It’s an interesting question, what is the best age to have kids? A lot of people ask it all the time, even singles. The reason why people keep on asking is because there’s no definite answer. If the answer is, say 24, then we could have learned it in school or from our parents. But it’s not. It’s a tricky question.
There are a lot of factors that determine the best age to have kids. The right time is about emotional development, financial capacity, social standing, and biological maturity.
Let’s begin with the best age to have a baby biologically. It is the easiest to answer for both men and women. However, the answer is not the same for each gender. Men have a wider range than women. Healthy sperm starts as early as 16 until their 40’s. Barring any abnormal conditions and a healthy lifestyle, men can produce good sperm for a long time. Unhealthy sperm can increase genetic defects. Their ability to get someone pregnant, also diminish over time.
For women, the best age to have kids is in their 20’s. That is when they are most fertile, and the healthiest eggs are available. Pregnancy risks are lower at that age range. In their 30’s both the quality of eggs decrease, and the pregnancy risk drastically rise.
Anyone can still have healthy children outside the “recommended” age range. This section is just answering the question “best age to have kids,” biologically. You can still have them outside that range.
The cost of raising one baby varies and depends on your resident country. There are countries in Europe that offer attractive packages and tax breaks for expecting couples. Consider the cost up to their first ten years, including education.
A lot of first world countries offer free primary education, but that is not the case everywhere. Medical fees for check-ups, vaccinations, and other post-natal care needs to be included in your calculations. Talk to your insurance company about adding dependents to your policy.
Discuss the matter with your partner and run the numbers. Combine your disposable income and adjust your budget. Some luxury items can be removed to make way for the baby. You won’t have time for it anyway.
Once you have calculated the cost, the rest is self-explanatory, the best age to have kids financially is when you can afford it.
Children require a lot of love and attention. The human infant is the most helpless animal at birth compared to all other known species. A human baby is immobile and unable to feed itself for an average of 12 months.
If you’re still in high school or college and spending a lot of your time on your dissertation, then it’s not advisable to have kids. The same goes if you are still living in your mother’s basement or your job requires you to travel a lot.
Marriage is not required, but it is an advantage. Having a partner to share the financial and time responsibilities of raising an infant can help a lot. Single parenting is difficult, but not impossible. But if we are talking about the best age? Then a year after you’re married and have a source of income.
Marriage also prevents bad rumors and raised eyebrows from gossip mongering neighbors, friends, and family members.
Can you properly raise a kid while still in school? Yes.
Can you raise good children as a single parent? Yes.
Can an unmarried couple do a good job compared to married ones? Yes.
Is it the “best” scenario? No.
The question is the best age to have kids, not the social status of a person. It’s a tricky question. However, Unless you’re a genius who completed college at the age of seven or a total loser who’s already 25 and still couldn’t get a full-time job, then it matters.
For those who are living normal lives, you should already have your own place and a stable income in your mid 20’s. You are healthy enough to sleep late, wake up early, and have a lot of hours in a day. Marriage doubles your income and/or time. That’s the best age to have kids in terms of social standing.
The best age for men to have kids emotionally is when they can handle the stress of being a father, husband, and a breadwinner. Domestic family priorities mean less (or zero) time for poker nights, golf, and late-night drinking binge in a sports bar to watch your favorite team.
It sounds easy, but that commitment to give up those stress relieving activities is not limited to a few weeks or months. It’s years. If you can handle that as a man, then you’re at the right age to have children.
The best age for women to have kids is a bit more complicated.
Assuming there are no health issues preventing a safe delivery, there’s also the issue of breastfeeding versus career.
There are modern items that can partially resolve this issue such as breast pumps and formula milk. It still leaves the question of who will take care of the child when both parents are at work. There are companies with generous maternal/paternal leave. But not generous enough to last more than a year. Children will need to drink milk longer than that.
If a mother can take the separation anxiety of leaving the child behind for work or temporarily giving up on their career to raise children, then they are emotionally ready to have kids.
So in the end, what is the best age to have kids? For women, it’s when they are financially, emotionally, and socially secure before the age of 30. The same goes for men, but the age is before 35.
Again, we are talking about the “best” age. Everything is still a case to case basis and having healthy children outside that range. Taken together it’s not about age, but the status of the parents themselves. Healthy individuals can increase the age limit, and people with low income will have a hard time with it if there are medical complications.