After having your first baby, you'll find yourself wondering when, if ever, you'll do it all over again. Expanding your family isn't a decision to be taken lightly because as you now know, pregnancy, birth, and caring for a baby is hard work.
A rough pregnancy, traumatic birth, or a trying newborn stage may lead you to wait a little longer before adding to your family. Maybe you were fortunate enough to have a dreamlike motherhood experience and loved every second of it makes you want to have another baby even sooner. It's all situational and so personal.
Before getting into ways to know you're ready again, let's turn to science to see what's best for your health. The ideal length of time between pregnancies is 18 months. This gives your body enough time to fully recover from changing throughout pregnancy and birthing your baby.
Babies born before this 18-month window have a higher likelihood of being premature. It doesn't necessarily mean they will be, but it is something to consider while family planning. If you follow this recommendation, your first child will be just over two years old.
That could be another problem in itself. Having babies really close in age like one to two years apart, you really need to be ready for that. Have you ever watched a baby and a toddler at the same time? It is exhausting! Having two young kids that both need mama almost all the darn time can drive anyone insane.
If you don't want to pee alone for five more years and be drowning in diapers, you're probably ready for another baby asap! But seriously, if you love the chaos, little snuggles, and all the love you feel looking at little faces, you may be ready for baby number two.
A three to four year age gap is still close in age but would allow for your first kid to be a little more self-sufficient and possibly even attend preschool for a small portion of the day a few times a week for a bit of a break. The same things goes if your child is even older. Just know that you'll be ready when you know you can do it all that hard parts all over again.
Unfortunately, money should also be considered when making this life-changing decision. The prenatal and delivery costs can be overwhelmingly too many families. The additional costs of a second child could also be enough to push you into debt. Ideally, you'll want to be financially sound. Two kids (or more) affects your wallet in every way.
If you work, your daycare costs will skyrocket. Maybe you really need to prepare and a buy a bigger car or house. Your grocery bill just got more expensive too and so did any future family vacations, monthly dinners out to eat, and after-school activities. Whew! It's a lot to take in. You may never be financially ready, but you can at least have the big stuff figured out and know how to budget, you're probably ready.
Make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. Adding a baby to the family should never be done to save a relationship or to fulfill some sort of expectation. Regardless of if, or when, you choose to expand your family by one (or two, three, or more children), it's an inherently personal decision.
A woman's desire to have children shouldn't be based on her childhood fantasy or ideal family type. It should be based on what is best for her and her partner at that time. If everyone isn't on board yet, don't do it. Don't stop the BC if you can't handle another newborn and it may not be the best idea to get pregnant if you can't pay all of your bills. Truth be told, you'll know when you're ready.
Being a mom is the absolute best of the best. Even the difficult days are all the worth the love and joy you have for your child. Adding another baby to the family isn't a simple decision, but you'll know when the time is right.
Are you ready for another baby? Or how did you know you were ready?