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The Birds and the Bees

A couple of days ago, my son and I were sitting on the couch, watching his favorite cartoon, Backyardigans. He loves it and I must admit that I like it too.

My husband was cooking breakfast for us and we were having a good time. All of a sudden, my son touches my breast.

Uh-oh!

I looked at him and he pointed at it. I quickly told him, “No, no baby. No touch.”

Ten minutes later, he pointed at my breast again.

Oh boy.

Looks like my little toddler is starting to notice that Mommy has a little extra cushion up top.

He wasn’t a breast fed baby, but he has always liked to be around women that have large breasts.  His favorite teacher in daycare had large breasts and he would love for her to rock him to sleep.

I have been teaching him parts of the body. You know, the simple ones.

Eyes, nose, ears, mouth, feet, toes.

Breasts were definitely not covered in our teaching lessons.

Have you experienced this with your toddler? If so, how did you deal with it?

Did you freak out like me, or did you calmly explain to him the birds and the bees on his level?

When did your kids start to notice that there was a difference between boys and girls, mommies and daddies?
Also, did you teach them about their private parts at the same time you taught them eyes, nose, ears, mouth?  Or did you wait until they started getting curious about it?
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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Tamara Derouen November 4, 2009, 12:24 PM

    I myself haven't experienced that with my 14 month old, however, I have noticed that he touches himself. Maybe he's exploring himself and is beginning to know he has " fully functional" body parts. He has never grabbed my breast but he has pulled on my shirt, pulling it down to where my undergarments are displayed! Embarassing…

  • Christian Mommy Writer May 12, 2009, 1:45 PM

    @MOMS WEB – OMG!! I don’t know how I would have reacted if I had to convince my son that I had a “virginia”. LOL!!!!!

    @Lynleigh – I hope your son doesn’t go up to someone and call their boobs “baby’s food!” LOL!!!

    The stories and feedback that I have received from you all on this post are hilarious!

  • Lynleigh May 12, 2009, 11:32 AM

    I must say, I laughed reading this blog because I had the same experience with Julius. I nursed him for a year when he stopped cold turkey. He never showed any interest in them after that until I had my daughter and I nursed her in front of him (he was about 1 1/2). He asked, “Mommy, what is that?” and I said “it’s baby’s food.” I didn’t want him to be one of those kids that went up to someone he didn’t know and refer to their breasts in ways that I’ll just say are inappropriate so I thought that would be easiest. Now, he’s older (2 1/2) and understands much more so recently I was in the shower and he had to go potty so I let him come in the bathroom as I was drying off and he stared and pointed and said, “Mommy is that baby’s food?” I wanted to die laughing, because that was the first time he’d asked me since I told him that originally, but I had to control myself and explain to him on a level that he could understand that him asking about them was inappropriate, they were mommy’s privates and were not to be asked about again. He was a little confused because he has only been taught that your private is what is below the waistline, so I think that the best time to explain depends on what level of understanding your child is on. He hasn’t really asked me since, but we did end the conversation with it being established that my breasts were private.

  • Martha May 8, 2009, 1:58 AM

    I love the Backyardigans! Oops, I mean… my son loves the Backyardigans ((whistling))

    My son is three and he started to poke at my chest a couple months ago. Once I accidentally told him, “no touching mommy’s boobies” when I was struggling to load the groceries in the trunk of my car. Now he keeps poking them (out of spite) and said, “HAAAHA, I poked your boobies!”

    GRRRR, I put him in his place but he sure likes to tease me. He knows not to touch Mommy’s chest and I also shut the door when I use the restroom because he tends to gawk at our differences.

    I still need to figure out how to explain the birds and the bees properly : I found out through a movie when I was little and I don’t want that to happen to my son, err, luckily I have about 10 or 30 more years until I worry about it!

  • Epiphany May 8, 2009, 12:19 AM

    LOL that happened to a friend of mine recently. The only woman in a house of boys, she had to show her 4 year old that no, Mummy did NOT have a penis!!

