How many kids do you want to have? That’s probably an easy question for most happy couples. The tough part is deciding on the right moment for having another baby.
Adding a new member to the family is a huge decision. And whether you’re planning for it or facing an unplanned pregnancy, you need to consider all factors.
So if you’re in the same boat or just eager to increase your family, here are some guidelines to help you decide if you’re ready for another baby.
6 Signs you’re ready for having another baby
Your healthcare provider/OB has confirmed your body is ready
If your current little one is still too little, you may want to discuss it with your doctor first. Especially if you had a cesarean birth.
When we talked about having our second child, we wanted them with the smallest gap possible. My OB, however, advised that we need to wait for at least 6 months before trying again. Once he confirmed my body is ready for another pregnancy, we were eager to start all over again.
The thought of being pregnant again doesn’t freak you out
I’ve heard some women actually enjoyed being pregnant. For me, however, these were the worst 18 months of my life.
If you’re not me and this was a happy period for you, then the idea of having another baby can be much more exciting. Still, if you had a hard time with your previous pregnancy, you may want to wait for a little while so you can embrace the new one with an open heart.
You awe every time you see a baby or a woman in late pregnancy
If the baby fever has gotten to you, then you may have your answer right there.
What’s the first thought that sparks through your mind when you see a mom with a newborn or a pregnant woman? Do you envy her? Do you want to be in her spot? Or does the thought brings cold shivers down your spine?
You adore the way your little one is interacting with younger kids or babies
If your (youngest) kid enjoys being around babies or kids younger than them there’s a great chance they’ll become a caring big sis or bro.
And believe me, this is a huge plus for mom. My oldest is just 2 years old and she loves helping with the baby which makes things a lot easier. She brings clean clothes or nappies, tosses the dirty ones away, and most importantly, this keeps her busy and happy when I need to take care of the baby.
You admire families with multiple children
Taking care of two or more kids can be a struggle.
But if you know and admire couples you already have multiple children, they can not only inspire you but also give you valuable advice on the tips and routines that help them in their daily life.
You have realistic expectations for your child
When your firstborn is a quiet, obedient, and cuddly kid, it can be easy to start planning for more. But you need to keep in mind that all kids are different!
Yes, parenting has a huge role in building the character of your kids. But they still have their own personality. And while your first may be sleepy and calm, your second one can be energetic and restless.
Although I don’t doubt that you’ll love them just the same, you need to have your expectations straight.
Signs you’re NOT ready for another child
You like your routine and don’t want to change it
More kids naturally mean more chores, more responsibilities, and a lot less me-time.
Your life will undoubtedly change. To what degree, depends on your personal organization, stress threshold, and of course, the personality of your kids.
If you’re not ready to put your personal needs aside and dedicate yourself fully to the new member of the family, now may not be the best time for having another baby.
You’re not confident in your current relationship
Having a baby can easily put a strain on your relationship with your partner. Even if you have talked and planned for it.
The sleepless nights and endless cries can take their toll on both parents, thus growing you further apart.
If you have any concerns about your relationship, you may see to work these out first before trying for another one.
Questions to ask yourself and your partner
How will the baby affect you financially?
You can often hear that having another baby won’t add much to your expenses. After all, you probably have a good amount of well-preserved clothes from your older kid(s), and babies don’t eat that much, especially when they’re breastfed.
Well, sort of. While your baby won’t burden your budget, you need to think in advance as well. The more your children grow, the more needs they will have. Think about two times child care, sports, excursions, medical expenses, college tuitions… And that’s just a part of it.
I’m not saying that you need to be earning a bunch right now, but it would help if you have a plan for your career growth in the next 5, 10, or even 15 years.
Can you afford to space kids out?
If you’re over 35 and you want more kids, you may not be able to afford to space them out with 3 or 5 age gaps.
While many women are able to conceive even after the age of 40, it often leads to a high-risk pregnancy. Not to mention you may have a hard time raising a teenager in your 60s.
Furthermore, the fertility rate drops significantly after the age of 35.
So if you want more kids, you may consider planning them sooner rather than later.
Can you handle more kids?
To put it simply, more kids means that you would need to cover more ground, you’ll need to divide your attention between them, and still find the strength to take care of you and your daily life outside your home.
In case your current kid is calm and easy to handle, that may not be such an issue. But if you have a kid with special needs that requires a lot of your time and focus, you may have a hard time responding to all of the baby’s needs.
If you still believe you’re ready for another one, consider getting some help during the newborn and baby phase, like a grandma living nearby or a nanny.
Are you BOTH ready for another child?
In some cases, one of the partners may be high on the baby fever, while the other is still reluctant.
The only thing you can do about it is to talk it out.
Why do you want another child now? Why not? Sharing your point with your partner is the only way to come to an agreement without putting unnecessary strain on your family.
I don’t really believe there is ever a perfect time to have a baby, first or not.
When we were talking about having our firstborn, I had so many doubts. We didn’t have our own home, I didn’t feel our salaries were high enough, I was scared about how the baby would change my lifestyle.
And although by the time I got pregnant we managed to move into our first real home, I still had doubts whether the time was right.
As it turned out, however, the time is as right as you make it to be. You don’t have to wait until you’re earning six figures, or until you’re living in the house of your dreams.
If you’re feeling the baby fever, feel comfortable enough with your personal and professional life, and you have a supporting partner next to you, then you’re definitely ready for having another child.