When Is The Best Age To Have Kids?
There is no right time to have kids. However, your age can have an impact on your chances of conception, your chances of a successful pregnancy and the type of upbringing you will give your child. For this reason, it can be important looking into the pros and cons.
Here are each of the age groups in which people have kids – and the benefits and disadvantages in each case.
Teen pregnancy isn’t something anyone should strive for. However, mistakes do happen – if you’ve fallen pregnant at a young age and are not sure whether to go through with the pregnancy, it could be important to consider some of the pros and cons that come with having a baby under 20.
There are many health risks associated with having a baby as a teenager. Premature birth is more common, as is having a low weight baby. Teen mothers may also encounter issues such as high blood pressure and anaemia. Because many teens are also not mentally prepared for such responsibility, post-partum depression is also more common.
Teen parents are often encouraged to get lots of support and to pay close attention to their nutrition to increase the chances of a healthy birth. It’s much easier to be a young parent if you have a strong family support network who are willing to offer the financial support and emotional support that you may need.
Becoming a teen parent may impact career goals and even could get in the way of education. However, it is possible to return to education and career goals later in life (it’s not easy – but many teen parents are able to do it).
Most people are at their most fertile in their twenties. There are much fewer health risks, include a much lower chance of developing high blood pressure or diabetes. The body is also able to heal faster afterwards.
For this reason, it has traditionally been seen as the best age to have kids (biologically speaking, it is the best age). However, in recent years the age at which people move out, get a career and settle down has been increasing – as a result many new parents in their twenties aren’t as mentally or financially ready as those in their thirties.
Having a supportive network can help. In fact, this can be a major advantage of having kids young – the younger your grandparents are, the more easily they can offer support, plus your kids will be able to enjoy more quality time over the year with their grandparents.
Parents in their twenties also tend to have more energy than those in their thirties and forties. The lack of sleep during the early years of parenthood can be easier to cope with as young adults are able to more easily get by on less sleep. Parents in their twenties can still suffer burnout – but generally a few sleepless nights won’t have any long-term damage.
The thirties is now the age when most people in the western world have their first kids. There are many perks to having kids in your thirties – you’ve had the time to enjoy your youth, get an education and possibly climb the career ladder. This can lead to more stability (and less dependence on grandparents).
The health risks associated with pregnancy are also very low and fertility rates are still high. Those in their twenties generally have a lower chance of miscarrying or developing diabetes or high blood pressure, but those become first-time parents in their thirties may experience greater long-term health benefits such as fewer aches and pains, as well as a reduced likeliness of suffering from post-partum depression (having a baby in one’s thirties is more likely to be planned).
Becoming a parent in your thirties also means that your kids will likely grow up and move out as you are retiring. This can fit well into many people’s life plans.
A lot of people fear that they’re on borrowed time once they reach their forties and panic can start to set in. The chances of conception can drop once you reach 35 – and most women reach their menopause between 45 and 55. The health risks during pregnancy and birth can also increase, both for the mother and baby.
Fortunately, there are many ways to get around these biological issues if you’re determined to become a parent. If you’re in your twenties and thirties, but don’t think you’ll be settled until you’re in your forties, and you’re worried about fertility issues, you could try looking into egg freezing. Meanwhile, if you’re already in your forties, you could try making changes to your lifestyle – losing weight, quitting smoking, reducing stress and getting the right nutrition can also increase the chances of conceiving in one’s forties. You could also try looking into IVF. And of course, there’s always adoption if none of this works.
Becoming a parent later on in life can have other drawbacks – your child may have less time with grandparents, you may have less energy and you may still be providing for your child into retirement (especially when conceiving in your fifties). However, there are also many benefits to having a child later in life. You’ve lived your youth to it’s full and you may have achieved a level of financial stability that most parents in their twenties and thirties can’t. Being older and wiser could also allow you to approach parenthood with more maturity.