  • MOMSWEB May 7, 2009, 11:08 PM

    My oldest was five when he wanted to know if I had a penis. OMG! He wouldn’t accept my answer and wanted me to show him that I didn’t have one. OMG!! I finally got a book that showed male/female body parts and he was finally convinced that I had a virginia (lol).

  • Epiphany May 6, 2009, 4:44 PM

    My eldest is a few months over 4 now, and she’s known the difference between male and female for quite a while (she sees all of us nude still at this stage), and is learning about who can touch what parts. She’s not certain of it yet, but she is aware that breasts, vagina’s (our easy name for the female genitalia for her) and penises are “different” to the rest. I think she does know not to touch, and that others can’t touch her, but doesn’t understand why yet.

  • Krystal May 6, 2009, 12:19 PM

    Jolyn,

    Thank you! I’ll check them out the next time I go to the store!

    😉

  • Jolyn May 6, 2009, 11:51 AM

    To Krystal — Backyardigans is awesome! It’s all about kids’ imaginations and making up stories with lots of great songs.

    About the body parts. I can’t stress how important it is to be matter of fact about their “privates” at this age. They are “just” another body part, except that no one else is to touch it, you dig? And if anyone else does they are to tell mommy right away and no one will be in trouble…

    Okay, so that’s maybe jumping the gun on your question, but trust me: I have a 13yo who has NO desire to talk to me about any of that now! So if you don’t talk about it naturally as it comes up while they’re still young, it will be too late. It doesn’t need to be a formal talk; just answer questions as they arise. And they do arise at a very, very young age. Your son is certainly not ahead of the game here.

  • Krystal May 6, 2009, 9:35 AM

    Side question here: What is “Backyardigans” about? I recently purchased Blue’s Clues for my kids and they loved the first one so much that I went back and got life 4 more. And it’s all they watch now, and it’s very educational and interactive.

    What do the Backyardigans do? I’m always so hesitant to buy new videos for my kids because I never know if they’ll have like black magic or something random in there, you know…

    Also, my son puts his hand down my shirt, up my shirt, up my shorts… it’s all the same to him. Just a comfort measure. I don’t really mind it, per se, but when he does it in church or in the middle of the grocery store, it’s a just a little embarrassing!

    :O

  • Christian Mommy Writer May 6, 2009, 8:55 AM

    Hi Everyone!

    Thanks for your comments so far. I also agree with Ephiphany that it’s nothing sexual in nature. It’s just curiosity.

    My real question is when did your kids start to notice that there was a difference between boys and girls, mommies and daddies. Also, did you teach them private parts at the same time you taught them eyes, nose, ears, etc., or did you wait a little longer when they started to really pay attention to it and notice it?

  • Kennisha Hill May 6, 2009, 8:25 AM

    This is a very good question- one I’ll have to ask my mamma. I nursed my son also until he was about 13 months. For a little while afterwards, he’d try to peek in my shirt… but he stopped. Now that I’m pregnant, he’s fascinated with my belly.

    I’ll have to ask her though because I find that to be very interesting. I think he’s probably too young to really have the “birds and bees” discussion. But, I’m sure that feels a bit awkward also- especially if you didn’t nurse him.

    I’ll come back with an answer later today. My mamma seems to be a mommy expert. lol

    Blessings,
    Kennisha

  • Anonymous May 6, 2009, 8:15 AM

    I agree with Epiphany. Between my three sons I breastfed for 3 years and some months. David still puts his hand down my shirt for comfort. My other sons did it as well. I know w/ breastfed babies they like the skin to skin contact.

    Since that is the case I don’t have a problem with it. Now if he tries to nurse again, I’ll nip it in the bud. However, since he’s older I remove his hand and he doesn’t have a problem with it. Now he has a thing for stomachs. He has to be able to feel your stomach. Again, its a skin to skin comfort he has.

    Shauna

  • Epiphany May 6, 2009, 12:26 AM

    Well I’d be no help to you, my son was breastfed until 21 months (we stopped due to allergies) and still, 5 months later, is always stuffing his hand down my cleavage for comfort.

    To be honest I don’t have a problem with it. It’s not a sexual act on his behalf so I haven’t associated it with the whole birds and the bees thing. He just finds them warm and soft… which, I suppose, they are! LOL!

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