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:
- It’s So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families
- It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health
- The Boy’s Body Book: Third Edition: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up YOU
Have you found a great resource for the baby and/or growing up subjects?