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wundayatta's avatar

What would be (have been) the best age for you to have your first child?

Asked by wundayatta (58354 points ) August 16th, 2012

Why do you believe this?

I was 40 when I had my first. I wish I could have done it ten years earlier when I had more energy, but also so that they would be further along in life by now. Perhaps even married, with their own kids.

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21 Answers

downtide's avatar

I was 22. My doctor told me I was at the peak age for a first child.

gailcalled's avatar

I was 23 and ready. It took five more years for me to give birth to my daughter; I was essentially the same person at 28.

tom_g's avatar

My life would have been 1000% better if I had my first child at 26 or 27 rather than 30. One of reason is that the kid forced us to buy a house, and we missed the gold rush on cheap (reasonable) houses that ended around 2000.

Also, I am 40 going on 55. I have a sneaking suspicion 3 kids can do this.

Judi's avatar

I had 3 kids by the time I was 24.
Down side: I was immature and didn’t make the wisest mate choices, which hurt my kids later. I didn’t have much money and had to work full time so I didn’t get to enjoy them like my daughters who stay home and get to enjoy my grand kids. I was so poor I had to settle for sub standard child care.

Upside: I am a pretty young and energetic grandma who can do a theme park better than any of the parents. I don’t judge my children’s parenting because I made all the possible mistakes in the world. I have enough energy and money to travel and do all the things I probably should have done before I had kids, but I probably would have been to broke to do them anyway.

gailcalled's avatar

@tom_g: That’s why I stopped, happily, at two. When the last one went off to college, I still had some life left in me at 46.

tom_g's avatar

@gailcalled – Can I just use this thread as another excuse to promote the idea that 2 kids is really where it’s at? I have mentioned this before, but it should really be taught in schools. 2 kids == tough, but worth it. 3 kids == what did I do? Ok, carry on…

JLeslie's avatar

As you know I don’t have kids, I think the best time is late 20’s early 30’s. My first pregnancy was when I was 27, we purposely got pregnant. I like the idea of being in my 20’s in terms of being able to be with them a long time, be with my grandchildren, and also to have really good years left when the kids are finally out of the house where I can still travel and still be relatively young. In my 30’s financially we were much better off, so that would have been easier of they had been born then, but even if born in my late 20’s, by the time they started costing a lot we would have been ok, and our marriage was very stable by our 30’s, more than in our 20’s actually I think dealing with the early-mid teen years in your 40’s is probably good timing too.

chelle21689's avatar

I’m 23 and 24 is not too long around the corner. and I have no kids but it’s making me worried. I have yet to accomplish life goals before children such as traveling but most importantly being financially ready. I don’t want to be too old to have kids!

flutherother's avatar

I was 31 when we had our first. It seemed the right time, not too young and not too old.

gailcalled's avatar

@tom_g: No arguments from me. I watch my niece in her mid-forties with 7, 6, and 2 year old sons. The middle is high-functioning Aspergers. The household is chaotic in the best of circumstances

My niece and her husband have two very good incomes but the housing market is so dire where they are (in a commuting suburb of NYC) that they can’t afford to move from a 2 bdrm condo. The boys all sleep in the same room…the noise level requires ear plugs, cute as the kids are.

FluffyChicken's avatar

I intend to have one child when I am 29 or 30. I learn so much and mature so much each year, so if the trend continues, I think I will be with it enough to take care of a helpless human being, but by my mid 30s I won’t be too old and tired to run after a young kid. I only intend to have one child.

linguaphile's avatar

I was 20 for my first kid—no regrets, but we have more of a sibling-like relationship because we literally grew up together. I had my second at 31—that also felt just right but I’m more of a “mom.” I’d say if I could do it again, I’d have had both kids between 28 and 32.

I’m 41 now and would NOT have another kid at this point. I love my kids, but I’d love to know what a daily life is like without kids. Those who wait until they’re 40 to have kids have had time to have fun, pursue careers, and develop their identity, while my identity and career have been tied in with my kids.

ucme's avatar

I was 29 & that’s just how the dice fell, worked out very nicely indeed thank you very much young fella me lad.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s not necessarily age, but a stable home environment/income. For myself, that would have been my middle twenties for the first one. We waited until we were ready (different husband) for my second child, and I was 36 at that time.

TheIntern55's avatar

I feel like 26 is a good age. You’re still young, but you’re mature enough to handle kids.
My mom had my oldest brother when she was 24 and had me when she was 40. I feel like because she had already raised 2 boys earlier, she wasn’t prepared for an girl in a differnt generation. It’s different having a son in the 90’s than a girl today.

Ron_C's avatar

We had our kids when we were in our mid 20’s. We figured we’d be in our 30’w when they became teens and we would have the strength to keep up with their activities and antics. I can’t how anyone in their 50’s can handle having teenage kids. It is just too tiring and time consuming. It is good to be a younger grandparent too. You can have more fun with your grand kids than you did with your children because you’re more relaxed and you can give them back to their parents when they get too wound up. There is a little bit of revenge involved with this.

augustlan's avatar

I was almost 27 when we had our first and 30 by the time we had our third. That felt right, to us. We’d been married for 8 years, so we’d had plenty of time to live as a childless by then.

People said we were crazy to have three kids in under 4 years, and it was overwhelming, I must say. But I wouldn’t change a thing.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

40. My mind was open to it without any fear I’d be giving anything up.

augustlan's avatar

Edit: ‘childless couple’, I meant. Dang it.

Bellatrix's avatar

23 was the perfect time and I had the perfect daughter. I don’t know that there is a ‘perfect’ time. I didn’t feel even slightly maternal before I found out I was pregnant and then I was thrilled. The time was right.

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