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Our second baby was a planned surprise. Sounds oxymoronic, doesn’t it?
We knew we’d have to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant and weren’t sure how long the process would take. While I found myself asking the question, “Am I ready to have another baby?” I was also scared the first round or two wouldn’t work.
Instead of putting off our fertility treatments, we figured we might as well get the ball rolling.
Since we got lucky and conceived after only one IVF cycle the first time, we figured there was no way things would happen as quickly during the second go-around.
We assumed our luck had run out.
So, despite not being entirely sure we were ready to have another baby, we jumped in and started the party, only to conceive the first time again.
Now listen, I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I’m incredibly grateful that we got pregnant as quickly as we did, and I know how fortunate we were. That doesn’t negate that I was a little panicked, though.
Was I ready to be a mom of two?
Could we handle another baby?
Now that we’d gone through fertility treatments, was affording another mouth to feed even possible?
Fear of the “right time” to expand your family is natural. After all, it’s a major life decision. Unfortunately, there’s not always a clear-cut answer.
What there can be is logical thinking.
Instead of sitting idly by freaking out over whether you can handle a new addition, why not ask yourself questions to make the most educated decision possible?
Still, trying to figure out where to start? No problem!
Below we’ve listed fifteen questions for every family on the fence about getting pregnant. These will help you decide if you’re mentally, physically, logistically, and financially prepared to start this exciting new chapter in your life.
Are You Ready for Another Baby? 15 Questions to Help You Decide
From an insane amount of baby registry must-haves to the cost of childbirth, there are many factors to consider before conceiving your next baby. The questions below will help you mull over a broad range of topics you might want to think about before getting pregnant again.
1. Do I WANT Another Baby?
First and foremost, let’s get this one out of the way–do you WANT another baby? I get that babies are cute, sweet, and smell rather intoxicating, but those aren’t good reasons to add to your family.
Some people choose to have another baby just because they think it’s what they’re SUPPOSED to do.
Spoiler Alert: There’s no right or wrong answer regarding how many children a person should have.
If you and your partner are satisfied with being a one-child household, you CAN leave it at that. Just because society, or your parents, thinks you should have more doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your unique circumstances.
2. Can I Afford Another Baby?
Babies come with so much STUFF; diapers, strollers, cribs, car seats, the list goes on and on…
Beyond buying more baby gear, many other expenses come with another baby, too. These include daycare, medical bills, food, and other general living expenses. Plus, the small (lol) matter of having the baby and paying for prenatal visits, hospital stays, and delivery.
One of the best things you can do for your financial state is to consider budgeting for baby.
You should look at your current expenses and consider how much more another little one will require. Once you have the final numbers, consider whether your financial situation can accommodate the changes.
3. Are My Partner and I On the Same Page About Growing Our Family?
Do you and your partner agree this is the best time to have a baby?
Even if one of you is ready, not being on the same page can lead to serious relationship problems. After all, studies show that many couples face changes in their relationships after welcoming a new addition.
4. How Will My Child(ren) React to Another Baby?
Getting a new sibling is a significant milestone for any child. Often, the transition comes with a wide range of emotions.
While feelings like jealousy and confusion aren’t uncommon when you bring a new baby home, it’s important to consider how older children will handle the change when deciding whether to have baby number 2 or beyond.
If, for instance, your current babies are going through a tough time or dealing with new challenges, like potty training problems, bringing another child into the home could be hard for them.
5. Will Infertility Troubles Make It Hard for Me to Conceive?
This was the big question my husband and I asked ourselves before trying to get pregnant with our second child.
We knew that another IVF cycle was in the cards for us. What we couldn’t predict, however, was whether that process would work.
If you struggled with infertility previously and know it’s possible in the future, this could be a good reason to try and get pregnant sooner rather than later.
6. Do I Have the Mental Capacity to Support More Children?
Being a parent can be a mentally taxing experience, especially when you’re struggling with mental health disorders, such as postpartum depression (PPD) or dealing with postpartum anxiety.
If you’re suffering mentally or emotionally (or if you experienced PPD or PPA with your other babies), it’s worth asking whether another baby will be too much. We’re not saying people with these disorders shouldn’t have more children, but it IS important to ask these questions and work with your partner and mental health professional to have a good support system in place before trying again.
7. Is There Space in My Home for a Second Baby?
Yes, babies are little, but they still take up space (especially when you consider the mountains of sh*t they come with!). When you’re debating whether you’re ready to get pregnant again, consider the current layout of your home and figure out whether there’s room to bring another person into your household.
