Couple with child at festival

Thinking about child number two but unsure when’s the right time? Parents give you some tips by telling us what made them go for it…

Whether you have a specific age gap between your kids in mind, or are worried about getting older yourself, knowing when you are ready for another baby is very personal. And what’s right for the friend who’s just messaged everyone about her pregnancy news won’t necessarily be right for you.

You might be considering issues around postnatal depression. Maybe, having found the newborn phase super hard, you’re not quite sure you’re ready to go back there (MIND, 2016).

You may have physical or medical worries to consider. Worry that your relationship isn’t strong enough to weather another baby right now might also be on your mind (Relate, 2018).

You’ll also have to balance out your own thoughts on having another baby with when your partner feels happy to go for it too. Not to mention slinging in responsible adult things like finances and bedroom space (Mybanktracker, 2017). Here’s how some parents knew they were ready to try for baby number two though…

“It’s difficult. People go on about ‘good’ age gaps but in the end you get what you’re given.” Kat

“I knew from a medical problem that I didn’t have many eggs left. It puts a ticking clock on it.” Anna-Jo

“Our first baby was born when I was 38 and my boyfriend was 41. So we knew we had to crack on if we wanted more and didn’t feel at all scared about it as the first had been a dream.” Julie

“We had them close together to get through the pregnancy and baby stage as quickly as possible. Didn’t want to prolong it. Plus we started a little late... “ Diana

“Both my parents died of ill health when my first son was born so I may not have the best genes. I decided that I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my children while I was still healthy. Therefore, we started soon after my mum passed.” Sandy

“The first one had taken a long time and various fertility treatments so we wanted to get on with it as soon as possible to give ourselves the best chance of having another child.” Caroline

“Nineteen months later we've got our son to (finally) sleep through and started trying again. Clearly, we've decided that sleep just isn't for us...” Katy

“I found being a mum first time round way harder than I thought I would. I was lonely, I had postnatal depression, the sleep deprivation was like torture. I’d thought I wanted a small gap but in the end we waited until my son was at school so that we felt like we could actually cope with doing it again.” Jane

“The thought of it didn’t make me feel physically sick anymore...” Alison

“To be honest, our eldest was a terrible sleeper and we just thought ‘We’re already so shattered, we might as well do it all at once. What difference will it make?’” Graham

“My sister and me have a two year age gap and are so close so I’d always had that in mind as what I would want from mine.” Jem

“We just got a night away from the baby and it kind of happened…” Anushka

“We had ticked off a few baby things, like my eldest being out of nappies and in a proper bed and suddenly, we felt like we could manage it again.” Rose

“My best friend had a newborn and bam: I got broody.” Ang

“Finding Ewan the dream sheep in a drawer made me cry. Next minute, we were trying.” Kate

“It was all down to my son really, we would never have got round to it but he started coming home from school telling me how so and so had got a brother, and asking when he would get one. Guilt got the better of us!” Luce

“While I was still in the tunnel of no sleep and nappies I thought it was better to stay in rather than experience sleep and then go back? If that makes any sense…” Laura

“Hormones went mad at about five months after having number one and hey presto...” Estelle

This page was last reviewed in July 2018.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of NCT's Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

Mind (2016) Postnatal depression and perinatal mental health. Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/postnatal-depression-and-perinatal-mental-health/about-maternal-mental-health-problems/ [Accessed 26th November 2018].

Mybanktracker (2017) 9 Tips how to prepare financially for a second child. Available at: https://www.mybanktracker.com/news/tips-financially-preparing-child [Accessed 26th November 2018].

Relate (2018) Top 4 reasons couples argue after having a baby. Available at: https://www.relate.org.uk/relationship-help/help-family-life-and-parenting/new-parents/top-4-reasons-couples-argue-after-having-baby [Accessed 26th November 2018].

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