We are all pretty capable and accomplished, so why is it that when our 3 or 4 year old suddenly looks up and out of nowhere asks: “Mommy, how do babies get in the tummy”?–we freeze, and are unsure on how to handle the situation?
Many of us have been there, and if you haven’t it will likely happen to you at some point so be prepared!
Some fun responses I’ve heard from Mommy friends include: “Babies grow in Mommies’ tummies after they go to college,
get a good job, fall in love and get married…Then the baby comes in their tummies.” or even “Babies get in mommies tummies when two people who love each are old enough and ready to have a baby together.”
Way back when, I had also chosen to include marriage in my explanation. Of course that became a problem when our then babysitter got pregnant without a husband. Babysitter became bombarded with questions like “how could that have happened?”…you could imagine. I was also proven wrong by my kids who now knew better.
Thankfully my kids start formally learning these things in school in a wonderful program about life values, starting at age 10 or 11. It takes the onus away from me from having to actually start all the not-so-fun conversations, yet gives them food for thought which they know they are always welcome to come share and discuss with me.
So what to do between ages 4 and 10? Between the time they start asking to the time they may learn about these things formally? I certainly don’t have the answer, but what I do know for sure is: Do answer! They will then know that their questions are important to you, and that they could come to you for questions and conversations. Especially because as they get older, they will find things out from friends and the way-too-accessible internet, so they may as well learn the truth from the most reliable source!