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IYO, by what age at the very latest should children know how babies are made?

(19 Posts)
emkana Tue 08-Jul-08 23:13:43

Following on from my AIBU thread...

ChasingSquirrels Tue 08-Jul-08 23:15:44

i think most should be given the basics by around 5, but every child (and parent) is different

edam Tue 08-Jul-08 23:16:29

I'm not sure there is a set age. Shouldn't we just answer questions and offer information as the occasion arises? Ds is nearly five and has known the very rough basics since he was old enough to ask - I think around three?

luckylady74 Tue 08-Jul-08 23:17:01

Depends on the child, my 3yr olds have a vague idea, but my 6yr old doesn't because he's never asked and isn't interested at the moment - I have told him what they will tell him in the sex ed class next week just so he knows what a 'penis' is as opposed to a willy, but i had to make him repeat it back to me because he wa sgetting distracted looking out of the window!

thisisyesterday Tue 08-Jul-08 23:18:32

well, I agree that we should answer questions and offer info as children ask.
I guess I would expect most children by the age of 11 or 12 to know, through school, if parents haven't done it themselves.

we're doing the answer as he asks with ds1. who hasn't asked anything at all lol (he is 3.5)

stitch Tue 08-Jul-08 23:18:45

by the time they are likely to be interested in the act that would make the babies.
no child 'needs' to know before then
so before puberty would be my answer

colditz Tue 08-Jul-08 23:20:29

My 5 year old knows they grow in mummy's tummy, but for all the details I'd say 9.

notjustmom Tue 08-Jul-08 23:21:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SorenLorensen Tue 08-Jul-08 23:21:58

What edam said. I've tried to answer questions as honestly as I can, as and when they've arisen (you wait til she's asking about flavoured condoms, emkana, as my 11 year old did tonight grin)

Where babies come from came up when ds1 was 4 - when I was pregnant with ds2 - and I didn't go into too much detail, just said the sperm from the daddy joins with an egg from the mummy and grows into a baby. If he'd asked me how the two meet I would have told him - but he didn't!

I can't remember how old he was when we discussed it in more detail - but I said it was a special lying down cuddle and that the daddy's willy goes inside the mummy. He was probably 6 ish?

And now we're on wet dreams, masturbation and flavoured condoms...

solo Tue 08-Jul-08 23:22:41

I asked my 9.11 yo what he knew about sex and he shuffled around uncomfortably and after a little persuasion told a joke that explained what he knew....He knows!!! hmm

solo Tue 08-Jul-08 23:25:41

I also said to him that if he ever wanted to know about something to do with sex, that he should ask me, that I would tell him and he'd know what the truth was...am dreading it.

PinkTulips Wed 09-Jul-08 00:12:45

they should know the basics by 5 imo.

unfortuanately i'm in the minority round here as moms were having a conversation a few weeks ago about inventing reasons not to tell 7/8 year olds hmm thought that was very peculiar.

my kids get the answer to any question they ask whenever they ask it... obviously the child version but still the truth.

dd is 3 and walked into the bathroom a few months ago when i was having my period and asked me why i had blood in my knickers.... what lie could you tel that's as reassuring as the truth? 'mommies bleed every now and again when they don't have babies in their tummies. it doesn't hurt hmmgrin and it's perfectly normal'

i'm preg now and she's facinated by the fact that i'm growing a baby... am waiting for her to wonder how it got in there grin

notcitrus Wed 09-Jul-08 20:00:44

The thing with waiting for the kids to ask is what if they don't?
I could tell from an early age that anything to do with Down There would just embarrass my parents and they'd tell me off for being Rude - to be fair they did give me a How Your Body Works book but I'm not very good at interpreting diagrams so I concluded the sperm swim across the double bed to the egg, and that's why adults don't have sleepovers.

I think the science lesson aged 11 when all was explained was the most stunned I've ever been in my entire life. Although a close runner-up was a couple months earlier when I asked my mum what a period was after reading 'Are you there God? It's me Margaret' for the second time and realising it couldn't just be a medical... luckily for me I didn't start my periods until 4 years later.

I was really annoyed with my parents for keeping all the sex info from me, mainly because Blackadder suddenly became funny and previously it had been really boring when they made me watch it!

PinkTulips Wed 09-Jul-08 22:28:15

lol... i did ask my mom and she found excuses not to tell me.

when i announced with sincerity at age 12 that you could definitely get preg by a kiss she got mad at me for not knowing otherwise hmm 2 days later she dropped a sex ed book on my bed and walked out of the room.

that's why i'm so keen for my kids to learn in a natural, unembarressed way when they're young.

if they don't ask is quite easy when they're 5/6 to steer conversation gently in that direction.

StellaDallas Wed 09-Jul-08 22:36:04

Four or five for the basic how it works information.
What I find fascinating is the way DD1 (11) is so grossed out by any mention of sex by her parents/siblings that she has to leave the room (like yesterday when I was explaining to DD2 (8) how pregnancy tests work) but laughs uproariously at similar conversations on Friends.

LynetteScavo Wed 09-Jul-08 22:43:35

I thought DS1 (9.6) had a good idea about how babies were made, having two younger siblings. I realised yesterday he didn't have a clue, so told him how the seed gets to the egg. His reply was "Gross! That is so gross!!"

I also muttered about periods. (Mainly because my mother never told me a thing about them!)

I'd rather he heard it from me, and not on the playground.

solo Wed 09-Jul-08 23:30:44

LOL! my Ds has said he never wants a girlfriend/wife and is never doing that! I'll remind him of that when he's shagging for England hmm

branflake81 Thu 10-Jul-08 11:55:01

I think they should know all the ins and outs (excuse the pun) by around 3. There is no shame in them knowing young, it's just biology.

LittleMoosh Thu 10-Jul-08 13:14:07

I told my DS when he was 4. I was pregnant with his brother (who is now 18 months old) and he wanted to know how he got there. He understood very well. I think it's important to explain things to children and not be embarrassed by anything. It brings you closer with your children if you discuss things openly

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