When you have your fist baby, your life turns upside-down. It feels like the moment you leave the hospital, your friends and relatives start asking when you will give your child a little brother or sister. You may have always envisioned yourself with more than one child, but the idea may also lead you to ask am I ready for baby number two?
For some parents, the idea of having a second child right away is overwhelming. They worry that they haven't had enough time to bond, or that they couldn't possibly love another child as much as their first. For others, the decision is a no-brainer. They have always wanted more than one child, and they feel that there is no point in putting it off.
There are the parents that need to have everything just so before they consider trying for another child, and then there are the parents who subscribe to the "when it happens, it happens" school of thought. Growing your family is a very personal decision, and only you and your spouse can decide when is the right time. But if you aren't sure what to consider before trying to conceive, the following are some signs that maybe it's the right time to expand your brood.
1You Can Afford It
Money is a big concern when starting a family. If you are in a comfortable financial situation, with stable employment, it may be a sign that now is as good of a time as any to try for another baby.
2You (Or Your Spouse) Are Getting Older
You know you want more than one child, but if you or your spouse are 35 or older, you might want to consider having your next child sooner than later. The March of Dimes noted that, "being pregnant after age 35 makes certain complications more likely, including premature birth, birth defects and getting pregnant with multiples."
3You're Ready To Get Your Career Back On Track
It may seem counter-intuitive to have another child if you are hoping to focus on your career, however the longer you wait to get pregnant, the more your work obligations may influence you not to. Having your kids closer together means being at a point where you no longer need to consider taking time off for maternity leave when planning future projects.
4It Took A Long Time To Get Pregnant The Last Time
You should consider whether you had trouble conceiving or needed medical intervention when deciding on the right time to try for baby number two. If you know that you want your children to be less than five years apart you probably shouldn't wait until your first child is four to begin trying, especially if it took a year or more to conceive.
5You Already Have Everything You Need
The best part about having a second child relatively soon after your first is that you already have all of the gear. You don't have to dig it all out of the attic or feel compelled to loan it to a friend who may not return it in the same condition. Your maternity clothes will still be in style and your first child's hand-me-down haven't had time to yellow in storage.
6Your Hands Aren't Too Full
A second baby means double the work and double the responsibility. If you are already overwhelmed trying to raise your child while balancing work, home, and other family obligations, it may not be the right time to consider expanding your family. Consider waiting until things settle down, or reprioritize. Sometimes moms find themselves taking on unnecessary obligations, especially if they stay at home.
7You Have Help
If you are lucky enough to have a parent, in-law, or other relative who is able to help you with your kids, it may be a sign that you can start trying for your second baby. Having someone who can give you a hand when you are still finding your bearings as a new mom of two is priceless.
8You Have Room In Your Home And Heart
You've always known that you want more children, but couldn't decide on the right time. If your home and your heart don't quite feel complete, it may be time to consider having another child.
9You're Ready To Move On To The Next Stage In Life
Putting off having your next child is also postponing that wonderful time in your life when your kids are old enough to be self-sufficient and do most things independently. Travel is so much more relaxing when you aren't worrying about diapers, strollers, or car seats. You can take your kids to a Broadway show in New York City, or go stand-up paddle boarding in Florida. The longer you wait in between your kids, the longer you will have to opt out of certain adventures.