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cover of What's in there by Robie H Harris

What’s In There? All about before you were born: Book Review

What’s In There? All about before you were born is written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott and talks about pregnancy, and how a baby develops and is born.

There is no mention of how babies are made (sexual intercourse). At this age, most kids aren’t interested in the details of how they are made. The fact that it takes a male and a female is usually enough information.

What’s in There? All about before you were born is the third in a series of sexuality books for children in the early years. The previous two looked at families & our bodies.

Please note that this article contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

What’s inside What’s in There? All about before you were born

What’s in There? All about before you were born talks about:

  • that every minute and day, new babies begin to grow all over the world
  • new babies grow inside a special place in a woman – uterus
  • a new baby starts as one tiny cell – half comes from a woman’s body and the other half from a man’s body
  • the new baby starts off very small and gradually grows bigger
  • the stages that the baby goes through in it’s growth
  • how the baby is fed whilst it is growing inside
  • the woman’s uterus grows and stretches to make room for the growing baby
  • how the baby is born – vagina or caesearian
  • brand new babies can do a lot of things – cry, burp, feed, etc
  • sometimes babies can be twins, or triplets or more
  • babies are born  into or adopted into their family

Reading Tips

Make sure you have a look at the book first (before you read it to your child)! That way you will know what to expect.  You can find some tips in this article on how to read ‘sex ed’ books.

There is no mention of sex in this book. When kids first become curious about babies and pregnancy, they aren’t actually wanting to know about sex – they are just wanting really basic information about the topic.

This book is a picture book but it is very wordy. You may have to  summarise the text on some pages, as it is very comprehensive. Most 3 year olds would not have the attention span to sit through a ‘start to end’ read of this book.

Is your child old enough to  hear about pregnancy and where babies come from? Yes, they are, and What’s in There? All about before you were born is a lovely book to start with. This book is very age-appropriate  as it does not talk about sexual intercourse.

When young kids first start asking about where they come from, it isn’t sex that they are asking about. They just want to know that they grew inside your tummy (or someone else’s). You can add in the details as they get older and become more interested in the details.

Buy a copy

You can find a copy of What’s in There? All about before you were born at Amazon or Book Depository or Booktopia.

Video book review

You can also watch a video review of What’s in There? All about before you were born below.


Other sex education books

There are a lot more sex education books out there, that talk about a range of other topics.

You can find them listed in this new FREE parent resource: Sex Education Books for Children: a Parent Guide.

Make sure you go and check it out. It includes a lot of sex education books that will make talking about sex, a whole lot easier!

There is a chapter that is dedicated to talking about pregnancy. There are a lot of books out there on pregnancy, so just some of the many are listed in this parent resource.

And before you choose a sex education book, like What’s in There? All about before you were born, you want to make sure that it is the right book for you and your child! There are a lot of books out there and what is right for me may not necessarily be the right book for you!

In summary

What’s in There? All about before you were born by Robie H. Harris is a great first book that will satisfy your child’s curiosity about where they come from! It talks about conception very briefly but with enough detail to satisfy a young child’s curiosity. It provides a lot of information about how the baby develops and what the baby does whilst it is inside growing. It answers all the questions that kids have about this  great mystery of life.

So, do make sure that you go and have a look at What’s in There? All about before you were born. It is one of my favourite books on pregnancy for young children to read. It is one that my kids have  really enjoyed too!

About the Author Cath Hakanson

I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.

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