moms with older child - how to explain & other question... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 10-03-2005, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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My DD is getting VERY inquisitive about the baby growing inside of me. I found a cool website with real pics so she is quite fascinated. So we were playing the other day and she said "when the baby comes out of your mouth" and I about choked on my giggles. I didn't correct her though because I am not sure how much to explain to a 3-1/2 YO without freaking her out. Does anyone know of any good books? I was talking to my MIL about it yesterday (why I don't know - as if SHE would be of help!) and she said don't tell her anything, tell her the stork brings the baby. :ignore Well little does she know that I want DD to BE there when the baby is born! No sense opening THAT can of worms though....

So that's my next ? - how many of you are planning on letting your DC be present for birth of baby? How many already have and how did it go? Again I don't want to traumatize my DD KWIM?
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#2 of 15 Old 10-03-2005, 12:40 PM
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I apparently never had to explain because my nephews and DS were hiding under the deck discussing where babies come out. The next day, DS came over and asked if they were right.
I would explain it in very basic terms, and not go into too much detail next time she asks.
DS probably won't be present because we will be having a hospital birth and they keep kids off of the maternity floor to prevent the spread of certain viruses. NICU, L&D and maternity are all on the same floor.
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#3 of 15 Old 10-03-2005, 01:26 PM
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I think there are lots of children's books that help prepare toddlers for a new baby. Perhaps people have some good suggestions?

Some I found on amazon are:
Waiting for Baby
Hello Baby!
The New Baby
My New Baby
On Mother's Lap
Barfburger Baby, I Was Here First (this one sounds intriguing!)
A Pocket Full of Kisses

Just do a search in "Kid's books" for "new baby". These are less technical (i.e., where the baby comes from) and more about the psychology of a new sibling, but I'm sure you can find appropriate things if you dig a little.
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#4 of 15 Old 10-03-2005, 01:58 PM
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I tell her the truth. :LOL I explain where babies come out of, and she seems to accept that so far. :LOL sends me a weekly deal about what the baby looks like, what's going on, etc. So I show her how big the baby is, she think its fun.

Busy Mama to three beautiful girls and loving wife to my hubby
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#5 of 15 Old 10-03-2005, 02:02 PM
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If your dd is getting inquisitive and coming out with her own theories, it is definitely time for you to explain things to her! And if you do it in a matter-of-fact way, of course it won't freak her out.

My ds was three when his brother was born, and by that time he knew all about the baby coming out of my vagina and growing inside my uterus. I didn't make a big deal out of it, just anwered his questions as they arose: "Mamas have a special place inside them called the uterus where the baby grows." He already knew what a vagina was (from following me into the bathroom from an early age, alas for any illusions of privacy I might have wanted to maintain!), so telling him that the baby was going to come out of my vagina was easy.

There are some good books out there that explain things, but I think the first explanation should really come from the parent. Although I wasn't uncomfortable explaining it to ds, I understand that others are. But the thing to remember is that kids don't have all our preconceived notions and hangups about sex and reproduction. They don't understand that the topic of a baby coming out of a vagina is any more fraught with cultural baggage than the topic of snot coming out of the nose, or hair growing out of the head. And if you approach it in a matter-of-fact way, just as you would answer any question, that will be far healthier than hemming and hawing and giving your dd the idea that there is something about this whole baby thing that makes mama really uncomfortable. That there is something about her questions that are somehow wrong.

As for having her there at the birth, that's something I can't comment on as I didn't want ds there. But I have friends who have done it without problems. But if you're going to do it, better have that conversation REAL soon! Because the whole topic is just so dang interesting to most kids that you're going to be talking about it a whole lot between now and the birth.

Good luck.
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#6 of 15 Old 10-03-2005, 02:41 PM
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I also would tell the truth in general terms. My dd was also 3.5 when I was pg with Mace and I recall telling her exactly where the baby came from and everything. She was fine with it.

With this pg, she really loves the Nilsson book "A Child Is Born" but that might be much for a 3.5 yr old. Mace is almost 3, and he's totally different than Maddie was in that he really has no interest except occasionally saying "baby!" and patting my belly.

I guess it all depends on the kid!

I had Maddie and Gage at the birth with Mace; they were fine but mostly went upstairs and watched cartoons with their aunt they got bored during some of it. But I think it's great to have them there! Maddie was even in the birth pool with me during early labor! I'm hoping to have another homebirth this time and if I do they'll all be with me again!

