Raising a baby is an exhilarating and fulfilling experience that surpasses the pains of carrying and giving birth to one. Witnessing your child’s milestones, from the first laugh to the first steps, often merits a retake. Soon enough you and your partner will be discussing the possibility of adding to your kin. Are you ready for round two? Let this guide help you decide.
1. Spacing your kids
Experts have different opinions on the right spacing between children. It ultimately boils down to you. Are you ready for the expected sleepless nights and added responsibilities that come with a new baby? Do you prefer to focus on your firstborn’s developmental years? Do you enjoy being around tots? Reflecting on such questions first will set the pace on what to prepare and be ready for.
For closely spaced siblings, they can be playmates by the time they are in preschool. Toys, entertainment, and clothes can even be shared. While the early years are demanding, you graduate from being an active parent pretty soon as well.
Although spacing doesn’t directly contribute to sibling rivalry, some experts believe that siblings with a gap of less than three years tend to be more competitive. You may consider introducing a newcomer when your eldest is about four years old.
2. Being physically and emotionally ready
Despite what research says, know that every family, child, and woman is different. Only you, with the help of your healthcare provider, can determine the best time to conceive again. Nonetheless, knowing what researches disclose can provide information you may find useful.
With that said, it’s recommended to wait 18 to 23 months before trying to conceive again. But listen to your body. Some women take faster or longer to recover from childbirth, including a C-section. If you are wary to undergo another C-section, you might want to consider a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Ask your doctor if you’re a candidate for this procedure.
Note, too, that pregnancy within 18 months may increase the chances of low birth weight and preterm birth. On the other hand, waiting for more than five years between pregnancies escalates the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, low birth weight, and preterm birth. Most also claim that it’s harder to get pregnant at around 35 years of age. Ectopic pregnancy, possibility of C-section delivery, and genetic abnormalities are more common at this age.
3. Financial preparedness
Being financially ready isn’t just about being able to pay for childbirth, but also being monetarily equipped for childcare in the years to come. Save up so that you can take time off from work after giving birth. If it’s high time for a career change to better provide for two kids, start scouting for a new job before trying to conceive. You may also need to deliberate on moving houses if a bigger one or a better community suitable for a growing family is needed.
Whether you plan to have a second baby or you are pleasantly surprised with another pregnancy, remember that this new blessing in your life will bring so much joy and love that your family can never have enough of. Realize that you will be ready for it no matter what, just trust your motherly instincts and in your ability to cope.