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Now that your child is almost 1 year old, you might be considering whether or not you’re ready to have another baby.
Talk to your partner
The most important thing you can do at this stage is to sit down and have a full and honest heart-to-heart with your partner about whether you’re both up for the challenge of trying to conceive again. Even if it had always been your intention to have another baby, you should definitely check in with each other to see if your current ideas match up with the original plan. Sometimes it can be difficult if you and your partner are not quite in sync about your views. The best advice we can give you is to listen to each other carefully and not launch into any arguments or upset if you don’t like what you hear. Your partner may be making some valid points.
Your 1 year old
One of the things that you might discuss with your partner, is whether you’re planning on bringing a new addition into the family for yourselves, or for your 1 year old. This may seem like an odd notion, but many couples are happy with just having one child and decide to have a second child as a playmate for their first child, rather than having any burning desire to start from scratch with a newborn again. Some parents can be so grateful that they have managed to raise a healthy and happy 1 year old, that it seems too risky and almost greedy to try again and replicate their experience with a second child. In many cases, this is just a parent’s natural paranoia coming through.
But if you are genuinely happy with just having one child, then don’t feel guilted into having another just to benefit your baby. Although the phrase ‘an only child is a lonely child’ gets banded around a lot, sometimes admittedly for good reason, there are many ways to create a great social environment for your child (cousins and friends of the family are great playmate choices for your baby).
Although many women are now able to conceive in their early 40s, statistics are still showing that fertility rates decline massively after the age of 35. If you’re in your 20s or early 30s and don’t have any known conception problems, then you have a little time to wait before trying for another child, but if you’re in your late 30s and want another child (or more) then you really don’t have time to be flexible.
Money is usually a huge issue when planning any baby. Think about your situation carefully. Have you returned to work? Do you feel as though you need to stay at your work for a certain period of time before falling pregnant again? If you are paying for childcare whilst working, is there any point in continuing to work if your childcare costs are potentially doubled with the addition of another child.
Each child you bring into the world costs thousands of pounds to raise, so you might want to feel a little bit more comfortable in the wallet department, before you consider pro-creating once again. Although some people will rightly tell you that there is never a good time to have another baby, but people just get on and do it anyway and they manage to cope. So sometimes it is possible to overthink these things.
Are you starting to get used to having a full night’s sleep again? Are you and your partner enjoying being able to leave your baby with a sitter whilst going for a romantic evening out and not needing to worry about feeds? Think carefully about whether you’re ready to go back to square one and do this all again. Of course if you are going to eventually have another baby anyway, then some say that there is an advantage to getting the crazy years out of the way all in one go. Only you and your partner can make this decision.