Toddler Question: How Do You Birth A Baby?

My good friend Courtney is pregnant. When I was pregnant with Emmett, Fia was only 2 years old, so she didn’t really “get” what it all meant. In fact, the first time Fia came to the hospital and saw Emmett, she looked like she had been hit by a bus. Bewildered would be an understatement.

Now she’s 4 and can actually grasp the concept (perhaps too much) that her best friend Teddy is going to have a sister. The other night we were lying in bed. Here’s how the conversation went:

“Mom, how did the baby get in Courtney’s belly?”

“Well, Courtney and Brian and God (threw that in on the fly) made the baby,” I said.

“Mom, I know that,” Fia replied indignantly. “I mean, how did the baby actually get IN the belly?”

“Um, well, it’s hard to explain,” I stammered.

“Why is it hard to explain?” she persisted.

“It just is,” I said, hoping to change the subject.

“Well then how does the baby get out?”

Oh dear. My brain was being taxed on this one.

“Courtney pushes it out of her belly,” I said matter-of-factly. Then held my breath.

“She pushes it out???” Fia says quizzically. “Where does it come out?”

“Of her stomach,” I replied, knowing this conversation wasn’t getting any easier.

“But there isn’t a hole in her stomach!! Silly Mama,” she says.

At this point baby was put in a corner. As was I.

I had the choice to make something up–like the baby comes out of her bellybutton–or, try harder to change the subject, or explain all about Courtney’s vagina. The latter of which frankly felt a little weird.

I told her it was bedtime and we would talk about it another day. I think she was tired of not getting answers, so she let it go. For now.

I want to be as open as possible with my children. We don’t call her body parts a “lady bit” “minnie” or “vajayjay”. We don’t call Em’s a “willy” or a “wee wee.” We use vagina and penis. At first that felt strange to me. But in researching, they say it’s best to use the clinical name, for various reasons. One is to help prevent your child falling victim to a sexual predator. It indicates to these criminals that your child is comfortable with openly talking about their body parts, including sexual parts.

So when Fia was asking about Courtney’s future baby taking a trip down the canal, it’s not that I didn’t want to use the word vagina. It was more because I suspect it’s a hard-to-imagine concept. I didn’t want her to get freaked out by the power of the vag or start obsessing about how something other than pee could come out of it. Maybe I’m wrong on this. But you tell me. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the subject comes up again. I need to get my birthing bullet points  in order.

How tall will your little one be? Take our Height Predictor Quiz and find out.

Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas
Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas
Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas

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