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View Full Version : At what age can children learn about birth process? IYO


Bee Green Naturals
05-04-2009, 10:32 PM
Just curious cause DH and I are in uncharted territory with our very inquisitive and smart 6 1/2 yo. He doesn't believe the 'baby comes out of your belly button' story anymore. LOL

And when we talk about it coming out of my stomach by the Dr.'s helping out he is very disbelieving. (I've never had a csection but we just say that so no anatomy is involved.) He basically says.. 'well then why don't you have any cut marks on your tummy' or things to that effect. And now he's asking more and more since I'm getting bigger.

So... any ideas on where to go from here? Not sure how long I can dodge this ?.

He knows visually the differences between girls and boys but that's about it in regards to anatomy. He also knows they are 'private' areas. (However he still see's me naked at times when I'm rushing in the mornings. :hide:)

ETA: We also thought of having him in the room but on the couch to the side with my mom... think that is too much for a 6 yo boy? He wants to be in there but we know he doensn't understand fully what he will see.. kwim?

crunchymomof3
05-04-2009, 10:37 PM
well i think now is an ok time idk how old i was but i remember being told ... i am not sure if their are books or something .. sorry i am not much help , GL hun !

Ali
05-04-2009, 10:48 PM
IMO Birth (and sex) are both totally natural and there isn't anything to hide re: either. I think its best to be open and honest using terms your child will understand. In our house we use the real terms, Penis and Vagina. And my oldest son asked the whole where does the baby come out question at age 5. I explained how girls have vaginas so babies can come out. I kept it pretty clinical and stuck to the facts.

Honestly, I think we just put a stigma on talking about it...but kids don't have that stigma yet and I really do believe its best to be open and honest with your child. I think as they grow up they'll be way more likely to talk to you about sex related issues if you are able to discuss things with them in an open manner as they grow-up.

Lizabethian
05-04-2009, 10:58 PM
DD1 was 27 months old when DD2 was born. She watched birth videos with me during my entire pregnancy. If she asked questions I answered honestly but didn't go into detail. As it is she thinks babies come out your "bum" because she's in a phase of calling all her vagina her "small bum". :giggle: She's very at ease with the birth process (we watched a more graphic video the other day and she pointed out what everything was). DSS was told babies come out your belly button and/or butt and the kid is horribly confused (8 years old). No one wants to take the time to explain it because of it. Once presented with misinformation he gets a bit obsessive and won't let the topic go so everyone is a bit cautious with him (I don't discuss those matters with him. I know I would want it done a certain way with my girls and would be irritated if another family member discussed it with them so I leave those things u to his mom or dad though he does ask me...a lot :giggle:). I think it was a bad decision on their part to do that. Then again I believe in being accurate with that sort of stuff because I don't want my older children running around calling their body parts cutesy things like "va-jay-jay" or "weiner". (Not saying you do! Just clarifying myself here :giggle:).

DD2 will be 28 months older than this baby. She doesn't know what's going on yet (I'm only 6 weeks) but once it becomes obvious (I don't go out of my way saying there is a baby in my belly or anything like that) I'll show her videos too. DD1 was in and out during my labour (I had DD2 unassisted) but not actually there for the birth. I expect them to be there for this one. Not because I have some idea of bonding or anything but just because logistically it makes sense. :giggle: They are bound to see stuff. I don't mind nudity around them though so they are already both aware that girls have vaginas. Then again I have girls so that may be a bit different.

joyfulsoul
05-04-2009, 11:06 PM
My kids were 3 and 6 during my last pregnancy. They both watched birth videos that showed EVERYTHING! (this was to prepare them for possibly being at our homebirth.) We also talked about anatomy and the fact that birth hurts and thats normal and ok. They were both interested and my stepson was a bit grossed out, and at this point(they are 5 and 8 now), they both have a working knowledge of everything from the placenta and umbilical cord and what they do; to the difference between a vaginal delivery and a c-section. Mostly because of questions they've asked.

When it came to being at the birth, my stepson ended up being at his mom's, so he missed it. He had expressed that he would probably rather play outside than watch, anyhow. But dd was there for the whole thing and was both amazed and amazing. She rubbed my legs and coached me on breathing and was generally very supportive, esp for a 3 yr old! When Elly crowned I was vaguely aware of Liv's excitement and she talked about it for days. With this pregnancy she is very involved in every midwife visit, even finding the heartbeat with the doppler. She is looking forward to being there for this birth as well.

Every kid is different, and you have to judge what to tell them by what you know of their personality and maturity level. But I would strongly encourage you to be medically accurate at least on a very basic level. He will learn someday, and you don't want him left with the feeling that you lied to him, kwim?

