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” How Do You Breed Babies ”

“Mummy, how do you breed babies?”

My youngest asked me last night “Mummy, how do you breed babies?” Hilarious phrasing. I’m going to thank Minecraft for that one. On Minecraft she breeds her sheep, cows, and dogs. Most of all the dogs. She’s like a puppy farmer; the moment the puppies are grown she’s breeding them all again. It’s a bit horrifying.

However, through this she’s learned that SOMETHING happens between a Mummy and a Daddy that makes a baby appear. In Minecraft they bump faces, little hearts float above them, and then a small animal appears next to them.

If only it was that simple.

What They Know So Far

I’ve given her a lot of information about how babies happen, but she knows there’s something missing in the explanation. Something to do with the actual “breeding” part of making a baby.

I’ve told my kids that there’s an egg from Mummy and a seed from Daddy and that’s why they look a little bit like both of us. My eldest had MANY questions about DNA – most of which I relied heavily on the internet, specifically Youtube, to help answer.

I’ve shown them videos and pictures of exactly how babies grow inside the womb. We’ve had very detailed discussions about birthing (both vaginal and c-sections). And even watched some birthing videos together.

So far so good. BUT… we are circling that big question: How does the seed from Daddy actually get inside Mummy?

I Thought I Would Handle It Better

I’m really quite freaked out by answering this question! I thought I’d be cool. I thought I’d be the parent who casually whips out some book or diagram showing the exact procedure of what goes where… but… it just makes me so squeamish!

I don’t want them to know. I don’t want them to know that WE have done that. Many times in fact. Even when we’re not breeding! I really thought I’d be more comfortable with this, but I’m not. And I know the longer I put them off and given them half-answers, the bigger and scarier this “breeding” thing will become.

I don’t want them to be scared of breeding. Breeding isn’t scary. It’s actually quite fun. NOT FOR MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY YEARS. But, it’s not a bad thing. I don’t want them to think they were created by something dirty and wrong. Or something that’s so shameful we don’t even speak about it.

But I still panic and struggle to find the right words when it comes up! And so far I’ve been able to skip around the details, but I know I won’t get away with it forever.

So, PLEASE tell me what have you told your children about the actual “breeding” part of making babies?

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.

She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.

She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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12 comments

  1. Hannah Jewell

    My 7yr old asked me this week about how do we not have babies. I said we take contraceptive medicine. Next question, when do I need to take contraceptive medicine…

  2. Amanda Beard

    I’ve told them. There’s a great book, written by an Australian author, the Amazing True story of how babies are made. A bit too in depth for the almost 5 year old, but pretty good for the 7 year old. I also have that How A Baby is Made book from the 70s, it’s a bit easier for the 4 year old to grasp.

  3. I think the main thing is to be relaxed and give kids clear information. Don’t be embarassed and only give them what you think they can understand at their age.

  4. Sooo up my alley, at the moment! We’re expecting #2 in a couple of months, and so naturally the 4 year old has a lot of questions about the hows. Somehow, despite my intention that we’d tell her all the true things, my husband has spun her off on some fantastical story about how mum and dad made her, which now seems to have involved Legos, clay, and apparently multiple trips to Spotlight on our part. I have to think of how to unspin this tale!

  5. Oh dear…. so glad my son is only 7 months old and we don’t have to worry about this for a while! I keep telling myself “I’ll be honest, I’ll tell him the truth” but I don’t think I’ll be that cool and collected once he starts asking questions. It just throws you off, no matter how prepared you think you are…

  6. We had a protracted and awkward conversation years ago about men and ladies wiggling their bits together 😂😂😂

  7. Louise Bedeau

    Tell the age appropriate truth and use proper terminology it’s the best way to build an open relationship for teenage years and beyond

  8. Oh dear. My seven year old is ONLY interested in Minecraft and goats. THANK GOD! But I reckon my five year old is ripe for this line of questioning. She just told me that she intends to adopt someone at school tomorrow. Whaaaaaaaaat?! I think honesty is probably the best approach, certainly if they can ask us now, they may feel ok with curlier questions in their teens? Maybe!

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