There is no perfect time to have a baby but there are better times. This post is by no means a checklist of things to have in place before having a baby. Rather it’s a list of things a couple may find helpful to discuss before starting their family. As I note at the end only God is the one who gives life and each life is a precious gift.
Full disclosure we got pregnant nine months after our wedding while I was in my last semester of university. Looking back I wouldn’t reccommend being pregnant while in school because it was very stressful. However, it can be done and I did have the benefit of a very flexible schedule to accommodate all my appointments.
That being said and looking ahead to future pregnancies I think it’s very important to consider the following categories before adding a child to your family. To be clear I’m speaking to other young, newlyweds in their early twenties. I can’t speak to other situations as I’ve only experienced being pregnant in my early twenties. We also didn’t have any known fertility issues.
Babies cost money. Diapers, clothing, car seats it all adds up. Even if people are super generous and gift lots of clothing and help
When we had our daughter we were not in the best financial position but it still worked out. Halfway through my pregnancy my husband applied for and got a better paying job with more hours. I truly believe that God will provide if you trust Him.
That being said children thrive when parents are less stressed. If you are not on a budget start one now, set up a savings account to save for baby items. Talk to other parents to see how much on average they are spending on baby items (this will vary depending on things like formula or breastmilk, types of diapers and more).
Will one of you stay home or can you afford childcare?
This topic can be controversial but you and your spouse need to decide who will care for the baby. Right now I stay home with our daughter and we live on one income. Yes, it’s tough but for us the rewards of me being able to care for our daughter outweigh the cons of putting most of my potential income towards childcare.
A lot of
Knowing you have
It’s important to have a back up plan for employment. For us my husband has his AZ license so if anything happened he could go trucking. Although that wouldn’ be ideal at least we could still pay our bills.
It is also a smart idea to save up an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses.
As I wrote about in my post for newlyweds a young couple needs to leave and cleave. If you aren’t able to do this it may not be the best time to have a child.
Aside from living independently you should consider if your current home is suitable for a child. Do you need to eventually find a bigger apartment or are you in the process of saving for a house? Babies don’t take up much space at first but in the long run they do need space to play.
You may also think about sleeping arrangements. If one of you needs to rest for work sharing a bedroom with the baby may not be ideal. Or if you need to take a nap but can still hear the baby, it might be nice to have space to spread out.
Relationship as a Couple
Adding a baby will only magnify any difficulties in your relationship. Before having a child it’s important that the marriage relationship is solid. If it’s not it may be helpful to sit down with a
The best thing you can give your children is two parents who love each other. It’s important to make love and friendship a habit. Keeping your emotional connection alive will also help overcome the stresses of early parenthood.
I wrote more about staying connected to your husband after having a baby here.
Even before you think about becoming pregnant it may be a good idea to
Taking Charge of Your Fertility is an excellent book to read. It covers everything you need to know about female reproductive health, fertility and pregnancy. It’s a great resource to help you as a couple understand how intricate the female body is. It also covers the Fertility Awareness Method of birth control and how to chart.
Each family has to decide when it’s right for them to try for a baby
You can get all the advice in the world on when it’s a good time to start a family. However, each family situation is unique and depends on different factors. Maybe your spouse is in the military or you both still have school to finish. Either
If God gives you a baby He will provide for your family
That being said the creation of a human life is ultimately up to God. If He wants to give you a baby He will. He will provide a way for you to care for your baby.
Some people may disagree with this line of thinking and that’s okay. It’s wise to prepare as best you can before trying for a baby. Sometimes pregnancy can surprise a couple before they are as ready as they would like. That’s okay because all babies are a blessing.
What things did you consider before starting a family?
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