thinking child

Children’s chatter: Talking birth with 4 year olds

I do have some interesting conversations with N.  Many of them seem to be about human bodies so I do sometimes wonder how his questions come about.

A favourite recently has been about blood, and why we have it in our bodies.  I’m definitely not a biologist so without looking it up I’d be lost.  Instead I diverted to the differences between warm and cold blooded animals…although that then created more questions I couldn’t answer!

But the most challenging recently has been about birth…and blood.  Yes, N seems obsessed about the substance at the moment.

One day he just came out with ‘why do babies come out with blood on them?’  Err, I’m not sure how he knew that.

I explained how a baby was attached to the inside of a mummy’s tummy with a cord called a placenta which pumps blood and food to the baby from the mummy.  But when the baby is born there’s no need for the cord any more.  Sometimes bits of placenta come away from where it’s attached to the tummy as the baby comes out, so the baby can be a bit messy with blood and yellowy stuff when it comes out.

‘Oh. How does the blood come off?’

‘The baby nurses called midwives wipe the baby off with towels, then the mummy gets to cuddle the baby’

‘What happens to the placenta?’  I really didn’t expect to be talking that with a 4 year old!

‘After the baby is born, the placenta comes loose from inside the mummy’s tummy, and it comes out of the same hole the baby came out of.  If the baby was cut out in a caesarean, then the doctors take the placenta out’

‘Like me.  What happens to the blood?’

‘Well either the doctors take it out when they take the placenta out, or it just comes out too’.  N’s certainly got more stomach for gore than his dad has.  There’s no way he’d want to talk about that kind of stuff.

N was quite happy with the explanations and the conversation carried on to something else.

A couple of weeks later though, he then asks out of the blue ‘what happens to the blood inside?’

‘Inside what?’

‘People’s tummies’

‘I’d hope people didn’t have blood in their tummies because that would signify either internal bleeding from being hit or in an accident or having ulcers.  Neither are good.  Blood isn’t loose in people’s bodies, blood goes through tubes called veins’

‘I know that, it goes down tubes round the body’  God knows where he knows that from.

Thankfully that was the end of the conversation.  I’m not sure why he’s got internal workings on his mind, but I think I’m going to have to find his ‘Body’ books so we can look at those.  Otherwise my knowledge is going to be tested over time.

thinking child

What kind of things about humans do your children ask?  Let me know then I might be able to swot up in advance of N’s questions.

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  1. I must admit that once, when my boy asked me a question I didn’t know how to answer, I fobbed him off with “Ask Grandad when we see him.” He agreed because he reckons Grandad is very wise (which was also his way of saying “Old”)

    1. Ha ha. I’m not sure that would work with my father in law. He’d go off on some long winded tail and N wouldn’t get an answer anyway.

  2. I absolutely love the things little ones come out with. They are so innocent and sometimes I wonder where my little man knows things from. At this age this pick up everything dont they.

  3. Blimey you have one inquisitive little boy! LP hasn’t asked anything like this yet and I think it would actually hurt my head trying to think or the right answers! x

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