The top 25 considerations parents had before having a baby
Would-be parents now consider their finances to be more important than the state of their relationship when deciding when to have kids, a study has found.
The optimum time for a baby is seen as three-and-a-half years into a relationship, and it should be deliberated on for 10 months before trying, according to the poll of 1,500 adults with kids up to 16.
But with the cost of living soaring, couples now worry more about whether they can afford a baby (39 per cent) than the stability of their relationship (34 per cent) or if they are ready for the responsibility (32 per cent).
Other considerations include whether the house is big enough, how it might affect their sex life, if other friends had started families and whether the house could be ‘babyproof’.
Some would simply think about whether they were ready to give up nights out and if they could quit smoking.
But 69 per cent feel there is never a ‘right time’ to have a baby.
It also emerged that while 37 per cent take the woman’s health and lifestyle into consideration, 15 per cent believe the man’s health has little or no impact on proceedings.
The research was commissioned by vitamin brands Pregnacare Conception and Wellman Conception, which have teamed up with Dr Lauren Rockliffe, a pregnancy health coach and health psychologist to provide tips for couples hoping to improve chances of conception.
Dr Lauren, from www.bloomwellpregnancy.co.uk, said: “If you’re trying for a baby, there are various lifestyle factors that can affect fertility for both men and women.
“It’s therefore just as important for men to consider making healthy changes when trying to conceive, as it is for their partner.
“Making these changes together can help with motivation and make them easier to stick to in the longer-term, which is important, as it can take up to three months for some lifestyle changes to affect sperm quality.”
The right considerations
The study found 20 per cent fretted about whether they were fit and healthy enough to have a child.
Men were also more worried than women about how secure their job was, before having a child (23 per cent of men vs 15 per cent of women).
But of all those polled, 42 per cent believe it’s simply not possible to ever truly be ready to become a parent.
The minimum age that people believe someone is emotionally and physically mature enough to have a baby was deemed by the results to be exactly 26 years old.
And on average, respondents had their first child at 27 and three quarters, according to the OnePoll.com figures.
More than one in 10 (14 per cent), however, don’t believe they thought about it long enough before taking the plunge.
While 23 per cent don't feel they were as fit and healthy as they could have been, when preparing for child number one.
A spokesperson for Vitabiotics, maker of Pregnacare Conception and Wellman Conception, said: “There’s a lot to think about when bringing a child into the world.
“It's not just about wanting a baby, but also about being physically, emotionally, and financially prepared to give them the best start in life.
"Clearly it is essential to be in the best shape possible."
Dr Lauren Rockliffe’s top tips for conceiving
- When you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to try and minimise stress as much as possible. Try to take some time for yourself each day to do activities that you find calming or relaxing.
- There is some evidence to suggest that caffeine may affect fertility, so both partners may want to consider limiting their intake to no more than around 200mg a day (that’s about two mugs of instant coffee).
- Staying active can help to improve the likelihood of getting pregnant. Try to aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (e.g., brisk walking or cycling), spread out over a week.
- Both men and women can improve the chances of conception by eating a nutritious diet and trying to keep their BMI within the healthy range, which is between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2.
- Quitting smoking can help to improve fertility for both partners. If you don’t feel you can stop straight away, set a quit date, and start to gradually reduce how much you’re smoking each day.
- If you’re wanting to improve your fertility, it’s important not to regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week (for both men and women). This is roughly equal to 6 medium glasses of wine or 6 pints of beer. Better still, try cutting out alcohol altogether.
- Getting enough sleep is vital to ensure our bodies are functioning effectively and for supporting conception. Both men and women should be aiming to get between 7-9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep a night.
Top considerations parents had when thinking about having a baby
- Whether they could afford it
- If their relationship was secure enough
- If they were ready for the responsibility
- If they were fit and healthy enough
- If they were 'getting too old'
- If their job was secure enough
- Whether their house was big enough
- If they were at the right age for optimum fertility
- If they and their partner (if applicable) were able to handle someone's salary dropping to help with childcare
- If they were married
- If they had a strong enough support network
- If they really wanted to do it, or if it was just what was 'expected' of them
- If their home was secure enough
- If they wanted to bring a child into a less-than-perfect world
- If they were ready for the loss of independence
- If they could handle the early mornings and late nights
- If they were prepared to put their career on hold
- If there were good schools nearby for children to go to
- If they could live without a full night's sleep
- If they were ready to give up nights out
- If their home was 'babyproof'
- Whether their diet is healthy enough
- How it will affect their sex life
- If their friends had started having children
- If they could quit smoking