Khalid Mahmood, of West Grove in the Montpelier area of Bristol, spoke only to confirm his name and address during the 10-minute appearance at Birmingham magistrates' court.
He was remanded in police custody until 25 January. Reporting restrictions were not lifted by the court.
Mr Mahmood is charged with the murder of 35-year-old Imtiaz Begum, who was stabbed to death in the short-stay car park at Birmingham New Street railway station last Saturday afternoon.
Police have confirmed that she had been a resident at a women's refuge in the Edgbaston area of the city for the past three months.
Following her stabbing, her two-year-old son, Hasan, was found in the back of a car parked at the station. It is believed that he had been strangled.
A kitchen knife with an eight-inch blade was found at the scene.
Three other children, all girls, were found dead in an upstairs bedroom at a house in Bristol. Formal identification of the girls' bodies was due to take place yesterday but it was believed they were Saequ, 14, Saema, 11, and Uzma, 9, three of Mrs Begum's six children.
Two of the girls had had their throats cut and the other had died from multiple stab wounds.
Two other children, Talat Mahmood, 15, and Asad Mahmood, 12, are said to be safe and well and staying with relatives.