Not sure how to talk about sex with your child? Many moms recommend using a book to help explain how babies are made in an age-appropriate way. As Circle of Moms member Christina H. relays: "It gives us a starting point for the conversation and helps my husband and I tailor our answers to our son's level of understanding." No matter what age your child is, there are kid-friendly books out there that can help you explain the birds and the bees. Here, we've rounded up seven suggestions from real moms, starting with books for kids as young as 5 years old and moving up through the teen years. Keep reading to see their picks.
1. It's Not the Stork! A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends
One of several kid-friendly sex-ed books by Robie Harris, It's Not the Stork! is praised by moms for presenting information to young children (in kindergarten through third grade) in clear, factual, and age-appropriate terms. Circle of Moms member Christina H. calls it a "great resource for families," noting that the book "explains body parts, how the sperm meets the egg, very briefly discusses physical love between two married adults who are deeply in love and who want to make a baby, gestation, age/life phases, and 'OK touching' vs. 'not OK touching.'"
2. "Where Did I Come From?"
"I was given a book called 'Where Did I Come From?' and it answered a lot of questions for me," recalls Circle of Moms member Shallene H. One of Peter Mayle's several books for children about sex, the 48-page "Where Did I Come From?" presents younger kids (age 6 and older) with basic, though not overly scientific, information about sex with cartoon illustrations by Arthur Robins.
3. It's So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families
Another Harris title, It's So Amazing! offers 88 pages of matter-of-fact information and cartoon drawings by Michael Emberley that candidly answer the questions of slightly older children (age 7 and older). As Alex R. shares about reading the book with her 9-year-old, "He's very curious, and the book helps to put it all in an age-appropriate context." In addition to explaining body parts, puberty, love, sex, how a sperm fertilizes an egg, and what happens during pregnancy, the book also includes a basic discussion of 'good and bad touching', masturbation, homosexuality, and STDs.
4. What's the Big Secret? Talking About Sex With Girls and Boys
Written by Laurie Krasny Brown and illustrated by Mark Brown, What's the Big Secret? is another commonly recommended book for kids about sex. As Monica T. shares: "It is very appropriate for the 7- to 12-year range of kids. It provides the matter of facts, without a lot of detail. Proper names of body parts, etc."
5. Where Do Babies Come From?
For parents looking for a sex-ed book with a Christian perspective, several Circle of Moms members recommend Where Do Babies Come From? by Ruth Hummel and William Rusch, illustrated by Jancice Skivington. Kathy M. shares: "This is what I use, and it's great because it is age-appropriate and it breaks it down slowly . . . [It] specifically reflects a Christian worldview." Gerl P. agrees, recommending the book for children ages 6 to 8: "It's honest, sensitive answers from a Christian perspective."
6. "What's Happening to My Body?" Book For Girls; "What's Happening to My Body?" Book For Boys
"I got my daughter the 'What's Happening to My Body?' book when she was 11 or so, and she still uses it for reference at age 17," shares Emily. "It is more about puberty but will help your daughter with her body image." As Emily's comment suggests, these books by Lynda and Area Madaras are geared toward preteen and teens, covering everything from physical changes that occur during puberty, the reproductive organs, romantic and sexual feelings, and puberty in the opposite sex.
7. "What's Happening to Me?" A Guide to Puberty
"A really good book for preteens is called 'What's Happening to Me?'" shares Jennifer O., and Lois S. seconds the suggestion: "It has cartoons and covers the basics, like periods, body changes (in both boys and girls)." While the intentionally funny illustrations by Robins make the information nonthreatening and entertaining for younger preteens, children 12 and older may prefer a more matter-of-fact approach than this one by Mayle.