Indeed having a baby is perhaps one of the most wonderful experiences in the world for women. But let’s face it, there’s the extra physical work, mental stress and emotional stress, not to mention even less time for yourself and many sleepless nights might make you wonder about having another baby.
Then there are women who’ve had their very first child after a difficult pregnancy and labor. These women tend to shy away from having another baby too soon. So the question is, “When are you ready to have another baby?”
Here are 7 signs that you’re ready to have another baby:
7 You Have Baby Fever or Baby Urge
All of a sudden, you’ve got a strong urge to have a baby. It’s like a fever, maybe even a raging fever. You sleep at night and dream of newborns. When you get up in the morning and take your breakfast, you imagine a newborn in a cute baby basket near the table.
You spend time doing online research for great baby boy and girl names. While you’re waiting for the bus or in queue, you spend your time waiting and thinking of your favorite baby names for boys and girls. You think about your friend’s newborn often enough and you give your friend lots of baby name ideas even though she never asked you for them.
Each time you see someone carrying a newborn, you daydream about carrying one yourself. Yes, the baby fever came suddenly and you can’t seem to eat, think, sleep and do anything without the image and thought of a new baby creeping in. You simply can’t help yourself.
You have a baby urge that just needs to be satisfied
Then there is your only child. You catch him talking to himself while playing. Yes, he pretends to have another playmate to converse and play with. It saddens you and reinforces your baby urge. You feel you must have another child to give him a sibling to play with.
You give strong hints to your partner or tell them outright that you feel it’s time to have another baby. This is a pretty strong sign that you’re ready to have another baby.
6 In a Stable Relationship with Your Partner
You feel that your relationship with your significant other is stable. There’s a secure and safe feeling within you. There’s no worry about whether he’s going to leave you and let you take sole responsibility for looking after your child or children. You and your partner may even have finally decided to settle down if you haven’t married yet.
Whether you’re married or not, the relationship between you and your partner changes after the birth of a child. Nearly every couple goes through this stage. When it was just the two of you, it might not have been so bad, but after a couple of children or merely one child, there can be rough patches. It’s not that unusual.
Many couples have to cope with various issues after the birth of their child. They worry about not having enough money to buy essentials for the family, or they live paycheque to paycheque. There are all kinds of expenditures for growing children – clothes, food, school supplies and other items that have to be bought. Then there’s loans for the house and car to be paid.
Apart from the financial worries, there’s work stress. You spend less time with your other half, which affects your relationship with each other.
At times, it can put a real strain on the relationship, sometimes this trouble can even lead to a divorce. So yes, you may not want to have another child until you feel more safe, secure and stable in your relationship with your other half. So if you and your spouse have finally adjusted to living with each other and your child, and you feel truly ready to have another baby, then go for it.
5 You’re Financially Ready and Able
Since your significant other is not Bill Gates or Larry Page, you’re thinking about your financial condition before you decide to have another baby. Put simply, having another baby means spending lots of money – outside of spending money on groceries and bills, if you didn’t save all your baby items, you’ll wind up buying more baby things.
Since you’re not thinking about reusing your child’s old diapers (it’s best to buy new cloth diapers), there is still money to be spent for purchasing diapers, baby clothes, baby formula and whatnot. Your first financial priority are the children you already have – you don’t want them to be affected in any way when it comes to their needs because of the new baby.
4 You Miss Wearing Maternity Clothes and Changing Diapers
When you take out your old maternity clothes and go through them, feeling nostalgic about the times you wore them and how you miss wearing them, it’s another strong sign that you’re ready to have another baby. You go to the department store looking for a new blouses or dresses for yourself and instead you end up in the maternity section looking at fashionable maternity dresses and wanting to try them out instead.
You go through your current clothes and start thinking about how some of them can accommodate a growing belly without any problem. You think, “This is great. I wouldn’t have to buy a whole new maternity wardrobe.”