Good luck! :goodvibes:


ETA
I wanted to add this pic of Liv my sister snapped right as Elly was crowning. I love the joy and excitement on her face!

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff50/grokgrace/100_8699.jpg

Bee Green Naturals
05-04-2009, 11:20 PM
Thanks so much mamas.. I am summing up the info. and talking with DH about it right now.
DS doesn't really know proper terms yet, think it's mostly because new babies have come along since he first learned the generic term 'pee pee' and we never switched it. Just didn't need to I think since that's what was easiest for the little ones to learn for PL and such so the term has stuck.
Although.. he did come home the other day saying 'I got kicked in the nuts.' Guess some 2nd grader taught him that word. Which does show we need to maybe have a talk of sorts.

DH does agree though that we need to start using proper language and find a way to tell him about the birth. He's just not too sure about a video since we have none of our own births and he doesn't want to watch another persons birth.

Thanks for the advice so far.. it's getting the thinking process going and helping us decide how to approach a talk. Since it's going to need to be one in order for him to understand why the change in words and the way a baby comes out.

Majestic Rocks
05-04-2009, 11:40 PM
IMO Birth (and sex) are both totally natural and there isn't anything to hide re: either. I think its best to be open and honest using terms your child will understand. In our house we use the real terms, Penis and Vagina. And my oldest son asked the whole where does the baby come out question at age 5. I explained how girls have vaginas so babies can come out. I kept it pretty clinical and stuck to the facts.

Honestly, I think we just put a stigma on talking about it...but kids don't have that stigma yet and I really do believe its best to be open and honest with your child. I think as they grow up they'll be way more likely to talk to you about sex related issues if you are able to discuss things with them in an open manner as they grow-up.

I COMPLETELY AGREE!!! The other mamas have really good points too. I have always gone with the modern philosophy that if the kids are old enough to ask then they are old enough to get a truthful answer. My son was 4 when he asked where babies come from, cause his pre-school teacher was having a baby. I did the same thing as this mama, kept it clinical & age appropriate. Sexuality/Genitalia has been an open & honest discussion from the start using age appropriate conversations. You want your son to trust you. Know he can always get the truth from you & NOT go to his friends for answers when he doesn't feel he can get one out of you. I did basically what this mother did & my son said "Oh, really," & went about playing. No big deal but he now had an answer that made sense. He will ask anything that he has a curiosity about, out of the blue. No big deal & he feels comfortable asking some doosies, :giggle: .

I think your mom being with him, if it gets too much for him, she can go walk around with him for a bit. But I think at any age is fine. It is nature & if he is NOT allowed to be in there it could be the beginning of feeling left out. My ds was 9 1/2, I did ask the question of whether or not he would get freaked by seeing me in pain, but like the other mamas have said, my ds didn't either. I do think if your ds doesn't understand what it is going to be like then he will freak. But if you prepare him, he will do fine & love the bonding moment of his little sibling's birth :thumbsup: . I wanted my mom right there with me, along with my dh so my step-dad was in-charge of tending to my ds. My ds was right there excited & in love with his sissy from the start :hugs:. They are inseparable:loveit:

Keropisunshine23
05-04-2009, 11:54 PM
usborne makes a wonderful book we used to explain childbirth to our ds

wordmama
05-05-2009, 06:05 AM
I agree with the PPs that the more honest and upfront you are with the process, the better. Especially if you're planning on having him there. There are plenty of videos on the net that you could browse through and find a couple that show the reality of birth without being too graphic - just ease him into it.

j_a_a_zavala
05-05-2009, 06:08 AM
We have the book "It's not the stork" It is a very kid friendly book that explains things very well. I would go and get it for you to read with you ds. My mom got my son the book this past Christmas and we have been reading it slowly. I am due in 17 days and my 5 1/2 yr old ds wants to be there. I think that he is ready and my sister will be there to take him out of the room if it is too much for him. My ds is only 24months and she will be staying with my mom.

julucas
05-05-2009, 09:08 AM
I really like the book called Amazing You (http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-You-Getting-Smart-Private/dp/0525473890). It discusses body parts as well as pregnancy and delivery in a simple but accurate manner. It is designed for 3-6ish year olds. There is also a sequel that discusses more of the specifics regarding conception for a bit older kids. Good luck with whatever you decide is best for your family!

doranae
05-05-2009, 10:12 AM
IMO Birth (and sex) are both totally natural and there isn't anything to hide re: either. I think its best to be open and honest using terms your child will understand. In our house we use the real terms, Penis and Vagina. And my oldest son asked the whole where does the baby come out question at age 5. I explained how girls have vaginas so babies can come out. I kept it pretty clinical and stuck to the facts.

