What's the ideal age to start your family? Gallup asked 5,100 people this question, and the average turned out to be: 25 is the best age for women to have their first baby. This was a total jaw-dropper for a lot of us college-educated, big-city-living, media-working career ladies. Just looking around the Internet, there was a collective WTF?!? over the results of this poll. Just speaking for myself, I always thought I should be at least 30, maybe older. But it turns out, 25 is the average age American women have their first baby anyway (44 percent of you), so this will not be shocking news for the vast majority of women.
So that got me wondering -- what do my friends and colleagues think? I took my own informal poll to find out what they think the ideal age for your first baby is, and at what age they actually did have that first baby. I was floored by the variety of responses.
What's the ideal age for a woman to have her first baby?
I think it's very personal for a woman. Some women are ready early; some women are not. What's more important than an age is knowing that you are up for the job of being a mom.
When her relationship/situation in life is stable enough that the child will have a good home. That varies a lot from person to person.
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Hmmm ... tricky question! I'm not sure what the ideal age is, I think it varies for everyone. Physically, obviously younger is better, but mentally, I think older is better for many reasons. I don't know if I could pick an age! Can I pick a range? Between 28-35, depending on your situation.
Thirty, I guess. Although 30 is only 3 (okay, 2.5) years away and that thought is REALLY scary.
Early to mid-20s. I can enjoy my kids while still being young and will only be 48 when Kara graduates, which gives Mike and me time to enjoy ourselves as a couple and have the freedom to travel and still be young enough to do fun stuff when the grandkids come around. People that wait 'til later ... I just don't get it. I can't wrap my head around dealing with a baby at 40. I'm older, less patient, and looking forward to exploring life with more money, more experience, and less responsibility. No thanks to the pains of littler people. My kids are old enough that we can do cool adult things and trips.
Ideally after you have been married for a few years.
When she and her partner are ready.
Hmm. I'm not sure that there really is an "ideal" age, but I always wanted to have a baby before I turned 30. I figured having one earlier would give me more "good" years to travel, etc., after he left for college.
I would say 24ish assuming all is in order. Marriage, college degree, house.
I think 35 is the ideal age. (Think people should be at LEAST 30.)
I was married for 10 years when I had my first. The upside was that I was able to travel to the Middle East and do my dissertation research. The downside is when people take me for my child's grandmother!
There is no ideal! It's best whenever you want it. That being said, I hope my daughter is 28 or 29.
I think it depends on your life circumstances, really. But if forced to pick an ideal age, I would say around 30 -- so that you’ve had time to live a little, are young and energetic enough to chase toddlers around, and are still in your late 40s by the time they get the hell out of the house and go to college, so you can get back to your life!
I would say 35. Still young enough to have the energy but you have financial security, etc.
I like the idea of being like Kate Middleton -- and also my own mom. Anywhere between 29-33. I am planning around trying in two-ish years, so around 32-33.
My favorite response: When she gets pregnant, accidentally or on purpose.
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Those of you with kids, when did you have your baby?
3 people: Under 25
4 people: 25-29
6 people: 30-34
2 people: 35-42
So there you have it. I noticed women are often reluctant to pin down an ideal age for having your first baby. It really depends on your circumstances -- your marriage or relationship, your living conditions, where you are in life ... and even chance.
Do you think there's an ideal age for a woman to have her first baby? If so, what is that age?
Image via Lisa Williams/Flickr