You didn't think you would, but you do miss those days
There might have been a time when changing diapers seemed to be a tiresome chore. Now you miss changing diapers and would love the chance to do so. You look at other breastfeeding mothers and yearn for a chance to do so. You start thinking about how wonderful it felt to have your child drinking milk from your breast. At times, there is envy when you look at them. You can’t help yourself.
You start talking to your hubby about the sleepless nights you had after having your child wistfully. You think all those sleepless nights were worthwhile and the memories are treasures to hold. This is definitely a strong sign that you’re ready to have another baby.
3 Your Body is Properly Healed and Feels Ready
Your body has had time to heal after your labor. Your lower back muscles, ligaments and joints are strong and firm or back to their former condition prior to your labor. Your body has healed physically. You can feel it.
Another thing to consider before trying for another baby is whether your body replenish its store of essential vitamins and minerals. After birth it’s natural for your body to lose a lot of essential nutrients such as folate and iron. You feel that you’ve given enough time for your body to heal and replenish all its depleted store of essential vitamins and minerals – then yes, it’s definitely time to have another baby.
No one knows your body better than you
You go for a medical check-up and you’re told that you’re healthy. There are no serious medical conditions to worry about. You ask your doctor if it would be fine to begin trying for another child, and if he says, “Yes,” then you’ve got the green light to go for it.
You’ve lost the extra weight that you put on during your previous pregnancy. You feel good about your body, you’re healthy and you feel ready physically to bring another little one into this world. Another strong indicator that you’re ready to have another baby.
2 You’re Mentally and Emotionally Ready for Another Baby
Finally, you feel that you’re mentally and emotionally ready to have another child. A pregnancy puts a lot of mental and emotional stress on the mother. Carrying a child and worrying about whether she can make it through to a successful delivery puts a great deal of stress that is not avoidable. Then there are worries about whether the child will be born healthy or with medical issues.
Whether a woman is in her 20s, 30s or 40s, it doesn’t matter. There are medical risks such as down syndrome to be considered. There is no 100 percent guarantee that the child is going to be born physically normal, or without any medical conditions irrespective of the woman’s age. So it’s normal for a pregnant woman to undergo all sorts of worries during her pregnancy, something that causes emotional and mental stress.
You know you can handle having another baby
Also, there’s the postpartum period to be considered. Some women experience serious postpartum depression which can last for months, a year or even more. And then, there’s the possibility of work or relationship issues with her partner that can make a woman feel a great deal of emotional and mental stress. When you feel emotionally and mentally ready, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re ready to have another baby.
1 You’re Ready for the Responsibility of Caring for Another Baby
Not everyone can be rich like Posh Spice (aka Victoria Beckham) and have a string of nannies for their children. If you stopped working to look after your child, then you may have to consider this before having another child. Will it put more stress on your financial condition? Can you quit your job and not worry about having enough money for your family?
Perhaps, there was someone who babysat your children when they were babies. What are you going to do this time around, how are you going to go about finding someone to look after your baby after you give birth again? Do you have the means for child rearing support and child healthcare? If you do, then it’s a good sign that you’re ready to have another baby.
All the above are strong signs that you’re ready to have another child. What about healthy pregnancy spacing? There are women who become pregnant just three months or so after giving birth to a child. According to Mayo Clinic, limited research indicates that a woman who goes for vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) within 18 months of her previous labor stands a high risk of uterus rupture.
You know you're ready for another baby
Even if you’ve had a normal birth, doctors advise not to space your children too far or close together. Any pregnancy spacing that is less than 18 months after your previous labor heightens the risks of preterm birth, low birth weight and a small baby size in relation to gestational age. For any pregnancy spacing that is five years or more, there are higher risks of high blood pressure, preterm birth, low birth weight and a small baby size in relation to gestational age.
The limited research suggests that the best pregnancy spacing is at least 18 to 24 months and less than five years after your previous live birth. Besides all the medical advice, the decision to have another baby is your personal decision. It’s something that your partner and you should decide after considering various factors including your age, how many children you desire to have and so on.
Indeed, at the end of the day, only you can decide whether you’re emotionally, mentally and physically ready to bring another life into this world without taking unnecessary risks or creating serious issues within your family circle.