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What is the Right Age to Have a Baby: 20s, 30s, 40s?

When my husband and I first started talking about having kids, I’m not going to lie, but I freaked out a little. I was 28 years old, and for some reason I just had a number in my head–that number was 30. I wanted to be 30 when I had my first child. Yes, I know, I wasn’t too far off.  Between the time spent being pregnant, I would have been 29 when my baby was born. But not being 30 made me uneasy. I spent hours searching the internet looking up the topic “what is the right age to have a baby.” It was as though I was looking for an affirmation, an article that would tell me “It’s okay Carmen to have a baby at 29.” I had been married for six years, was financially stable  and was settled in my career–what else was I waiting for? I soon learned there really is no right or wrong age to have a baby. Sometimes in fact, you’re never REALLY ready. As a new mom (at the age of 29) I couldn’t be happier. I interviewed six amazing moms, who became moms for the first time ranging from their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and they share their perspective.

What age did you have your first baby? Leave a comment below.

ps. I also included my story as well! 

 

  • What is the Right Age to Have a Baby? 1 of 8
    age

    Click through to read the stories from 7 amazing moms. 

  • Diana Paola Ramos, 23 2 of 8
    diana 23 new

    Why was it the right time: To be honest, I don't know if it was the right time or not. I was young and had not finished college yet and was practically a newlywed. However, as soon as she was born nothing mattered, she is a blessing in my life. She actually made me work harder to finish what I had started and to better myself just for her.

     

    Pros: Being a young parent is great, you get to keep up with them, you tend not to forget what it was like when you were younger. Looking at the future and if your health permits you'll be able to also enjoy your grandchildren, plus another perk that happens to me is that my daughter thinks it's totally amazing to have a young looking mom and she tells me that I'm the coolest mom ever. 

     

    Drawbacks:  If you didn't finish your education, it's going to be a bit difficult to finish it, but not impossible. If you are young and like to party that will definitely have to stop for a while. I'm not saying that you can't go out, but at least for me, I would not be able to leave my baby with a stranger. Other than those two simple things, I think that being a parent doesn't have any drawbacks. It's a huge reward just being able to have a child and watch them grow, it's amazing!

  • Valerie Cudnik, 26 3 of 8
    valerie 26
    Why was it the right time: I was married to a an active-duty sailor. We wanted to have both of our children while he was on shore duty -- I'd seen too many moms taking care of their babies alone. We'd already started a reasonably successful graphic design business a couple years before so I could work from home while raising kids.
     

     

    Pros: My sisters and friends were having kids at the same time, so there was a built-in support system. Plus, the cousins could play together. Even better… my kids are grown and I'm not even 50! Now I can go back to living a fun-filled, active life, and I'm not too old to enjoy it.
     

     

    Drawbacks: In my 20s I wasn't the most patient, and was so busy with work that I didn't take nearly enough time to just enjoy them. Older moms know better! I often tell young mothers to slow down and enjoy things, it's time you can't get back.
  • Me! Carmen Ordonez, 29 4 of 8
    carmen 29
    Why was it the right time: I had been married for six years, so really got to enjoy that time with my husband. We traveled and I was also able to build my career in my early 20s. We were financially stable and had bought a house 3 years prior in the hopes to grow our family. My husband (who is 32) started getting the baby itch, so when I was 28 years old we decided to start trying to have a baby, surely enough, 2 months later I was pregnant! 
     

     

    Pros: We want to have 2 children and it's great not to feel rushed to have a second one right away. If we wait until our son is 3 years old, I'll still be in my early 30's (32). I had also heard stories from friends who were having a hard time trying to conceive, so I didn't want to wait too much longer. Also, having my first son at age 29, I was also able to work on building my brand and blog, Viva Fashion.  
     

     

    Drawbacks: One of the things I feared the most was not being able to continue my career or having to put things on hold. Luckily this hasn't been a drawback.  I've never been more busier with work and believe it's all about having a strong support system. My husband stays with the baby (on his days off) while I work. Life does change though, but you just learn to multi-task :)
  • Tracy Repchuk, 30 5 of 8
    tracy-finalfinal

    Why was it the right time: I started my company at the age of 19, directly out of college. I was selfish, having fun, working long hours and playing hard. I was focused on my career and success. I really didn't know if I was even going to have kids, until I met the right man, turned 30 and all of a sudden I was like this feels right, I'm ready. I got to enjoy the freedom of being single, travel, and become financially independent. 

