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3Princes 07-07-08 10:12 PM

Are you ready for another baby?
 
I pulled this from another site. I just cut and pasted.

There are many things to consider before having a second child like your financial situation, job, lifestyle, and of course, the potential effects on your other children.

Most experts agree that it’s best to wait until your first child is at least 1 and a half before having another baby. Experts say this is the ideal amount of time to allow the first children to handle the change. If your child for whatever reason requires extra attention, you may want to consider holding off at least until your child is more independent.

Other things to consider are your lifestyle for example. Having a baby means big changes to your life and routine. Also what’s your financial situation like, the cost of having a baby is very expensive these days. And finally one of the most important factors is your age. Age can affect fertility therefore your age will play a major role in your ability to space out your pregnancies.

How old is your other child (or children)?


There is no right or wrong answer here, though the research, above, suggests it might not be wise to get pregnant if you've got a baby under six months. People go both ways on this question. Some think the older your other children, the better. That way they've had plenty of time with you and they can understand and even talk about the effect another child might have. Others think spacing your children close together ensures they'll be playmates for life, and that you won't be spending the rest of your life raising small children.

Here's what some other mums have to say on the subject:

• Sue Wilkes, who works for a publishing company, says: "My two boys are three and half years apart and I think that spacing is great. My older son was out of nappies by the time the younger one was born, so I loved the idea of having a baby again. And they've got their own lives, so I don't get a lot of sibling rivalry. In fact, they really enjoy being with each other."

• Hannah Lumley, a midwife who is pregnant with her third child, says: "My first two are three and half years apart. That gave me plenty of time alone with my first. I think the older the child, the better, because they're that much more independent and can mentally and emotionally handle the baby. In some ways I wish there was a bigger age gap between my second child and the new baby -- they'll only be two years apart. I'm dreading having two in nappies at the same time. And I'm worried about the physical challenge of having two who need so much of my time."

• Shop manager Cathy Duke says: "My three children are all about a year and half apart, and although it was really tough when they were all babies, in many ways it was great. They really entertained each other and have stayed very close."


How will another child change your lifestyle?


Are you settled into a nice routine with your other children? Do you have good childcare set up? Are your other children sleeping through the night? Perhaps you've reached the point where you and your partner have time for each other again. Maybe you've gone back to work and you love it. These are all important considerations when you're thinking of having another. Remember, a newborn will take over your life. Consider whether you have the time and energy an infant requires, and whether your children are ready to deal with the reality of a baby in the house.


What's your financial situation?


Money isn't everything, but you do need some financial stability when you're raising a family. Considering that each child costs thousands of pounds a year to care for, you'll need a little extra in your monthly budget before you conceive another child (or you'll need to pull your belt in another notch!). It's important to consider your work situation, too. Many women find it more difficult to keep up with full- or even part-time work once the second or third child comes along. Can you afford to stay at home or to pay for the new baby's childcare if you want to stay in your job?

"My daughter is almost four and we haven't had another yet because we're worried about affording everything," says Stephanie Newman, who works in a building society. "We didn't have much money when we had our first so we know what it's like not to be able to pay for things. We want to be better prepared for the next one."


How old are you?


Age is a factor for women who are planning to have more than one child. If you're 38 years old and you want two more children, for example, you don't have the luxury of spacing them three years apart. But if you're under 30 and you don't have any health problems that could make conception difficult, you can be a little more flexible with your timing. There are no hard and fast cut-offs in terms of age. Many women can still get pregnant in their early 40s but fertility rates do drop dramatically once you reach 35.


Do you and your partner agree?


Sometimes one partner is ready and the other isn't. It's hard to be in sync all the time. This is a tough one to settle but the first step is to start talking about your differences. Sit down together and discuss your points of view. You may not solve anything at that moment but you'll have a better understanding of the issues. It might help to talk to others in this situation too.


What does your heart say?


You can mull over the pluses and minuses of having another child forever, without coming to a firm conclusion. This is one of those decisions that's best led by the heart, so go ahead and follow yours. If you want another baby, and your partner (if you have one) wants one too, there may be no time like the present.


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