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I have to admit, this is something that’s been coming up in our house lately. I’m turning 30 this month and I’m definitely feeling the ticking of that biological clock. I can’t have kids for much longer! The ‘should you have another baby’ question is already on my mind… Despite having 5 kids.
I can’t just have another baby anyway. With my 4th c-section (and twins) I actually had a tubal ligation. So the only option for number 6 would be IVF. But, I also only have shared custody of my kids which means half the time it’s pretty darn childless. I hate that.
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How to Decide to Have Another Baby
Of course, there’s pros and cons to having another baby in every family at any time. I went through this with each of my kids. Was the timing right? Could we afford it? How would the other kids react? Could we handle another baby?
If you’re dealing with the same dilemma here’s some things that I find were helpful to think about:
Can I afford another baby?
This is one of the biggest reasons why people don’t have babies. They’re expensive! If money is tight this can be one of the most important reasons to not have another child.
Costs to consider:
- The extra time spent away from the workforce if you stay home
- Car seat
- Any nursery items
Personally, I know a lot of these items can be cut down and some things are completely unnecessary. When you have another baby, chances are you already have a lot of the things you’ll need. Breastfeeding, if possible, saves a lot of money. So does cloth diaper, especially if you did it with your previous kid(s). When you look at money take a look at both sides.
For us, IVF is a huge expense if we were to choose to have another baby. Otherwise we have very flexible work schedules that I could still manage. I also can’t breastfeed because of a previous double mastectomy so formula would be an issue too.
Do I have time for another baby?
When we have kids we’re always stretched thin. Adding another one to the mix can make that even more difficult. If you feel like you’re barely holding on then adding the stress of pregnancy a newborn might make things even worse.
On the other hand, at least in my experience, you adapt. I quite honestly don’t remember the first year when my twins were born (babies 4 and 5) but somehow we managed to get through it.
Will it upset your other child or children?
When you introduce another baby to your family it’s not just for you and your spouse, it’s also going to affect any kids you already have. It’s important to think about how badly a new baby will screw up their lives or if it will add to it.
Some kids adapt really well to having little siblings and take to it. You might be surprised with your kids, too. My oldest, who is very reliant on routines and hates change, would make me cards while I was sick in bed with the twins. When they were born she would hold them and help.
How will a baby affect your long term goals?
Maybe you’re planning a trip to the Maldives in 3 years with just your spouse. Or perhaps you want to retire early and are aggressively paying off debt. Will a baby affect those things? Will it set you back on your long term goals? Retirement?
You also need to think about whether or not those sacrifices are worth it. If you’re young, losing a few more years to child rearing probably won’t change your future that much. Especially if you’re already dealing with the costs of raising kids.
Because I had all 5 kids before I turned 25 I’m a very young parent. For me, adding another baby into the mix right now would set back all my ‘childless’ time by several years. Then again, it’s pretty easy to travel, downsize, and drive a sports car with just one kid at home so it wouldn’t hinder me too much.
Do you have to make any other big changes to accommodate?
When my twins were born we had to upgrade our paid off small vehicle to a mini van. It was a huge expense that we weren’t prepared for when trying to baby number 4.
Take any big changes you have to make into account before having another baby. Can your vehicle fit everyone? Is your house big enough? Does your job earn enough? Do you need to do any renovations (like finishing the basement) or move bedrooms around?
It’s also important to be prepared for the unexpected. I tried for one baby and got two. Can you handle something similar?
Do you really want another baby?
This question can really go both ways. If you really want another baby, even if some things will be tough, then I say go for it. In my experince things have a way of working out.
Then again, if you’re not sure you want one don’t just because you ‘can’. At some point you have to decide when enough is enough.
So back to the original question: Should you have another baby? It’s complicated but my bottom line suggestion is that if you can make it work, and want to, the answer is yes.