It's starting to dawn on you that your baby isn't so much of a baby anymore and friends with children around their age are telling you they're pregnant again. You're starting to ask yourself, Am I ready to have another baby? Do I even want another baby? What time is the right time? Well, here are five questions to mull over to help you determine if you're ready to give your firstborn a sibling.
Does Your Partner Want Another Child?
Let's face it, if your better half isn't on board with having a second child, then it probably isn't the best idea. You both need to be in a place of desiring multiple children and juggling the added responsibilities that more than one kid brings. If you honestly don't know how your partner feels about having more children, sit down and have a chat. Talk through the pros and cons of having baby #2 and you will hopefully walk away with a lot of clarity.
Can You Afford Another Baby?
The most recent Expenditures on Children by Families report released by the USDA determined that middle-class families with children born in 2011 can expect to spend $234,900 raising their child through age 17. Not only is having another baby a huge life commitment, it is a huge financial commitment as well.
- If your first child is still in diapers, can you afford to have two in diapers at once?
- If you're a working mom who uses child care, will you be able to afford care for two children?
Think through all of the short and long term added expenses of growing your family and crunch some numbers. This is the logical side of deciding if you're really ready.
Is Your Firstborn Ready to Be A Big Brother/Sister?
A new baby will rock your firstborn child's world. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you need to consider whether or not they are ready for a sibling. Obviously, if you currently have a one year old they aren’t going to walk up to you and say, “Mommy I want a baby brother or sister!” But, analyzing their personality and their current needs can help you decide if now is the right time to give them a baby sibling.
- Are you still waking up throughout the night with your firstborn?
- Are they still in diapers?
- Are they good at playing by themselves or do they still require a lot of your undivided attention for stimulation?
These are all questions you can ask yourself to help you determine if your only child is ready to share you with another baby.
Will Baby #2 Fit In With Your Current Lifestyle?
When planning for a baby, in a perfect world you want that baby to fit in to your life as seamlessly as possible. You want to feel like you can’t imagine life without them once they’re here. So, it is important to consider just how much of your current lifestyle you would need to change to accommodate another family member.
- Would you need to buy a new car?
- A bigger house?
- Leave your job or take on a second job?
- If you do need to make any major changes, are you prepared to do so?
Is Your Heart Telling You You're Ready for Baby #2?
Maybe you’re still on the fence about whether you can afford another baby and you aren’t quite sure how your firstborn will react to being an older sibling, but you’re suffering from major baby fever and you just know that you’re meant to have more children. Nothing is a better indicator of the “right time” to expand your family than your own gut instincts. As cheesy as it sounds, sometimes you really do just have to follow your heart.
Photo Credit: Dreams To Do