This may be one of the most dreaded questions that parents will have to answer. Whatever style of parenting you use, whatever your children are like, wherever you live and whoever you are, chances are you will be answering this question at some point. Most parents will need to answer this question several times as the child grows older, able to understand more and becomes more curious about life. You’ll probably have to find several ways of answering this question, all of which will need to be age appropriate at the time of asking. Thinking about how you’re going to reply in advance will allow you to answer the questions much more comfortably and in a way in which your child can understand.
The answer you give at any time will need to be tailored to the age of the child asking the question – a nine year old will need the whole thing explained in more detail and more fully than will a three year old.
The first thing you need to do is find out what the child wants to know so ask a couple of questions to try to determine their understanding of pregnancy and what it is they really want to know. You’ll then need to answer the question choosing your own words really carefully and making sure that the child understands what you’re saying by discussing it with him. You’ll need to be honest with your answer, giving the child correct information in a manner that he can easily digest.
If you have a toddler and another baby on the way, your toddler is sure to want to be involved in what’s going on. How did the baby get there? How will the baby get out? What does the baby eat? Does the baby have toys in there? You’ll need to answer in simple terms that are familiar to your little one. Don’t forget that unless you answer in a manner in which they can understand they may become frightened by the answers. You’ll also need to be careful not to give too much information. If your child is still young when asking about this, then just answer the question asked rather than go into the whole sex talk.
Perhaps a good book on babies and where they come from would be useful here. Why not take a trip to your local library and look at the under 5’s section – there will be books that are suitable for having a conversation about where babies come from. Ask the staff in the library what they would recommend – they will know which books they have on the subject and will be able to recommend which one would suit you and your little one best.
If your child is beyond the toddler stage, then the answers will need to be more detailed. This is where a book really will come in handy. Your local library’s children’s department will have books on this subject that cater to a range of ages and you’re sure to find something that will help you answer your child’s questions in a manner that they can understand.
As a child gets older he or she will need information about the body, how it works and the changes to expect as he or she grows older, so realistic and honest information is important here. Above all else, tell the truth when you child asks this question – they won’t thank you later on for making up fairy stories on the subject.