8. Is My Body Physically Ready for Another Pregnancy?
To avoid potential health problems or pregnancy complications, health professionals suggest waiting at least 18-24 months between pregnancies, but not more than five years.
Pregnancy is hard on our bodies. While there’s nothing wrong with having your babies close in age so they’ll be small children together, it is important to consider how that might affect YOU.
If you’re unsure whether it’s too soon for a second pregnancy, it can’t hurt to check with your ob/gyn first.
9. Will My Age Affect My Fertility?
Just as some of us are ready to grow our families quickly, other families prefer more time between little ones, and that’s okay, too!
Something to think about, however, is the connection between age and fertility.
It’s a super shitty truth, but we mamas don’t necessarily have the luxury of time on our side regarding our ability to get pregnant. Once we hit 35, our chances of conceiving naturally diminish.
Trust me; I’m not saying that just because you’re approaching your 35th birthday, it’s time to rush out and get knocked up. If you’re asking yourself, “Am I ready to have another baby?” your age is something to think about, though.
10. Are My Friends Having More Kids?
Okay, this might sound like a silly question to some, but it’s also a decision-maker for others. Many of us dream of raising our kids with friends or their cousins. While you shouldn’t let your BFF’s choices influence yours completely, if you think another baby might be lovely, and they do, too, it could help you figure out which way you’re leaning.
11. Do I Have a Strong Support System?
Having reliable support, be it your partner, family members, or best friend, is helpful when bringing a new baby into the family.
These folks can help guide you through various tasks, such as babysitting your older kids, preparing meals, or looking after the new addition while you shower. Raising a baby takes a village, as they say. Deciding to get pregnant can be more of a challenge when you don’t have support behind you.
12. Will it Be Hard to Find Daycare for My Baby?
Whether or not you can afford daycare for more than one kid might be a significant question for your family. More than just money, though, you need to know that daycare options are available.
For example, the area where we live is currently experiencing daycare shortages. Most facilities have long waiting lists before children can start attending daycare. If you know that childcare is part of your parenting plan, start looking into options early.
13. What’s My Relationship Like?
Most of us have heard stories about couples having babies to “save their relationships.”
It usually doesn’t go well.
Before having another baby, consider the health of your romantic partnership. If you’re experiencing struggles, it might be a good idea to visit a counselor or put in some work before you think about getting pregnant.
14. Has Enough Time Gone By for Another Baby?
Okay, true; there’s no right or wrong amount of time you should wait between having babies. What works for one family might be a disaster for another.
When it comes to child spacing, there are pros and cons to every age gap. Do you want your kids close, so you get out of the “baby stage” more quickly? Would you rather only have one baby in diapers at a time? Do you want to give your older child plenty of time to be the baby before you bring a sibling into the family?
Questions like these will help you determine how long you should wait between having kids.
15. Do I “Feel” Ready?
Last, and possibly, most importantly–do you feel ready to have another baby?
Basing your decision on your feelings isn’t the most scientific or logistical way to decide, but sometimes it is the best option. I often say that while having a baby is a challenge, no matter what, you can usually make it work.
If you’re waiting for the “perfect” time to expand your family, it might not ever come. You can always find reasons why you should wait, but sometimes all you need to worry about is the desire to bring another beautiful person into the world.
Want More Help? Take This “Should I Have Another Baby?” Quiz
Still confused about whether it’s the right time to expand your family? Take this simple “Should I have another baby?” quiz!
Note: This is not a surefire answer to your questions about getting pregnant again. Only you can truly determine whether you’re ready. If you can answer yes to a majority of the questions below, however, it’s a good indicator that your family can handle a new addition.
Answer yes or no to the questions below to help you answer the question: “Am I ready to have another baby?”
- What’s my gut reaction to the idea of another baby?
- Can our family afford another baby (e.g., baby gear, hospital bills, daycare, etc.)?
- Are my partner and I in a good place in our relationship?
- Do we agree on trying to grow our family?
- Do we want another baby in hopes that it will ‘fix things’?
- (If you answer yes to this question, we strongly recommend working on your relationship before trying to have another baby)
- Can my mental health handle the load of being responsible for another person?
- Do I have access to the mental health resources I might need to support me through this process?
- Will our older child(ren) adjust well to a new sibling?
- Has my body recovered from previous pregnancies and delivery?
- Do I have good support to help us handle this transition?
- Do I FEEL ready to get pregnant again?
So, what do you think? Can you answer the question, “Am I ready to have another baby?”
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.