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The Perfect Age to Have a Baby

Ok ok, obviously the time is different for everyone and from what I’ve hear you’re never really “ready,” but for the sake of my blog, humor me a little while I compare and contrast the perfect age to have a baby.

As of now I’m thinking I’ll be in my 20s when I have my first child, but that has fluctuated over my four years of marriage. I have no intentions of being in my 40s but early 30s could be a possibility. Here are some interesting tidbits I learned from a very long article about the perfect age to have a baby.

20s

-“Physically, the 20s are the ideal time for pregnancy,” doctors say. Because your body is primed to handle the demands of carrying a baby.
-You’re less likely to have pregnancy complications or babies with Down Syndrome.
-You can also grow up with your child (I’m personally not a fan of that idea, I can’t imagine having a teenager before I’m 40… SCARY!!!
-Mentally: A lot of my (non-LDS) friends won’t have kids yet, and I may have to put my career/advanced education on hold for awhile.
-Also, still relatively new in a marriage, we’d have to make sure we plan more time for each other.

Stories:

Carla decided 21 was the perfect age to have a babyCarla (was 21)-The down side: Being a young mom means that it’s hard not to be selfish about my time. I used to sleep in, read, or watch TV whenever I wanted and go out with friends any night I pleased. All these freedoms go away when you’re a parent.

The good side: Bouncing back after pregnancies is easier when you’re younger. I’ve gotten down to my starting weight after each one. Two weeks after I had Aliza I was in a bridesmaid dress.

I’m happy that my kids have young grandparents — they’re all in their 50s — and seven great-grandparents. I’m always calling my mom and mother-in-law for advice

Samantha (was 25)– My career had been important to me — I was just starting out and was veryMom decided 25 was the perfect age to have a baby ambitious. But during my maternity leave, I realized that motherhood was what life was about for me right now.

My friends hadn’t had kids yet. Some of my closest mom friends are women in their 30s and 40s whom I met in the neighborhood or at playgroups. They were eager to take me under their wing and share their wisdom.

There are times when Chris and I hear about all the wild things our single friends are doing and we’re envious. But then something magical happens at home with our boys and we’re reminded that we have such a full life to be thankful for.

30s

-At higher risk of developing certain complications. But the majority of healthy women still have uneventful pregnancies at this age. At age 35 there’s 1/200 chance of having a child with Down Syndrome.
-More likely to have a C-section
-Mentally: I’ve had time for myself and my marriage, and I’ve accomplished some professional goals. This could give peace of mind if wanting to take a break to spend time with spawn.
-It’ll be easier to find a support group of pregnant friends and get advice.

Stories:

Carol (was 30)– Good side: Financial stability — we own our own apartment now, and we’ve got some money saved for Emily’s education. It also meant that Emily doesn’t have to compete with my career. I put so much time and energy into my job in my 20s that I felt like I was able to step back a little once I had her. I found a new position within the company that allows me to work at home sometimes, so I can spend more time with her.

Because we waited to have kids, our parents are all retired or about to retire, which means I get a lot of help! My parents-in-law watch Emily every day while I’m at work.

(apparently she had no down sides)

Erica decided 36 was the perfect age to have a babyErica (was 36)– I’m glad that I had time to be spontaneous, go out with friends, and travel before having kids — it’s a lot harder to get out of the house and do things when you have a baby. And I feel like I’m a better person for having had the experiences I did before having Lena. I just hope that she’ll feel the same way and that she’ll keep me young.

40s

-Having a baby in your 40s is common these days, and the majority of older mothers have totally normal pregnancies. Still, the risk of complications rises after age 40.
-This is crazy: If you’re physically fit, eat well, and don’t have preexisting health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, your overall risk of other pregnancy complications isn’t markedly higher than that of a woman in her 20s or 30s.
-The self-confidence and perspective you’ve picked up in your life may make you more patient in dealing with a demanding newborn.

Story:

Andrea (was 44)-Down sides: My friends’ children are now in college, so I’m completely out of sync! They went through all the sleepless nights and playdates and pediatrician appointments years ago — and I’m just starting. I honestly don’t feel my age at all, but I realize that as I get older it’s going to become more challenging.

It seemed as though being older would mean that I’d be more prepared for motherhood. I was centered, had traveled extensively, had eaten in all the best restaurants, and had bought all the clothes I wanted. But honestly, the experience of the two of them brings me to my knees. I wouldn’t have been more prepared at 144.

As of now I’m saying the perfect age to have a baby is… (Drumroll please) Not in 30s but 30. That’ll give me another 7 years to get where I want to be in my career, hopefully have a Master’s Degree, and I’ll have been married for *gasp* 12 years!!-Do I think that’ll happen? No, but as of today, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. (Ask me again tomorrow).

I’d love to hear your stories!! I’d love to see personal examples from people in 20s 30s and 40s! (Or opinions of why you’d prefer one over another).

-Also, if you’d like to read more about pregnancy in each age group here’s a few more articles.

January 2020 Update: Want to know what age I actually decided to get pregnant? Read my pregnancy announcement here

pregnant black mom holding her belly

The Perfect Age to Have a Baby

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Do 27…. thats a good number, then you can have your second at 30!

What a cool article. I liked seeing the pictures of the mom.

I have always wanted to be a young mom. Like if I had my way I’d have 2 kids now. LOL.

