Motherhood Personal Posts

The Birds and The Bees Talk with Little Ones

Post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. Products pictured/mentioned were purchased by me and I was not asked to mention them nor was I compensated to do so. We’ve handled the “birds and the bees” talks as an ongoing conversation, age appropriate and only answering what was asked. My daughter was 3 when we found out we were expecting her brother, and we purchased It’s Not the Stork in anticipation of all her questions. To my surprise, she ended up asking 10,000 questions about death, not birth! If I remember correctly, it began when she asked about Beethoven after we listened to some music, and got pretty deep!

We answered all of her questions about pregnancy and birth honestly, but kept it age appropriate. We’ve always used proper terms for body parts, combined with the term “private parts” for general mentions. She knew that her baby brother or sister would come out of my vagina, but when our friend had a c-section, we had to have an entirely new conversation. I’ll be honest that when it finally came to the “how does the sperm get to the egg” conversation where “the Daddy puts it there” and “it comes from Daddy’s penis” wasn’t enough, I had a very hard time not giggling. Because…well I guess I’m part 13 year old boy.

As she got older, we bought her The Care and Keeping of you, followed by The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, Revised Edition and The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls as these new editions were released. Surprisingly (to me anyway) she was pretty nonchalant about it, and the only real question was “do you have to use tampons?” Of course, the answer was of course not, there are tons of options (reusable menstrual pads, disposable pads, cups) which I didn’t get into until later.

Anyhoo, my son will be 5 next month, and his questions began in earnest last year, so we bought him his own copy of It’s Not the Stork. We started by just flipping to the pages he was interested in. The book is great in that it shows drawings (not “graphic”) of the differences between boys and girls inside and out, and even a magnified drawing of sperm. As careful as I am to use correct terms, I made the mistake of likening sperm to a seed and for whatever reason, he really hung on to that idea, so the book was very handy.

Just recently, his questions have escalated to the old “P-I-V” (are you pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down?) talk, and we read the whole book from cover to cover. Like his sister, he was very unconcerned about the whole thing. His questions were 1) Do you have to be married to have a baby. and 2) Does it hurt when the sperm comes out. I am so super duper proud of myself for not giggling at all when he asked that.

The It’s Not the Stork book touches on alternative families and c-sections, IVF etc. The plus is that I think this book is perfect for the 3-5 crowd, when they have questions, but can’t read independently, so you can read what you like & skip or change things you don’t. I’m not sure how we’ll handle the “growing up” stuff for our boys. I don’t know if they’ll feel icky about talking to Mom by the time they have questions!

Additional texts on my “to read” list:

Have you found a great resource for the baby and/or growing up subjects?

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
  • August 1, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    […] in the “birds and bees” discussion stage? Check out books I […]

  • Kaitlyn
    April 16, 2014 at 11:40 am

    My son had tons of questions when I was pregnant with my daughter and asks even more questions now! I’m totally going to have to get him the “It’s Not the Stork” book! I had to laugh when you said you were part 13 year old boy though! I’ve often thought I was too when he was asking questions! 🙂

  • April 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Ooooh – perfect timing! My 6 yo has been asking questions, and this book sounds great. Thank you so much for sharing!

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