How Long Should You Wait to Get Pregnant Again?

After you have your first baby it may be only a few days or weeks before people begin asking when you’re going to get pregnant again. Whether it’s a nurse at the hospital who encourages you to try again soon for a boy (if you had a girl) or a girl (if you had a boy), or a stranger at the grocery store who tells you how important it is for little ones to have a sibling, the second-baby pressure can feel real. Once your baby’s first or second birthday passes, the questioning can become near constant.

Even if you’re not thinking about having another baby right away, most parents who plan for more than one do think a lot about when they’d like to conceive or how far apart in age they want their little ones to be. Making the decision about how your kids will be spaced can feel monumental. If you’ve got a second baby on the brain, take a look at the thing’s you’ll want to consider getting pregnant again.

pregnant again
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{ MORE: Making the Second Pregnancy Memorable }

Your capacity

While having a baby is never easy, it’s important to think about how much you can handle before bringing a second baby into your family. The older your first baby is when the second one arrives, the more independent they’ll be. While a toddler or preschooler is certainly a handful, the logistics of trying to hand feed two little ones (or breastfeed one and hand feed another) are just harder than feeding one while the other child pours their own cereal and eats it independently.

The finances of two in daycare

Having a second baby is often decidedly less expensive than a first, as most people save all their big-ticket items as use them again. But one thing you can’t hand down is childcare. The most time between your kids, the fewer years you’ll be paying double daycare costs before your first starts kindergarten.

Whether you feel ready

Even if the finances line up, your older child is gaining independence, and you know you could have a second, there’s no reason to jump in if you don’t feel quite ready. There’s absolutely no harm is taking all the time you need to settle into parenthood before you bring another baby into the world.

Your relationship

Having kids takes a toll on most relationships. Caring for tiny humans is hard and exhausting and intense and it often leaves little time for connecting with your partner. Before you commit to another few years of intense baby raising, consider where your relationship is and whether you might want to make any changes before life changes again.

The sibling experience

There are pros and cons to any sibling age gap and, beyond how far apart they are in age, each child’s personality and the way they’re raised has more of an impact on how they end up getting along. Some people have strong feelings about sibling age gaps though, so be sure to think through whether this is important to you before trying for number two.

{ MORE: Will I Love My Second Baby the Same? }

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Good luck mamas and dads!

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How Long Should You Wait to Get Pregnant Again?

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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