Sometimes the best things in life are surprises, and sometimes they are very much planned! Having a baby at any point in your life is a blessing but can definitely present a different set of pros and cons. We are going to discuss the benefits of having a baby later in life, as well as the benefits of having a child earlier on in life and better understand other mama’s opinions on timing (or not!) their bundle of joy!
Benefits of having a baby later in life
More emotional preparation
According to science, there’s a certain sense of maturity that comes along with age and research suggests that maturity plays a role in better parenting. A study published in the journal European Journal of Development looked at the psychosocial development of two groups of children aged 7-17 split between being born to moms older than 31 and the other was born to moms younger than 31. When analyzing their psychosocial development, they were surprised to find that older moms were less likely to scold or physically discipline their kids. Overall, the children of older moms were better behaved, well socialized and emotionally healthy in their pre-teen years due to the more laid-back parenting style that older mothers used.
More financially stable
If you have the advantage of finishing up your degree and putting your time into further developing your professional career before giving birth, it would make sense that you’re more likely to earn a higher salary than a mom who had children before establishing her career. Studies show that children of older mothers stay in the educational system longer, do better on standardized tests, and are more likely to go to college than their peers born to young moms.
While it may also be the benefit of less stress and the ability to gain more knowledge through schooling, studies show that having kids later in life can make you mentally sharper as you age. One study published in the Journal of American geriatrics Society tested middle-aged women to determine whether there was a link between having a baby at a later age and brainpower. They found that women who had their last child after the age of 35 had sharper cognition and verbal memory.
Benefits of being a younger parent
Time for a larger family
Having children when you’re young means that you have more time to have a larger family if you would like one. You can space your children out as much as you want and plan for conception a decade down the line without having anyone asking about your biological ticking clock. Instead, you can make decisions about when to have another baby based simply on when works best for your family. You might choose to wait a few years before trying again, or perhaps you love the idea of a small gap, but either way it’ll be a choice made without the worry of your advancing age.
Waking up in the middle of the night with your infant is hard. Waking up at the crack of dawn with your toddler is definitely hard as well. However, waking up early with your children and spending the day actively playing and running around is easier on your body when you are young. As you age, sleep becomes more important for functioning and your body is not as nimble as it once was.
Less risk of complication
Maternal age plays a big part in whether you’re able to enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Older mamas or those with geriatric pregnancies are more likely to face a number of potential health problems including fertility problems, congenital abnormality, pre-eclampsia and labor complications.
All in all, having a baby is a joy and a blessing. It is important that as a mama-to-be you make the right choice for yourself and your lifestyle, whenever that may be!