When is the right time to have a baby?

Times are changing, and the structure and nature of people’s relationships are different to what they were fifty, thirty or even ten years ago. We’re getting married later in life, buying houses later down the line and therefore waiting longer to have kids. But is this a product of choice or necessity?

Of course, you can get married when you want or buy a house when you please (if you’ve got the money), but there is a biological clock ticking when it comes to having a baby, and some women fear the 30-year-old mark if they’re yet to have a child.

Now, let’s be clear – there is no absolute right time to have a baby. There are basic rules that many follow – for example, most wouldn’t want a child in their teens or their late thirties, but other than that: where’s the line? The answer really lies in personal circumstances, and these three factors should decide when the right time is for you, not anyone else.

Your money

Whether you like it or not, money makes the world go around, and having a baby is up there as one of the biggest financial commitments you can make in life. Having an extra body to clothe, feed and shelter for 18 years – or more – comes with no small price tag, meaning you shouldn’t really rush into having a child unless you’re financially capable of giving both yourself and your baby a comfortable life.
Waiting until you have enough money to properly care for your child is ethically the right call for all involved. Typically, you’ll find parenthood costs more than you’d expected, but your family’s quality of life is paramount. So, if that means getting some financial help along the way to maintain a steady quality of life, so be it. As they say: family comes first.

Your home

Home ownership is really an extension of the money debate. Becoming a first-time buyer is no small feat in today’s economic climate, but most people would argue you need to have your own four walls in place before you welcome a child into the world.
Having your own house means you can create a proper space and setting for your baby, make adjustments where necessary and have guaranteed security at a time when it’s most needed. If you’re still renting or living under your parents’ roof, say, welcoming a child into the picture comes with a level of uncertainty, alongside financial responsibilities that will dent your chances of getting a home anytime soon.

Your headspace

Having a house and having the money to afford a baby are two fairly black and white rules which most people would agree with, but the most important thing is completely subjective – when you are ready.
What does “ready” mean? Well, that’s entirely up to you, but being in the right state of mind to have a baby trumps any other factor. You need to be ready for a truly life changing moment, a point where you’ll need to devote virtually the entirety of your life to your new-born.
In layman’s terms, that means if you’re still set on partying your weekends away for the next few years, enjoy going out after work or are considering a real career push in the near future, right now isn’t the time to start talking babies.
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