Should we have another baby?

Evaluate the Reasons

Ask yourself why you want another baby. Do you want your first child to have a sibling? Do you love nurturing a young mind and body? Do you have a sense that the empty chair at your table should have someone else sitting there? Do you feel pressure to have another baby? Are you worried this might be your last chance before you get too old?

You may be flooding yourself with questions about why you do or don't want another baby. When it comes down to it, think about your primary reason for wanting to have another baby (or not wanting another child).

Once you pull this primary reason out from within, you'll often be able to answer your should I/shouldn't I question. That number one reason will say a lot about where you are right now in life and how you want to raise your family.

We often think of how our lives would be if we added something to them. It's also a good idea to think about your life if you didn't add something, another person, to your family. You may feel like your family is complete with one child or you may feel like someone you haven't met yet is missing.

This simple question can reveal a range of emotions, from potential regret to relief. Explore these emotions, because they can give you a candid look at how you really feel about having another baby.

Parenting Challenges

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In the event of the unthinkable

Not a fun topic at all but a very important exercise to do. Hopefully you, your other half and your kids are all healthy but what if something tragic happens? How will having one more baby change the result? Here are three possible situations that could happen.

A parent dies

Let’s say you die, or you lose your significant other. Can you handle the number of kids you want by yourself? Personally, I would be able to handle my two kids but three would be pushing it on my own. I know for sure my husband would not be okay with three kids on his own.

Both parents die

If our children lose both of us, then I really want them to be able to stay together. This means I need to have a family member who would take in all of them. I know I have a couple of options right now, but I am not sure if any could handle taking in all of my kids if I decided to have more. Let’s say I did have a family member who could take in more. Do I believe they can still parent well?

A child gets sick

Having a sick child can take a big toll on a family. It means that child needs a lot more time and energy than if they weren’t sick. Your other kids will be affected by this. Your other half will have to pick up the slack. Another reason why it’s important that the number of kids you have fits both you and your other half.

Should I have another baby or not?

Trying to decide if you should have another baby is a hard decision. I hope by sharing some points to consider, you will have some food for thought to help make that decision. In the end, if you decide on one more baby, I know you will love them dearly. In some ways, the harder decision is to stop having kids because welcoming a child into this world is a slice of heaven.

Some days I am sad that I will never have another child, but I have come to realize that part of that sadness is from wishing I could have one more day with my babies who are older now. I know I would feel this no matter many kids I had. As my kids get older, all I really want is more time with them at each age.

I know we made the right decision for our children and our family. I also know that by not having another baby, I will have more time and energy for my other children.

I have also learned that every family is truly unique and only they know the perfect number for them.

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How Will a New Baby Affect the Lives of Your Other Children?

Babies have an effect on the whole house, not just mom and dad. How a new sibling will affect the child you do have isn’t a reason to have (or not have) more children, but the unique characteristics of the child you already have should factor into your decision.

Why Do I Want Another Child?

Reasons may run the gamut from wanting a sibling for your child, to simply loving to raise children. Consider what you know of yourself, your view of family life, your own upbringing – the countless reasons of the heart. If it’s the amazing experiences of pregnancy and childbirth you miss, remember that your commitment only begins with these and continues long after the baby’s arrival. If you’re considering another child due to pressure from your parents, in-laws, other relations or friends, tune their voices out for a bit and listen only to those of yourself and your mate. This decision must come from the two people who know your situation best, and who will have to live the day-to-day realities of another child.

What does the research say?

In terms of the children’s relationships with their parents, sibling rivalry, and their own self-esteem, Jeannie Kidwell, a former professor of family studies at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, says the best time to have another baby is either when your first is younger than 1 or older than 4. Babies who aren’t yet 1 don’t have a sense of their exclusive status, so they’re less apt to resent a newcomer, she says. And children older than 4 have had time to enjoy attention from Mommy and Daddy – plus, they’re now involved in activities of their own.

When it comes to the health of your baby, waiting two or three years before you get pregnant again may tip the odds somewhat in your baby’s favor.

Studies suggest that getting pregnant within 18 months after your first child is born can make it more likely that your second child will be born early, underweight, or smaller than usual for the number of months he was in the womb.

Research also suggests that if you get pregnant within 12 months of giving birth, you may be at higher risk of placental abruption and, if you previously had a c-section, placenta previa.

If all this sounds confusing, let’s put it in perspective. Researchers don’t know for sure why waiting a short time between pregnancies raises certain risks, but they have some ideas.

One is that the mother’s body needs time to replenish vitamins and nutrients before giving birth again. So whether you’re pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or want to wait, see your doctor early to get the right care and advice, eat a balanced diet, take prenatal vitamins with folic acid, and keep your body as healthy as you can.

So waiting longer is the way to go, right? Maybe.

It turns out that waiting more than five years to have your second child is also less than ideal. Some studies show that low birth weight, preterm birth, and smaller size are more likely in babies whose moms let five years or more pass before they get pregnant, and the mothers are at higher risk of developing preeclampsia

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