The Science of Babies is the first board book that will help all parents start talking to their kids early about bodies, birth, and families in an inclusive and scientific way.
Written by acclaimed human sexuality educator and author Deborah Roffman, MS, The Science of Babies is truly revolutionary in its approach.
It's the perfect way to ease you and your child into those important conversations before this subject becomes taboo.
Introduce concepts around “origins,” reproduction, and human intimacy.
For parents and caregivers who want to feel prepared to embrace this topic honestly and with excitement and joy.
The book will help plant the seeds for acceptance, equality and inclusiveness during their earliest and most impressionable years!
Meet the author - Deborah Roffman
Deborah Roffman, MS, is an award-winning, nationally certified Human Sexuality Educator who’s been teaching children and teens and guiding families and schools across the U.S. for decades. Unrelenting in her dedication to supporting children’s and adolescents’ healthy sexual development, she’s the author of three acclaimed books for parents and teachers, including Talk to Me First and But How'd I Get In There In The First Place?
“It’s really worthwhile for parents and teachers to pause from time to time to look out at the world through the eyes of children. Infants and toddlers, for example, experience their physical selves very differently from older children and adults. Their bodies, acutely present and in a state of perpetual motion and change, continually deliver reams and reams of new data, all of it information that kick starts a child’s earliest learnings. In other words, for the youngest of our children, the body is literally their very first classroom outside the womb, and their primary source of fascination and curiosity.”
Deborah Roffman, MS
"Every single word and illustration is carefully thought-out in concert with the guidance Deborah Roffman's parenting books provide about what children want to know, what they need to know, and when they should know it."
William J. Taverner - Chief Editor, American Journal of Sexuality Education
That all sounds great but, honestly, I'd be too embarrassed and uncomfortable!Here’s the good news about embarrassment connected to this topic. It’s not at all like the kind of embarrassment that washes over us when we suddenly realize we’ve made a fool of ourselves in front of other people. It’s just nature’s way of reminding us to mind our social graces, and we have little hope of controlling it. But discomfort connected to sexuality is nothing more than a learned association that we happened to “catch” unconsciously from others long ago; to unlearn it, all we need do is practice saying out loud every word we don’t want to say out loud as many times as we need in order to discover that they are just words like all others. And, oh, how we and our children will benefit!
Who is The Science of Babies written for?The Science of Babies was created for all children ages 3.5 to 6 and older, even if parts of it are cognitively out of grasp for some. As with any other “advanced” topic, younger children will take in the information on whatever level they are capable of absorbing it. Just as we wouldn’t hesitate to show a page of multiplication tables to a child who’s only capable of grasping arithmetic, there’s no reason to hesitate in this case either! While the book is geared to the developmental characteristics and interests of young children, seven- to nine-year-olds will find it equally as appealing regardless of whether they’ve learned some or all of this information in the past. And there’s no reason at all to keep it out of the hands of infants and toddlers. They’ll love the book’s feel and magical illustrations, and as they get older, their visual familiarity with the content will set the stage perfectly for learning. The Science of Babies was also created with adults in mind. Many teachers and parents/ caretakers want to explain these facts and ideas to children but find themselves at a loss for words. So, we’ve given them a head start!
What if the illustrations don’t exactly fit my family’s experience?We are fortunate to live at a time when so many options are available to many people regarding conception, pregnancy, and birthing! A book for young children that includes all these variations would likely be confusing and would also be impossible to include in a board book format. See the suggestions below on how to expand on the basics provided in the book.
Shouldn’t I wait until my kids ask?This is one of the many double standards adults commonly apply to this subject that they don’t apply to most others. If you think about it, if there were another topic that we wanted our kids to know and think about, would we leave it to chance or make sure to bring up ourselves? Postponing would be like a fourth-grade math teacher waiting and waiting and waiting until at least one student finally pipes up and asks, “What’s multiplication?” before launching into the topic.
Won’t they learn this in school?Even if that were so—and it may not be, especially at the elementary school level but even in the upper grades as well—it doesn’t mean parents are in any way off the hook. Children need and want to be able to talk with their parents about everything that’s on their mind or in their environment. Plus, you are the only adult in the world who can tell your kids what you value and believe in as their parent. That’s just as important, and no teacher can do that for you.
What facts are included in The Science of Babies?The Science of Babies answers three questions many young children spontaneously ask as they begin to wonder about the larger world around them: Where do babies come from? How do they get out of there? How do they get in there in the first place? It covers the basics of conception, pregnancy, and birth, and points out that all three of these processes can occur in different ways.
Aren’t children too young to know about “sex”?Here’s why this book is called The Science of Babies. When adults remember to look out on the world through the eyes of young children, and remind themselves to think the way they think, it becomes clear that questions about “origins” are not about “sex” at all. That’s a topic young children don’t know or care about or want to know about—even though many adults project that idea onto kids, often out of their own adult anxieties: “Oh no! They want to know where babies come from!! I have to talk to my four-year-old about sex??” For young children, the sequence of questions they tend to ask about their origins are prompted by a growing and more sophisticated awareness of their personal relationship to the world around them regarding location, movement through time and space, and causation. In other words, science!
Why is The Science of Babies such an important book?It’s vital that families and schools position themselves as children’s first and most important sources of knowledge about sexuality and gender. Especially in the world today, when younger and younger children are so readily exposed to exploitive and unhealthy messages, we need to “get there first” with the messages we want to send about issues so central to life, existence, wellness, and happiness. If we succeed, we’ll have established ourselves, as early as possible, as our kid’s “go-to” people, rather than the all-too-common default options of peers, friends, older kids, advertising and the Internet. By the time we’re face-to-face with growing adolescents, we’ll have a leg up in terms of knowledge and comfort on those trickier conversations yet to come, and our kids will likely be more willing both to talk with us and to hear what we have to say. These are not conversations parents can put off “until the kids are older” and then expect things to go smoothly. That’s unfortunately a strategy that almost guarantees mutual awkwardness and disconnection because there’s been no historical context created for an ongoing, comfortable and trusting interchange.
How will I know what’s “too much, too soon”?Another double standard! We love it when our children want to learn more and more about any other factual subject, right? If they were to ask us three questions in a row about other topics of interest to them and then wanted to know even more, we likely wouldn’t stop cold and say, “OK, that’s it. Three pieces of new information is enough, but four is too many.” And, as we’ve said regarding young children, “too much” is not a concern either. They’ll likely just become bored and stop paying attention after taking in whatever bits of information they happened to find of interest.
Won’t children “in the know” want to experiment?The idea that “knowing will lead to doing” is an unfortunate cultural myth. Over several decades, research has demonstrated that young people who grow up in families (and schools) where sexuality is openly discussed make better decisions, including delaying their first sexual experiences statistically longer than their less well-educated and connected peers. Not only are they more likely to possess the necessary information and communication skills, they’ve also been taught how to think about decision making. Well-educated, critical thinkers make more deliberate, and often more cautious, choices. Sexuality is no different.