La Tela di Carlotta

How babies are made

A gentle introduction to sex and how (almost all) babies are made

Print-at-home version

Dear moms and dads,

In countries where sex education is not yet compulsory in schools, the responsibility of offering it to our children is ours (yes, us parents!): we are not raising children, we are raising adults.

"How babies are made" is a printable children's book that explains how (almost all) babies are conceived and born and it includes a mini guide for parents to get rid of the embarrassment that this subject create for many people who stil feel it as a taboo, and start sex education at home.

In 2020 I wrote the volume about sex education for the Italian Montessori collection "Gioca e impara con il Metodo Montessori" and I was very surprised to realise that many parents don't know how to talk about sex and sexuality with their children, they are ashamed of showing themselves naked or using the correct anatomical terms, they are shocked if their 3-year-old daughter touches her genitals or if they find their 5-year-old son with an erection.

Boys and girls need the truth.

When we keep them in the dark about important conversations like sex because we're embarrassed or we don't know how to talk about them, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to break the taboo in future generations and we deprive them of the tools they will need to face adult life.

Ignorance is much more dangerous than knowledge — because knowledge comes anyway, but from the wrong sources: for example, boys and girls looking for answers go on the internet (they'll manage even if you restrict it!) and find porn, which is not only a wrong representation of what sex is, but it's also full of wrong, abusive and sexist messages.

The time to start talking to children about sex is when they are young, when their mind is still free of the embarrassment that society feels about this conversation.

If you don't know how to get started, a book is a great way!

This is why I created "How to make a baby": a printable book to explain sex and birth to children and a mini guide to start sex education at home.

What do you find when you buy the book

As I already mentioned, this is not just a printable kids book. It's a mindset. A tool to convey the importance of sex education in a family and to start the revolution at home — where all revolutions start.

This is why when you buy it, in addition to the printable PDF and a short video tutorial on how to bind the book (where I also explain why I'd like you to do it with your own hands), you will also find "food for thoughts" — ideas for how to use the book to start sex education at home, answers to frequently asked questions (for example, won't my kids get strange idea if they read about penetration?), reflections on important conversations (like, is it OK to force a child to accept grandma's kiss?), examples of how to handle "embarrassing" situations and a list of resources (which is constantly updated) to continue the conversation.

I can't wait for "How babies are made" to get into your homes and hearts, and sow seeds in your minds.

How the book was born

"How babies are made" is the book I would have wanted to read to my children to introduce the conversation about sex. For Oliver and Emily, it was simply a way to put all the pieces together, but for other children it might the beginning of the conversation. 

I was inspired by the 1970s book by Danish psychiatrist Per Holm Knudsen "How a baby is made" and other similar books about sex and birth (coincidentally, all from Northern European countries): I really appreciated these books, but I would have changed many, many sentences to read them to my children.

I wrote "How babies are made" thinking about how I have always talked about sex and sexuality with my children Oliver and Emily (2015 and 2016 respectively), how I answer when Oliver asks me why his penis is hard or when Emily tells me she'll live with Oliver and have two babies with him.

The talented Miriam Negri — one of the talented parents who's part of my La Tela vision — brought my words to life with beautiful, simple illustrations on a white background, which I believe will help younger and older children to focus on the message.

I talked to parents and midwives and each one inspired a small change, a detail, a word, a sentence, a concept. This is why in the book I have also added a short appendix where I write about adoption, medically assisted procreation, caesarean — among other things.

I'm SO happy with the final result and I'm sure it will really help many families not only understand the importance of offering sex education at home from an early age, but also start the conversation in an easy, spontaneous way.

Written by
Carlotta Cerri
Illustrated by
Miriam Negri

Original artwork by Miriam Negri

A small selection of the illustrations you'll find in the book.

What age is it for?

Sex education starts with the parents. The sooner we normalise conversations, the we eradicate the taboo. This is much more than a book for children, it's a "pack of seeds" that I hope will sprout in the parents' minds.

But to answer the question more concretely, I would read the book to any child aged 3 and up (but it always depends on the child). For example Emily was 3 when we read the book for the first time but, having an older brother, she had heard it all way before. Had this book been available before, I'd have read it before: it's just like any other book (I'll explain it all in the guide).

What do I get when I buy "How babies are made"?

You get the book "How babies are made" in digital version (online) and printable version (PDF to print and bind) and the video tutorial to bind it. You'll also get tips on how to use the book; reflections to start sex education at home; a list of important conversations to have with your children; links to podcasts, interesting articles, and other resources to continue sex education at home.

Why is there no printed version?

La Tela is not a publishing house and this book (although I think it's essential on today's market) can only exist if it's sustainable for me. This is why for now there is only the printable version, but we are testing a printing service to give you the option to order the paper version after purchasing (there will be an extra cost, but we won't earn anything from it, we'll only facilitate the service 🙂). Hopefully it'll be available soon! 🤞

Print-at-home version

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