Good luck!!

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#7 of 15 Old 10-03-2005, 03:57 PM
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I found 2 books, that I really liked. They're both written by Dr. Sears. The first is "Baby on the Way." It's about the pregnancy and how mommy's feeling. And, what your child should expect when you deliver. I already got that one for ds. The other one is "What Baby Needs." I haven't bought it yet, but I read it at the bookstore. It's about how the baby will nurse a lot, sleep a lot, get carried in a sling, etc. Both of them are written from an AP perspective, so very good. Promotes bfing, cosleeping, babywearing, etc. They both have asides titled "Answers for the Very Curious," which give succint answers to sometimes delicate questions that make us older folk blush! :LOL
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#8 of 15 Old 10-03-2005, 09:05 PM
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i thought babies came out the mouth when i was little too! :LOL i think i found out around age 6 what happened for real... my mom and sister had a good laugh at my mouth-birth theory.

i've told dd (2.4 months) that the baby will come out of mommy's yoni. she's pretty fascinated with her yoni and vagina, so i suspect there will be a lot more discussion about that.

are you having a homebirth? there are a couple of great books for kids on homebirths, but i can't remember the names... A Baby for Sophie maybe? anyway... i'm sure it would come up on amazon.

you might consider showing her a few videos ahead of time. pre-screen them to see which ones you think are the most appropriate, but if i was going to have dd at our birth, that is what i'd do. i might show her a few anyway because i think she'll be curious, but i am fairly certain i don't want her there. i don't think i'd be able to totally focus. but, i think it's awesome when kids can be there... your dd is in for a treat!!

I am a homeopath, offering acute and constitutional consultations for children, babies, and parents. Long-distance treatment is easy, either phone or skype! I also am certified to offer Homeoprophylaxis, a vaccine-alternative program. Message me for more details.
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#9 of 15 Old 10-04-2005, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh great ideas and resources! Thank you so much! I did find a book at Borders called Amazing You which covers body parts and there was a part about vagina and uterus and I showed her that's where the baby is growing inside of me and where it will come out. She was VERY curious about that LOL.

Anyway - thanks again! And also for the encouragment to let her be there. I think she would love it.
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#10 of 15 Old 10-04-2005, 06:19 AM
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katie is thrilled that I have a baby in my belly, and likes to talk to her baby and pat my belly. Hse just turned tow, so the questions I am getting so far are when I look tired she asks me if I am sad, and when I look sick she asks me if I am hurt. I tell her how I am really feeling and she asks why. Now, the first time she asked a why it was why mommies boobies were sore and after following the path of why mommy has hormones, and why mommy is pregnant we ended at the baby in the belly and Katie yelled at my belly " be nice baby! Nurse nice!" and then she patted my boobs and asked if i was better. I felt bad that I handeled that wrong and she ened up angry at baby for making mommies boobs hurt.
So now I am worried she will be angry if she thinks I am in distress while I am in labor and it becuase I am having the baby. She is sensative to me and I also forsee her wanting to nurse if she gets worried. I know nursing in labor will move things along, but is that something I will be able to do? Can anyone share a story about this?
generally I want her there, I don't want to be away from her, and I want to share this experiance with her- she will only be 2 and a half.... what do you all think?
I keep daydreaming of how when I deliver I will hold my new baby and Katie will crawl up in bed with me and they will nurse together and bond right away. katie has been teaching her babydolls how to nurse on me lately, and is proud of them( she also likes to switch sides with them though)
I would love to hear stories!
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#11 of 15 Old 10-04-2005, 09:26 AM
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My daughter was in kindegarten when I was pregnant. I second the Sears books, we thought they were great. We were always very straight forward with her about all things concerning baby, but again she's a tad older. The only other thing, is that if she's going to be present at the birth, that kind of makes the decision easier, she'll need the true info then!
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#12 of 15 Old 10-04-2005, 02:18 PM
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I love the book, Welcome with Love by Jenni Overend, illus. Julie Vivas (same woman who did I Went Walking)
It is about a homebirth. One picture is of the baby coming out, you can see the sweet scrunched up face. The mother is leaning on the father, and the baby is kind of coming out behind the mother's legs.
I waited until after reading the book to explain where exactly the baby came out of. I waited for ds (2.5 yrs) to bring it up. I explained to my construction loving boy that the vagina was like a tunnel that the baby moved through. He understood.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#13 of 15 Old 10-04-2005, 02:21 PM
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My DS is only 20 months. He obviously understands what I am saying when I tell him there's a baby in my belly . . . sort of! He tries to look inside my belly (under my clothes) to find it, and is perplexed when he can't. So he doesn't quite get the idea of "inside"!

