Ready for Another Child?
A family's decision to have another child often comes down to factors like money and childcare. Don't overlook these considerations when contemplating the next baby.
Can you afford it? Expect to pay roughly $10,000 per year for every child under 18— upwards of $180,000, and that's before factoring in college. More kids may mean needing a bigger car, house, and yard and more medical insurance, food, and clothing. It may also mean fewer luxuries for you, including vacations or dinners out. Jennifer Stevenson of Chicago waited to conceive her second child, due this month, till she and her husband could afford to move from their city apartment to a house in a family-friendly town. "I didn't want to walk up two flights of stairs carrying my daughter, the groceries, a diaper bag—and a newborn baby," she says.
Is it efficient? It's amazing how much stuff a tiny baby needs. If you already have a crib, bouncy seat, high chair, and infant car seat, you might want to wait till your first child outgrows them rather than double up on items that your baby uses for such a short time.
Are you set up for childcare? If you're home with your first child, it might seem like a no-brainer that you can watch your second, too. But what if you've got a babysitter or send your child to daycare? Will the babysitter be willing to watch two children? Does the daycare center take infants? Dana Asher of New Rochelle, New York, waited to have her second child because her mother, mother-in-law, and sitter were watching her daughter. "I knew they couldn't watch two kids, and I couldn't afford full-time care at that point," she says.