Honestly, I think we just put a stigma on talking about it...but kids don't have that stigma yet and I really do believe its best to be open and honest with your child. I think as they grow up they'll be way more likely to talk to you about sex related issues if you are able to discuss things with them in an open manner as they grow-up.

You said it all! We just told the truth but in child terms from day 1. my son learned what he could understand when we were pregnant with kalissa he was 2 1/2 at delivery and he will be 5 this month and could tell you almost everything. They both go to the dr with me and she does a good job at answering any questions they have. When he asked how the baby got in there hubby told him that Daddy put a seed in Mommy's vagina and it started to grow into a baby. Now I have had 2 c sections so it's a little more difficult for him to understand I have to have surgery to get the baby out but we watch all the baby shows and he understands babies can be born many ways.

Nanner99
05-05-2009, 11:05 AM
My mom tells a story of my oldest brother, at 5 yrs old, on the phone with a little girl in the neighborhood. My bro is insisting that babies do NOT come out of belly buttons, they come out of vag1nas. :blush: My mom told him that was true, but he does not need to be the one to tell the girl. Bro says "But mom, she's a GIRL- she needs to know!" :giggle2:

My 3 yr old knows the terms "p3nis" and "vag!na". He has not asked how the baby is coming out, but I have asked him about it. So far, he does not understand the question and does not even consider the *how* in the baby coming out. He will not be at this birth (my 8 yr old will), but if he does ask how the baby is getting out of there, I would tell him.

Calideedle
05-05-2009, 12:10 PM
My 3yr old and (then) 4yr old knew all about how their baby brother was coming. We looked at pictures and talked about it, they were excited.

junejay4life
05-05-2009, 12:17 PM
IMO Birth (and sex) are both totally natural and there isn't anything to hide re: either. I think its best to be open and honest using terms your child will understand. In our house we use the real terms, Penis and Vagina. And my oldest son asked the whole where does the baby come out question at age 5. I explained how girls have vaginas so babies can come out. I kept it pretty clinical and stuck to the facts.

Honestly, I think we just put a stigma on talking about it...but kids don't have that stigma yet and I really do believe its best to be open and honest with your child. I think as they grow up they'll be way more likely to talk to you about sex related issues if you are able to discuss things with them in an open manner as they grow-up.


I completely agree with you :goodvibes:

My 5 and 6 yr old knew what was going to happen when i had my ydd. They were 4 and 3 and the time.
Now that i'm pregnant again they are asking more questions again. Today my DS asked if babies can come out your butt? :giggle:
He is very upset that he doesn't have a vagina for a baby to come out of him :giggle2:

ktmelody
05-05-2009, 12:58 PM
We just tell our children the truth. Babies come out of vaginas and there is nothing wrong with telling a child that. IMO :thumbsup:

CherryPie
05-05-2009, 01:28 PM
My kids found out when I became pregnant with my 3rd. They know it comes out of my vagina and all that. They even saw a UA birth video on youtube b/c I gave them the option of being in the birthing room when I had ds2. DD knows all about periods and that stuff too. At the time they were 4 and 5. Now 5 and 6. The only thing they don't know is about sexual intercourse stuff yet but they haven't shown any interest in that yet. They just know pretty basic definition like, mommy and daddy love each other and they started growing a baby in mommy's belly and at first it is a little seed.

cakeums
05-05-2009, 02:24 PM
IMO Birth (and sex) are both totally natural and there isn't anything to hide re: either. I think its best to be open and honest using terms your child will understand. In our house we use the real terms, Penis and Vagina. And my oldest son asked the whole where does the baby come out question at age 5. I explained how girls have vaginas so babies can come out. I kept it pretty clinical and stuck to the facts.

Honestly, I think we just put a stigma on talking about it...but kids don't have that stigma yet and I really do believe its best to be open and honest with your child. I think as they grow up they'll be way more likely to talk to you about sex related issues if you are able to discuss things with them in an open manner as they grow-up.

