Brace yourself! Sooner or later (probably sooner), your little one will start asking you big life questions, including the classic “Where do babies come from?” Perhaps your tot will be anxiously awaiting a new sibling to arrive or maybe their preschool teacher—or even the family pet—will be expecting. No matter what winds up sparking your little one’s curiosity, it’s a good idea to be prepared with age-appropriate where-babies-come-from talking points and books, designed to help explain the birds and the bees to toddlers and preschoolers. Here are some top picks.

For 2-Year-Olds and Up

What’s in There?: All About Before You Were Born

Written by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

What’s in There? invites readers to join siblings Gus and Nellie as they watch and learn all about their mom’s pregnancy. This starter book is light on details about sex, fertilization, and conception but does answer to curious tots’ biggest questions in an age-appropriate way—and supplies info on how babies develop inside the womb. While correct names for male and female anatomy are used, the tone is far from clinical making What’s in There? an engaging read for kids 2 to 5 years old.

When You Were Inside Mommy

Written by Joanna Cole, illustrated by Maxie Chambliss

Here, little ones are gently introduced to the concepts of pregnancy and childbirth, without delving into the nitty gritty. That means sex, sperm, and eggs are not mentioned—and there’s zero nudity. While terms like uterus, womb, and umbilical cord are used, penis and vagina are not. (A vagina is referred to as a “special opening.”) While You Were Inside Mommy only focuses on one way babies are made, but if it’s reflective of your family, it may be the perfect toe-dip to help you answer some of your 2-year-olds “where do babies come from?” questions.

Zak’s Safari: A Story About Donor-Conceived Kids of Two-Mom Families

Written by Christy Tyner, illustrated by Ciaee


This is not your traditional baby making book! Instead, our protagonist Zak, shares with readers how his two mommies met, fell in love, and used reproductive technology to make a family. Your kiddo will learn terms like egg cells, genes, known donors, and sperm banks. The book's bright-eyed enthusiasm, coupled with its scientific leanings, make for a wonderful read for young ones who came to this world in the same way—as well as for families that want to build an inclusive collection of baby-making books.

For Kids 3 Years Old and Up

Where do Babies Come From?

Written and illustrated by Pauline Oud

Noa is going to be a big sister…and she has questions! This warm and welcoming children’s book offers a clear and inclusive baby-making overview, including relevant info involving twins, adoption, IVF, premature birth, and more. Yes, your tot will see unclothed grownups and children to illustrate body differences, but the book never veers into the “too much too soon” zone. And there’s a good bet your little one will be most fascinated by the month-by-month baby development illustrations! (More books about becoming a big sibling.)

What Makes a Baby

Written by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth

Playful, simple, intelligent, diverse, quirky are just a few of the words that have been used to describe this one-of-a-kind children’s book about where babies come from. (It’s written by a sex educator and was a finalist for the Lambda Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult.) Here, kids from 3 to 8 years old learn the basic biology of reproduction through an array of diverse families. Topics like adoption, reproductive technologies, and surrogacy are covered along with the standard old-fashioned way of making babies. It’s important to note that s-e-x is never actually mentioned in What Makes a Baby, so expect to field more questions at some point after reading.

Where Do Babies Come From?: Our First Talk About Birth

Written by Jillian Roberts, PhD,  illustrated by Cindy Revell

A where-do-babies-come-from book written by an honest-to-goodness child psychologist? Sold! This baby-making primer is also part of the “Just Enough series,” which holds true. You won’t have to worry about your 3- to 5-year-old learning anything that’s too advanced. This straightforward guide leans on proper terminology (womb, umbilical cord) and offers age-appropriate info on all things conception and pregnancy. The final page of the book even addresses topics like in vitro fertilization, cesarean sections, and same-sex parents. And because the whole thing is presented in an easy-to-read question-and-answer format, Where Do Babies Come From? works as a script for caregivers to lean into, as well.

Amazing You!: Getting Smart About Your Private Parts

Written by Gail Saltz, MD, illustrated by Lynne Avril Cravath

This picture book is specially designed for young children who are curious about their bodies and reproduction—but who are not quite ready to get the skinny on intercourse. Written with detail and honesty, Amazing You! expertly delves into anatomy (labia! scrotum! urethra!), reproduction, development, and birth. There’s also a page on self-exploration. Of note, while Amazing You! was written by Dr. Gail Saltz, who is an associate professor of psychiatry, if you’re looking for a birds-and-the-bees book that explores single parenthood, adoption, and c-sections, you’ll need a supplemental read.

For Kids 4 Years Old and Up

It's Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends

Written by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley

Perfect for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and early elementary-age kiddos, It’s Not The Stork! is both funny and informative. In fact, this New York Times bestseller has been vetted and approved by science, health, and child development experts, so you can trust your tot will get the just-right and correct info. It’s important to know that your child will see illustrations of penises, vaginas, sperm, and more—and they’ll get info on related topics, such as understanding the difference between okay touches and not okay touches. As with all these books, it’s a good idea to preview It’s Not The Stork! before reading it to your child to ensure it’s developmentally appropriate for your kid.

Work of ART

Written by Ali Prato, illustrated by Fede Bonifacini

Written by Ali Prato, the founder of the Infertile AF podcast, Work of ART is her family’s true story, encompassing secondary infertility, pregnancy loss, in vitro fertilization…and Ali’s deep love of being a mom. It’s the story of an IVF kiddo the day he learns he is a “work of ART”—born via assisted reproductive technology. While this is not the traditional birds and the bees book, it is a perfect addition to anyone’s “where do babies come from” book collection, whether you’re an IVF family yourself—or simply looking to widen your child’s perspective. (Learn more about Ali and her book.)

The Science of Babies

Written by Deborah Roffman, MS, illustrated by Frank Cable

Written by a child development expert, The Science of Babies delivers kids exactly what they want to know and what they need to know. While there is nothing overly graphic in this book, sex is described as bodies fitting together like “puzzle pieces.” Just skip over it if you feel it’s TMI right now. Otherwise, this is an incredibly inclusive and informative book that uses basic concepts like same vs. different and inside vs. outside to teach kids about gender, genitals, eggs, sperm, and birth.

For Kids 5 Years Old and Up

Making a Baby

Written by Rachel Greener, illustrated by Clare Owen

Straightforward without being straight-centric, Making a Baby features a wide range of happy families of different races, genders, shapes, and abilities all eager to welcome a new life into the world. This book doesn’t bother with vagueness (there’s no “when a mommy and daddy love each other…” talk), instead it delivers candid info on sex (there’s a tasteful illustration showing a penis inside a vagina) and birth, and topics like egg and sperm donations, c-sections, gender, and more.


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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.