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Are You Ready to Have Another Baby?

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How many children is the perfect number for your family? This was a common discussion that I frequently found myself having with friends. After having a second child, we all seemed to struggle with decision of adding to our families.

For me, something strange happens when my babies turn one. As I carefully fold and pack away the newborn clothes, I feel the soft cotton and can’t help but lift them to my face to take in the gentle Dreft fragrance. Just like that, the baby urge hits me. Not that my husband and I suddenly take action to have another one but it gets me thinking.

Also, one year is about the time that it takes for a Mother to forget about the challenges that a newborn can bring. The sleepless nights. The long, endless eating schedule. Your breasts that are still connected to your body but no longer belong to you. Suddenly, the tiny person that needed you for everything, now wants to walk and do things without your help. As they explore their independence, you watch your baby slip away from you. You begin to regain some freedom and realize that you are doing a pretty good job as a Mom. Why stop now?

So when are you ready for another baby? And how many is enough? In talking with friends, one thing is certain, MAKING the decision to try and have another baby is a scary thing. You are committing to changing your life. It is wonderful, yes, but there is no turning back.

After our second son turned one, as always, I began to think how wonderful it would be to have another baby. Another year went by before my husband and I actually began to discuss it. We never seemed to be thinking the same thing at the same time. At times, I thought we should have another baby. He wasn’t sure. Other times, he was the one that wanted another child. I didn’t agree.

We went through all the logical points. Could we financially support another baby? How would it affect our other children? Was I at an age where I felt comfortable having another baby? As we made lists and tried to lay out the pros and cons of adding to our family, I started to wonder if we just needed to follow our hearts.

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HERWriter Guide

I agree with Alison on this one!

I think she's right that you are definitely on a "baby-high" that comes along with the euphoria, mixed with exhaustion, that comes with having a baby.

As long as you and your husband (you might want to have a check up with your doctor too) are ready, then in a few months, you could start again. Not all women need a couple of years between kids. But since you're only weeks post-partum, another few months before trying again is a good idea! The decision should be carefully decided, especually by you, since you'll be carrying and birthing a new baby, as well as caring for an older baby. I've done it three times and it's tons of work when you don't space kids out. Huge benefits too (although sometimes you have to think hard about what those benefits are, when they are all yelling, fighting etc!!!) but in a few months, I think you'll be a little more rested and see things clearly. Make your decision then. Good luck to you and congrats on your newborn!

August 3, 2009 - 12:56pm
EmpowHER Guest

i had a lil baby girl 7 weeks ago and want another one as soon as possible!! do you think im mad and is it safe?

August 2, 2009 - 4:25am
(reply to Anonymous)

Congratulations on your little baby girl!

Please talk with your doctor about this, as the best answer is: it depends on your specific situation. There are so many factors (physical, emotional, mental), but your doctor can tell you: how well is your body physically healing after delivery?

You are probably experiencing the "baby high" right now, so you are not "mad", this is a normal feeling. Most doctors recommend waiting anywhere from 2-18 months before trying to have another child (again, depending on your situation). It would be wise to wait at least a few months, to see if you are still feeling the same "high". The little infants soon become more of a handful; they begin sleeping through the night around 2-3 months old (sometimes, much later!), and you feel a little more "human" again. But, they are then more active during the day. I would give yourself some time to go through a few more stages with your infant before deciding to try again. And, does your partner feel the same way (about wanting another baby so quickly)?

My personal advice: enjoy time with your little girl for a little while longer, talk with your doctor about what is "safe", and talk with your partner.

August 2, 2009 - 9:19am
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question!

If you have fantasized about always having a big family, you have one! You have 21 children - you don't get much bigger than that!
You have an 8 year old so it's not really true that they'll be moving out soon. I totally understand that having kids around can help us feel young and vibrant! All that youth is contagious!

If you did have a baby at 72, you'd be the oldest woman in recorded history. Is this part of why you want to do this - to make history, perhaps? It seems that many of your children are in ill-health and you, yourself, say that you are also in bad health.

You say your life is "winding down" now - but a baby won't make you any younger. It's good you feel like you are 40, mentally. Every 72 year old should feel that way!

You seem very afraid to lose "the ability to give birth forever". Is this what you fear most? Losing that youthful aspect of our lives?

You won't get pregnant naturally (if you do, again, you'll be the first woman in history) so you will have to get medical treatments to get pregnant and it's doubtful it'll be allowed, taking your age and bad health into account. I don't know what clinic would take it on.
Having money for a baby doesn't necessarily mean you should have one.

