Is it ever too early for the birds and the bees talk?

Posted By Bel Messer and Rosie Luik, I Am Extra Special
September 14, 2015

From an early age, young children tend to be curious about how babies are made and start to ask some big questions. As a parent, it is completely up to us how we handle these moments. The trick to remember is, keep your cool. It is perfectly acceptable to say ‘let me get back to you’ while you give yourself time to mentally prepare. It doesn’t have to be a momentous conversation either; it can be as simple as the facts. The momentous part, however, is that you are opening the conversational dialog to lead to other important conversations. Like my body is my own.

Kids can handle more than we give them credit for. They are surrounded by sex through the media, songs, TV, and movies. So if it’s not us who teach our children about sex education early, can you guess who likely will? The Internet. “OH NO!” I hear you gasp!

So, be honest and age-appropriate. Children trust us to give them factual information and sometimes the younger the child is, the easier it is for them to understand the basics without embarrassment. Conception is fascinating. Focus on the cool stuff the human body does when the sperm and egg get together, this way sex can just become a part of the birds and the bees talk, not the sole focus.

Don’t be embarrassed. It’s likely that they will recognize if you are. If you are feeling nervous, make yourself a cup of tea and have confidence that you know what you are talking about.

There is more than one way to make a baby in this modern world, so you could introduce some other ways when speaking about natural conception. Your child’s mind will be piqued when they realize that there is more than one way a baby can be conceived.

They have definitely heard the word penis and a vagina before. In fact, they tend to have one or the other on their own bodies. This isn’t news. The fact that one fits in the other is probably news, however, so following up from sex with the magic that happens once the sperm and egg meet can swiftly help to move the conversation along if you need to.

Be an open book with your child in regards to future questions about sex, too; let them know that nothing is off limits. Have the good secrets and bad secrets talk, and explain the difference to your children. If you empower your child to understand that they are in charge of their own bodies from a young age, it can only be a good thing for them throughout their lives.

Children are visual creatures that learn best through books. So some families choose to use an educational book to assist in the technicalities that are the human body and conception.

Is it ever too early for the birds and the bees talk? Not really. Kids are curious little creatures with never-ending questions. It’s definitely a good idea to answer the important ones appropriately.

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About Bel Messer and Rosie Luik, I Am Extra Special

Bel Messer and Rosie Luik are authors of the 21st Century Guide to the Birds and the Bees, the modern sex-ed book for young school-aged children. They can be found at For every online book sale, $1 is donated to to Bravehearts Inc.


  1. Yes! I believe our kids want real answers whenever they ask questions, and this is just another example of that. I’ve found a great way to see just how much they want to know, however, is to first say, “What do you think?” Then you can go from there. Having seen so many teens and even adult women who don’t fully understand conception and how their bodies work has only made me more of a believer in starting the (honest) conversation early!

  2. Smart perspective. I haven’t really thought about how I will handle this question, but your advice on not making sex the main focus is great. It really is the means to an end so it makes sense to focus on the science of conception.


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