Having a baby is an exciting adventure. There are all kinds of firsts to experience – the first smile, first words, first tooth, first steps, and so much more. Some parents feel their family is complete after one. Many other parents, however, want to have at least one more. Deciding when to have another baby, however, can be a bit difficult. Here are a few questions for you and your partner to ask yourselves to help you decide if now is the right time.
5 Questions To Ask Before Having Another Baby:
1. Can You Afford Another Baby?
The cost of raising children rises every year. Between diapers, food, clothing, childcare, toys, medical expenses, and more, it certainly isn’t cheap. The costs can add up quickly, especially if you’re running on tight margins as it is. If you’re considering another baby, you and your spouse need to go over your financial situation. Write down your monthly net income and your gross income. If you’re wondering, “what does gross income mean as opposed to net income,” your gross is the amount you make before taxes and other withholdings.
Once you have your monthly income, subtract your monthly expenses to see where you sit. While finances alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor, this information can help you to determine if you should wait a little longer to save up a bit.
2. Do You Have Space in Your Home?
Another baby will require extra space in your home. Do you have a free room for the baby to sleep? Is there enough space for a crib, toys, clothes, and storage? If your current residence isn’t large enough to accommodate another person, you may want to wait until you’ve moved to a bigger home before you add another family member.
3. How Does Your Child Feel About Having a Sibling?
If your first child is old enough, ask how they feel about adding another child. After all, it’s not just you and your partner’s lives that will be affected by the new addition. Your first child’s life will change forever, too.
Even if your child isn’t quite old enough to vocalize their opinions, there are some things you can do to gauge their feelings and get them ready for the possibility of a new addition. There are plenty of books geared toward preparing a child to become a big brother or sister. You can also get your child a doll (or a “baby” of their own) and teach them how to take care of it.
4. Can You Physically Handle Another Pregnancy?
While every pregnancy is different, you do need to consider if you’re physically ready to handle carrying another baby for nine months. Those who had a difficult or painful first pregnancy (or that experienced a traumatic birth) may be a bit hesitant when it comes to getting pregnant again. Even those who had a relatively easy first pregnancy may find themselves wondering if they can manage another one. Take your health, both physical and mental, into consideration when making your decision.
5. How Do You and Your Spouse Feel About Another Baby?
It’s crucial to weigh your feelings and your spouse’s feelings when deciding to have another baby. You might want to have one or two more, but your spouse may not want anymore (or vice versa). Or, perhaps your spouse is hesitant, but they’re open to the idea. Open and honest communication is essential. Adding another family member will change your family forever, so everyone needs to be on the same page.
Every family is different. Some feel they’re complete with one child, while others want several. There is no right or wrong answer here. If you’re considering another baby, it’s time to sit down and have a good, long discussion with your partner. If your first child is old enough, don’t forget to include him or her in some of the talks as well. Together, you’ll find the best answer for your family.