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Why I Showed My 4 Year Old Birthing Videos

birthing-videos

Because she asked me to.  (Well, that was a quick blog post – hope I cleared that up.)

No really, she asked me to. Pretty directly actually. She didn’t know that birthing videos was a thing, but she asked if we could watch a video of babies being born. I umm and arred, then coaxed a little more information out of her before I jumped right into it.

I asked her why – and she said because she wanted to know how babies got out. So I explained to her in basic terms how her and her brother were born.

She has heard that before though. One evening after a shower she sat cross-legged on her bedroom floor and asked me what everything was called. She pointed and I told her: Labia. Vagina. Urethra (FYI a 4 year old saying Urethra is kind of adorable).

She was a little unsure where her wee came from so I explained it comes out of her urethra, and poo comes out of her “bum”…. And then she asked “What comes out of my gyna?”

I hesitated, and then answered; “Well, babies come out of vaginas.” Then I very quickly switched it to “You came out of my vagina.” and the whole where did I come from conversation really picked up from there. Anything she asked – I answered it. 

As a rule – if she asks something I will tell her a honestly and appropriately for her age as I can. I would rather give her more information than I’m entirely comfortable with than have her think I’m lying or hiding something from her.

Because even though she’s just 4 now, one day she will be older – one day she’ll be 14 and she might have questions about her body; especially questions relating to reproduction and I NEED her to know that I am a source of non-judgemental information. 

So, back to the other night when she asked to see a video of a baby being born.

I didn’t rush into it. I told her to wait, and I’d see what I could find.

I checked with her father to make sure he was okay with her seeing birthing videos. I even messaged a friend who’s a midwife to get her input. I let my little girl know I was asking for an outside opinion – which she understood, because she already knows that my friend “helps babies be borned.

My midwife friend messaged me back with a link to this video. Which was wonderfully informative.

But she wasn’t satisfied and she really wanted to see how babies came OUT.

I showed her this video which does show exactly how a baby is born, right through to the placenta. 


She was fascinated, but still it wasn’t what she wanted. She ran off to find a picture of her brother after he was born just to be clear what she wanted to see was a REAL baby. A real baby being born

So, I searched “child-friendly birthing videos” and I found this one that did the trick.

 

I was prepared to move on gradually to more graphic videos – pre-watching them myself of course – but this was the amount of information she was looking for. She wanted to see a baby come out. That was it. She was happy. I was happy. We moved on and I haven’t heard another word about babies in the few days since.

I’m not saying there’s a right and wrong way to do this, but I just wanted to say that birth doesn’t have to be scary, or a secret and if kids are asking very specific questions then they’re probably old enough for some kind of answer. My only advice is if you’re going to show children birthing videos make sure it’s extremely supervised and I would watch the videos through once yourself just to be sure that you’re comfortable with the content.

What would you do if your preschooler asked to see a birthing video?

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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11 comments

  1. Mirjam Marta

    Glad she was satisfied with that 🙂

    • Parenting Central

      I’m glad she was happy with that too. I found one that had children in the video, I thought that might be a nice way to show her birth as well, but I’m not volunteering anything more unless she asks.

  2. Leia Barrett

    My 4yo and i watched some calm birthing videos before our bub was born 5weeks ago. But before then i explained that bub would come out of my vagina.

  3. Amy Ahearn

    My kids have all seen “One Born every minute”- they love it!

  4. Flick Frankish

    Wow, not sure what I would do! My daughter is 10 months old and I was hoping this was a long long long way off!

  5. Lauren Elise Threadgate

    My son watched some OBEM with me when I was pregnant. He was nearly 3.

    He accepted the fact that the women were in pain but it was ok, because it hurts to get the baby out.

    His primary concern was why the babies were so dirty and why no one was washing them ?

  6. Helen King

    Oh, good suggestions! Mine haven’t asked to see this yet – they have been fascinated with the sex ed classes they been to at school (grade 3 and grade 5) and at the moment, that seems to be enough (they have been interested mainly in the most common and alternative ways babies are made – IVF becoming more common, including a couple of kids in their classes) – and pregnancy). Oh, and the effects of puberty (mostly mood swings – they seem to mentally be getting themelves prepared. Not sure what that says about us …) I’ll keep this up my sleeve in case needed!

  7. I showed my 4 year old a similar video (the simulated one) of a baby being born because she flat out refused to believe me when I told her how babies come out!

  8. Tegan Churchill

    My son has watched a couple of episodes of Call the Midwife with me, but so far no interest in finding out more.

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