But no-one can tell you what to do, Anon. Is your husband willing and able to participate in this? Normally, the decision to have a baby is the couples and the couples only, but in your case, you need to talk it through with your entire family, because they will be the ones helping to raise the child and if you don't live to see the child mature into adulthood (you will be 90 when the baby graduates high school) then it will fall to them to raise the child. So make sure you have their full approval and cooperation before you do it, as much of the responsibility will fall on them.

July 18, 2009 - 4:58am
EmpowHER Guest

Can somebody help me decide whether I should have another baby? I will tell you about myself a little so you can understand how hard it is for me to decide. I was born September 6,1937,my husband was born January 31,1937. We have 21 children,our first born in late 1960,now aged 48 awaiting her 49th birthday,and our last to date born at the ending of 2000,now 8,9 in December. I currently have 6 of my children and 1 of my grandchildren living with me. My oldest child living with me turned 17 in March,my second oldest living with me turned 13 last month,my twins will turn 11 in October,and my younger to date will be 9 in December. My 17 year old daughter had a baby last year,who lives with me and my family right now,I'm planning to buy her a house nearby when she turns 18,but she will have lifetime support from the family. My family has no conflict's in relationship at the time. My third daughter who turned 41 in June just had a baby in April. My biggest worries about having a baby is that if I have a baby 2010,I'm worried I migth lose it because of my diabetes,un-motherly age and my health. Some smaller worries are that my bones are already hurting so much,I would lose much needed sleep for a women turning 72 this September,and the major age difference between my first born,who will be 50 when the baby is born. My self image could pass for about 40 tho. And my family helps so much and there are 2 nurses that come to check up on me at 12 and I have a house-taker who can also help with the messes a baby will bring. One thing I'm most concerned about is the baby's health,my youngest was born with low blood pressure, and diabetes. I just hope the baby would be healthy,my doctor had told me that there was a chance of the baby passing due to failure to complete living needs. None of my children are disabled,but my 13-year old grandson has ADD and has seizures every so often,but when he does have seizures his father(who is my son) puts him in a safe place and lets him recover,his mother(who was my daughter-in-law) died in a fire in 2005,so I go there every so often and help out and take him(my grandson) to go see plays at the bay shore theater with me and my children. Me and my family do the best to keep him from getting seizures. And my 7th daughter(who is 33 now) was born when I was 38 has asthma and so does my 12th daughter(who is 22 now) was born when i was 51 and so does my 13th daughter(who is 21 now) was 52 when i was born also has asthma. And my 14th daughter(now 20) has bone-cancer and was born when I was 53. And 19th and 20th children(who are 10 now) where hospitalized when they were born,and I was 62 at the time due it the month being October and my birth-month being in September. I definitely have the money for a baby tho. I'm really just worried about the health of me and the baby. The reason for my wanting of another baby is that I'm fantasized by child birth and I have always wanted a big family,for I never had one,and my life is winding down now and soon,all my children will move out. My oldest child thats living with me will be 18 next year,and moving out, and my youngest will be 9 this December and will be moving out and going to college in about 9 or 10 years. And I still get my period 2 times a year,soon it will be 1 time and year,and then I lose my period and the ability to give birth forever.

July 17, 2009 - 11:35am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

If you want another baby then you should have one! Life is too short not to

September 14, 2009 - 3:30pm
HERWriter Guide

I think for many women, the clock does stop ticking. I know many women who have had one or two kids and are genuinely done! They have absolutely no desire for more than the one or two they have. Then I know other women who could easily have five or six and think nothing of it. Some men and women never have a desire for kids!

Vital to these choices, of course, are aspects like money, time, the health of the parents and other children, as well as what kind of extended family are there (or not) to help.

I have completed my family but occasionally daydream about having another baby. I also didn't space out my kids and had no real desire to give my body a "rest" or to forget the insanity (really!) of having a newborn. I was always newly post-partum when I got pregnant again and I wouldn't change it for anything. Many women need a year before getting pregnant again - I felt if I waited a year, I'd get comfortable with the status quo and not want to go back to newborns again. We're all so different in this way.

I do hope that the televised "reality" of these super-sized families doesn't encourage people to have babies they are not ready for or incapable of raising. This is NOT something we want to make into a trend! In a world of over-population, I'm not sure that people having families of 10, 15 or 20 children is the smartest move. Then again, they are free to procreate as they see fit - if they can afford it, and are mentally sound - there is certainly an argument for that side, too.

May 4, 2009 - 11:40am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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