Dear Just Add Baby: When should we have a second baby?
Penelope: Almost any spacing has advantages and disadvantages. It's a very personal decision. You might base it on companionship, finances, home and vehicle accommodations, physical and mental health, your age, fertility -- any number of factors.
Andi: And it's not always your choice, either. Sometimes pregnancy doesn't happen right away. And sometimes it happens when you are least expecting it...
Penelope: So true! Assuming, however, that you do get to have some say, you and your partner need to agree that another baby is something you both want.
Andi: You also need to consider the family dynamic. With only so much time in a day, and only so much Mommy and Daddy to go around, finding a balance can seem almost impossible. Finding a way to deal with the demands of a baby and another child (or children) definitely takes some time.
Penelope: Then there are the practical considerations: Do you have space in your home for another child? Can you afford a new baby?
Andi: Financial planning is important. You have to consider expenses like food and clothing, toys, carseats, highchairs, school and childcare expenses... the list goes on. Don't forget about your need for more life insurance and starting another college fund. When I think about it, I don't know many people who, on paper, could technically "afford" another baby. You just make it work. You have to.
Penelope: For most people, there could never be enough money or space anyway! But if you wait until you definitely have more than enough money to have another baby, it will be too late. You'll have already retired and put your fertile years decades behind you!
Penelope: I'm one of the biggest control-freaks on the planet, but I can't stand anything coming between me and my zzzz's.
Andi: Just be flexible when planning a new addition. Don't get your hopes up and expect everything to go precisely as you planned. Obstacles like fertility problems, miscarriage, job changes, a move -- all can skew your plans.
Penelope: In fact, flexibility will serve you well throughout parenthood -- especially when you have more than one child!