It is easy to teach that babies grow inside their mommy’s tummies and then they are born. Children usually ask how the baby gets out around age four or five. They may ask sooner if they are the curious type or their mom is pregnant. A surprising number of children think birth is through the belly button. After all, it is right in the middle of the belly!
If indicated, I first explain that the belly button is how the baby gets fed before it is born. This is an oversimplification, but a useful one nonetheless. I then state “the baby comes out a little tunnel called a vagina.” Parents who rely on answers like “the doctor takes it out” are avoiding the question and will have to give a more clear answer later on anyway.
To explain a cesarean, I say ” if the tunnel is too small or won’t work, then the mommy has surgery to take the baby out.” I never use the word “cut” because it has such a negative connotation. A child whose mother is pregnant is going to be stressed out already. “Cutting” hurts and will only increase the stress level of the older sibling. It can also cause the older sibling to resent the new baby because it caused their mommy to be hurt.