It's a good idea to talk to the parents about how they would like you to answer the question before a child asks, "Where do babies come from?" Each parent has different experiences, customs, and comfort levels when discussing the topic. So, it’s essential for nannies to respect the parents’ wishes when discussing topics of sex, love making, or where babies come from with children.
In Dr. Paul Coleman’s book, How to Say It to Your Kidsthe author explains that although it's best to be honest with children, there is no need to be graphic.
Dr. Coleman suggests when answering the question asking where babies come from caregivers should take their cues from the child. Present the information in simple concepts and language so children will not have a hard time understanding. Experts say that by age four or five, most children will start asking questions about how babies are born, so parents and caregivers can take advantage of that natural curiosity. By eight or nine a child should be able to comprehend genetics and sexual intercourse according to the New York University Child Study Center.
Borrowing age-appropriate books from the library on the subject is also helpful.
Dr. Paul Coleman’s List of What to Say:
- "The baby grows from an egg in the mommy's womb, pointing to the stomach, and comes out of the vagina." Depending on the child's age you can say that. There is no need to explain the act of lovemaking because very young kids will not understand the concept.
- "When a man and a woman love each other, they like to be close to one another. The man's sperm joins the woman's egg and then the baby begins to grow." Most kids under the age of six will accept this answer.
- "I'm really glad you asked that question. It was a good question. Please come to me anytime you want to know more."
- "Where did you hear that word? Who told you those ideas? We don't talk about such things in this house."
- "You are too young to ask those questions." Your answers can be short and sweet and age appropriate.
- "Well, in the woman are organs called ovaries, and they contain tiny eggs. Each month an egg is released into the fallopian tube..." It's best to keep answers short and general in nature.
How to Say It to Your Kids