Everyone has given great advice, this mama sums up what I would say perfectly. DD is 2y6m old, she'll be 2y8m when I'm due but I will likely go at least a month before then. She hasn't asked how babies come out, so we have only told her that there's a baby growing in my tummy. If she did want to know though, we would tell her that the baby will come out of my vagina. I don't plan on having her present for the birth (and I think it's against hospital policy where I'm delivering) so I don't feel a pressing need to bring it up if she isn't going to ask.

jca61502
05-05-2009, 02:32 PM
I'm probably not much help, but we are VERY open with out kiddos about the human body and the whole process. My DD will be 6 in a few weeks and she has known for at least a 2.5 years (since my youngest DD was born) that babies come out of their mommy's "hoobie" (her word for the girl parts) or sometimes they are cut out of the mommy's belly. My son is 4 and he knows this now as well, since we are expecting baby #4.

I think it can be put into a kid appropriate terms without scarring them for life. It sounds like your DS is an inquisitive child and he'd probably do fine with the real scoop.

MacMama
05-05-2009, 02:40 PM
We watched some (pre-screened by me-- I didn't want any of the screaming labors) birth videos on youtube with my 2 and almost-4 year olds. They "know" all of the birthing facts, but it helped to watch a video and point out what was happening and why. It also helped to talk about the pain/blood and see it beforehand on a video so they aren't scared when they watch me deliver their little sibling. I was shocked at how much they liked the videos-- they just stared intently the whole time, occasionally shouting, "There's the baby's head!" "It's almost out!"...then they both broke into applause and cheering when the baby came out. It was pretty sweet.:wub:

Bella Catalina
05-05-2009, 02:53 PM
I recommend the book "Hello Baby" by Jenni Overend (I think). It's a home birth book and does show a drawing of the baby crowning (I think mom is standing to deliver and leaning on a chair). It was my 2.5yo's favorite book to read, and discusses and shows a picture of the placenta and also that mama may make some noise - we just talked about birth as matter of factly in terms he could understand. You can go into as much detail as you want to, kwim?

Psychomom
05-05-2009, 03:02 PM
Good suggestions from the other mamas. I see no reason to "dodge" it. When I was pregnant with my second, my 5 year old asked how she was coming out. I said she will be born by coming out of my vagina (we have always taught proper names for body parts.) Her eyes got so big and she said, "That's gonna hurt." :laugh:

ajane
05-05-2009, 09:40 PM
Ella, my oldest was 3 1/2 when Anna was born. I had invited her to see her born and wanted to prepare her as much as possible. We watched lots of video's and I talked to her about everything. We have always used the correct terminology for all body parts, so I simply explained where the baby has been living/growing and then about how the baby comes out the vagina (explaining it is a different place from where you pee and poop).

My mom was in the room with her and she and Ella knew that if Ella wanted to leave she could. I'll never forget how excited Ella was being a part and seeing it. My mom won't either as she kept hearing Ella say "look, Gramma, I see her!!!!! I see Anna coming....oh, look Gramma!!!!!!" :goodvibes:

The *only* thing I forgot about was the afterbirth. :giggle2: I'm not usually aware of that, lol. Ella said "oh wow, look at ALL the blood!!!!" But, the Dr. was VERY quick and said "yes, it is a lot, but all very normal and is what was with the baby while it was growing big and strong. Now, it comes out after the baby since the baby doesn't need it anymore."

We didn't get any pics to capture her expressions during the birth......everyone was quite focussed on Anna, lol. But, here are a couple of Ella holding Anna right after she was born.
http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/ajane3/DSCN3080small.jpg

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/ajane3/DSCN3079small.jpg

3lilbubs
05-06-2009, 12:17 AM
He sounds very smart and mature mama, my eldest is about your ds's age too and he knows how it really happens. He also knows that he and his brothers were born by c/s and he's seen the pics. Ask him if he wants to be present and leave him a safe out, like a aunt or friend he can ask to leave the room with if he gets scared or uncomfortable with anything going on.

*~Mindy~*
05-06-2009, 11:05 AM
um why not tell him about it? not necessarily *everything* but that mamas have an extra hole where the baby is supposed to come out. at least thats not a lie...

my 4yo knows for sure because i didnt want him spouting off stupid junk to other people or have to retell him later.

he was then there when my third was born ( 2 days and a few hours before he turned 4) and asking me if it hurt with the baby coming out of my woolva during pushing :giggle:

Bee Green Naturals
05-06-2009, 12:27 PM
Thanks again mama's... we are planning on telling him soon. Just deciding on a book to get so he and his brother and sister can all read it together. Then we might look into a video after he gets a general idea of what's going on.
Figure we'll just tell them all in basic terms and then answer the oldests more pressing questions that we know he will have when the others aren't around.

My 4 year old would probably be fine with the deeper details but he is an overly.. shall I say.. silly kid. In the sense that he'll be likely to voice the details to his preschool class even if I tell him not too.

Thanks again for all the stories/info. and pictures! :mrgreen: