This sparks curiosity and prompts them to ask questions. Children understand that reproduction is an inevitable part of life and that God created all living things to reproduce.
Please don’t treat this topic like a one-time conversation—such as “The Talk”—that you never revisit with your child. Instead, give your child the opportunity to ask questions of you and for you to listen to what they have to say.
Things to Consider
When you ask a baby question, there are some things you should consider. The less information a child needs, the younger they are.
The answer many young children can understand clearly is: “A baby grows in a mother’s belly and comes out when he or she is ready.” This will satisfy their curiosity for a while.
The next step may be to say: “The mom and dad make a baby. God takes a bit from the mom and a bit from the dad and makes a child. The baby grows in the mom’s womb and the baby comes out of the mom’s vagina when he or she is ready.”
Eventually, they will want to know how the baby gets in the mother’s uterus. It is important that you answer the question clearly, while also being age-appropriate with your explanations of sexual intercourse. Not all babies are created this way. You can either tell them how your child was made, or wait until they ask.
Children should be able to see that not all people have babies. Sometimes they choose to have a child. Regardless of how your child came into your family—typical pregnancy, IVF, or adoption—it could be very powerful for them to hear why you decided to become a parent and that the Bible says children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). It is a great comfort to know that God created your child and has planned every day of their lives.
We want you to know that you can decide how much and when you will provide details. Based on what you know about your child, this should be determined based on previous conversations.
1. EMPHASIZE GOD’S LOVE AND CARE.
Your child’s question is an opportunity to share how they were “wonderfully made” by our amazing, creative God and that God planned for them to be here (Psalm 139:14). Each person is created in God’s image. This shapes our perception of ourselves and how we see others. One of our other children’s books, God Made Me in His ImageThis would be a great place to start. What a great thing to tell a child: “God made you on purpose because he wanted you in his world.” He planned for each baby to be born and celebrates each birth. In doing this, you make God’s love, care, and the miracle of his gift of life front and center.
2. DESCRIBE THE CONTEXT.
It is possible to ask questions since it is a conversation. This answer can help you focus your response and provide context. Did they hear it at school? Did they witness a pregnant lady? Did they read anything in a book about pregnancy?
3. ASK THEM WHAT THEY THINK.
Asking your child what their thoughts are can be a great way to start a discussion.
4. KEEP YOUR REPONSE SIMPLE, AND SHORT.
Sometimes a few sentences are all that’s needed. Sometimes the most simple explanation suffices. Keep it simple, and ask them any questions. If they want more information, they will let you know—now or later.
5. FIND WAYS TO MAKE CONVERSATIONS NATURAL & NORMAL.
Talk about the topic while you eat dinner, go for a walk, visit the zoo or drive somewhere. Conversations that are normal and natural will make your child feel more comfortable asking questions and addressing concerns. As parents, this is what we want.
6. DON’T IGNORE THIS QUESTION.
Redirecting or ignoring the question will not make your child’s curiosity go away. They will be told to not ask you questions. They will most likely ask another person.
7. DON’T MAKE IT WEIRD.
Young children may not realize that it can be awkward to ask where their babies came from. They see asking about reproduction as the same thing as asking about any other topic. Your response should be informal and simple. How You respond communicates as much as What Your words. You should remain calm and not show any shock, embarrassment concern or frustration. You may feel embarrassed if your child asks a normal question.
8. PROPER NAMES FOR PRIVATE PIECES
This conversation will allow you to teach your child proper names for body parts that are related to reproduction. Focus on the parts they can see—like the penis and vagina. Our children’s book, God Made Everything About MeThis would be very helpful.
9. USE CORRECT LANGUAGE, DEFINE TERMS.
Avoid confusion by using precise terms for body parts. Babies are born in the uterus, or the womb. If you use terms like “stomach” or “tummy,” it can be confusing since that is where food goes. Any words that your child doesn’t know, explain it. This helps them not feel overwhelmed by information and keeps the conversation from becoming abstract.
10. MAKE SURE YOUR CHILDREN GET IT.
Check their understanding and encourage more discussion by asking, “Does that answer your question?” or, “Is there anything else you want to know?”
This is a great opportunity for you as their main source of information. It is important to be open, secure, available, and ready to listen when they need it. It is your goal to answer their questions in an honest and biblical manner that is age-appropriate. Talking with children about God’s creation and the process he used to create them will be an important part of your relationship. You will want to keep reminding your children that every baby is a gift from God and that they are God’s special gift to you.
Authors of this book are Justin S. Holcomb, Lindsey A. Holcomb. God Made Babies: Helping Parents Answer The Baby Question.
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