The Best Age to Have a Baby -- Revealed!

Mom Moment 109

baby earWhat'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.

Never.

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.

More from The Stir: 10 Reasons Having Babies in Your 20s Rocks

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

is it normal, motherhood

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B1Bomber B1Bomber

I got married at 24, had my first a week after I turned 26 and my second when I was 27. They will both be out of college by the time I'm 50, leaving me decades to travel the world when I'm old enough to have the money to really do it right.

nonmember avatar Micha

I had my daughter ON my 25th birthday. So apparently I had her at the exact right age. Even though I already knew I got pregnant when/with whom I was supposed to.

nonmember avatar surah

35 or older is dangerous. studies have shown increased risks to mother and child the older mom is. many women become educated while pregnant or raising children. and it irritates me to no end when people judge me for putting my children ahead of a career. i'm fine working as a semi-professional cook (with very little training) while raising my two children with my husband. i am 24, been married 3 yrs in dec, our oldest will be 2 the week our second is born, and i am geared to be a mom. my husband is sick so in a way its like having three children, but it makes the journey much sweeter if i'm not putting my career first!

nonmember avatar cortney

I was married June 19th 2011 (21 years old) and got pregnant our wedding night. And now have a 20 months old Son expecting our second child in May (24 years old)

Lilit... Lilith.23

Meh. Go my son at 19- my second couple weeks after my 20th birthday.

I always wanted to have them by the time i was 25 but hey! They came early, wich is a blessing.

There is not an exact good age, i just think it's when you know you're ready.

Rando... Randomlady

from a biological stand point it is best to have them in your 20's, after 30's it does increase your risk of having a child with birth defects and may also be harder to conceive.

sydja... sydjademom24

I conceived my first child at 19, had her at 20. Second child at 23, third at 25. As far as parenting skills obviously I think I was way more in tune as a parent at 25. I made a lot of mistakes with my first. I was married at 18 and wanted to be done having kids by 25 so I would be about 45 when they all were out of the house. My parents were 35&37 when I was born. They were 55-60 by the time I left, and my dad was mistaken for my grandpa quite a few times. It was just my personal choice that I wanted to be young when I had kids. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with them. I'm glad I had them when I did and I wouldnt have any more at this point in my life (nearing 29 yrs old). But to each their own. To some careers and education come before starting a family. And that's their decision.

JessL... JessLogansMommy

Biologically you should be having your children in your 20's.  Personally with my family history of hysterectomies and endometrial cancer it put a clear timeline on my fertility.  Combined with the fact that I had preeclampsia with my first baby I should be done having children before I'm 35.  I can't afford to add any extra risk. 

lucky... luckygirlyo

I had health issues from a car accident when I was 29. 10 years later-I can think about trying to become pregnant. It may be odd to people, but I don't want to give up my dream of a family because of this. My two aunts were in their mid to late 40s when they conceived. My bf is very supportive-and we will explore all options to make sure everyone's healthy and happy and whole.

Rachel Dixon-Makrucki

I loved the response "when she's pregnant" while medicine give us a "optimal" age that is the time when its easiest. Its doesn't mean that your a better or worse mother. I will say this about most thing each of us is an individual and what works best for me doesn't always work best for my neighbor. I was 29 when my son was born and I wouldn't change my life for anything and one of the best mothers I know had her very planned children at 21 23 and 25. There is no such this as the "best general age" to have a child just the right time for you to have a child and that is when he/she decides its time to enter the world :)

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