But there are some things that need to happen before that. Like: graduate college, have a job, get married. So that means waiting. And I’m okay with that.

I don’t want to bring children into a world without a dad/enough money to be supported the way they should be.

I think I’d like to have a baby by age 25 or so- that would be nice. I’m lucky: I’m graduating at 22, will work for a while, that’s a nice time line. We’ll see.

Things rarely go according to our time, though ; )

Yes, I agree 30 is a go0d age to have a baby.. But I prefer 28 to have one already.. hehe

Anonymous says:

24 is a great age to have a child or two! Your young, vibrant, and growing up with your child is a fun and awesome life adventure 🙂 Your right that you are never ready to have a child. I freaked out when I was preggo with my first child…but when she came, it just all came so natural for me…..I would not change it for the world. Being a Mommy is the most amazing and most rewarding job that a woman could ever embark upon!!! (Brooke R.)

Melissa says:

I agree with your age of 30 if you only want one or two children. I have one daughter and was 28 1/2 when I had her. I felt ready but maybe could have waited a little longer! I just finished my master’s degree and hadn’t been married that long so maybe having a little break (a year or so) would have been better. Stick with 30!!! Your analysis sounds good!

Anonymous says:

I would say 27/28 start trying to conceive #1. I started trying to conceive #1 at 31 and it took longer than expected, “unexplained fertility.” We didn’t want to jump to IVF with its great results, but wish we had. We tried less aggressive options, and then I had miscarriages, many. Again, nothing was wrong. I conceived my first child at 33 and gave birth at 34. I am now trying for #2 after just turning 35. I think if you plan on having 2 kids, you should play it really safe and give yourself 5 years from TTC #1 to birth of #2. Lessons learned. I think it is horrible that OB’s don’t educate more, but what really need is more education for men. They are the ones that think they have forever. Studies show that after 35, male sperm start to have issues. If you do want to wait past mid-30s or you are going to have major medical treatment like chemo, FREEZE YOUR EGGS early. May sound sci-fi, but it’s all about egg quality. Usually, the plumbing doesn’t break, it’s the quality of the eggs that plummets with age.

Anonymous says:

As a follow-up to the above post, unfortunately, neither my husband nor I were ready for kids in our 20’s. My husband said flat out – no way. I think if you are going ot have kids and when you want to have children is something you should discuss your spouse early on. Communication is key! Most women I know have the issue with their spouse. My husband was maniacal about making me take my BCP and policing them. I had PMDD though, so it was more of that. I think late 20’s/early 30’s is the best time if you can swing it. If your body doesn’t cooperate, just breath and throw this age crap out the window. Do the best you can! Read Taking Charge of Your Fertility! Awesome book!

Charmaine says:

My husband is 32 and i am 27. weve been married for 2 years. all his friends have children apart from him and he is desprate to start a family, However I do want to make a good start to my career before having children I am a teacher at the moment and want to be on senior management will probably take me 2 years to get there i will be 29 a nice age to have children but my hubby thinks he will be too old. Thats our dilemma!!!!

Gosh, I wish it were that easy to just pick and choose the age in which you’d like to have children – like ordering from a menu or something, huh?

I was disappointed to become pregnant at 29. I’d been married for 4 years and I didn’t feel like I was ready. Until we lost that baby and then all I wanted was to have children. From there it took us over 3 years, 3 more miscarriages, and over $100,000 to have a baby.

I will say that enjoying couple time before having children was nice. Would have been nicer if we weren’t crying through half of it.

I would also suggest that if women have a timeframe for having children: say, it’s 3-5 years. That women opt for starting on the short side of the range – so 3 years. In case they do have problems they don’t anticipate.

Also, I would suggest rather than trying to figure out how old you’d like to be when you have your first child. Instead, determine how old you’d like to be when you have your last child and work backwards. Many friends of mine have only realized that they started too late because they weren’t thinking that they’d need to go through the whole process again at least once and maybe more times!

After all of the many feelings/thoughts/ideals/expectations you’ve shared on anticipating motherhood … I’m curious how reality will play out for you.

Good luck Mama,
Polly

Jess Elaine says:

I was 24 when I had my baby in June 2011 and I turned 25 in October. My plan was to wait. I thought out of all of my friends, I would be the one who had my career and education out of the way, establish a permanent residence, etc. I assumed my friends would bear first as I sat by and enjoyed the fruits of their labor (literally) while still maintaining my structured lifestyle. God had other plans…I found out I was pregnant and my whole life changed. I was a different person, I limited my caffeine intake to a small cup of coffee per day and I gave up smoking (which once seemed impossible prior to my getting pregnant). My personality changed too and I see it changing constantly. I am still coming into my own and developing my ideals and fundamental traits. My moral compass has taken a 180+…I’m so devoted to my beautiful baby boy and while I have times that I wish I could be with my friends out at the newest lounges,etc.. nothing can compare to the joy that my son brings me. It has even made me enjoy my husband more and our marriage has evolved into this wonderful, dynamic partnership. I feel like I have a greater purpose in life now that I ever had. Jobs, careers, friends, all could come and go but the one thing that stands firm is my baby’s reliance upon me and the love he shows me. So do I regret getting pregnant before I was (what I thought to be)ready? Not in a million years! I think I was more ready than I gave myself credit for. I don’t think there is a right or wrong age range to have a baby, I think it depends upon the woman and should be handled on a case by case basis.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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