MEET THE BIRD AND THE BEE
Do You Know What I Read?
So How Do Babies Really Begin?
Have you ever looked at your baby pictures?
Have you ever wondered where babies come from -- or how babies are made -- or where you came from -- or how you really began?
Everyone -- grandparents, parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and even teachers, firefighters, librarians, gymnasts, astronauts, dentists, scientists, cooks, nurses, shopkeepers, doctors, bus drivers, pilots, police officers, hockey players, mayors, and rock stars -- every person in the whole wide world was a baby once. The arrival of a new baby is so amazing! Most kids -- but not all -- are curious about how such an amazing and wonderful thing could possibly happen.
You may think that by now you already know -- or that you should know -- exactly how a baby is made. But even if your mom or dad has talked to you about this, or even if you and your friends have talked about it -- it's still perfectly normal to have questions about where babies come from. Talking with a parent, a doctor, a nurse, or a teacher is a good way to find out answers to your questions.
Sometimes you may feel very private about your questions and thoughts and feelings about how babies begin. Or it may feel embarrassing or hard to ask questions about making babies. Feeling curious about this, or embarrassed, or private, or even confused, is perfectlynormal. And having lots of questions about where babies come from is also perfectly normal.
Since the beginning of time, people young and old have tried to figure out where babies come from and how a baby is made. But how a baby is made is not a simple thing. That's why learning about it can be interesting and even fun -- no matter how old you are.
EGG + SPERM = BABY
When a new baby animal or plant is made, scientists call that "reproduction." To reproduce means "to make again" -- to make the same thing again.
Reproduction is how plants and animals make new plants and animals like themselves.
One fact about making a human baby is quite simple. It takes a sperm and an egg to make a baby.
Sperm and eggs are cells. In fact, all plants and animals -- including humans -- are made up of cells. And the human body is made up of millions and millions and millions of cells.
Sperm and eggs are the cells that can make a baby. The beginning cells of many animals -- but not all -- start to grow when an egg cell joins together with a sperm cell. This is the way humans make new babies. In fact, the beginning cells of a human baby can start to grow only when a sperm cell and an egg cell have joined together.
SAME AND DIFFERENT
Male -- Female
Another fact that's quite simple is that human babies -- like most other animals -- are born female or male. Girls and women are female. Boys and men are male.
Most parts of our bodies -- our toes, our fingers, our noses, our legs, our arms, our eyes, our hearts, our lungs, our stomachs, our buttocks -- are the same and look quite the same whether we are female or male.
The parts that are different are the parts that make each of us a female or a male. Some of these parts are on the outside of our bodies. Some are inside our bodies. Some are also the parts -- when a person's body grows up -- that can make a baby.
A male's sperm is needed to make a baby. Sperm are made in the male parts called "testicles." When a boy's body grows up, his two testicles will make an amazing amount of sperm -- about one hundred million to three hundred million each day.
A female's egg is needed to make a baby. Eggs are stored inside the female parts called "ovaries." When a baby girl is born, her two ovaries have all the eggs -- about one million to two million -- she will ever need to make a baby.
Although every boy is born with the parts that will make millions of sperm, and every girl is born with the parts that store millions of eggs, those parts cannot make a baby until a child's body has grown up. And that time is called "puberty."