Choosing whether or not to have another child is one of the most personal decisions you’ll ever make. So we can’t promise any answers to the question ‘Should I have another baby?’, but here are some questions that other mamas have asked themselves when they’ve been deciding whether their family’s next chapter includes a new main character.
In this article: 📝
- How do I know if I really want another baby? Things to consider
- Let’s talk about our feelings
- Other things to think about
- Should I have another baby? The final word
How do I know if I really want another baby? Things to consider
Can you afford it?
This is the big, logical, responsible thing to consider when you’re deciding whether to have a second child.
There’s no denying that kids are expensive. You’ll probably have a lot of the baby stuff you need already, but you can wipe out any savings you’d make here if you’d need, for example, a bigger car.
It’s also worth considering how things will look further down the line – whether the kind of holidays you like will be more expensive for a bigger family, whether you’d like to be able to send your kids to clubs or camps or pay for them to learn to drive when they’re older.
Do you have space?
More kids create more chaos. What would that look like in your home?
Babies don’t take up that much space, but young kids with toys have a habit of spreading themselves through the house.
And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing a bedroom, would you rather be able to give each child their own space?
What about your job?
Some jobs are easy to return to after a long break, and there are others where things change quickly and it’s harder to slot back in. In some cases, you might also have to work for a certain number of months before you can take more paid maternity leave.
This one is down to your location, your specialty, and your employer.
Let’s talk about our feelings
You can make as many pro and con lists as you like but, for a lot of women, deciding to have another baby is something you do with your heart, not your brain.
So don’t forget to think about the emotional side of things too.
How are you coping?
You’re absolutely allowed to think about how having another child would impact your ability to look after yourself.
Have you got time for self-care at the moment, whatever that looks like for you? Have you got all the support you need?
If you’d say no, the answer to the question ‘Should I have another kid?’ might be ‘Not yet.’
What about your partner?
Obviously, couples should agree on whether they’re both ready to have another baby.
And if you don’t see eye to eye, most families would choose to listen to the person who isn’t convinced.
Whether that’s because they don’t relish the idea of another pregnancy, or because they’re looking forward to adventures with older kids without worrying about packing a diaper bag.
And the future big brother or sister?
There are good things and bad things about every potential age gap, but adding another child into your family is always going to be a massive adjustment for their siblings.
If there is an answer to the question ‘When should you not have another baby?’ it might be ‘When having another child would take away too much of your energy from the children you already have.’
Other things to think about
If you get pregnant again within 12 months of having a baby, you have a slightly higher risk of complications.
If you’ve had a c-section, the advice is to wait for 12–18 months to give your body time to heal completely.
Having said that, if you’re an older parent and you know you want a bigger family, it might be easier to get pregnant again if you don’t wait.
We’d recommend asking your doctor for advice on your specific situation before you start TTC.
The average size of a family has been decreasing for a while.
One of the reasons? More families are thinking about their carbon footprint.
There are lots of things that you can do to reduce the environmental impact of having a baby – using cloth diapers, buying your baby supplies second-hand, using public transport instead of buying a bigger car.
These steps are amazing but, for some mamas, it’s not enough to outweigh the fact that their baby is a future grown-up who’ll also be using resources one day.
The second one is different
Everything about having another baby is unpredictable, but here are the things that probably will be different.
You might like to think about this list when you’re deciding to have a second child (or a third, or a fourth…):
- For better or worse, you might have a totally different experience of pregnancy the second time around, or your TTC journey might look very different.
- You could move your life around for your first kid, but your second has to fit into the routine that your family has now.
- If you have other kids, it’s not so easy to rest, or even drink a hot cup of coffee while the baby is sleeping. That’s now someone else’s chance to get your full attention.
- Your maternity leave will look different the second time. You might find it harder to meet other parents if you have to arrange get-togethers around school drop-offs, and you might find that you have less in common with first-time-mamas.
- Your first might have been an ‘easy baby’. The second one might give you more broken nights, or need more time to be soothed, or have more doctor’s appointments than you anticipated (but don’t worry – the reverse can be true as well).
All this being said, if the unknowns of having another child seem daunting, you do have one major thing on your side: you know you can do it because you’ve done it before.
Should I have another baby? The final word
The choice to stick or twist when it comes to having children is completely yours.
It’s okay to make spreadsheets, and it’s okay to take a leap based on your gut.
Do you know that you’re done? Or do you still put your first child’s outgrown clothes away thinking that someone else will get to wear them one day?
The best thing you can do is to take the time and space you need.
Talk to your partner, your friends, a counselor, or your Peanut community, and do what feels best for you.
Your family is beautiful, however large it turns out to be.