    Pros: I'm still young and fun and have a fantastic time with them - as they are now 15, 16, and 17. We have a fantastic relationship, we go to the beach, movies, baseball, and so much more. Prior to this age as well, I wasn't mentally prepared or as confident settled and capable of handling what was still hard to handle. In addition, it was easier to quit drinking - my social life had slowed down and everything fell into place.

    Drawbacks: Probably not true for most - but I have struggled to get my body back in shape. I guess if you popped one out in your 20s - your body may bounce back faster. 

     
  • Tania Elfersy, 34 6 of 8
    tania 34

    Why the time was right: By the time I became a mom, I had enjoyed a career in the corporate world (and was reaching burn-out), I had traveled extensively and had lived and worked in a number of different cities. I knew who I was, what I was capable of and I was ready to embrace the new challenges of motherhood (even if I didn't quite understand how they'd unravel at the time!). My husband, who had marked up similar experiences to me, knew who he was and where he wanted to be. We were financially stable and could support me being a stay-at-home mom while our kids were young. I feel very grateful to have been at a place in life where I didn't need to return to work while my kids were very young, due to financial reasons or due to some sort of personal pressure to be "someone" or prove my worth outside the home.

     

    Pros: With so much experience behind me, I was able to let go of the pace of my pre-motherhood life and learn to love the new pace of being a mom, without feeling like I was missing out. I watched myself transform and felt no less than the woman I was only more.  

     

    Drawbacks: I used to think that perhaps
    I'd have more energy if I'd become a mother younger. These days, I understand that motherhood can be exhausting for every woman and energy is something that I create through exercising and taking good care of myself.

  • Deborah Poppink Hirshland, 40 7 of 8
    deborah-40 final

    Why the time was right: My husband and I started dating when I was 39 1/2 and we married right after my 40th birthday. I'd always wanted kids so it was like, "ready, set go!" I had been told many times that after 35, it would be challenging. Getting pregnant (both this time and again when I was 43) was remarkably easy. I only wish we had met earlier, so we could have had more.

     

    Pros:  I can't compare it to having kids in my 20s and 30s but I can say it's a miracle and a blessing. Everyday I look at my girls (now 6 and 8) and thank my lucky stars. Perhaps my age and wisdom guided me to giving them space to explore their world. I know that I stay grateful and treasure the whole experience - the bedtime stories, the watching them face down the tiniest waves at the beach and conquer their fears and even the meltdowns. Maybe my eclectic nature would have, at any age, led me to encourage freedom of thought and action. Perhaps being in my 40s and with my vast experience of spirituality, travel, therapy and life, I can see where they stumble and I can take steps to correct and steer them, without getting hung up in the stigma that some people fear (getting help from a speech therapist for example).  As a musician and founder of DidiPop, by having my girls, I was able to say good-bye to all the angsty songs I used to write and find the answer to what most songwriters ask themselves ~ "Can I write if I am happy and not yearning for a dream beyond the horizon?". Yes! Willy Wonka puts it well: "Do you know what happened to the woman who got everything she wanted? She lived happily ever after."

     

    Drawbacks: Running as fast as they do is tricky. And when they say, "Mom, can you do this?", and then they do a handstand into a backbend I say, "I USED to be able to do that". Then I realize that weekly yoga classes will get me back to that. Real drawbacks? None.

  • Lisa Cash Hanson, 41 8 of 8
    lisa final
    Why the time was right: I told my husband I wanted a baby for a long time but we never started to try. Suddenly my husband said,"Babe shouldn't we start trying now?" I thought WAIT! I'm not sure I'm ready LOL. But I made the decision to get ready. I have a wonderful husband and I finally realized that not everything had to be perfect. Meaning we didn't have to have every baby toy, her nursery perfect or even be fully prepared. I just trusted that everything would work out. The most unexpected blessing was that everything showed up in perfect time. She had everything she needed and we couldn't have been happier.
     

     

    Pros:  I suppose waiting until I was more settled in life meant that I brought Matilda into the world in a loving home that was stable and she has a great daddy. I'm more mature at 41 than I would have been in my 20's so that brings a little added wisdom to how I raise her. And I'm not as selfish as I was in my earlier years.
     

     

    Drawbacks: I thought I'd be super patient and so easy going. But I think when you are older you don't have the same carefree attitude that younger moms may have. I guess you would say I'm a hovering parent. Always concerned she may fall or something. Or maybe that's just being a first time mom I'm not sure. Also when you are older you have to deal with the doctors constantly checking you and telling you all the complications that can come with having a baby later in life. Wanting to poke you with needles. I'm a real strong personality so I just told my doctor, "My baby is healthy and you're not putting a needle in me everything is fine." And it was. But who likes to hear all that when you're pregnant? So that was a drawback. 
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