He will be at the birth (at home) unless he's distracted by something more fun around the house or asleep. I was at the births of my two brothers, so I have no anxiety about how it will affect him and I know I will be more comfortable with him close by (but under the care of someone else) than I would be with him "whisked away" to be out of the way.

Whoever said that kids don't have the sexualized hang-ups about the body parts involved in birth is absolutely right. It's the same as how babies and toddlers don't understand that breasts are sexual objects in our culture. And, even when one explains the sexual process of making a baby to a child, he or she may still not understand it in the same way an older child or adult might. When my parents announced their third pregnancy to me and my brother, I was 4. I am told that I said, "you mean you had sex without letting us watch?!?!" I guess it had been explained to me that sex was something grownups who loved each other did to make a baby, but I didn't get that that meant it was a private thing - I thought it ought to be a family activity!!! Which is actually entirely developmentally appropriate for a 4 year old . . . but I always get a kick out of telling that story!

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I WOH part-time, am a doula & childbirth educator, home/unschool, and hope we are nearing the center of chaos


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#14 of 15 Old 10-04-2005, 02:27 PM
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I have the Dr. Sears books. They are favorites of my daughter. She hasn't asked about where the baby comes out yet. She knows that the baby gets out of my belly but beyond that I am not sure what she thinks. We have watched shows about birth many times together. Her favorite show is "A show about babies" (Baby story) and that always poses a dilemma, it is a simple reality program about a happy family so that is good, but it portrays a skewed picture of what should happen in birth. But she loves it so we occasionally watch it together and I narrate. Usually saying, that poor mommy, she would feel much better if she got up and walked around :LOL anyway, they don't show the baby actually coming out but they do show some aspects of labor. My daughter has an idea that the mama has to work hard to get her baby out. I think a good video of a birth could be a good thing for a kid to watch to get an understanding of what will happen.

She did see me while I labored having her sister, but not for the birth. I was already in pretty hard labor and it was hard to focus on her. I think she was a little freaked out.


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#15 of 15 Old 10-04-2005, 02:58 PM
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when i was preg with #3 my dd was about 4 and my ds was 2. they both already knew what a vagina was, a uterus, and the baby grows in the uterus, also they knew about the menstral cycle. all because they asked the questions, i think if they ask you should answer them honestly with the least amount of info to satisfy their curiosity. if its not enouph info they will ask for more info untill they are satisfied. now my dd #1 was c-section, so for a while the kids assumed that babys where just born that way, my son doesnt really ask any questions about babys so at the time since his sister knew she was born csection and assumed other babies where too and they where happy with that i didnt volentere any more info. then i got preg with dd, baby #3. and the kids asked if she would be taken out of tummy by the docter? i told them no and explained where she would be exiting my body, my dd was fasinated and said she wanted to be in the room when sister was born- which was fine with me, but i wanted to make sure she knew what she was getting into so i offered her a veiwing of her brothers birth video. she watched it amazed, but at the end decided it was to messy for her and she wanted to sit this one out, and said that she would probably want to be present at the next birth! now dd is six and i make a point to periodically ask her if she has any questions about her body or babys or a boys body and most of the time she has a small question or two. i dont want her to be miss informed by any peers, so im glad to answer any question she has. so far we have gotten to the point of her knowing that a baby is made from dads sperm and moms egg, she has not asked yet how the sperm gets into the mom, but she knows the eggs are in the overies and the dad has sperm in his testicals, i think she has a good foundation of the working parts and a good grasping of the concepts in general, and im guessing that any time she should be asking for more detail about it all! i wont lie im a little nervouse, but so far so good, i think i will do ok. my mother was pretty honest and upfront with me, not as much as i am with my kids, but still very open, the thing is she would usually preface her talks with this is going to sound gross,so prepare yourself! i dont do that to my kids, i want them to veiw this topic just like any other bodily topic, it isnt gross to talk about a belly button, so this isnt gross or weird ethier. of course my dh think im crazy, and he thinks they have way more info already than they should have even when they are 18! his parents obviously didnt talk to him about this! ok well anyways good luck!
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