15 Signs You’re Not Ready for a Baby Right Now
In This Article
Knowing whether to start a family is an exciting and also confusing time. That’s why it’s so helpful to know the signs you’re not ready for a baby.
Having a baby is an amazing experience. There is nothing like it. It’s late-night cuddles, sweet baby smells, and the amazement you share with your partner when your little one does something new for the first time.
But babies are also a lot of work.
It’s patience waiting for a schedule to develop, sleepless nights, and days that pass when you feel like all you’re doing is surviving.
When are you ready to have a baby? Here’s everything you need to do.
What to know before considering expanding your family?
So you’re asking yourself: “Am I ready to have a baby?” Before you commit to starting a family, you and your partner should consider the following:
- How do you see your futures
- Your age and health
- If you can afford to have a baby
- What role your extended families will play in your family life
- If your home is appropriate for starting a family
- How not sleeping or spending quality time together will affect your relationship for the first few months after having a baby
- Whether your marriage is stable
A baby will change things. It will change how you interact with your spouse, how much time you spend with your friends, and how you relate to your parents.
Parenthood touches every inch of your life. When you are ready to have a baby, you will embrace these changes with a full heart and open arms. But if there are signs you’re not ready for a baby, this can become a point of conflict.
15 signs you’re not ready for baby
If you are confused about whether or not you should have a baby, you can look at some of these signs indicating that you may not be ready to have a child at this point in your life.
1. You feel like you have things left to do
You can do anything when you have a baby if you are determined. Travel the world? Sure! Build the career of your dreams? Go for it!
One of the biggest signs you’re not ready to have a baby is if you feel you have things left to do before welcoming a little one into the world.
Whether that means spending another year sleeping in as long as you want or building the life you’ve always wanted, if you’re still dreaming of a solitary life, now is not the time for a baby.
2. You aren’t patient
Am I ready to have a baby? Only if you’re patient.
Babies teach you how to be patient, but being able to go into parenthood with a calm spirit and endless patience will help immensely.
If you have a short fuse, having babies is not for you. Not right now, anyway.
3. You don’t do well on little sleep
Am I ready to have a baby? Not if you love your sleep.
One sign you’re not ready for pregnancy is if the thought of waking up throughout the night and functioning on sometimes two hours of sleep seems impossible.
4. You aren’t financially stable
Are you ready to be a parent? The better question is, is your bank account ready to have a baby?
Research indicates that as of 2021, the average cost of raising a child until the age of 18 is $281,880.
Many programs are available to those struggling financially to raise a family, but this number is certainly not pocket change.
5. You struggle with body issues
One of the signs you’re not ready for a baby as a female is if you deal with body issues.
Body issues are a sensitive subject for many, and if you deal with body triggers, your ever-changing body during pregnancy would probably not be the best for your mental health.
6. Only one partner is on board
One of the biggest signs you’re not ready for a baby is if only one partner is on board.
A baby changes your life, especially at the beginning, and guilting your spouse into being a parent is the wrong way to approach parenthood.
You will need support and love from your spouse, and if they are not ready to have a baby, do not force the topic. Otherwise, you will only create resentment and disharmony in your relationship after the baby gets here.
7. Your mental health isn’t good
“Am I ready to have a baby if my mental health is rocky?” No.
Babies bring so much happiness, but a host of stress comes from having a child. You suddenly find yourself furiously Googling baby bowel movements, worrying about SIDS, and fretting about whether you’re a bad parent because of X, Y, or Z.
You can seek individual or couples counseling to help you achieve a healthier space mentally.
Related Reading: How Toxic Relationships affects Mental Health
8. You have unrealistic expectations
Another one of the signs you are not ready for pregnancy is if you have an unrealistic expectation of what a baby will bring to your relationship.
If you think having a baby will bring you and your spouse closer together or act as a Band-Aid for issues you are having in your marriage, you are very mistaken.
Watch this video to learn more about how expectations can be responsible for unhappiness:
9. You always celebrate getting your period
When are you ready to have a baby? When you stop throwing yourself a congratulatory party every time you get your period.
If your period fills you with relief and not a sad disappointment, you’re not ready to become a mother.
10. You are squeamish about bodily fluids
Are you ready to be a parent? If you gag at the thought of poop explosions and cringe at changing 10+ diapers a day or being thrown up on, then parenting is best put off for a while.
Babies have bodily functions and don’t care who sees them/hears them/has to clean them up.
11. You’re bored by stories about kids
One of the most obvious signs you’re not ready for a baby is if your friend’s stories about their little ones are more likely to elicit an eye-roll than an “Aww!”
12. You’re already burnt out at the end of the day
Do you feel exhausted at the end of the work day? If there’s nothing left in the tank for your spouse at the end of the day, you’re probably not ready for pregnancy and parenthood.
13. You aren’t responsible
Signs that you can’t have a baby right now have a lot to do with how responsible you are.
If you can’t remember to eat breakfast and are repelled by being on a schedule, you probably need more time to be ready to take care of another little life.
14. You feel pressured into it
When are you ready to have a baby? Only you will know the answer to that, but one thing is for sure. It should be your choice – not your family or friends.
If you feel pressured to have a baby, don’t give in. Your spouse and future child will benefit so much more if having a baby is your decision – nobody else’s.
Related Reading: How to Handle Being Pressured Into a Relationship
15. Your relationship isn’t stable
One of the biggest signs you’re not ready for a baby is if your relationship isn’t secure.
Your marriage is the basis for your life as parents. If you have trust issues or aren’t getting along with your partner, a baby will only exacerbate the trouble in your relationship.
Part of getting ready to have a baby is working on your marriage.
How to decide when to have children with your partner
Still wondering, “Am I ready to have a baby?”
When thinking of adding another member to your family, there is a lot to consider. You and your partner should have an open and honest conversation about your mental, emotional, and physical health.
For more information about your readiness with your spouse, read the article: “When to have children with your partner.”
Some commonly asked questions
Having a baby is an important decision that affects all aspects of a person’s and couple’s lives. Answering some important questions can help you gain more clarity regarding this decision.
At what age is it hardest to have a baby?
Teen pregnancy is certainly not recommended for a host of reasons. Barring that, we’d argue it’s hard to have a baby at any age.
No matter where you are in your social and financial life, having a baby will force you to adjust to the way you’re currently living your life.
Support from friends and family will help ease the difficulties of transitioning from a couple to a family of three.
What is the average age to have a baby?
The answer depends on where you live, whether you’re married, and whether you went to college.
However, men and women worldwide are hitting the average age of 30 before having their first child.
What is the best age for a woman to have a baby?
The best age for a woman to have a baby is whenever she feels ready.
From the 1970s until 2016, the average age to have your first child was in your early to mid-twenties. This is a great age to have children since you can keep up with running toddlers with health and energy on your side.
However, having children in your thirties allows you to establish your finances, solidify your relationship with your partner, and spend your twenties focusing on your goals, dreams, and travel.
Research shows that having a baby after 40 increases your risk of preterm delivery, risks of cesarean, pre-eclampsia, fetal death in utero, and gestational diabetes.
While the risks go up, you can safely carry and deliver a child in your 40s; you may have a little extra attention from your doctor during your pregnancy.
In a nutshell
When are you ready to have a baby? Only you will know the answer.
Nobody is ever ready to have a baby, but if you have checked off more than two of the above signs you’re not ready for a baby, you may want to consider putting family planning on the back burner for now.
Your spouse and your baby will benefit from your absolute confidence about starting a family in the future. Enjoy your time with your spouse and work on being the best people you can be for the little life you want to create one day.
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