From the monthly archives:

April 2010

How Does a Baby Get Out Of the Mommy’s Belly?

by Melanie Edwards on April 20, 2010 · 21 comments

in life

Kid Touching Pregnant Belly

A few months back, our family of three sat down to eat dinner on a night as ordinary as any other. Ordinary, that is, until mid-way through the food on my plate, just as I was about to stick my fork into my mouth, my 4 year old baby girl pipes up and asks,

“How does a baby get out of the mommy’s belly?”

I look up from my plate to find that my husband conveniently has food in his mouth and can’t answer. You know those Twix commercials that show someone in an awkward situation and they stuff their mouths with a Twix bar because they “need a moment?” Yeah, that was my husband.

Since my mouth was empty, I answered her question as best and as honest as I could in 4-year-old terms. Thankfully, she didn’t follow up with any more questions at the time. You know, like, “how does a baby get into the mommy’s belly?”

However, I know that such questions and many more are going to be coming our way sooner rather than later. With us deciding to have a second child, our baby girl is going to wonder not only how a baby gets in and out of the mom’s belly, but also what happens while in there.

In an effort to prepare her early on before she even finds out there is a baby in her mommy’s belly, we picked up a book at our local library. I wanted a book that was not so explicit with pictures, but that could explain some of what happens during pregnancy. We came across Everybody Has a Bellybutton: Your Life Before You Were Born. It simply explains how a baby is created in the mommy’s body (without information on sex), how the baby grows at different stages, and what happens during the birth.

My daughter enjoyed hearing the story and looking at the pictures. I know the message got through because she later told her daddy all about how a baby grows in the mommy’s belly. If you have a preschooler, you know that when they recite information or a story back to you, it really means they understood.

I found that reading a book together, helped me put the words together. The pictures were a great help as well. The key was finding a book that was age-appropriate and that I was comfortable sharing with her. There were other books at the library that had more details and some that included diagrams of the female and male reproductive organs. Though I know she will need such information in the future, for now, I stayed away from it as I feel she’s not yet ready. Our philosophy has always been to answer the questions she asks – and nothing more. We know in due time, when she’s ready, she’ll ask for more details.

A quick search led me to find a few other books that might help you explain pregnancy and the birth of a child to older siblings. I’ve only read the first one listed, so I’m not sure of the contents or age-appropriateness of the rest. But, you may find they suit your needs.

5 Books to Help Explain a Baby to Older Siblings

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