When my kids were little it was easy to answer their questions about where babies come from:
ME: They grow in the Mum’s tummy and then the Mum goes to hospital and then there’s a baby.
Then the boys started to get older, and wiser…
KID: But if a baby grows in your tummy, wouldn’t it get food on its head when you eat?
ME: Okay, so it actually grows in a thing called a uterus.
Then they started to get into the real mechanics:
- But… how exactly does it get out? Through the woman’s vagina.
- And how does it get in? The man’s sperm and the woman’s egg make a baby together.
- And how does the sperm come out of the man’s penis? Er, out of the… end.
- What does it look like at the very start? I have no idea. Ask Google.
Personally, I have no problem answering these questions in an age-appropriate way. However, sometimes there are questions kids may not want ask because they’re too embarrassed.
So I was pretty thrilled to receive a copy of the Interrelate team’s 100+ Questions Kids Have About Having A Baby. Aimed at kids aged 10-12, the Interrelate team has compiled the questions most commonly actually asked by actual school kids during school education sessions across New South Wales each year.
Then they answered them and put them in a book.
5 things I loved about 100+ Questions Kids Have About Having A Baby
1. ‘Family’ is flexible and inclusive
Biological parents and kids, adopted kids, fostered kids, step-kids. Households made up of aunties and uncles and grandparents. Big families, little families, families that change often.
They’re all okay and explicitly considered perfectly normal in 100+ Questions.
2. Same-gender couples have babies too
Yup, there’s a picture of a baby with two dads alongside this question:
Q: Can a couple of the same gender produce babies?
A: To make a baby, an egg and sperm are needed to combine. If two women or two men (a gay or homosexual couple) want to have a baby they will need to use someone else’s egg or sperm to make their baby.
3. It goes to great lengths to avoid value judgements in general
Q: What’s the best age to have a child?
This is the perfect example of a question that can be very difficult to answer. It’s tempting to tell your kids ‘At least 30!’ but the reality is some people make fabulous parents much younger than that. I knew a couple who had their first kid when they were 16 and 17. They were amazing – settled, hard-working, happily married.
I think Interrelate’s answer to this question is perfect:
A: There is no best age to have a child. It is often when couples feel they are ready for all the responsibilities, and joy that a baby brings.
The eggs in a woman’s ovaries age as she gets older, and after about 40 years old, it gets harder for the eggs to form a baby. Men make fresh sperm all the time, but the health and number of these sperm decreases with age too.
4. The answers are scientifically accurate but easy to understand for a 10-12 year old
Q: Can more than one sperm come out at a time?
A: When sperm leave a man’s penis, they are in about 2-5 mls of liquid, which is about a teaspoon. In the liquid, called semen, there are millions of sperm. This means that millions of sperm can leave a man’s penis at a time.
5. Some questions are just plain hilarious
- Can kissing make babies?
- Can you pee when you’re pregnant?
- How would a woman have octuplets?
Yes – OctoMom has made it into our sex ed books…
Buy 100+ Questions Kids Have About Having A Baby from the Interrelate website. Other books in the series are: